The vermin hunting Whippet.
I recently received a telephone call from a farmer client of mine asking if I could go and have a look along 2 or 3 hedgerows on his Midlands farm that was boasting a surprisingly large amount of rabbits. Now this is something I do get hear from time to time not only occasionally with myself but with other pest controllers too for it seems one or two springtime hamster-sized rabbits can constitute in some cases a rabbit plague of Biblical sized proportions. Obviously I had to go and have a look.
I suggested to the farmer the use of the 4x4 and the trusty CZ rifle to eliminate the problem but with his crop rapidly growing up in parts (except for the rabbit infested area) and no real access for a vehicle around the perimeter of his field he suggested ferrets. Anyone who has ferreted in the spring months will no just how frustrating and indeed painful it can be with both young rabbits and stinging nettles in super abundance at this time of the year. After one preliminary look at the venue I decided yes, it would just about be possible to ferret the infestation with some purse, long nets and more importantly a couple of real extra special apex-predators- enter the working Whippets.
The Whippet as a hunting hound has always had a very special place in my heart, it was one of the first dogs I ever saw course a then pre-ban brown hare and defiantly the first running dog I witnessed catch a rabbit on the run.
Since those early days I have worked many different running dogs on a variety of quarry, some still legal whilst others are now sadly forbidden. These breeds included Greyhounds, various lurchers and four Whippets over the years. Now there is a fifth, my own personal black pocket rocket Jude.
Jude is a male Whippet who arrived during Beatles week on Radio 2 and you can guess what song was playing on the wireless as we walked back into the cottage with him! Hey Jude! My partner Caroline took one look at the little black pup and a star was born and ‘Jude the Dude’ was here to stay.
Since that early time Jude has developed into a totally reliable dog, not only becoming a very good lamping, gundog, tracking animal and obviously ferreting companion too.
Contemplating a ferreting job without the Whippet is unthinkable for his marking ability is 100%
The farm in question is one I have ferreted in the past with my good friend, fellow author and field-sports photographer Paul Waddington and his brother Will. I thought it would be a good idea to get together and have an unseasonal bash on the miscreant conies and see how his own Whippet male Brie had progressed since I had last saw him work in the field during the autumn.
So it was that we set to on the allotted Saturday morning at 8am to inflict a substantial reduction on the offending conies.
There was a cold north east breeze which made it feel decidedly wintery, a welcoming effect for I feel ill at ease with unseasonal ferreting knowing its many potential problems with rabbit kits and just keeping an eye on those re-emerging ferrets.
Pauls ferrets unlike mine are not on maternity duties so apart from my black eyed white hob it was down to Pauls 2 jill’s, 3 intrepid hunters and the Whippets, it would be the latter 2 that would make all the difference to our day.
The fact that heavy cover made for some difficult purse netting we employed the use of the long net and working both of our male Whippets free reign, a task they can perform easily as this gives them an obvious advantage over dogs held steadfastly on slips.
The almost expected baby rabbits did show and these were caught very easily both by Pauls dog Brie and my own Jude however a surprising number of good quality adults bolted too and it wasn’t long before we had 10 rabbits in the bag. Even better we hadn’t had to dig due I believe to the fact that we were mainly long netting and the dogs were working superbly pinning rabbits in the odd purse net long enough for us to get there to despatch them and catching conies that were both not bolting into the long net or had been nailed by the Whippets as they bolted in and out of holes.
The day was getting hotter and the bag was getting bigger, we had had but 1 small dig and that rabbit turned out to be suffering slightly from ‘myxi’. Will was feeling the heat under 20 plus rabbits weighing him down so it was time to off load the bag.
After a short break and dropping our catch at the vehicles both Paul and I decided on finding some easier warrens to try out as we had by now managed to clear out the offending warren occupants without any hassle.
Now it was ferreting for fun. We had given the infested area the rabbit all clear and decided on leaving the nets off letting the dogs run a few rabbits on some set aside. No sooner had we entered a small white jill than a rabbit exploded out of an hole, its fate practically sealed as Jude closed and turned his rabbit several times before luck smiled on the rabbit, albeit temporarily as it ran to ground in an adjacent warren only to be dug out by Paul for promptly refusing to bolt half an hour later.
Ferreting out of season is not generally a pastime I particularly enjoy simply because of sheer hard work in hedgerow situations but by keeping noise to an absolute minimum by dint of employing long nets and in particular the most practical of running dogs the Whippet.
