Ferreting & Rabitting Explained – Hunting With Ferrets

Ferreting has been around for a very long time as ferrets have been domesticated for over 2500 years. Ferrets are excellent hunters and are the best animals to use when hunting for rabbits and moles. They have been widely used throughout history to protect crops from pests.

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Today, ferrets are mainly used as pets and only a few countries still allow ferreting. This is because they can create havoc if they get lost and start breeding. Ferreting is the most humane and environmentally-friendly way to hunt rodents.

Ferreting (Hunting With Ferrets). A Bit of History

No one knows exactly why ferrets were domesticated in the first place. But this is a very common thing about most domesticated animals. The best assumption is that it had something to do with hunting. But Ferrets don’t live anywhere in the world naturally, their only close wild relative is the European polecat from which they were domesticated.

Caesar Augustus also sent ferrets to the Balearic Islands in 6 BC to help with the rabbit plagues. And in 1930, in England, Ferreting became allowed only to the wealthy. If you didn’t have an income of at least forty shillings a year, you risked 12 months of imprisonment for ferreting.

Humans kept introducing ferrets to rabbit-infested areas to get rid of them, which worked very well. But then the ferrets kept breeding and becoming an infestation of their own, like what happened in New Zealand. This is why many countries have serious bans on ferrets and ferreting.

But Ferreting is still legal in various places all over the world since the chances of losing a ferret are much lower now. With today’s technical advancements, hunters started incorporating technology into ferreting as well. Ferrets have a collar that helps the hunter track them with the help of a device.

In 2009, even Finland, that never used ferreting ever before, introduced this method of rodent-hunting in the city of Helsinki. This helps them restrict the city’s rabbit infestation to a minimum level.

Ferreting is the only form of rodent hunting that doesn’t cause an excruciating death to the rabbits. Using dogs and shotguns is also a bad idea around farms that have easily-frightened animals.

The rabbits are then used as food for both the hunter and the ferrets.

Rabbiting With Ferrets – How It’s Done

Rabbiting is the sport of hunting for rabbits and hunters often use ferrets, and not dogs. There are also hunters who use both. The ferrets chase the rabbits out of their burrows and the dogs catch them when they bolt out and try to run.

Once you’ve reached your hunting place, you need to check the area for burrows. Then you need to place a pure nest over each burrow you can find. The purse nest uses a drawcord that’s tied up to a peg. This makes escaping the nest a lot harder.

When everything is set, it’s time to test the collar on your ferrets and make sure it works. If the locating device in your hand beeps when it’s close to the ferret and slows down the noise the further you are, it means the system works flawlessly.

After that, all you have to do is let the ferrets in the burrows and let them do their job. The locator will help you find the ferret if he decides to eat a rabbit and take a nap. This method is much better than using dogs as the rabbits don’t die in an excruciating way.

Rodents and Mole Hunting With Ferrets

Ferrets hunting rodents is a very natural thing. You won’t have to work too much in convincing a ferret to help you get rid of the pests. But you’ll need to do some training with your ferret before you start ferreting. This will help the ferret understand that he has a job to do, not just eat the first rodent he sees and go to sleep.

After you train your ferret for a little while, you can start ferreting. It doesn’t matter if you have a rodent infestation or a mole problem, ferrets are the easiest way to get rid of any of them. Moles might not eat your crops, as they live on insects and worms, but they will ruin the land and your garden.

Moles and ferrets are natural enemies, making ferreting an excellent way to get rid of them in a short amount of time. To ensure they don’t come back you can get ferret poop from a ferret owner or rescue center and place it around the fence, a little deep into the ground. This works great as a natural mole-repellent.

Ferreting Books

Ferreting: An Essential Guide is written by Simon Whitehead, it was published in 2008, and made its debut as an e-book in 2013. Simon Whitehead is a professional ferreter himself, along with being an author, and a regular contributor to country sports magazines.

This book will give you a clear idea of what it’s like raising ferrets, training them for ferreting, and how the actual ferreting process goes. It takes your simple curiosity and helps you become a professional ferreter, whether to start a ferreting business or for sports.

You will learn how to acquire, care for, and train ferrets, while also understanding how to form an efficient team of ferrets for work. The author will share his netting tricks and teach you how rabbits think and lay their warrens as well.

The Ferreting and Hunting Guide is written by A. E. Marchant and offers you an in-depth look at what ferreting is and how it’s properly done. The Outdoorsman was born in Sussex and he continues to remain and work there. He has also practiced ferreting and the art of fieldcraft for more than forty years.

This book is written from countless personal experiences and with personal bias, but it can help both the novice and the more experienced get better at ferreting. It offers a very good grounding for the uninitiated.

Ballistics and other similar material are obtained from technical articles that can be found anywhere. In this book, you can find all the help you need to practice ferreting.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Can you hunt with ferrets?

Yes! Ferrets are very good hunters and can be trained to hunt together and help you get rid of various pests, including rodents and moles.

Is ferreting legal in the UK?

Yes! Ferreting is widely legal in the U.K. and you can find many professionals that can help you out with rabbit infestations.

Is ferreting legal in the United States?

Ferreting is legal in the U.S. A. as well. You’ll need a permit and check with the wildlife office to find out about any protected animals in the area you plan to practice ferreting in.