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Years ago you'd have lads lamping taking a few for the pot and the rest getting lamp shy and getting away.

 

These last few years we have lads with thermal, night vision rifles and all sorts able to take out tripple figures in a single night... then moaning the next few seasons why there's nothing about.

 

Then you got these rabbit diseases on top. I spoke to a Yorkshire hill farmer the other day, they said they had loads of rabbits about, then one day just came out and they were dead all over the place, and they never came back. 

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Yes   the areas that I'm employed to rabbit on, now has low numbers, due to my efforts over the last 25 years .On the one hand I'm pleased ,I've done a pretty good job & on the other I know my ope

Yes , RHD does behave in that manner, in some spots the rabbits found there have a higher immunity level than others that live near by. These animals breed some kits in a litter that can carry that sa

I can only comment on the RVHD and the effect it had on New Zealand rabbits,20 odd years ago it killed thousands apron thousands(95%) but very slowly the pockets built up to about 85-90% of the popula

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I haven't got a runner nowadays and although I'd love another there is absolutely no point replacing it to live a life of boredom with nothing to run.  There has never been millions of rabbits locally but there was enough to keep a dog interested but not any more.

 There's not enough other quarry either probably from the predators and rifling twats moving on with the absence of rabbits.

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3 hours ago, keepdiggin said:

What you thinking next ray saluki bull whip?

Not sure really, anything 24-25in 55lb-65lb.good coat, lurcher x lurcher that do few Charlie's from proven parents, that's what try to get, if poss👍

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10 hours ago, Bobtheferret said:

The main issue is RVHD we got in England a few years before Ireland as I understand it but it’s a fairly nasty disease with anywhere from 5-95% mortality. I keep telling myself that rabbits are born survivors and mixi wiped out 99% of all rabbits and they made a (relatively) quick recovery to get up to decent numbers before RVHD hit. Main thing I would say is don’t hammer the ones that have survived or they will never recover. It will take at least 10 years probably but hopefully will happen, don’t underestimate the humble rabbit!

I can only comment on the RVHD and the effect it had on New Zealand rabbits,20 odd years ago it killed thousands apron thousands(95%) but very slowly the pockets built up to about 85-90% of the population uneffected  .Then those pockets got so large the government decided to bring the K5 stain in from Australia, a couple of years ago ,this has failed to effect many rabbits if any ,so they plan on dropping 1080 poison via aerial over huge amounts of land .This will check the growth but its very costly & has been all attempted before .I honestly think the rabbit will recover in your country if you DON"T leave the remaining rabbits alone ,THAT is going to be your biggest challenge.    

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Around the Central Tablelands NSW there are pockets with decent numbers but gone are the days of going from warren to warren on open farmland. Most now live in thick bush and ferreting is nearly impossible. I remember getting 300 in a weekend, now you may get 10 or 15. In a way it's more challenging, you have to look at the good side but owning more than one or two specialist rabbit dogs is a waste of time now.

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3 hours ago, Aussie Whip said:

Around the Central Tablelands NSW there are pockets with decent numbers but gone are the days of going from warren to warren on open farmland. Most now live in thick bush and ferreting is nearly impossible. I remember getting 300 in a weekend, now you may get 10 or 15. In a way it's more challenging, you have to look at the good side but owning more than one or two specialist rabbit dogs is a waste of time now.

Yes   the areas that I'm employed to rabbit on, now has low numbers, due to my efforts over the last 25 years .On the one hand I'm pleased ,I've done a pretty good job & on the other I know my operation now, does not require the big pack of specialist bushing catchers I have & at my age most of the dogs may well see me out .I could of started to down size the number much earlier & not  started the 5/6 young pups as I did this year, but I can't or  I'm not quite ready to hang up my boots just yet ,however the years of pig hunting & other outdoors sport has taken a toll. If I drop dead while out on the hill with either a ferret in my hand or a fishing rod Id be a happy dead man .lol I can travel, if I wish a couple of hours  up to central Otago, its a area that is teaming with rabbits but still it wont justify the keeping of a lot of dogs .While I ponder all this I will keep chasing the rabbits I still have & totally agree with Aussie Whip, it is much more challenging sport when you have to work extra hard to bag a couple of bunnies .

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2 hours ago, keepdiggin said:

When we use to go out we’d only slip on rabbits to warm the dog up

Same here,rabbits to warm up or get a young dog its first few catches...then on to stuff that's more of a challenge 👍

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this rhd is a strange disease, a few years ago, it wiped out the majority of rabbits in my local area, these past few months the rabbits have been making a good come back, with no mxyi as yet, even got my self another ferret to have a go this season,but a mate of mine was on land only about 15 mls away, and tells me hes finding dead rabbits lying round,with no visible injurys, seen rabbits with it pissing blood from the nose, and in convulsive states,was told that once rabbits contact it they usually keel over and die within about 4hrs, but stand corrected.

