I havent been around for a while due to moving home. No internet access for months and too much to do so here are our last 3 trips out ratting in one post
The first two trips 2 & 4 weeks ago were to our usual hunting ground. After several years of constantly going at them the numbers are now much lower than when we first started our averages used to be 150-200 with our record on one day of 317. But it is still a fantastic day out with dogs working their little hearts out and humans having great days of good humour, swopping stories and experiences.
More new dogs this year, pups out to get socialised, last years pups on their 2nd season and the old pros of course.
For some reason this year they are all deep deep sets, so the boys had a fair bit of digging to do, plus thanks to the mild winter the cover crops are still very high and thick, so less for the lurchers to catch and less photo opportunities for me.
Working hard on steep hills in thick cover..
Digging on from both ends meant the rats were all stuck in the middle with no-where to go.
A lovely shot of the useless sex pest, looking very regal with a fantastic sky
He was however taking full advantage of a warm lookout post
He might even have had one or two rats in the 2 days out
Olive the window licker bless her. This is her 2nd season, and she is still a 'special' dog And as this photo shows, she started to catch the odd rat much to the joy of her Dad Neale
Rosie is now a fully fledged ratter and has nothing left to learn, she works hard all day.
Baby Blossoms first time ratting..
Another newbie, with a huge appetite for rats, so much so, she simply wont let go!
My favourite little terrier 'Pepper' This year she still does the walking around, little tail wagging furiously with her rat showing every human and dog what she has. This year she has upped the anti somewhat. She has sussed she gets a better reaction when she has two
A teckel x border...possibly the prettiest terrier i have ever seen
End of day shots.
Then onto our 3rd trip out yesterday, to the chicken farm we visited last year.
Those who have been in these sheds will already know and remember the smell, for those who havent it is like nothing you have ever smelled before, your eyes literally water and you cannot get the taste from your mouth.
The sheds had been empty for a few days with doors shut so it was particularly bad this time. No windows open and very few poor lights meant we were working in mostly darkness in 2 foot deep faeces. So any photos taken are extrememly lucky shots, the camera could not focus or work most of the time. But i was lucky enough to get some worthy shots from such a fantastic day.
We dont have the luxury of machinery to move the earth/faeces and get the rats running, so all rats won were from dog and human work, digging, prodding, moving equipment by hand and luck.
The entrace to one shed, gives you an idea of the darkness/conditions.
One of my favourite shots...
And my 2nd fav...they look so funny but these two positioned themselves here and were a godsend stopping rats which escaped on this side of the shed.
Dogs were not the only animals mad enough to crawl under low grids to get rats
Causing a mite infestation in a place i dont think he wanted...
It was fairly dangerous for the bigger dogs, low metal beams....
And saw like metal thingys hanging low under the grids, they were lower the further down we moved, resulting in Rudie tearing his back whilst trying to run full speed practically on his knees
Goooo on Adam
Time Keepa went home..
Beating our best ever total......
539 rats gathered, with many more lost in the sheds and faeces, plus at least 20 in Rudies stomach
And a close up for those who want to try to count them
Thank you to everyone for fantastic days out, and to those of you using half your night to read this post