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Sparviter
02-29-2008, 05:00 PM
Here in the UK, many austringers use ferrets to bolt rabbits for their hawks. I belive this is illegal in most of the US? I thought that some of you may be interested to see these pics of ferrets at work.

I also use my ferrets in a slightly unorthodox way that may well be of interest to a few of you across the pond. ;)

http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/Ferreting0220006.jpg

I understand that many american falconers love a bit of squirrel hawking. Here, a ferret is being used to flush grey/cat squirrels from their tree hollows.
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/squirrel20ferreting20002.jpg
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/squirrelin202.jpg
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/squirrelin.jpg

Sparviter
02-29-2008, 05:04 PM
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/squirrel20ferreting20011.jpg

And here we are rabbiting...
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/aaaaaaa.jpg
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/brinners20ferretng.jpg
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/mia20thread203.jpg

Sparviter
02-29-2008, 05:11 PM
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/miaand20Yaris6020rabbit.jpg
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/nyd0.jpg
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/mia20t4.jpg
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/mia26cassie20010.jpg

Sparviter
02-29-2008, 05:20 PM
Ferreting can sometimes be hard work. Squirrel ferreting involves a lot of climbing, and rabbit ferreting can involve digging...
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/mia20t2.jpg
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/mia20t3.jpg

Most of the time, its just great fun...
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/Mia20007.jpg

Sparviter
02-29-2008, 05:24 PM
I hope you enjoye the pics...

Lee. :D

Takasho
02-29-2008, 06:05 PM
It's actually not illegal in all the States. A guy I go hawking with regularly brings "Mommy Dearest" his white ferret with him to pop down rock piles that we just can't get into otherwise. Lots of flights on bunnies that we would have never found. Fun stuff and a unique aspect to the sport that doesn't get used often enough where it's legal on this side of the pond. Great pics. Thanks for the post.

Sparviter
02-29-2008, 06:22 PM
Are there any American forum members who do use ferrets? Anybody tried them on squirrels?

chamokane
02-29-2008, 06:46 PM
Nice photos.

I've never hawked with a ferret and I don't hunt tree squirrels, but my wife used to have a small female ferret and I used her to bolt ground squirrels just for the fun of watching her work.

She would walk with me until we came to a hole. Then she would check the hole for scent and if she liked it, she would enter. If there was no scent, we would continue on. If she found a hole to be dry, she would come out pretty quickly. If she stayed down for long, it was a pretty good bet the squirrels would be coming out. Sometimes a squirrel would come out and run to another burrow and the ferret would come out and track the squirrel to the next burrow and enter that one and bolt the squirrel again.

I had to be careful not to let her hunt when the squirrels had young because they were very fierce in protecting the young and the ferret would come out with bites on her face.

I never had to dig her out. She seemed very faithful.

Sometimes when I got to work, people would wrinkle their noses and say, "You've been playing with those ferrets again.":D

Chris L.
02-29-2008, 07:25 PM
Lee,
great pictures clapp.. I have always wanted to try ferreting. It looks like a blast. Do many UK falconers use them?

Ken S.
02-29-2008, 09:20 PM
Do the ferrets learn to bolt the rabbits naturally, or do you work with them on it?

Thanks for the info and pictures!

Joby
02-29-2008, 10:13 PM
I don't use ferrets, but I do use my Mini-doxies to accomplish the same end. Down goes the dog, out comes the rabbit. I doubt he could climb a tree though.
-Joe

Sparviter
03-02-2008, 04:05 PM
Do the ferrets learn to bolt the rabbits naturally, or do you work with them on it?

Thanks for the info and pictures!

Ferrets have been bred to do what they do for thousands of years, and need no training.


Lee,
great pictures clapp.. I have always wanted to try ferreting. It looks like a blast. Do many UK falconers use them?

Just about anybody who is serious about hunting rabbits in the UK uses ferrets. Our native bunnys spend most of their life underground, especially in the winter when the cover dies back. Ferrets are great fun, and are worth their weight in gold.

