Ed Cook looks at the number of ways a rabbit can be caught by bolting them

Ferreting for rabbits can achieved in five different ways by a ferret bolting them. Some work better in certain situations, but they all have their place. Some of these methods can be combined together to improve effectiveness.

Purse net

Longets and purse nets are useful bits of kit

Purse nets

Purse nets are the starting point for those beginning a career of ferreting. These are nets that go over the holes of a burrow, and each net is normally 3ft 6in in length. Setting these nets can be time consuming, but a necessity in places with high concentrations of rabbits because they will simply “hole hop” otherwise.

Ferrets

How to start ferreting

Ferreting is one of those activities that can be as complicated or as simple as you make it. For a newcomer it can…

 

Ferreting and shooting

Shooting

Shotguns can be used to good effect if you can shoot both accurately and safely. No shots should be taken at rabbits while they are near the burrow because the ferrets are also at risk of being shot. Open burrows can be carried out in a similar way, but it’s worth having a plan before you start to make sure everyone understands which direction they’re shooting and where everyone will be. Calibre is down to personal preference, I know folk that get great results with a .410, yet it is also understood that “the more lead in the air, the better”. That said, I know folk who do very well with catapults!

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  4. 4. Birds of prey
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