Wednesday 19 December 2007

Ferreting Out Some Advice

I recently met with my new friend James Marchington editor of Sporting Shooter magazine.

If I had tried to imagine a quintessential English journalist afield, it would be James. Tweed jacket, spectacles and an encyclopedic knowledge of everything to do with guns and field sports. Sitting in his office surrounded by shotgun cartridges, rare books about deer stalking, ferreting and wildfowling he beguiled me with tales of life afield, cleared up numerous questions I had about firearms, their legislation, and the UK shooting fraternity. I had ‘popped in’ to see him for ‘half an hour’ and two and a half hours later I had to excuse myself so as to put in a token appearance at my own office. Wish I were still there.

James has kindly offered to induct me into the wiles and ways of the shooting gent, starting with an invitation to go ferreting for rabbits. With the proviso that I wouldn’t have to put any ferrets down my trousers, I enthusiastically accepted.

Ferrets? Rabbits? Trousers? What?
One very effective way of hunting rabbits is to flush them out of their holes by sending a ‘business’ of ferrets down there (great collective noun isn’t it).
You simply net off all the exits you can find and send a hob (male) and a jill (female) down the hole. When the rabbits come charging out into the net you kill them and eat them.

I’m from the south and you hear a lot of tall tales about the northerners and their strange rituals and antics. There has long been a folk legend about gentlemen of the northern persuasion using that that was intended for legs, as a storage place for these most able of helpers. Now it turns out that it’s true!! There really is a ‘sport’ called ‘ferret legging’ where you trouser ferrets and the last one to tear their own pants off in sheer terror is the winner. Probably more fun to watch than take part.

“Basically, the contest involves the tying of a competitor's trousers at the ankles and the subsequent insertion into those trousers of a couple of peculiarly vicious fur-coated, foot long carnivores called ferrets. The brave contestant's belt is then pulled tight, and he proceeds to stand there in front of the judges as long as he can, while animals with claws like hypodermic needles and teeth like number 16 carpet tacks try their damnedest to get out.”

The rules:"no jockstraps allowed. No underpants-nothin' whatever. And it's no good with tight trousers, mind ye. Little bah-stards have to be able to move around inside there from ankle to ankle."

For those of you without the inclination to read the full text here’s the punch line

The current record stands at an awesome 5 hours and 26 minutes!

Thanks for reading

PS One ferret, Freddie, is registered as an electrician's assistant with the New Zealand Electrical Workers Union.

Photo Credit


Pablo said...

Ha ha. Excellent. I always thought there was something err... strange 'bout Notherners. No mention of flat 'ats though.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

You haven't heard the half of it.
At some point I'll tell you all about that northern reprobate The northern Monkey, and the adventures we've shared here and afield with our colonial cousins.
'Appy Crimbo

Anonymous said...

O.k., a man had to have invented that activity. Women are far to intelligent to ever put ferrets in their pants.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

I have to agree with you there.
'appy crimbo

drew dunn said...

bluddy hell you wouldnt get me doing that

drew dunn said...

oy i am a northaner and well i wouldnt do half the stuff you talk about so it ant true and yes i do come from yorkshire


Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Good lord! Can't you people freshen up your gene pool a bit! That sounds appalling! But now I am reminded of Okies who "noodle" for catfish by diving into riverbanks to wrestle the sometimes 50-pound whiskerfish onto the bank. So I take it back. We're as screwed up as you...sigh.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, britian's greatest living explorer on his return form the antarctic was asked what he had learned from the experience and was quoted as saying
"never go for a really long walk with a Yorkshireman". I however crossed the US a couple of summers ago with The Northern Monkey and would say never go for a really long trip without a Yorkshireman, he really was a boon companion, laughed at my jokes and never complained once. It is worth noting that the other addage about Yorkshireman is true, "never ask a man if he's from Yorkshire, if he is he'll already have told you so"

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

I read the F&S coverage of catfish wrestling, it looks fun!
Say hi to the Mrs, happy crimbo to you both. SBW

Holly Heyser said...

Merry Christmas to you too, Bushwhacker. Glad to hear you're actually going to pick up a sport you can do in your own country! Shooting, that is. Please don't stuff a ferret down your pants.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Nor Cal - i solemnly promise that not one ferret will be trousered.

Anonymous said...

I can agree that it is a sport more suited to watching than actual 1st hand participation as I my self sustained quite particular injuries from a business of dovedale whites myself in a competion held last summer in Skelmersdale,not a pretty sight I assure 'ee.

Albert A Rasch said...


Not yesterday,not tomorrow, and definitely not today!

Course a coupla times I've had a hog or two somewhat up my trousers, so to speak.


Mungo said...

"Is that a ferret in your trousers, or are you just happy to see me" she flirtatiously inquired.

Suddenly screaming and convulsively waving his arms in a balletic display of gut-wrenching horror, he yelled something that sounded like "far OUT!" and she decided that he was likely under the influence, and moved back into the kitchen.

She looked out the window to see Harold running down the high-street with his trousers down to his knees screaming and clawing at his privates.

The end.