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With the talk of not much hunting being talked about on here thought I would have a go at talking about my early days and we’re my love of hunting started weather with guns or dogs. 
 

my earliest memory of hounds would be of being around 5 years old. My mums grandad used to kennel a pack of beagles. When we used to go visit he would always take us in to see the hounds and feed them biscuits. There was always excitement to visit the noisey dogs as me and my brother would call them. 

my earliest memory of hunting with hounds would be a few years later around the age of 8 years old so around 2/3 years before the ban. I grew up living in a workers cottage my dad was the cow man for the farm up the road so I grew skulking around exploring on my bmx a lot of locals knew who I was and let me carry on ferreting the hedge rows causing no harm. One Saturday morning whilst out running  the ferret through the local hedgerows I herd the sound of the huntsmans horn around 3 fields away on the neighbouring farm  I quickly collected my ferret and off I went across country on my bmx to meet the car support all over the road standing on the hedge row a lot must of seen me arrive and wonder who I was. I quickly recognised someone I knew a local farmers son who would of been around 20 at the time and driving I remember him asking what I was doing and me replying just been ferreting now I’m going to follow the hunt of his reply was you won’t keep up on that get in. So he chucked my bike in the back of his truck and off we went. I remember the hounds absolutely flying that day huntsman right with them all the time blowing away. Then came the magical 3 blows........ so that was my earliest memory of terrier work also. 
 

I remember my first time out with a lurcher. My first air gun and shooting rats. My first night rabbiting with a shotgun. I may write more if this thread had enough interest of other people sharing there early day story’s without it turning into a s**t show 

 

 

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Started when I got my first ferret back in the early 60's and I got the nerve to go and ask a local Farmer that would not let anybody go on his ground, well to my surprise he said yes. I felt 10 foot tall I was so chuffed had my first permission and it was not going to be done by others and I could walk to it. It's got ground burrows on the steep fields that I could do by myself and still do to this day, in fact I was out there solo doing some of the same burrows I did 55 years ago yesterday. 

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The farmer was a hunting man and would tell when they were going to meet on his ground and his son does still. We all had Air Guns and would take the odd Pheasant and go to a quarry the was the local rubbish tip. We would sit on a couple of them Tea chests and shoot Rats using those red space beam torches till the early hours. Mother would give me hell in the morning because my clothes and myself would stink of the smoke from the tip.  Moved on to a shot gun a single barrel Winchester Cooye that I bought off a CID copper who was selling guns that were handed in in the amnesty to all the local lads. Happy days they were raking around out over the fields I loved it. Remember one day my parents telling me my cousins and Auntie and uncle were coming so I picked up the ferret and f****d off for the day, bugger did I get a roasting when I got back. 

May put some more up if people are interested and the thread survives.

Cheers Arry

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My earliest memories from my hunting life are of ferreting. My dad kept racing greyhounds that we raced at Longlevens in Gloucester and Swindon. Some we kept at home and others were kept with a trainer on a farm . We always went to this farm on a Sunday to exercise them or take them to time time trials . I must of been about 7 or eight and one Sunday morning while I was walking a couple of greyhounds with my dad we stopped to talk to a chap in a trench coat and cap by this hedge , he had some rabbit holes netted and a ferret down , at that moment a rabbit bolted and he grabbed it and killed it , my eyes nearly popped out of my head and I was hooked I think from that moment. I begged my dad for a Ferrett, most kids wanted a Raleigh chopper but all I wanted was a ferret. We sent off for one from Abbot brothers in Norfolk, they did a mail order service and I remember my dad and me driving to Gloucester railway station to pick it up . It was an albino Hob . My dad used to carry on going to the farm on a Sunday, but instead of exercising the Greyhounds I would try to catch rabbits . My dad  had got a BFSS book on ferreting and made me a hutch just like the one in the book . In all honesty my dad wasn’t interested in the ferret and just went along with it to give me an interest . My early attempts to catch a rabbit were useless and I needed a tutor , and that wasn’t my dad . I kept a look out for the mysterious man in the trench coat who I had seen bolt a rabbit. It was a couple of years later and our paths crossed. Edward Peters was his name , Elver fisherman , hedge layer , farm hand and ferreter . He was an old countryman and he took me under his wing . He taught me a great deal and gave me a decent ferret as the albino hob from Norfolk wasn’t up to much . 
       My Grandad however was also a countryman and a prolific poacher . But he didn’t bother with ferrets . His method was the long net . In post war times and pre myxomatosis days he caught thousands and would spend many nights out catching them and then they would go to market . He managed to make something of a living at this as well as selling fish and chips on the hop fields of Kent and all sorts of other skullduggery. 
        But he taught me how to make nets . I spent hours and hours at his house making nets and listening to his stories, he treated me like a grownup and gave me woodbines and beer . I used to go home pissed and smelling of fags at 12 or 13 😂. I didn’t know it then but the path of my life was set . All my youth was spent in pursuit of fur and feather . Snares , nets , birdlime , air rifles , you name it and I was up to it . 
   I actually passed my eleven plus and went to a local grammar school, I remember my mum was so proud, she and my dad had such high hopes for me . But they were ultimately disappointed, as I spent most of my time in class gazing out of the window across the fields . The teachers didn’t inspire me the way my Grandad did . I had zero interest in any of the lessons and was constantly on report or in detention. The headmaster would remind me how fortunate I was to be in that school and how I had an opportunity to do whatever I wanted in life , but instead I was taking up the place of someone who would have “given their back teeth “ to be in my shoes . I hated being in that school, I hated the lessons , the teachers , but most of all I hated being “ inside”. I’ve done a lot of different things in my adult life , but there has always been one constant and that is my love of hunting and the countryside.

