Breeding ferrets

Advice on breeding working ferrets

Over the years I have ferreted more than a few times, so I would like to think that I know what makes a good working ferret. At this time of year lots of kits are being born; the whole point of breeding ferrets is to improve on the ferrets that…

Retiring lurcher from ferreting

Retiring a lurcher from a ferreting career

It is at this time of year when I scrutinise the strengths and weaknesses of my ferrets and ask myself questions such as which hob do i breed from to improve my stock, which hob and jill will pair up best to reinvigorate the line and what equipment needs replacing, repairing…

Ferreting teamwork

Ferreting teamwork triumph

At the heart of ferreting is the relationship between the ferreter, his dogs and his ferrets, and the effort that each puts in. When I met Ryan, a young ferreter from Batley in West Yorkshire,  I could see that his team — his lurcher, Molly, and two boxes of ferrets — would…

ferreting

Tawny makes her ferreting debut

When the time was right I decided to take Tawny to Norfolk for her first time ferreting. We went to Norfolk, because I wanted to see her work in the kind of environment that will become her bread and butter: long-nets, plenty of ferrets and deep, expansive warrens. Obedience wasn’t the only…

Industrial Ferreting on an ancient hedgerow

Ferreting on an ancient hedgerow

The Jolly boys tackled a hedgerow planted in the 1800s, which was housing rabbits doing a lot of damage – this was industrial ferreting. Knowing your quarry’s behaviour always brings home more bunnies, and the stop-nets through the ancient hedgerow between warrens caught out every rabbit that tried to escape.…

Ferreting in Norfolk

The Jolly Boys return for more ferreting in Norfolk

I was addressing a burgeoning rabbit problem in North Norfolk and I was keen to make an immediate impact, but to do so, I realised I would require some extra hands. It was time to reassemble the troops. The Jolly boys — Ian “Torchie” Clayton, Richard Edwards, Steve Taylor, Paul…

Ferreting in summertime

Ferreting in the Summertime

Summer ferreting is a world away from its wintertime cousin. On a day in June, my friend Sooty and I were asked to tackle some land that, until recently, had only a handful of rabbits, but their numbers had since multiplied. Hormonal ferrets behave completely differently from how they do…

Ferreting in the Dales

Ferreting Rabbits on the Dales

This trip wasn’t about catching rabbits. Nor was it about admiring the breathtaking scenery. It was all about the people on the warren — namely Bob Merrin and Ian “Torchie” Clayton. As a collective, these exponents of rabbiting have seen momentous changes during their lifetime. It had been a decade…

Ferreting in the dales

Ferreting on the Yorkshire Dales

Each year, around the time of the clock change, I find myself, like a moth to the flame, making a pilgrimage, subliminally drawn to the ferreting on those Yorkshire hills — and this year was no exception. Several hundred miles later we concluded our journey by driving through the villages…

Simon working with Millie

Catching and cooking rabbits, the ferreting way

On this particular morning ferreting, the mist obscured the stunning countryside. The sodden ground highlighted the freshness of the morning as I started to lay my nets. Soon every long-net I possess surrounded a hedge I planned to ferret. Virgin ground, this area had never seen a ferret before, so…

Ferreting with traps

Ferreting with traps

Simon Whitehead punctuates the rising rabbit numbers by using the cage trap and the rabbit drop box, which both work even whilst you sleep!

Ferreting

How to set up ferreting equipment

When preparing to ferret, ensure you have all of your ferreting equipment in your truck. You’ll need spades, a ferret finder and collars, a probe, nets, food for you and drink for you and your ferrets, your ferrets and dogs, clearance tools such as film, cutters, loppers and secateurs. Once…

ferreting kit

Essential ferreting equipment

Simon Whitehead goes back to basics in this video to show you the ferreting equipment he always uses. Naturally, the first tool you need for ferreting are the ferrets and the means to transport them. Simon uses a carrying box that doubles up as a seat. It’s brightly coloured so you…

Ferret breeding

Simon Whitehead knows a top-class ferret, with rigorous breeding, tenacity, a strong prey drive and yet is easy to handle, is often hard to find