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Using ferrets to hunt rabbits

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by NYGunman, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. NYGunman

    NYGunman o.oO0Oo.oO0Oo.o

    Sep 8, 2002
    Albany, NY
    Has anyone here used ferrets to hunt rabbits? I have a friend whose family is from Italy and they said they have used them with good results. I guess ferreting is more popular across the pond. Some people say it is illegal to use them to hunt rabbits in the US. I looked but can not find anything in the NYS DEC website. Any thoughts?
  2. TechniK

    TechniK 4B50LU7 H4X0R.

    Nov 29, 2004
    My friends hunts rabbits with ferrets, I don't know anything about it though.

  3. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

    Have a friend who did it in Wales when he was a kid and to hear him talk about it is funny as all get out. He said the idea was to use the ferret to chase the bunnies out where you could pop them with your shot gun. (guess rabbits live in "apartment style" burrows over there). He also said that once in a while, the ferret would get lucky and catch a rabbit in the burrow, eat it and then fall asleep. Since the ferret was so valuble to the hunters, they would dig the ferret out with shovels!! Don't know how much bull-do-do I was standing in, but to hear it told was worth a few pints.
    Not my idea of real sporting, but the story sure made it sound funny. They were hunting for food, not sport though, so that's a different twist on anybod's idea of hunting.
  4. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

    Mar 28, 2001
    SW Oregon
    Why not just use one of these guys?

    More obedient, less playful, smell A LOT better (usually), less likely to hide your car keys every ten minutes...

    That'd be my pick, though ferrets are fun --IF-- THEY BELONG TO SOMEONE ELSE!!
  5. Sixgun_Symphony

    Sixgun_Symphony NRA4EVR

    Apr 16, 2002
    I used to date a lady that was into falconry, when they went hunting there would be a houndsman with dachsunds to flush the rabbits out of their holes.

    If the dachsunds are legal, then I am sure the ferrets are too. But you might need to get the same permits as the houndsmen.
  6. Glockerel

    Glockerel Got Mojo?

    I'd be more inclined to use rabbits to hunt ferrets.;)
  7. NYGunman

    NYGunman o.oO0Oo.oO0Oo.o

    Sep 8, 2002
    Albany, NY
    No doubt a dog is good but ferrets do have their pluses. I can house several ferrets in a 3’ x 4’ cage. Food is a lot cheaper and from what I hear ferrets are better at chasing the bunnies. They can go places a dog can only dream about. Training a ferret to hunt bunnies is not necessary ‘cause they automatically do it. Finally, I’m not allowed to have dogs where I am staying.

    Ferrets only stink if the owner neglects the cage. I scoop the poop every other day and wet bath mine once a week.
  8. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

    Mar 1, 2000
    Bathing a ferret too much will cause the oil glands in the hair to work overtime, which will lead to an odor.

    Our ferrets get their bedding changed frequently, litter is scooped every day and get bathed twice a year. There is no smell.
  9. NYGunman

    NYGunman o.oO0Oo.oO0Oo.o

    Sep 8, 2002
    Albany, NY
    I wash mine a bit more because they always seem to get into messy things. They love garbage cans and anything that will make a person cringe.

    Ferrets have a higher body temperature than dogs and cats. The fleas will actually jump off a dog or cat and onto a ferret. When my ferrets encounters another animal I usually give the ferrets a flea bath. Fleas can be very dangerous to ferrets.
  10. Dogbite

    Dogbite DNT TREAD ON ME

    May 20, 2000
    Can you use a ferret to hunt squirrels? This maybe a stupid question,but its just something that came to mind.
  11. When I lived in Australia rabbit hunting with ferrets was fairly common.

    They'c cover the holes to the the rabbit warren with nets, then send the ferret in. Rabbits come screaming out and get tangled in nets. Then pop them on the head with a stick.

    I never tried it, popping them with a scilenced .22 LR was a lot more fun.
  12. nyredneck

    nyredneck كا&

    Oct 22, 2002
    N43 07.671 W75 17.747
    Actually, Rabbit colonies in NY are different than out west and in europe. In europe Rabbits are more social creatures that live in large communal buries. What Ferreters do is cover all the exits to the buries that they can find with nets and then let the ferrets loose in the tunnels. The Ferrets , instinctualy, chase the rabitts wich run into the nets and are quickly dispatched. That isn't the case with our NY bunnies wich have a looser communal system and don't have large buries. As for the law of using ferrets for hunting, If it isn't specifically listed in the Hunting syllabus as a leagle hunting implement it is expressley forbiden.
  13. NYGunman

    NYGunman o.oO0Oo.oO0Oo.o

    Sep 8, 2002
    Albany, NY
    I believe that your view of basic law is not correct. In order for something to be against the law it has to be specifically written that it is illegal. If the subject is not written as being illegal than a person can do it without punishment. I challenge you to find the information to back up your statement.

    Now I believe that you are coming at this from an angle that the NY DEC has stated that hunting rabbits may be only taken with or without dogs while hunting with a firearm. It does not state that. It only covers rules about using dogs. Also the NY DEC does go into rules about using Birds of prey on small game animals. The use of ferrets is not mentioned at all in the NY game laws.

    Still there might be laws against using or even having ferrets. The laws may not be in the game laws. NYS may not recognize ferrets as a domestic animal and having mere possession of them may be illegal.

    Unfortunately the laws are massive and finding a certain law can be difficult.
  14. NYGunman

    NYGunman o.oO0Oo.oO0Oo.o

    Sep 8, 2002
    Albany, NY
    OK, I got an email back from the DEC. Here is what they say.

    The New York State Environmental Conservation Law actually prohibits
    the use of ferrets to hunt rabbits. This law goes "way back" but it is still a legal restriction. Of course, hunting with dogs is still legal in New York and remains the most effective way of taking rabbits and hares. I hope that you have good hunting. Thank you for contacting us.

    Gordon R. Batcheller
    N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation
    Division of Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4754
    Voice 518-402-8885
    FAX 518-402-9027