By the end of the day we had killed 27 large rabbits plus many youngsters, by sheer team work and using a very efficient system of mainly long net and dogs. We had enjoyed not only tremendous pest control when a rifle would have meant several stalking trips over a period of time but had smashed the rabbits in one swoop so to speak.
Using good working Whippets certainly makes out of season ferreting a whole lot easier and enjoyable.
THE WORKING WHIPPET AS AN ALL ROUND DOG.
The Whippet is the smallest of the Celtic Greyhounds, behind the Irish Wolfhound, Scottish Deerhound and the Greyhound. Generally regarded as the poor mans Greyhound and companion of the colliers and factory workers of the industrial north and Midlands areas of England. Whippets found considerable favour amongst working class families where the dogs not only provided very often poached game but also ran in races or competed in the Sunday morning rabbit coursing contests.
Many guesses arrive regarding the origins of the early Whippets ranging from bred down Greyhounds, Bedlington terrier influence or Black Country pit fighting dogs such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
Small Greyhounds are depicted in engravings by Saxon artists. These were the dogs that were used to secure both hares and foxes, indeed at the latter it surprisingly excelled and that was of course pre-ban.
Walsh and Lowe writing in The English Whippet in 1984 make mention of “the first use of the word ‘whippet’ in print was 1610” and was in the Oxford English Dictionary and mentioned but the word with “no description is given”.
The Whippet was it seems the snap or snatch dog of the northern counties and must have surely been the miniature Greyhound, a bantam amongst sight hounds the pony of running dogs if you like for man has always strived to breed miniatures of any breed, the Whippet was that miniature Celtic sight hound but it was not until the early 1900’s that the breed spiralled into great popularity. It was first and foremost a working dog, a small Greyhound that sat under the pot sink and only stirred to hunt or race.
Rabbit coursing (an highly illegal activity today and not to be confused with legitimate rabbit hunting), was a spectacle that was conducted by dint of releasing a trapped or netted rabbit for the miners dogs to chase on a Sunday morning and for this activity when dogs were ran time and time again it was stated that bull terrier or other game blood was introduced. Claims range from Manchester terriers through to Bedlingtons and Black Country pit fighting dogs.
On the theme of the Bedlington terrier rough coated Whippets reminiscent of today’s popular Bedlington x Whippet ‘mini’ lurcher were at one time commonplace especially in the north east of England and especially amongst the Whippet racing fraternity. On odd occasions a rough or broken coated ‘Whippet’ still turns up amongst pure- bred stock. Clearly such animals owed some of their near ancestry to the dog of the Rothbury forest.
3 categories of Whippet exist. A Greyhound version and both smooth and rough terrier types respectively, I think the Greyhound version is the original and therefore the truest kind.
The Whippet exists as show, racing, coursing and working strains and all are KC registered, the so called ‘non peds’ are not really pure Whippets at all but rather more lurcher in origin. There are 2 governing bodies for pedigree whippet racing the WRCA & the newer National Pedigree whippet racing club.
The top pedigree racing producing stud is WCRCh, SFed Ch, Sp Ch Saxon Blade racing name (Hammeron) everything that is any good is sired or can be linked back to this dog he was bred by Kevin Handy in the west midlands.
Regarding Coursing bloodlines the big names were Laguna Dorit McKay & later her daughter Mrs Bond-Gunning.Moonlake Gay Robertson & Shirley Rawlings. Banatay Andrea Barr the most famous coursing whippets from yesteryear were Madishan Moonlake who was also a show champion winner of the Nichol cup 3 times which was then renamed the Moonlake cup in his honour link added.
Working strain dogs may not be the fastest of Whippets but they do possess tremendous stamina, drive and nose. I asked Jeff Hutchings of Pennymeadow Whippets his opinion of the most influential of working Whippet dogs and this is what he said “ The dogs id say have had a big influence in the breed are Sooty Sam (Toby) & his grandson Lord Of The Knight (Jake) Sooty Sam was bred in Cumbria by Mr. Croft Slater & owned by Mike Brown. Lord Of The Knight was bred by P Witowski & owned by Mike Brown both dogs were well used at stud & have produced large numbers of working stock both produce great noses stamina to burn & a almost obsessive desire to hunt anything that moves. Out of the two I prefer Lord Of The Knight offspring out-crossed to heavyweight racing bloodlines.” Unquote.