Lee.

primos
03-03-2008, 10:13 PM
lee,
wouldn't mind trying the whole ferret thing...had a couple growing up, but just sided w/ the long hair mini doxies in order to cover some more ground....nice angle on the sport though...you work them on anything in the summer?
ej

Sparviter
03-04-2008, 06:08 AM
lee,
wouldn't mind trying the whole ferret thing...had a couple growing up, but just sided w/ the long hair mini doxies in order to cover some more ground....nice angle on the sport though...you work them on anything in the summer?
ej

Summer ferreting is a 'no-go'. The places that the ferret does it's work (rabbit warrens and squirrel dreys) are where the quarry rears it's young. The ferret would slaughter next season's quarry.

sevristh
03-04-2008, 09:08 AM
Are the ferrets able to climb trees to get to the squirrel holes?? Heck, if we had some of them here in GA, a squirrel would rarely get away!

Though, i'd have to wonder at a passage RT's willingness to cooperate with a ferret :)

Sparviter
03-04-2008, 03:42 PM
Are the ferrets able to climb trees to get to the squirrel holes?? Heck, if we had some of them here in GA, a squirrel would rarely get away!

Though, i'd have to wonder at a passage RT's willingness to cooperate with a ferret :)

Ferrets are not too bad at climbing but they need to be took close to the tree hollows, so you have to get up there, I'm afraid. I find it great fun though... its like being a kid again! LOL.

different hawks have very different reactions to ferrets. I worked with two male HHs from the same clutch last year. One wanted to eat the ferrets, his sibling was scared of them! Almost any hawk will accept them after a while. We normally house the ferrets in full view of the hawks, and they soon get bored of them. I am sure that even a passage RT would learn to accept them.

Lee.

everetkhorton
03-04-2008, 05:39 PM
Are the ferrets able to climb trees to get to the squirrel holes?? Heck, if we had some of them here in GA, a squirrel would rarely get away!

Though, i'd have to wonder at a passage RT's willingness to cooperate with a ferret :)

Dave:
Now you need one more person to carry the chain sawfrus

shortwing
03-05-2008, 11:38 AM
Just about anybody who is serious about hunting rabbits in the UK uses ferrets. Our native bunnys spend most of their life underground, especially in the winter when the cover dies back. Ferrets are great fun, and are worth their weight in gold.

Lee.[/quote]


You are right there Lee I would not be without mine in the winter months when the rabbits become scarce

Dave

wesleyc6
03-05-2008, 12:13 PM
Do your ferrets have good "recall"?

jfseaman
03-05-2008, 11:14 PM
Do your ferrets have good "recall"?

Depends on the ferret. I was very fortunate the first ferret was quite experienced. Shouldn't come out of the hole until the last rabbit is out. Then she would come looking for me or her box. She taught those that followed, 4 more.

Ferrets can be amazing and frustrating. I've had less dig outs than some. My good old girl mentioned above was never dug out. She knocked my socks off the first time she dragged a rabbit out and let it go infront of the hawk. I thought it was a fluke until she repeated it, then again and again.

The frequency of use in the US is not worth the effort.

Bodarc
03-06-2008, 04:11 AM
What do you carry your ferrets in until you need them?

Sparviter
03-06-2008, 07:45 AM
What do you carry your ferrets in until you need them?

This box under my arm...

http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p17/sparviter/nyd0.jpg

primos
03-06-2008, 10:16 AM
lee,
do you have groundhogs over there? our rabbits here don't dig holes as far as i know so instead they use groundhog holes...i just picked up a doxie last summer and we did a lot of hole work...caught a couple groundhogs...pain digging them out, but good hawk food... keeps us going till we're up and flying again...
ej

everetkhorton
03-06-2008, 02:45 PM
EJ:
How about posting some picture of the working dogs at work.

primos
03-07-2008, 03:07 PM
really bad at taking pix...

bassistus
09-29-2008, 01:37 PM
wow I had no Idea ferrets were used to flush out rabbits, thatīs really interesting. I have a question though. Do your Birds see the ferret? If they do, how do they know not to attack it instead of the rabbit? Maybe itīs a dumb question but all I know is that if my HH saw a ferret it would most likely go for it