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Most rabbits killed with one lurcher on nights lamping now let's be truthful lads about this one


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🤔 Taken a lot of rabbits over the last 60 years with various working dogs,....but, under the spotlight,..I would think that 78 with my Sadie , back in the 1980's would be the most that I've grassed in

try again.. 63 taken the night before ....took this pic before we set off ferreting

It's not allways about numbers. Not to long ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Cairngorms for a weekend, by Northernlite and Taysider. We had a fantastic time, but one naysayer moc

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15 hours ago, OldPhil said:

For so many years ,..folk have harped on about numbers, bagging up, etc, etc...

Until I started catching rabbits for wages, as opposed to sport or flogging shushis for a pittance,

I was always worrying if other guys were taking more rabbits than me...

This idiocy used to spur me on, day and night...

But, the sheer diversity of having to produce a result, frequently in front of a paying client, pretty soon cured me🙄 Every location presented different problems, each job was a challenge.

Catching rabbits, where there is an abundance of rabbits, is good craic, great fun,...often arduous admittedly, but, sporting hunting, lacks the gut wrenching, stressful hassle of being under the cosh, as regards getting, that all-important pay cheque in the bank..

It can become,.. emotional..😥

Anyway,. all that is now a lifetime away for me,.. it is done and dusted....finito...🙏

However,.. if anyone gets a chance to peruse this wee treatise, I think you will enjoy the script,.. and numbers wise,..it kinda puts everything,... into perspective😉

 

At the age of 15, Jack McCraith reached a momentous decision; "Everyone knows how to catch rabbits," he said. "I'll learn how to sell them."

On his first buying trip, he biked into the countryside and bought two rabbits which he skinned in the back yard and hawked around the neighbours. Within 20 years he controlled a rabbit empire which stretched across half of Australia. In a 40 year career, he exported more than 130 million rabbits.

Wherever the rabbits went, he went too. Rabbit chillers and trucks, emblazoned with the legend JOHN A. McCRAITH, Rabbit Exporter, Spencer Street, Melbourne, dotted the back country from the Simpson Desert to the Nullabor Plains. It was a cut-throat and difficult industry filled with unscrupulous people and dreamers. Chillers were robbed or sabotaged, buyers absconded with the buying money, trucks broke down hundreds of kilometres from the nearest garage. The trappers were tough men but Jack McCraith was tougher. When he had to sort out problems in the bush, he used his fists. His methods were unorthodox. He was a big gambler and he brought the same gambling instincts to his business life. Many of the exporters went broke, but Jack McCraith survived and prospered.

The Rabbit King is the previously untold story of the Australian rabbit industry, and how it kept some people alive in the harshest times and made other people very rich. It is also a personal re-telling of an old story about a poor boy who makes good. It is the story of the rise and rise of a man who perfectly suited his time and all that reveals about the way we lived and thought then.

 

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that looks an interesting read

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3 hours ago, levigsp said:

I saw no where ruined where there were huge numbers, as soon as numbers got low in the area the cash men moved on.  

I ruined ground as I was being paid for that exact reason.                                                 Also ground was ruined in average and low number areas, that included most of England,  it was ruined by people who were not interested in the future and would take the last rabbit if possible.

By the mid 90s where rabbits were low numbers due to lamping etc and two serious new strains of myxi, along came vhd1 and did 99% of what was left in a lot of areas but not all. By 2018 a lot of areas were hit by VHD2 killing 99.999999% in all those areas as far as i no, there has been a total absence of recovery.  

We now know that VHD effected rabbits first and later hares, this was true of both strains even though I was laughed at the first time I mentioned it, by all sort of folk including vets. The last outbreak of VHD2 in caithness rabbits was in 2016 and then 2019 in hares.

You not rong I lived in Caithness for 7 years had a lot of fun came back to Wales 6 years ago with number up there being low in most parts went back up last September and all the spots were dead I mean not one single rabbit any were went on to Orkney then few other islands and it was a few about but I'd not kill any number were that love there vet recognised vhd2 in 2017 in pet rabbits on Orkney very sad . man and dog would take years a live time to take theses places down that disease can do it in weeks.

I got permission on a estate up there not long before I moved back it was infested with rabbits watched them all summer thinking I'll have some fun in winter went for a drive round it in August to see how it was looking not been round for month or two it was dead spoke to keep he sed it was vhb wiped it clean they still not come back yet 

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It seems the guys who used lurchers for a living  favoured  a herding first cross. I remember Andy? of Minshaw  fame favoured heavily saturated collie crosses. Some of the early Minshaw dogs: Blue and Rambo barely resembled running dogs, they were so thick set. But as lamping dogs they were second to none. As has  been said by those who know, a regularly worked lurcher has to be a tough old unit.

