Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Very Different Way of Hunting and Fishing

A nice bit of video here showing the breadth of U.K. field sports and how very different they are from what we have here in the U.S.

The first story is about the attempted rescue of a seriously wounded Golden Eagle by an expert falconer. The bottom line is that it's pretty clear DEFRA and the RSPCA interfered and cost this Eagle its life. These kind of stories are why so many folks in the U.K. do not trust either DEFRA or the RSPCA -- even when knowledgeable and conservation-minded people in the hunting community spend time and money to do right, the "instant experts" in some of these nannying organization step in, claim to know better, and are often ill-prepared to do right by either the wildlife or the dogs.

The second story is about carp fishing. Carp fishing? Yes, that's what you do when you have killed off all your Salmon, do not have Bass, have wrecked your Trout streams, etc. Let this be a warning to us in the U.S. where we need to do more to protect our rivers and streams from silt, over-fishing, dams, and pollution!

A professional game bird farm is shown. This is how bird shooting is done in the U.K.; thousands of chickens pheasants and partridge are raised in pens and then released a few days or maybe a week or two before a shoot. Beaters and a few dogs drive the birds forward, and the chickens pheasants and partridge are shot from the sky, and the shooters are charged so much per bird. We have a some stocked pheasant and quail shoots in the U.S. but not too many, and we generally hunt differently than this with just a handful of shooters and no beaters. Somehow I think the wing clipping going on here is not just to keep the birds on the shoot -- it is to make sure they are more easily shot!

A short clip on woodcock hunting which shows no woodcocks, but does have a charming fellow with an interesting voice, a nice demeanor, and a well-oiled side-by-side.

A terrific video of Simon Whitehead and friend ferreting a few hedges and a piggery, with good shots of long netting and hole nets as well. Excellent presentation by a fine representative for British field sports. Of course here in the U.S., our rabbits do not go to ground (a fact children raised on Bug Bunny cartoons may not know), so no one ferrets.

A school for want-to-be game keepers is shown. Many may be enrolled, but few will find jobs or stay in them long at the wages offered.


Retrieverman said...

My grandfather used to (illegally) ferret in the 50s. Cottontail rabbits normally won't go into a burrow, but they will go into pipe-- we have lots of loose pipe sitting around in this part of the world, a legacy of the natural gas and oil industries, which once boomed here.

His white ferret, which had to handled with thick gauntlets because it would bite you severely if you touched it, would go in and bolt the rabbit from the pipe or culvert.

When he first used it, it would go into and kill the rabbit, which is exactly what he didn't want it to do. So they removed his canine teeth. He couldn't kill anymore and he just bolted the rabbits.

The ferret had come from a line of albino ferrets that were used to kill rats in granaries and silos. Their turds are just as effective as a deterrent for rats and mice, but sometimes you need something with teeth. Plus, it's just as fun to kill rats with ferrets as it is with dogs.

BTw, I just gave away a great rat and mouse repellent. Yes, it works!

Jacob said...

I know my rabbits go to ground, MA and RI when pushed to hard by the dog or hawk and I know (personaly) of at least one falconer in maine who used to ferret, now it is illegle.

PBurns said...

Yes, rabbits will tuck into pipes and groundhog burrows in really bad weather or to avoid dogs or hawks, but this a bit like a rabbit scooting under an old truck in a field, or under some old roofing left over from a collapsed bard. Our rabbits and hares do not dig burrows or whelp underground and are not related, in any way to Old World rabbbits that do. The is an micro-rabbit (under 1.5 pounds) in Washington State and Oregon that digs burrows, but it is in fact near extinction -- perhaps 100 rabbits in the wild after being captive bred and reintroduced. See >>