I picked Sheila
up from Bolton and we drove down to Cheshire.
I took my air
rifle, 2 of my poley jills (Bandito & Jilly) and my lurcher (Flash).
Sheila took her air rifle, 5 ferrets, but only worked 2 (Arwen
& Flower) plus her lurcher pup (Bryn).
We arrived at
12:00pm and started off by making our acquaintances with the landowner & had a
pot of tea, then we were shown around the land, to where the buries were, and we
tried to decide a line of attack.
We decided to start
the bury close to the road. 2 ferrets were introduced into the bury (Arwen
& Flower). So we set the long net along the
fence on the opposite side of the drive from the hedgerow we were ferreting.
Almost as soon as the ferrets were entered we got one to bolt from the bury but it shot out
and ran down the drive, and totally avoided the long net. Unfortunately, the
lurchers were on my side of the hedgerow and didn't see a thing.
After a minute or 2,
another bolted, went straight across the drive, and into the long net.
Arwen was still underground, and was located
3' deep, under the drive, so we decided to put Bandito
in, and see if she could shift her. After about 3 minutes, they were both out,
and were both wearing rabbit fur on their claws.
We moved on up the
drive and netted a large bury on a banking, Bandito
went to see if anyone was at home...
A few thumps and
a squeal - Jilly bolted a young rabbit, the
squeal got Flash running from the end of the
bury I was working with Bandito, to see what
the fuss was. The tiny rabbit slipped the net, and ran up the bank, but was
brought back a couple of seconds later live-to-hand by
The next bury we
tried was empty.
We had been watching
the land all the time we were there, and had noticed that only young rabbits
were being bolted, and the rest were out feeding, so we changed our tactics.
We put the ferrets &
nets back in the car, and walked the land with our rifles & lurchers.
Every time we
entered a field, we saw rabbits running for cover, so figured an ambush was the
call of the day.
We sat in a field that
had a little cover (a few remaining potato plants that had grown from spuds left
in the ground after last year's harvest). Sheila
took position with Bryn beside her, I walked
across the field and took my position with Flash.
After a couple of
minutes, a large rabbit returned to feed, he didn't get a chance, I placed an
Eley Wasp between the eye & ear at 35-40 yards.
Flash set off in the direction of the
sound but because the rabbit had just keeled over without a kick, she
didn't see it, and went straight passed it, putting the rest of the rabbits to
ground. So I collected the bunny and then sat on the other side of the field.
Then it was the
waiting game again...
I spotted a pair of
tiny ears just poking out of a ditch, then all of sudden there was a tiny head
under them, I raised my rifle, took aim, and pierced its ear, the tiny bunny
ducked, and moved along the ditch, then disappeared into the hedge.
After nearly 1/2
hour, my legs were getting stiff, so I got up and walked back across the field.
A rabbit had returned to feed, so I stalked within range, and took my shot at
It hit home and the bunny was kicking its way back to the
long grass and bury, so I ran to collect it. Another perfect head shot.
As we returned to
the car, we figured out our best approach for each field, and we'll get them
on our next visit.