Reducing the Rabbit Population by Ferreting

At this time of year it is ideal to try and reduce the rabbit population as much as possible before they can breed and have young dependents.  The photos below are taken on the edge of the moor where the clearing of rabbits for the hill farms has been taking place and they show the age old method of using ferrets, nets and a lurcher.

Using the lurcher dog to mark (show that rabbits are in the warrren before netting) then using purse nets and long nets to catch the rabbits as they bolt from the ferrets, any rabbits that miss or slip the nets the lurcher will then hopefully catch and retrieve.

Ferrets tend to be the primary animal used in rabbiting, due to their ease in moving around the burrows. A Jill (female ferret) is more typically used in a hunt than a hob (male ferret), as the hob is more likely to “lay up” (kill and eat the rabbit in the burrow, resulting in the hob falling asleep).  The ferrets have locator collars on so if any are stuck underground they can be dug out.


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