Long Netting: How To Set a Long Net
Being such an old fashioned method, long netting rabbits is a tricky sport that is often forgotten. A lot of people will tell you that you need to be shown how to net rabbit but I disagree. I think any one can read up and find out all they need to know. So don’t leave it to just the pest control companies!
Understanding Your Nets
Before anything else, you need to know what is what. Rabbit hunting nets are split into two core types. The traditional and the quickset. Each have guidelines (like purse nets) that run across the top and bottom of the mesh. This will close around the rabbit when it hits the long netting. Each end of the net is pinned down to hold it in place.
Nowadays, it’s easy to get hold of the quickset longnet. It has its net pegs (also known as poles) in place already, meaning the hunter doesn’t need to place them himself and doesnt need to carefully clip or ‘snag’ the net to the peg. The pegs are normally about 7 yards apart.
If you use a traditional set, you first have to place your poles on the field. These poles or pegs need to be placed in the field about every 6-9 yards,this can be bigger or smaller depending on how you set up, most of the time its just personal choice. The net is then be ‘snaged’ or tied to it.
Snagging a long net is easy, just loop the guide line around the top of the peg twice (like the photo below) and it should hold its place well. Some people will use clips, such as cloths pegs. I wouldn’t suggest doing this, it means your set up is only as strong as the clips grip!
Setting Your Nets
Before you go hunting, its wise you practice setting up. Most long netting is done in the dark and you’ll need to be as quick and silent as possible. if your using a traditional net, stick your first end pin into the field. Walk across and let the net trail behind you, leaving it pulled out in a line. Stick in your second end pin (loosely, you still need to set the rest). Walk back across you net, pegging every 6-9 yards as you go. Don’t forget to snag the guide line to the pegs, leaving a nice hang of slack for the net to blow in. Once your back at your first pin, pull the long netting tight and tie it down.
Quick set nets earn their name here. All you do is stick your pegs into the ground as you walk out the net, pulling it tight between poles. This can make for a truly amazing setting speed.
Note: If you plan on netting rabbits with ferrets, this is all you need to know. Below is more information about hunting with just long nets
Getting Ready for your Hunt
This next step is one of the most important when long netting for rabbit. Head to where you plan to net during the early morning or right before sunset. Look for where your little furry targets are eating and running to/from. Take a note of what way you can get at them to set your long net. You need to be able to get in as quietly as possible, avoiding anything like fences or trees.
Once you have your way in, you need to check which direction the wind is compared to the feeding rabbits. Use a compass (or even a SmartPhone app) to see if you’ll be netting up north, east, south or west of the rabbits. This is so later on you can place your field netting with the wind blowing from the rabbits to the net, meaning they wont be able to smell or hear you. Well, until you head behind them and scare them into the net with the help of the wind.
Getting The Most From Your Hunt
Just like lamping, you need a windy and dark night to go rabbit netting. Cloudy nights are best but failing that you needing a night with as little moon in the sky as possible. you want the wind to be blowing in any direction apart from away from your net towards the rabbits. For example, if your net is south of the feeding rabbits, you ideally want the wind blowing south. From the rabbits to your net, never from the net to the rabbits. If the wind is blowing a different direction ( west or east in my example), you can still have a good trip out.
A couple of years ago it was common for a rabbit hunters trip to be ruined by bad wind conditions, but nowadays its possible to check which way the wind is blowing by post code! I personally use the
Once your out and your net is set, never be too lazy to take the long route back to behind the rabbits. Long netting rabbits is all about careful, silent field work. You can catch in a poorly set net, but you cant catch a group of rabbits spooked away from the net. Also, never ‘have a quick check’ to see if the rabbits are where you had planned, all you’ll do is scare them off!
Once behind the rabbits, its simply a case of beating the field to scare them back into your net. Take your time, never run to the net at the first sign of a rabbit or you’ll be missing out on the rest of the field.
When your happy the field is clear, Quickly head to the net, systematicly killing any rabbits tangled in it. Simple!
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