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Dan Newcombe

How to tell a good ferret

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Just my opinion but I can’t have ferrets that kill and sit on a dead rabbit I mostly hunt with gills cause most off my properties are either hard as rock or sandy warrens and I find my gills work better than my bucks and much like most Aus properties there’s little to no chance of digging them out unless you have a excavator near by as long as there bolting rabbits and not staying down to long seems to me like you’ve got some sound ferrets mate👍

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Nowadays I spend more time trying to find bunnys at home , most burrows are empty my way, when I have a mark I want a result weather bolt or dig

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I mostly use hobs now they kill alot for the first couple of seasons then slow down as they get older most of the ground I work is 3ft at most I want them to stay till dug out we dug out about a third of what we caught last year

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Dan seem to me you have a nice little team working fine and doing what you want. We have difficult time digging and not just because I'm getting on, we don't have many open ground burrows which are no problem digging. Most are hedges and a lot are Black thorn banks with wire of all kinds (How I hate wire) burrow run deep in a lot of them, I know we would lose perms if we started breaking down hedges digging cutting roots etc. A mate lost one permission this year just for climbing over the wire to get inside a hedge. I run Gills usually try small ones in if they can't shift one try the larger ones usually does the trick. But you can spend hours digging and making a mess that has to be tidied up, imo better to move on a catch a few more. It's all horses for courses and we tweak are teams to suit are ground and what we want from our ferrets.

Sounds like you got it sorted mate.

Cheers Arry

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I am surprised that no-one has mentioned FEEDING  ?This can be critical on how a Ferret works .

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5 minutes ago, micky said:

I am surprised that no-one has mentioned FEEDING  ?This can be critical on how a Ferret works .

what's your views on this? 

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I like a ferret well fed and fit prefer not to dig to them rather they bolt and come out . I used to like small jills for the job as often the rabbit will drag them out for easy dispatch.  You can try different ferrets and if ones come away and the other bolts you know you got a dud.

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18 hours ago, fred90 said:

what's your views on this? 

I always fed mine in the Morning , if I was taking them out they would not be fed until they were back in the cage and they were always fed Flesh , I  like quick Killers as they speed the job up when I was in Leicestershire I favoured   Jills but my  Mate liked a big Hob and both of us liked to see plenty of Ferrets in the big Setts.

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I like mine to have a go then come out last thing I want to be doing is digging big holes in the middle of hedge rows

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4 hours ago, terryd said:

XI like mine to have a go then come out last thing I want to be doing is digging big holes in the middle of hedge rows

When you go Ferreetting  Terry digging is always on the agenda me and my mate were always looking at 20 digs on a day out and after xmas it was more like 40, if you want a good bag of Rabbits you will have to dig and  . its never been any different ! . Myself I think that a ferret that doesn't get stuck in and kill is not much good or overfed they are not pack animals ,they are individual killers and the more they kill the better they are, over the last65 years I have seen a lot of Ferrets and for me the best for Midlands Hedgerows is a big Jill with an appetite then change to a Hob after Xmas

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I call what micky says a proper day's ferreting. for me working alone without permission. I have to pick little setts that the dog marks. I require a quick bolt and move on. it's mooching really and this way you won't get many but I enjoy it. 

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I like a couple of either type of ferrets for different permissions, in woods it is hard digging with roots etc, i would sooner have a ferret come off one in a stop end than sit scratching its arse till dug, same as rocky ground. Other easy digging bits i like a sticker, you should have it out fast enough. I just have jills at present but best ferrets i have had have been small hobs. Also i think it has a bearing on time of the year, early season most rabbits wont have seen a ferret and will probably readily bolt, even a crap ferret will bolt a few, when they have been missed and get used with ferrets they are inclined to take a bit more shifting, the strong hob comes into its own then. Good jills can give them stick but a hob will see the day out better. Size of sets is also a factor, sometimes in big place the rabbits just give the ferrets the run around for a while before getting pressured into bolting. Plenty ferrets in is better and i would be giving them more time than a small set. My old beddy whippet is handy for the big sets, i drop the ferrets were she marks and as the set is getting more and more cleaned out i keep asking her for a mark and drop ferrets right on top of it, saves a load of time and saves steam in the ferrets. A couple of each type of ferret is all i need and am happy with that. Probably need to get myself a couple of good line hob kits for next season, they are very handy, would get them gelded. Sounds like yours are doing just fine, were they last years kits, if so they are doing well and should only get better with experience. Everyone has there own ideas, nothing is set in stone, main thing is we enjoy being out. ATB.

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I  rate a ferret that will bolt rabbits anywhere and work 4/5 days a week one day we might be in a big garden working under shrubs , the next day a hedge row then in fields at a farm near the beach working big sandy deep earths . i dont keep different ferrets for different jobs just good sized jills that have the stamina to put a days graft in . They get fed on raw  meat and have access to it 24/7 i wouldn't go out and work on a empty stomach and don't expect them too they got to bolt it or kill it there's no use driving away up the farm road and there's a rabbit with a bald arse your ferrets been scrapping away at and no killed it i wouldn't get back on that land 

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