Speaking of nose my own dog Jude has phenomenal olfactory senses a vital asset when a lot of ferreting needs covering and a true marking of rabbits in a warren is of paramount importance, not only this but the dog is deadly when beating on pheasant drives or for flushing feathered game out with me on my own with the 12 bore.
I often ask dog fanciers if they can name to me a breed of dog within the folds of the K.C. that has not yet been spoilt by the show craze, amazingly no-one can never answer this which speaks volumes how just ruined most recognised breeds are. The glaring one example of this is perhaps the show dog. Jeff Hutchings that fantastic mine of information on Whippet breeding and in particular pedigrees sites Dennis Meakins Oakbark kennel of Whippets as being most superb examples of show dogs that will still work, indeed I had a blue bitch bred in the fens of this breeding who was a great pre-ban fox and hare dog lacking nothing in either stamina or guts, albeit a little too hard mouthed on rabbits!
My good friend Paul Waddington who owns the aforementioned Brie is a dog bred from top Irish show stock (Barnesmore) this dog lacks nothing in either pure guts, determination and high prey drive.
A pretty fawn bitch that stands out from the rest must surely be Mallyfield Lucky Lady owned by Paul Mallatrat in Nottinghamshire. The bitch Vixen is half show bred but her son Mallyfield Dream Mover is three quarter show bred. Paul Mallatrat considers these dogs to be working dogs with show breeding, a step he considered when breeding Mallyfield Dream Mover in that he introduced suitable show lines with correct conformation to benefit his line of whippet.
Picture by Paul Waddington.
The wild Brown Hare pre-ban has been well doucumented by others & myself as the creme de-la-creme of all running dog quarry before the current British laws made it illegal to course and possibly kill one with a running dog. Today it is illegal to course a hare with a running dog, back in the day it was soooooooooooooooo different!
Traditionally the hare was coursed with Greyhounds and sometimes Whippets, lurchers, Salukis and Deerhounds and just ocasionally Borzois very, very rarely Irish Wolfhounds were used with extremely limited success believe me.
The perogative of the hare dog was essentially the Greyhound, the Saluki hybrid & of course the humble Whippet.
The Whippet was used for coursing under rules. Lt.Col EG Walsh higlighted this effectivly in his books The English Whippet a collaboration with Mary Lowe & his legendary Lurchers and Longdogs.
The coursing Whippet with its KC registration and its coursing to rules was one thing but the hare killer, the pot provider for its hungry owner and maybe his family was another. "Teach a man how to catch a rabbit & he will feed his family for a day, teach a man how to catch a hare and he will feed his family for a week" rang very true for the owner of the pot providing Whippet. Make no mistake pre-ban Whippets caught hares for the pot and very effectivly so at that!
I have owned 5 Whippets and 4 of these were pre-ban dogs, all those 4 previous dogs were effective hare and fox dogs, vocations for which the breed were not really synonimous with, folly indeed for Whippets pre-ban slew both hare and fox with sometimes suprising ease.
It is true sometimes hares were caught very easily when kicked up underfoot or on the lamp when it is true that the hare used to do some stupid things which ultimately led to their demise.
However it was not always the case, many years ago and of course pre-ban I remember spotting an hare in a grass field maybe 50 yards away whilst driving up the grassland. The Whippet in the rear of the vehicle had seen it too so we opened the door and let a course commence, the bitch ran it around 500 yards down the field twisting & turning with it, always looking like catching it but always missing the hare closing with a pair of double gates which predictably the hare made, going through these with the dog in pursuit. Driving down & vacating the vehicle the dog was found 20 yards into the next field standing totally exhausted over its hare, triumphant perhaps but completly exhausted, thus was the pre-ban hare I am afraid! Not under rules perhaps but pot providing nontheless.
Whippets over the years pre-ban have always given good accounts of themselves on the wild brown hare, its flesh the most exquisite and easily compares with venison.
The taking of rabbits by the aid of artificial light is a form of pest control that is widely known to many of us and yet to the less informed it is still shrouded in myths and old wives tales. The biggest is probably that strong beams of light paralyse the rabbits and hold the animal till its imminent doom manifests itself. What rubbish as any regular lamper will tell you. The rabbit who lives to tell the tale becomes “lamp shy” in other words its bad experience yet survival literally guarantees its safety.
Lamp shy rabbits can still be taken with dogs but these animals need to run in a very specific way and whilst the method is not particularly difficult a lot of dogs fail to do it in certain cases.