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I can walk local farms ,paddocks all night and see a brace if I'm lucky and these same spots had good numbers ten Yr ago ,the only places with good numbers and where I can guarantee getting my dogs a run local is the crematorium . 

 

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On 22/08/2021 at 02:32, grompz said:

this rhd is a strange disease, a few years ago, it wiped out the majority of rabbits in my local area, these past few months the rabbits have been making a good come back, with no mxyi as yet, even got my self another ferret to have a go this season,but a mate of mine was on land only about 15 mls away, and tells me hes finding dead rabbits lying round,with no visible injurys, seen rabbits with it pissing blood from the nose, and in convulsive states,was told that once rabbits contact it they usually keel over and die within about 4hrs, but stand corrected.

Yes , RHD does behave in that manner, in some spots the rabbits found there have a higher immunity level than others that live near by. These animals breed some kits in a litter that can carry that same high level .It took just over  20 years for the population to rebuild & to have a % in the late 80s of unaffected rabbits & in some areas in NZ there are now more rabbits than there was before RHD, but it does take time ,everybody forgot about them while sighting only a few sitting out in the sun or run over on a busy main road ,but breed & build they did unnoticed ....as they always do.......while silly humans sat inside watching TV, only to find out natures patterns replete them selves ,we simply learn jack shit in nz about dealing with  what some here call pest animals .......personally I've never viewed the humble rabbit as a pest ,its a super duper small game animal  with a high IQ level ,it has provided  sport to many from one end of the planet to the other ,highly valued by some ,hated by others . One thing I'm sure of is that nature never stops ,never has a day off so there is always hope so I like to think  the rabbit will be with us for a while yet ........   

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9 hours ago, toolebox said:

Yes , RHD does behave in that manner, in some spots the rabbits found there have a higher immunity level than others that live near by. These animals breed some kits in a litter that can carry that same high level .It took just over  20 years for the population to rebuild & to have a % in the late 80s of unaffected rabbits & in some areas in NZ there are now more rabbits than there was before RHD, but it does take time ,everybody forgot about them while sighting only a few sitting out in the sun or run over on a busy main road ,but breed & build they did unnoticed ....as they always do.......while silly humans sat inside watching TV, only to find out natures patterns replete them selves ,we simply learn jack shit in nz about dealing with  what some here call pest animals .......personally I've never viewed the humble rabbit as a pest ,its a super duper small game animal  with a high IQ level ,it has provided  sport to many from one end of the planet to the other ,highly valued by some ,hated by others . One thing I'm sure of is that nature never stops ,never has a day off so there is always hope so I like to think  the rabbit will be with us for a while yet ........   

execellent reply toolebox, you certainly seem to know what your talking about, iknow it hit new zealand and australia,years ago, you will have experienced it big time, heard it jumped species into kangaroos wallabies, dont know if thats true though.lets hope we never see the rabbit gone forever.

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46 minutes ago, grompz said:

execellent reply toolebox, you certainly seem to know what your talking about, iknow it hit new zealand and australia,years ago, you will have experienced it big time, heard it jumped species into kangaroos wallabies, dont know if thats true though.lets hope we never see the rabbit gone forever.

I read a study done by some french scientists on RVHD2 and they got captured wild rabbits and deliberately infected then rabbits in groups depending on the areas they were caught and the mortality rate varied from 5% to 95% with no real reason as to why just varying levels of natural immunity as toolbox described in New Zealand. This probably also explains why some areas of the uk have been basically wiped out but some still have very high numbers, lose 5% of a high population you don’t even notice it lose 95%…..scratching around to catch much. 

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Same old chat at start of every season.  RHVD is the rabbits biggest threat . But hammering them in places where numbers are so low really does not make sense.  I've said many times , what are folk not catching and releasing in areas devoid of rabbits . I have 6 areas local to me that had absolutely no rabbits for 12 year . About 9 year back I started dropping 4/5 rabbits each time I went ferreting.  I learned that around horse paddocks and house were the places.  Right next to short grazing fields . Nearly 10 years on I still go round 5 of the 6 places I released them.  They are doing quite well indeed.  One year RHVD hit hard and I started again.  I only drop them in January and February.  After most diseases are gone . And also drop rabbits from completely different areas so as to strengthen the gene pool . Always open up old bury's as the preditors nail them too easily otherwise.  So next time you catch 8 rabbits after January.  Try keeping 4 alive and drop them . In summer you will enjoy watching your efforts bouncing around in autumn nights . It's not all about killing 👍

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