Shooting rabbits while Hunting with Ferrets
stalking rabbits with a shotgun
there is only one way to use your shotgun for shooting rabbits. Hunting with ferrets while shooting what ever flushes out of the warrens is a high speed hunters dream. It'll test any gun mans aim and speed, making for a great day out or an alternative to shooting pheasant or pigeon.
How to Get Started
Its clear you'll need a shotgun and the ability to use it, but you wont need to own a ferret. I know most ferreters (or many ferret owners) would love to give their ferret a run and watch a gun men at work. I know I enjoyed it a lot. Its a great run for a pet ferret and what would please a ferret trainer more then watching their working animal hunting well?
You'll then need to ask the land owner for permission. Make sure you tell them exactly what your up to and when you plan to do it. I would advise you never shoot in areas close to roads or public walkways, its just asking for trouble. It might even be worth informing the local police.
Once you have a ferret to use (whether you own it or not), you'll also need to get it a tracker, collar and a spade. These are so you can find the ferret while its working. Pretty much every ferreter has one, its a essential bit of kit. Next thing you'll need to do is read up on ferreting and rabbiting. If you want to know more why not head to the section of this site all about
Hunting With ferrets.
How its Done
Just like ferreting, the ferret is placed in the hole to flush out the rabbits. The only difference is that instead of using purse nets or longs net, you'll be shooting rabbits. There is of course much more to it then popping the ferret into the hole. Hunting rabbit with ferrets takes a great deal of knowledge to master, such as reading the holes and handling the ferret. This is why I would suggest heading out with a ferreter first time around.
Once the ferret is in the hole you need to be ready for anything. Rabbits bolt out of holes at insane speed and at all kinds of angles. The person shooting the rabbits needs to carefully plan for each set of holes. He needs to set himself areas where he can and cannot shot.
When picking where to shoot, you need to take into account a few things. The first and most important is where other people are or may be. If you are out with others who arent shooting rabbits its a good idea to have them stand behind you. If your with others who are shooting rabbits as well you'll have to agree where each gunman is and isn't allowed to shot. Like always, more shooters will most likely mean more kills. But at much greater risk.
Don't forget the chance that someone who isn't involved in the hunt turning up. Its all too possible people will use the field to walk dogs or jog. You might even bump into the land owner or keeper. Its always wise to ask the land owner who might be about.
The next thing to worry about is the ferret. You should never shoot across the holes because of the risk of the ferret showing its head. Always wait for the rabbit to run across the surface of warren into the open land. If you don't get a chance to shot and it goes back into the holes the chances are it'll come out again.
The golden rule is don't shoot if your unsure. Always think about each shot in that hair second before pulling the trigger. Don't forget the risk of bullet ricochet. One badly placed shot near a tree or fence post can put your trip to a very quick end.
Other tips For Shooting Rabbits While Ferreting
• After the first shot rabbits are less likely to bolt from their holes. So make that shot count!
• If the holes run along a fence or hedge line you'll need two gunners. Take extra care not to shot where you partner is past the obstacle.
• When shooting in groups, its important that each gun man tells the other/s before moving. Failing to do so could be deadly.
• Reload between kills as quick as possible. Its best to stick that extra shell in while the ferret is above ground to ensure you dont miss a shot.
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