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Thread: "Ferreting" - British Outdoor Fun (bumped)

  1. #1
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Default "Ferreting" - British Outdoor Fun (bumped)

    I woke up early this AM and read the latest on David's training advice and some of the sensitivities and concerns. My screen saver went to the scrolling photo album and I saw a shot of my buddy Jamesey over in Northern Ireland placing a ferret down a rabbit den entry.

    Having just read someone jokingly suggest that RTF'ers debate Brit versus North American retrievers and sports, I thought it appropriate. I don't know that we'll ever agree on which is better. It's kind of a waste, like arguing over vanilla or chocolate. I've tried them both and I like them both!

    Any sportsman or sportswoman who enjoys a cool hunt would absolutely love a day of Ferreting!

    Click this old thread for ferreting pics

    Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

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    Senior Member Miriam Wade's Avatar
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    Chris-

    What a wonderful "escape" on a cold winter morning. Nice just to see green grass-let alone retrievers. As for the spaniels-they are just the best to upland hunt over. Miss having springers!

    Always thought Kate would have enjoyed and done well at the British retriever games.

    One of my before-I-die things has always been a trip to Scotland or Ireland and it looks like (if it ever happens) being able to watch (or partcipate in) their retriever games would be the icing on the cake!

    Anyway-thanks for sharing these again!

    M
    "You can put pressure on a dog, you canít take it backÖ"

    Mitch Patterson '07

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    Senior Member DEDEYE's Avatar
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    I liked the ferret thread. My daughter had a sweet ferret named Fester, so I sent it to her. She wanted to sneak Fester into her brothers room and let him "hunt" the chinchilla like he did the cats and dogs...
    Princess Darla of Nottingham MH ***
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    Senior Member Grasshopper's Avatar
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    That looks like fun - but I have a couple of questions about how things work. First, how do they find the rabbit hole to put the ferret into? Or do the dogs run the rabbit to ground first? Once the rabbit is flushed, is it shot or do the dogs just give chase? What exactly do the retrievers do, cause it all looks more like a job for a pack of Bassets? I'm just a little confused.

    Thanks,
    Kathryn
    Never say never . . . never say always . . . know when to say when.

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    Senior Member Bubba's Avatar
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    My old friend Mark Lowmiller told me of a hunt he had in Colorado with a fellow falconer. If the Spaniels happened to flush up a pheasant, they would launch the falcon. If the dogs bumped a rabbit they would let the spaniels chase it till it went to ground then whip out the ferret and send him down the hole. Once the rabbit popped back up they would release the falcons to get him. Don't know how the falcon knew the difference between a rabbit and a ferret but apparently they had that worked out.

    Nobody moves nobody gets hurt regards

    Bubba
    There are three classes of people: those who see...those who see when shown...and those who do not see. - Leonardo da Vinci

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    Senior Member Colonel Blimp's Avatar
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    Kathryn,

    Rabbits in Ireland and England are far more likely to live in burrows than they are in the US. They can also exist in big numbers, so locating a burrow is just a question of walking up a hedgerow to a known "rabbity" area.

    Once in the area silence reigns; no chatting, heavy footsteps or even smoking. Depending on the sport envisaged the burrows are either netted or left open; maybe a bit of both. If shooting is on the cards then obviously you want Brer Rabbit to flush, so the nets are not used. If nets are used, it's just a pest reduction exercise; the rabbits are "chinned" in the mesh entanglements.

    Because when shooting things can get a bit hectic safety is a paramount concern; the Guns usually stand with their backs to the burrow (and each other) and only shoot at bunnies going away.

    Inevitably there will be burrows that have escaped notice or nets knocked aside by a bolting inhabitant...at which point a whippet or lurcher comes into play.There are some wonderful running dogs in Ireland; Bills Game Fair has a whole section devoted to them. Great dogs who are seriously valued.

    If you have a retriever out ferreting (or more likely a Springer) be sure he's steady .. because he very likely won't be after a full on day. He also needs to know the difference between a rabbit and a ferret, Iv'e seen both retrieved but with radically differing results at dog, handler and ferret level!!

    Regards
    Eug
    Thank you, very kind, Mine's a pint.

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    Senior Member Grasshopper's Avatar
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    Thanks Colonel, sounds like good sport! So are the real ones as hard to shoot as the rolling clay "rabbit"?

    Kathryn
    Never say never . . . never say always . . . know when to say when.

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    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
    Thanks Colonel, sounds like good sport! So are the real ones as hard to shoot as the rolling clay "rabbit"?

    Kathryn

    No, the rolling clay rabbits are much more predictable. The real rabbits are harder!

    Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

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    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel Blimp View Post
    also needs to know the difference between a rabbit and a ferret, Iv'e seen both retrieved but with radically differing results at dog, handler and ferret level!!

    Regards
    Eug
    Eug, how 'bout the radical difference between a retrieve and an eyewipe? Had both yesterday



    ...sorta

    MG

  10. #10
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    Kathryn,

    Eug has lots of experience with this stuff. I have but one datapoint.

    The guys who took me were very familiar with every acre of this farm. Each time we got to a den area, they knew exactly where to put the ferret in, and exactly what exit holes the rabbits typically shot out of.

    One of the coolest things to me was watching the ferret eventually come hopping out of the hedgerow looking for his handler after he'd crawled around that den area long enough.

    I asked Jamesey why he used those yellow ones. He said, simply, "I've had those brown colored ones but they're too hard to see."

    Pretty simple logic there!

    Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

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