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48 minutes ago, D Lloyd said:

You not rong I lived in Caithness for 7 years had a lot of fun came back to Wales 6 years ago with number up there being low in most parts went back up last September and all the spots were dead I mean not one single rabbit any were went on to Orkney then few other islands and it was a few about but I'd not kill any number were that love there vet recognised vhd2 in 2017 in pet rabbits on Orkney very sad . man and dog would take years a live time to take theses places down that disease can do it in weeks.

I got permission on a estate up there not long before I moved back it was infested with rabbits watched them all summer thinking I'll have some fun in winter went for a drive round it in August to see how it was looking not been round for month or two it was dead spoke to keep he sed it was vhb wiped it clean they still not come back yet 

Real shame, best place I’ve been for rabs that Caithness, Blairgowrie was good as well. Same story down this way, was some good spots along the trent valley, more hares than rabs now.

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7 minutes ago, New moon said:

Real shame, best place I’ve been for rabs that Caithness, Blairgowrie was good as well.

We had permission near Aviemore that was saturated with rabbits back then also, lots of places in the Highlands and Islands were infested. 

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21 hours ago, D Lloyd said:

You not rong I lived in Caithness for 7 years had a lot of fun came back to Wales 6 years ago with number up there being low in most parts went back up last September and all the spots were dead I mean not one single rabbit any were went on to Orkney then few other islands and it was a few about but I'd not kill any number were that love there vet recognised vhd2 in 2017 in pet rabbits on Orkney very sad . man and dog would take years a live time to take theses places down that disease can do it in weeks.

I got permission on a estate up there not long before I moved back it was infested with rabbits watched them all summer thinking I'll have some fun in winter went for a drive round it in August to see how it was looking not been round for month or two it was dead spoke to keep he sed it was vhb wiped it clean they still not come back yet 

That's terrible to hear Dave🙄

All the years it took, to breed good honest dogs for the rabbiting game, and now , we don't have enough rabbits to use them properly...Its the same for the Coursing lads....by dint of selective breeding, they have produced a superlative type of hare killer, and now, there is talk, of putting men in the Prison if they are caught, running the hares...

Feck me,.. it is a wee bit severe,...I was rabbiting on an estate last season and there was a hare shoot/drive going on...

As I left, after the day's work, I could see the guns standing together and behind them, was a line of orange fur that seemed to go, on forever and ever.....😥 Each to their own, I suppose, but it just doesn't seem right...

As for wonderful Caithness,..it was, as you say, a veritable rabbit Shangri-La,...but, you know what,.. I've seen similar places up and down the UK , and enjoyed hunting in them far more...😉

But, great days , eh....never to be forgotten...🙏

 

 

 

Edited by OldPhil
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1 hour ago, jukel123 said:

It seems the guys who used lurchers for a living  favoured  a herding first cross. I remember Andy? of Minshaw  fame favoured heavily saturated collie crosses. Some of the early Minshaw dogs: Blue and Rambo barely resembled running dogs, they were so thick set. But as lamping dogs they were second to none. As has  been said by those who know, a regularly worked lurcher has to be a tough old unit.

Couldn’t give me a 1st cross, seen way to many get bored or just not good enough, love the collie types but got to mix em imo, they don’t call em black & white wolf for nowt, wouldn’t have anything out of a straight grey either, good coursing dog x collie mongrel my choice.

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9 minutes ago, New moon said:

Couldn’t give me a 1st cross, seen way to many get bored or just not good enough, love the collie types but got to mix em imo, they don’t call em black & white wolf for nowt, wouldn’t have anything out of a straight grey either, good coursing dog x collie mongrel my choice.

Just proves each to there own. I have killed more rabbits and foxes with half cross than any other, and the three quarter cross was good for a hare or two.lol

 

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8 minutes ago, levigsp said:

Just proves each to there own. I have killed more rabbits and foxes with half cross than any other, and the three quarter cross was good for a hare or two.lol

 

Absolutely, 1 of the best I owned was out of 2 half X’s, had to be strict with the feeding, was like a hawk, wouldn’t go if a bit heavy 🤣

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57 minutes ago, OldPhil said:

That's terrible to hear Dave🙄

All the years it took, to breed good honest dogs for the rabbiting game, and now , we don't have enough rabbits to use them properly...Its the same for the Coursing lads....by dint of selective breeding, they have produced a superlative type of hare killer, and now, there is talk, of putting men in the Prison if they are caught, running the hares...

Feck me,.. it is a wee bit severe,...I was rabbiting on an estate last season and there was a hare shoot/drive going on...

As I left, after the day's work, I could see the guns standing together and behind them, was a line of orange fur that seemed to go, on forever and ever.....😥 Each to their own, I suppose, but it just doesn't seem right...

As for wonderful Caithness,..it was, as you say, a veritable rabbit Shangri-La,...but, you know what,.. I've seen similar places up and down the UK , and enjoyed hunting in them far more...😉

But, great days , eh....never to be forgotten...🙏

 

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Hare shooters are the worse of the shooting community in my opinion. And the majority hide behind the excuse of its to keep coursing lads off. They can’t admit that they enjoy blasting hares as the jog past not even at full stretch. 

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