The Countryman's Weekly


June 12
08:10 2019

Getting their teeth into the rats – the Surrey Rat Pack

By Mark Bates.

WE had a ratting day scheduled at Odiham, Hampshire, and the day started like any other Sunday with a wake-up call at 6am to load the Jeep with the usual kit; smoker, spade, fork and the all-important flask and lunch. It was then on to meet the rest of the pack at a specified meeting place near Odiham.

Soon 8.15am came around and all nine pack members with seven dogs were ready to go. The dogs we took with us were: Jack Russell Terrier; Bull x Jack Russell; Jack Russell/Whippet x Patterdale/Jack Russell; Plummer Terrier; Patterdale; Patterdale x Lakeland Terrier; Whippet x collie.

So we soon arrived on-site and met the gamekeeper and had a discussion to plan the day ahead. The gamekeeper had a bit of a surprise for us as he had laid on transport for us for the day – some off-road buggies. As we were used to either walking or using the Jeeps, it was nice to have a hand to get to where we needed to go.

We loaded all of the kit, the dogs and their owners into the buggies and drove down some windy lanes and across a few fields to our first hedgerow. It was full of runs which the rats had made but there were only a few active ones.




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