26th January ’19 – CVFH

*** Sabs prevent dig-out at badger sett ***

With Bristol Sabs and other groups out we decided to walk inland and check that setts had not been disturbed or baited. As this is (possibly) the last few days now of free shooting in the longest cull ever and suspected bait points had been found the day before we sett checked and were also in prime position to view where hounds were.

Between us all we had them under control most of the day. They did hunt a fox for quite a while in the rough area of Tibberton/Taynton with us trying to catch up.

The fox went to ground in a badger sett and as we aproached one of us was nearly run over by huntsman Gary Williams riding very dangerously close. For a second it was thought they had killed, but then it became clear that they were marking to ground with a couple of hounds doing their best to dig the fox out themselves. Wishful thinking on the hounds part, setts are very deep and a safe sanctuary…
… until that is terriers and spades arrive. Which they most certainly did with chief terrierman Nick Hodges on the scene already saying that badgers don’t have setts in the middle of fields. Ahem…

Anyway, despite this being the 6th year and 7th month of culling the sett was clearly active. Hounds had been rated (told off) and had left the entrances of the sett. Why they do this and then whinge about badgers being highly infectious re btb we cannot quite work out.
So Gary had thrown his teddies and then Nick’s underlings threw theirs when they arived a few minutes later. As the mounted field milled around expectantly and some more teddies were thrown it became apparent that we may have foiled their evil plans. After a bit of chest beating from one of those masked up they all went off to pastures new and were stopped hunting foxes by the oter groups.

As dusk came we went to Gadfield, also in the cull zone, to hold a vigil for our friend Tracey Crawford who died 2 years ago. She had protected setts in Tibberton and Taynton and then in the Gadfield area at a later date. We were also keeping a watchful eye out for any shooting activity. We dedicate the day’s sabbing to her memory.

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