 

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i started with terriers when i was 12 i remember goin to a fellas house alan dodds , alan was a miner who`d moved down from newcastle to work the local pit he had terriers pigeons and all manor of cage birds i`d seen an advert in the village paper shop jack russelll terrier pups for sale it took some courage at 12 year old to knock on his door he was a big fella known for being a bit of a drinker and a fighter , but the only thing i had on my mind was to look at a litter of russell pups  , the garden was tidy well kept and surrounded by a 6ft fence i had racing pigeons which i had from stubbs brothers who were decent pigeon racers back in the day they had a jack russell and a terrier was on the cards for me  doddy was the man to go to  i opened the gate rang the bell a big power house of a man came to the door i`ve come to look at the pups , they were just by the house  in what was a former chicken hut on a deep litter of shavings under a heat lamp 7 cracking looking smooth coated deep tan and white pups  little did i know that this was the start of a lifetimes involvement with everything terriers and a fifty year friendship with a one mr alan dodd ...  this is part of a book i started writing a few year back  

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It’s amazing how many people started of with a ferret and learning there own way. Me and my brother never had nets. My brother had a albino Jill that was soft as a teddy and I had a polecat that was evil welding gloves to handle it or would lock on to your finger. But being worked together they was a good team and very often rabbit would appear with polecat locked hold. Just took your life in your hands trying to handle it 🤦🏻‍♂️

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8 minutes ago, Gypsydog94 said:

It’s amazing how many people started of with a ferret and learning there own way. Me and my brother never had nets. My brother had a albino Jill that was soft as a teddy and I had a polecat that was evil welding gloves to handle it or would lock on to your finger. But being worked together they was a good team and very often rabbit would appear with polecat locked hold. Just took your life in your hands trying to handle it 🤦🏻‍♂️

first ferret/polecat thing  we had came from nottingham cattle market we took it home on the bus in a sack , got it to my house put my hand in the sack to get it out it bit me on the fleshy bit between your thumb and fore finger i screamed it let go slipped under next doors  fence and  ran off never to be seen again 

Edited by sid g
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1 minute ago, sid g said:

first ferret/polecat thing  we had came from nottingham cattle market we took it home on the bus in a sack , got it to my house put my hand in the sack to get it out it bit me on the fleshy bit between your thumb and fore finger i screamed it let go slipped under next doors  fence and  ran off never to be seen again 

My polecat locked hold of my thumb one day out ferreting and for some reason my brother had a screwdriver. He pried the ferret off causing a few lost teeth. Anyway we said sod you left it there. When my father returned home from work at 6 ish came in and said your ferret had got out and was running around the cage but I have put it back in for you. The flipping thing walked 4 fields on its own to get home 

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Never started with ferrets, at a very young age I started taking my uncles Patterdale out (that was a digging dog) for a mooch and basically was after anything and everything. 

I can recall getting him stuck in some tar after bolting a rabbit out of some brambles, being a young kid I was flapping cos the dog couldn't move as he had that much stuck to him. A fella saw me struggling and wrapped him in some carpet so I could carry him home. 

Seeing how keen I was my uncle then started taking me digging on occasions, that excitement stays with you forever. 

As I got a little older me and my mates started getting in to the lurchers. We used to go on a big local Sunday walk and again anything was fair game. Forget single handed slips, if anything bolted a good 3-4 lurchers were slipped and whichever dog caught it's quarry was the hero and those that didn't were ripped to bits for the day. 

The laughs we had were great, one of the lads was a wrong un and a bit of a sadist. Out on our walks is intentions were to get us and our dogs in as much trouble as possible. He would always head towards the pheasant pens despite us telling him no. By the end of it he was inside the pens trying to catch pheasants and we would end up getting chased and shot at by the keepers. 

 

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Told this part about my first dog in the ferreting section some time ago. I begged and begged my parents for a Jack Russel or a Fox Terrier for years to no avail and then this happened. My old man came home from the pub with a fluffy little poodle thing he had taken off a tramp like bloke that was hitting and kicking it, you would not want to argue with my old man. I was gutted look about as useful as a chocolate tea pot, was a nice little dog but not for me. Father kept saying take it out with the ferret, thought f**k that if I got seen with that I'll be the bloody laughing stock. Well one day I was just leaving the house about to go ferreting when the little dog winded with his head cock over to one side, so I took him with me. Well he took to it like a duck to water, I could put him somewhere to sit he would stay and if a rabbit bolted he would pin it to the ground till I got there. You just cant judge a book by its cover was a great bushing dog. Here he is with my mates JR.

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When I first got married two mates and myself were shooting and digging Foxes for their pelts I had two JR's. The stockier one jumping sideways through the gate was a cracker of a worker and the best dog I ever had.

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Those to lived two a ripe old age of 19. Later did get another JR but this one got a bit spoiled by the kids etc. Never worked her digging as I was not into much then but good little busher but would f**k off for ages if we put out a Fox. I used just sit on a gate some time while she would be chasing Charlie in a field of maze for an hour or more. Here she is broke the wife heart when she went so not aloud another. Cant use but the farmer was going to drown her, already done that one. Lol.

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Cheers Arry

 

 

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Bought a ferret kit when I was around 9-10 year old, from Clitheroe auction mart. Slipped it in my pocket so me mum and dad wouldn't know and sneaked it home 😂

Took a real pasting when they found it 🤣

Use to go out with the local strays,  ferret in pocket (no nets lol) and bolt to a Heinz57 pack 😁

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