The Whippet is an ideal type of dog to do this, in other words high speed agile strikes at runs that will be both short and invariably very fast. Missed or unsuccessful runs and there will be many requires a running dog that will return back immediately to the lamper. A dog who refuses or is reluctant to return to its handler, or worse still hunts up nose down is as much use as the proverbial chocolate tea pot.
What is required is a dog that will run like a yo-yo ,run after run, short sharp, hopefully catch, a kill, then return immediately back to the handler or in the case of an unsuccessful run also return immediately back.
Certain lines of working Whippet have for a sight hound unbelievable olfactory senses, it is quality I believe we should always capitalise upon. Take for example our dog “Jude” he is literally another pair of hands for me when I am ferreting rabbits, if he marks a warren you can guarantee rabbits or a rabbit is at home. Initially it was lamp, lamp, lamp, run after run it was always to the night we looked and it taught him to return immediately to hand successful run or not. True the first run of the night if unsuccessful often resulted in a sulky Jude a little slow on recall but it is a minor blip an hindrance I always know will improve by second or third run and always by first kill of the night.
I would always advocate lamping 1st and entering to ferret work 2nd this format works splendidly, superbly in fact, though to be fair I always let young dogs go shooting with me as once again the picking up of winged or dead quarry is advantageous to instant recall the making of the yo-yo dog.
I think that both, an exclusive lamper or total ferreting hunter misses out on both potential sport and certainly effective pest control, equally so it is my experience that a Whippet should always lamp firstly and then after success go ferreting.
I abhor the dog who hunts on after a futile run.
By night a Whippet should only hunt by sight, never, ever by nose and Whippets excel at this despite that excellent nose by sight hound standards.
A fit Whippet will excel at the short sharp almost aerobic type of running necessitated by the successful night dog for no breed or type of running dog recovers more quickly than a Whippet.
Lamp shy rabbits always respond better to filters on lamps and Whippets find no problems in running quarry with this aid. I often flip up the filter just prior to a slip at a rabbit to give me greater illumination but other than this I have no hesitation in using a filter, though not all share my view. One Whippet owner even compiled a contract forbidding all potential owners of his stock from running rabbits using a filter with his puppies not only is this notion ludicrous but unworkable also and clearly was not worth the paper it was to be written on.
Regularly worked lamp dogs soon become fit and I do mean super fit!
I like a dog to pull into its collar somewhat when road walking and I really do encourage dogs to run hard uphill, true my hunting ground often encompasses the north Cotswolds hills a terrain that is often very hostile and extremely taxing on a lamp dog, it does however make for a super fit Whippet.
The working Whippet is of late becoming more and more popular I believe that this popularity is due in no short measure to the current hunting laws we have in
Pre-ban however the Whippet gave good account of itself at night on specifically hares and often fox, for the breed punched well above its weight even on the red fellow.
Pre-ban the brown hare was often taken by lampers using Whippets and whilst such animals may have been easier than day time coursing they were certainly not a pushover.
The yo-yo dog should be super fit, be capable of run after run, an athlete that can recover in seconds and be ready to run its next rabbit instantly, its recall impeccable and its strike razor sharp.
Whippets will make great dual or treble purpose dogs, I have had 5 and all mine were good workers both by day and night and pre-ban 4 of them worked not only rabbit and rat but also fox, hare and mink. Treble purpose they will work in a gun dog role, as an exclusive lamp dog for the night the breed is superb.
The rabbit hunter who wants to catch only with a dog rather than a dog/ferret combination will need to run the beam with his/her animal there is no other way, for daytime mooches rarely produce reasonable let alone big bags of rabbits.
The yo-yo dog needs to do just that, pursue its quarry, be fit enough to complete run after run, recover quickly, retrieve its catch or in the case of a missed rabbit return without fuss or hesitation. The dog who messes about, reluctant to return or sin of lamping sins, hunts up, nose down is practically hopeless. The ideal lamping Whippet will on occasions miss its rabbit return back to the lamper in time to be re-run on another rabbit sitting approximately where the missed rabbit has been. A prime example of a dog that may only have a simple hunting function but one that must react instantly to recall and retrieve then and only then can it really be the yo-yo dog.
Following the restrictions we now have in
We obviously have no restrictions regarding rats and rabbits but foxes, hares, mink and deer all now fall foul the Hunting act.
Where restrictions don’t apply is when those quarry species are tracked or sometimes flushed within certain species.
