The Countryman's Weekly

Ferreting

Ferreting
January 22
08:08 2020

Valuable hedgerow experience for young team members

By Martin McKendry.

THE morning was crisp and bright with a beautiful autumn sun just rising above the horizon as we entered the first field we were to ferret. ‘Meadow’, the little lurcher, was released from her lead to make her way along the well-manicured hedgerow to mark any inhabitants within the warrens which looked well used with visible fresh droppings and freshly scraped-out earth.

‘Meadow’ checked each hole and moved on from the first warren, which to the human eye seemed to be full of promise, but we’ve learned to trust the nose of this little hunter who has proved us humans wrong many times.

The next warren was sure to hold some as all the signs were there in abundance and ‘Meadow’ agreed as her pace slowed and she moved from hole to hole with the stealth of a cat approaching a mouse in a farmyard. Suddenly she stood statue still and pointed directly at the main entrance.

This was our cue and the netting-up began which was not as straightforward as you would expect at this time of year, with the undergrowth below the hedge still very green and covering a lot of the holes. The ferret boxes had to be moved back as the little inhabitants were eager to go and the racket they were making would have woken the dead.

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