Avian influenza.

Following the discovery of the deadly bird flu virus H5N1, Suffolk and most of Norfolk have restricted zones in place. However, if you find any dead waterbirds that you feel need to be reported then follow the advice on the DEFRA website

 

 

Paul's hunting, trapping and fieldcraft pages.


I intend this site to be a reference for those who have an affinity for the countryside, field sports and crafts. All the rabbits I shoot (unless diseased) end up on the dinner plate, and the squirrels are left for any hungry passing fox . Anyone who fancies taking a pot shot at the local wildlife had better look else where because this is not the idea of the site, and please be very aware that this site  has photos  from now on of shot quarry.

Pest species are: Rats (for obvious reasons),, Rabbits, squirrels pigeons and corvids for the fact they cause damage to crops, squirrels and corvids for the damage they cause wrecking the nests of songbirds.

I use a variety of traps  both lethal and non-lethal and high powered air rifles  to dispatch animals quickly and humanely and where its feasible and practical I wil locate the pest to a new site, but its often not practical. Anyone who might have a tendency to be upset or offended is advised to leave this site.

Disclaimer: This site is for information purposes only and the author can not be held responsible for any  accidents or events that may occur following  the given advice.  While all efforts are made to ensure the below statements are correct at the time of writing it is up to you to ensure your own safety, that of others and to respect the law.

Before you read  further I think it would be good advice to take a look at the Defra General Licence to make sure you are shooting legal quarry under U.K. rules and regulations.

As of 1st August 2007 a game licence in England and Wales is no longer required. However they are still inforce in Scotland.

 

 Quick links to pages.

                                                                     I,  Paul's hunting trapping & fieldcraft pages.

                                                    II,  Rabbits, Squirrels, Pigeons and Corvids.

                                                    III,  Of Mice and Mink.

                                                    IV,  Hunting, Shooting, and Trapping.

                                                    V,  The Seasons.

                                                                      VI, Crafts and Tips.

                                                   VII, Wildlife.

 

 

  • Be safe - plan ahead and follow any signs
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Protect plants and animals and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under close control
  • Consider other people

 

In 2004 the Hunting Act banned the use of dogs to hunt foxes, Deer, Hares  and mink. The Countryside alliance was set up to preserve and fight for the rights of country folk.

Local, National and International news and weather

Whether the weather be fine.

Or whether the weather be not.

Whether the weather be cold.

Or whether the weather be hot.

We'll weather the weather.

Whatever the weather.

Whether we like it or not!

 Before planning any trips into the field its a good idea to be aware of the weather forecast for your area so that you can adjust your attire accordingly. In this section you will find forecasts for Local, national and international weather, and purely self indulgently, forecasts for Burgess hill and Haywards heath. as well as full up-to-date news coverage from ITN news

Brown Rat (Rattus Norvegicus)

Rats live where-ever there is a source of food, they are omnivors, happy to eat almost anything. If you have chickens or pet rabbits then you have the potential to have rats as well. They are not particuly discrete  animals and there holes are usually obvious. The most effective control method for rats is poisoned bait in my opinion but where there might be a risk of the bait being interferred with by children or pets then the use of the old fashioned  snap trap is hard to beat.

Baiting the snap trap is worth talking about, I use a rasher of raw smoked bacon wired tightly to the trap ensuring that it cant be easilly lifted and stolen.

Bearing in mind bait is so deadly, place traps close to where the rats are seen and check them daily.

If you plan to shoot rats then remember that against a hard surface your shots may come back off the walls or floor and come back at you with a vengence.

Rats, like squirrels dont wait around when they know you are there, when they are aware of you they are off like a bullet.

Although I have yet to try it I am informed that catfood is a good bait because it can't easily be lifted and taken away, always be aware that the ammo you use contains lead and never use it where it can contaminate the food of livestock.

At the end of the day a successful blitz on the rat population will result in a few dead bodies  to dispose of and you shouldn't be complacent because they are dead. Leptospiral jaundice (leptospirosis) and acute leptospirisis AKA Weil's disease is a real threat and a potential killer. DON'T TAKE RISKS, OBSERVE STRICT HAND HYGENE!!! and totally aside from the matter when you drink from a bottle of beer just ask yourself if you can be sure a rat hasn't been all over the bottle when it was in the warehouse! I t's Worth mentioning also that any other animal that comes into contact with rats, for example foxes, cattle and horses can potentially become a carrier of Weil's disease, and now we also have a fox hunting ban the fox is moving into towns with the risk of spreading the disease to domestic cats and dogs. Anyway have a look at the NHS website for their angle on the disease.

Staying with Weil's disease for a moment longer, if you think you have come into contact with rats and you show symptoms then for gods sake see your GP and make sure all the relevant symptoms are duely noted. Caught early its easily treated with a course of antibiotics.

The Black Rat (Rattus Rattus)

The black rat is almost extinct in England, although its believed to still live around the docklands. The black rat was the cause of the great plague, Yersinia pestis (but even thats now in debate) but rarely is there many cases of it around the world today. The rat transmitted the disease through the fleas it carried and came in to the country on ships. There were a couple of black rats  found behind a fridge recently in Cornwall. black rats are less agressive than brown rats, strangely brown rats are the one used as pets!

A typical snapping rat trap.

Moles (Talpa Europaea)

Moles are primarily a nuisance from the spring through to the autumn and if they are left to go unchecked  they can ruin what might have once been a nice lawn. on a slightly brighter side, the finely cultivated soil they produce is a good medium for mixing with multi- purpose potting compost for potting on. However.

Destructive Gentleman in black velvet.

 

The most obvious sign you have a problem with moles is the appearance of their distinctive  mole hills that tend to start at the edge of the lawn and track their way across the grass at regular intervals.

The two most common ways to deal with moles are mole smoke and traps. Mole smoke is basically a short firework type of device that once lit is placed inside of the run in an attempt of flooding the run with poisonous sulphur fumes. Although effective to a degree I am not sure how easy these things are to obtain anymore so my favorite method has to be the scissor trap.

All my best results have been achieved by scooping off the top of the hill and feeling which way the run goes. After opening up the run place the set trap inline. covering it up wih turf and marking it with a stick so it can be found later. Make sure these traps are checked on a daily basis and due to the way they are set they don't need removing to see if they have been sprung. Other people will say that you have to find the tunnel to place the trap and not put it in the hill. I can assure you that "aint" the case, and I know a lot of dead moles that would back me up.

                       Scissor traps

Another myth is the claim that new traps need to be buried in a compost heap (or worse) for days or weeks to get rid of the new and human smell. While its true a clean and shiny new trap probably isnt going to catch much straight off, it isn't going to take long to weather in and take on a neutral odour once its been used for a while and a wipe over with a clean rag should be all it needs before it is put away.

 

 

                                                                                                         "That aint the case" A dead mole said  yesterday.

 

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 © 2007 All my images are free to use in private (non comercial) websites so just take them, but tell people where you got them from!