I'm using chicken wire to form cone shapes. The tunnels are wide at the entrance and narrow at the exit. They allow the birds into the catcher but prevent them from getting out again.
The dogs soon got bored of watching me, but were happy to stick around and share the heat from the wood burner.
One down, another 19 to go.
The oven is still broken so no cooking for another week at least. Mike's providing Valentine's Day dinner: take away curry for two, and probably another night of making tunnels (No, that's not a euphemism).
It's apropos in a way; the catchers bring together the hens and cock pheasants so, in spring, they can mate and lay eggs which we will hatch and raise as next season's birds. Maybe that's less romance than reproduction. As the hens can't escape, maybe it's more like abduction.
The more I learn about gamekeeping, the more I realise the romance of the rural idyll exists only in books, like romance only exists in books. Real life is tough, but far more rich and rewarding, like real love. The kind that is contented to make tunnels on Valentine's Day and to share one's poppadoms with a labrador.