Feathered game when taken in season and with the permission of the landowner is perfectly legal, in other words in season if your Whippet catches a pheasant you won’t be breaking the law.
Pre-ban Whippets were often used on foxes though to be fair it wasn’t their real virtue, the red jacket fit and strong often inflicted a severe mauling to the smallest of the Celtic sight hounds. Having said that Whippets often moved heaven and earth to engage a pre-ban fox, it therefore follows that the breed with its remarkable nose (remarkable by sight hounds standards anyway) would still prove satisfactory in the role of flushing foxes to the marksman with a shotgun.
The same can be said with the flushing of hares, mink and the tracking of deer.
Feathered game whether it be pheasant, partridge or the humble woodpigeon are all taken with relish by the Whippet, my dog Jude has caught several woodpigeon, including one he found totally by scent, within the cover of a shrub. I made a point of taking Jude with me rough and game shooting when he was very young, he caught winged and shot birds with regularity so much so he found them to be as much legitimate prey as the rabbits he so adores.
Last season I was asked to do some beating on a local shoot, the beaters dogs included the usual Labradors and spaniels I was greeted with some rather odd looks when I turned up on shoot days with a Whippet I need not have worried Jude never let me down, he worked well catching a runner, finding dead birds and flushing live ones for the guns. That beating paid off, I secured some prime hunting grounds just on Jude’s steady and reliable reputation as a creditable working dog.
We all know how good the Whippet is on rabbits, undoubtedly its traditional quarry but the breed excels on rats where speed and nose is essential. As a ratter it is under used as a rat killer the Whippet is superb.
Pre-ban the humble Whippet put up an exceptional show on the brown hare its kills were often taken early though stamina in the breed was often underrated.
What folk may not realise is Jude is not my first experience in Whippets, in fact I started with Whippets a long time previously to Bedlington Terriers, they are in fact in all probability my first breed, hence pre-ban I had chance to work un restricted Whippets on both hare and fox.
Today we can flush both of the last mentioned quarry species with dogs to a shotgun, the Whippet is ideal to use.
As an aid to pigeon shooting I can’t fault the Whippet, both on woodpigeons and the disease ridden feral pigeon.
My work in garden and pest control services often takes me into situations regarding feral pigeons where conditions allow I always use Jude to assist me, feathered means fun to a Whippet as much as fur does I am afraid!
I would not hesitate in using a Whippet for all round gun dog work, absolutely not.
So far we have looked at the Whippet as a utility working dog how does the breed compare as a lurcher breeding base?
I have often voiced criticism towards the “whirrier” the proverbial hybrid between Whippet and terrier and to be fair I still view some of the crosses as a waste of time, including the black fell, Lakeland and especially in my opinion Border Terrier x Whippet hybrid.
The Bedlington x Whippet can do no more than the pure Whippet, in fact it is my experience the pure Whippet can do more.
That said the Bedlington x Whippet hybrid is both useful and beautiful to look at. The hybrid will catch rabbits, it will kill rats, it does look the part, it breeds true to type, it truly is almost a breed and it is certainly in demand.
I have owned, bred and worked the hybrid myself. My dog “Moss” stood 21 inches to the shoulder in appearance he was reminiscent of a F1 Bedlington/Greyhound. “Moss” was a superb rabbit, rat and pre-ban single handed fox killer.
The Whippet x sight hound can be another thing, be it Saluki, Deerhound or more specifically the Greyhound.
The first cross Whippet/Greyhound, the genuine bona-fide article is very, very difficult to find for some outlandish reason. This hybrid is in my humble opinion an incredible production, blessed with speed, stamina and pace. A Whippet it cannot ever be for its running style alone is never ever Whippet.
The Whippet, our humble little skinny tyke, our hunting partner and constant source of amazement holds so much promise both conventional and not so. I think that will remain so for an extremely long time.
Foxes flushed to shotgun by a working Whippet.
Manor House Rabbiting.
Over the years I have had the experience of hunting and fishing over many diverse locations. For example fishing the clear blue tropical waters of the South Pacific Ocean around Fiji is as about as far removed as anyone could be from catching roach in an English canal in winter.
A similar situation exists within hunting. Catching rats along filthy sewer brooks or chasing rabbits around an old friends factory units are so at opposites with some of the locations I catch rabbits nowadays. My pest control business usually ensures I often work at some beautiful locations, stately homes and manor houses or sometimes magnificent old Norman churches where feral pigeons are the intended quarry.
