BADGER HUNTING. In hunting the badger in a clear moonlight night, stop all the burrows except one or two, and therein place some sacks, fastened with drawing strings, which may shut him in as soon as he strains the bag. Some only place a hoop in the mouth of the sack, and so put it into the hole; and as soon as the badger is in the sack, and strains it, the sack slips from the hoop, and secures him in it, where he lies trembling till he is taken from his prison.
The sacks, or bags, being thus set, cast oft'the hounds, beating about all the woods, hedges, and tufts round about for the compass of a mile or two; and what badgers are abroad, being alarmed by the hounds, will soon betake themselves to their burrows. Observe, that the person who is placed to watch the sacks, must stand close, and upon a clear wind ; otherwise the badger will discover him, and immediately fly some other way into his burrow.
But if the dogs can encounter him before he can take his sanctuary, he will then stand at bay like a boar, and make good sport, vigorously biting and clawing the dogs. In general, when they fight, they lay on their backs, using both teeth and nails; and, by blowing up theirskins, defend themselves against the bites of the dogs, and the blows given by the men. When the badger finds that the terriers yearn him in his burrow, be will stop the hole betwixt him and the terriers ; and, if they still continue baying, he will remove his couch into another chamber or part of the burrow, and so from one to another, barricading the ' way before them, as he retreats, till he can go no farther.
If you intend to dig the badger out of his burrow, you must be provided with such tools as are used for digging out a fox : you should also have a pail of water ready to refresh the terriers when they come out of the earth to take breath and cool themselves.
It is no unusual thing to put some small bells about the necks of the terriers, which making a noise, will cause the badger to bolt out.
In digging, the situation of the ground must be observed and considered ; or, instead of advancing the work, vou probably may hinder it.
In this order you may besiege them in their holds, or castles, and break their platforms, parapets, and casements; and work to them with mines and countermines, till you have overcome them.
We must do this animal the justice to observe, that, though nature has furnished it with formidable weapons of offence, and has besides given it strength sufficient to use them with great effect, it is, notwithstanding, very harmless and inoffensive, and, unless attacked, employs them only for its support.
The badger is an indolent animal, and sleeps much: it confines itself to its hole during the whole day, and feeds only in the night. It is so cleanly as never to defi1e its habitation with its ordure. Imme-diately below the tail, between that and the anus, there is a narrow transverse orifice, whence a white substance, of a very foetid smell, constantly exudes. The skin, when dressed with the hair on, is used for pistol furniture. Its flesh is eaten : the hind quarters are sometimes made into hams, which, when cured, are said not to be inferior in goodness to the best bacon. The hairs are made into brushes, which are used by painters to soften and harmonize their shades.
In walking, the badger treads on its whole heel, like the bear, which brings its belly very near the ground.
A badger is known by several other names; as a grey, a brock, a boreson, or a bauson : the young are called pigs, the male is called the boar, and the female the sow.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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