The Countryman's Weekly


August 23
08:06 2017

WEB3-23-08-17Recalling some ratting memories

by Sean Frain.

I HAVE had some great days hunting rats. One of the best and most fruitful of places was the River Roch. During the 1970s and 80s it was polluted enough for rats to proliferate. Some of the banks were rather steep and it was pretty hair-raising to have rats flying out of holes at terrific speeds and shooting past your ears as they jumped for the river, the terriers unable to get many of them.

Some of the spots were on more level ground though. Our team of terriers, lurchers and even an occasional ex-track racing Greyhound became rather adept at dodging through the undergrowth and low-growing branches of willows in order to catch their rats before they reached the safety of the river. There they would inevitably dive straight under the water and make for the opposite bank.

The terriers would occasionally catch one in the water or the lurchers caught a rat as it emerged in order to cross some shingle or sandbank but mostly they found safety in the water. That is unless Roy, my hunting partner for many years, had his .410 shotgun at the ready.




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