A recent job was a manor house where the rabbits were digging and scratching around the houses lawns, the borders and flower beds. The whole location were being fed from the surrounding farmland from where I had noted the rabbits escaping to their warrens when I had lamped the area. Clearly those that had evaded the jaws of the Whippet or the .22 rim fire rifle were becoming lamp shy so a ferreting expedition was planned.
The day of the ferreting dawned quite cold and clear with some out lying mist patches any coolness was soon extinguished as unusually warm weather for an autumn day greeted us.
It wasn’t long before myself , my two hunting colleagues for the day Paul and Will Waddington and the three Whippets my own dog Jude and Pauls Fern and Star were being plagued by another unwelcome pest-wasps!
In fact no sooner had we netted up and quickly taken a solitary old buck from below an oak tree then we were netting up a shallow 12 hole bury that the dogs had given us a concrete mark on. Subsequently we entered 2 jill ferrets it was then that I noticed 1 or 2 wasps coming out of one of the holes that we had netted up. I mentioned it to Paul quickly and with hushed tones. No sooner had I spoken the words than a rabbit exploded from out that very same hole. I don’t how we despatched and re-netted back up without getting stung(that changed somewhat later) but somehow we did in a split second another rabbit bolted from the self same hole only this time it was accompanied by lots of wasps who emerged like black and yellow fighter pilots and they were just a little bit angry! The dogs sustained some stings as so did we somehow the ferrets happily evaded the vicious insects. We quickly gathered up the nets and ferrets and moved on somewhat sorer but with some rabbits in the bag.
Our next port of call was an avenue of hedges and trees that boasted some raised beds it was here the rabbits had made their shallow warrens. We were now using purse, poke and long nets. The dogs were consistently marking and rabbits were bolting a couple falling to the dogs who we work freely around the warrens. Holding back dogs on slips would be very impracticable and would result in many lost catches. These Whippets are quite literally extra men on a job when ferreting they move a damn sight faster than any human ferreter too making them invaluable.
By now we had 15 rabbits in the bag and Pauls and my ferrets are working like Trojans.
Pauls Star marks up solidly on a tiny uninviting looking 2 hole bury seconds later another rabbit is in the bag. We move on to a 3 hole bury next to a stunning waterfall. With carp moving in the margins and mallards dabbling on the lake in the bright unusually warm autumn sunshine the scene is breathtaking and truly picturesque. A ferret is entered and we account for another rabbit and loose another, it is a lucky rabbit with the Whippets hard on its tail!
Our next warren is in the centre of an adjacent field now we really are ferreting for fun! We decide to leave the nets off and let the dogs chase the bolting rabbits it works well and our bag gets that little bit heavier and the dogs so much happier.
Unfortunately we encounter another wasp nest warren we get another rabbit to bolt and Will cops a sting for his bother, undaunted we climb a steep bank to a hedgerow of laurel that is freshly cut back to aid our pest control mission.
By now we have our 20 in the bag and so far no digging is needed. All of us now
mooch round two tranquil lily filled estate lakes that are filled to the brim with golden flanked rudd and bronzed Crucian carp the soft mud around the lakes banks are scored with the slots from the plentiful Muntjac deer population its all a far cry from hunting rats along sewer brooks!
At the side of a walled field the dogs run a rabbit to ground and very quickly we have another two rabbits in the bag we back track set and about our last warren of the day.
So far we have lost precious little in the way of missed rabbits our last warren saw that situation change with two rabbits slipping nets with another falling to a secure netting then we have the silent spell that foretells a dig. A short scan around with the locator finds our rabbit at 3 and half foot in the warmth of the afternoon that’s still not so welcome but it eventually provides rabbit number 24.
We walk back to the vehicle quite happy with our catch, the dogs and ferrets have worked well we have managed to take some stunning stills and video footage all of which can now be seen on You Tube by going to nighthunter whippets where you can view action from this days Rabbiting and other subsequent trips its well worth the viewing.
After this trip I back up the operation by lamping the ground and surrounding “feeder” fields finding very little in the way of rabbits and since that time have managed to mop up the remaining stragglers the result being a very happy client and head gardener now the rabbit numbers have been significantly reduced. The lawns have been re-seeded and the whole area looks much better now.
This is an illustration of organic pest at its most effective and what great fun it is too.
Pictures courtesy of Paul Waddington.