Lamping with a lurcher

Video: Lamping with a lurcher

With a fit dog and obliging weather, there is nothing better than pitting all-round canine athleticism against the survival instincts of a rabbit. However, these days I am more dependent on a ferreting dog. My circumstances and priorities have changed, so running my dogs down the beam has become less…

Crow shooting with a Shotkam

Crow shooting with a Shotkam

Back in March I caught up with my good friend, Jack Depledge who is also a contributor of Sporting Gun, who writes about college life for young keepers. Jack and I have been pals for a number of years and I always like a catch up where possible – and what…

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…

Crow decoys

How to use crow decoys for corvid control

The problem with decoys at the end of the season around these parts is finding somewhere to go. The crows haven’t been pressured into feeding anywhere in particular due to the mild wet winter.  Optimising chances Picking a location to shoot was a difficult decision as the estate has a lot…

mole trap

How to make a mole trap

How to make a mole trap Moles are certainly a pest and can cause a lot of damage. If you’ve been considering trapping some, remember that the most important thing to remember is that the trap must ensure that the creature has minimal suffering and dies swiftly and cleanly. In…

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…

American signal crayfish

Crayfish trapping & cooking

The American signal crayfish has laid waste to the UK’s waterways since its introduction in the 1970s when it was farmed for restaurants. Like the mink, they escaped and found their way into our ecosystem, with devastating effects on our native wildlife and surrounding environment. It carries a plague to…

Pest Cotrol

Pest control on covercrops drillings

After a very early alarm call I was up and on the drillings setting the decoys up, in anticipation about what the morning pest control would bring. Shooting over the drilled crops gives me a rare chance to get stuck into our limited supply of pigeons. However, enticing both pigeons…

Crow Shooting

Crow Shooting

Putting it to the test Once again I have been out crow shooting, mopping up those troublesome pests that have started to cost the farmer money with their relentless attacks on the sheep feeders. With the Mark1 hide straight off the production line, I took it down and set it…

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…

Fenn trap

Pest Control with Steve Caple: Trapping

Traditional skills of trapping and snaring go unnoticed by most people, but they are in great demand in the modern-day pest control. The trap has become the bread and butter, if not the pension, of many a rural pest controller. This is why I spent a day in the company…

Fox shooting with a shotgun

My pump action has a custom paint job, which helps blend it in to the surroundings and the 3.5in chamber gives me the possibilities of a range of ammunition. The other advantage to it is the Kick’s High Flyer aftermarket choke in the end of the barrel, which produces a…

The wild rabbit

The Rabbit: the ultimate survivor

I have spent decades learning to curtail the wild rabbit population and preventing the damage it leaves in its wake. The rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is an unequivocal pest — irrespective of what it says in the dictionary, it is an animal that is in the wrong place at the wrong…

Crow shooting

Crow shooting with raptor decoys

Raptor decoys are the most common predator decoys on the UK market, they come in a variety of different sizes and species, the most common being eagle owls, peregrines and little owls. These all produce the same effect when used in the right situation. The eagle owl decoy in this…