Dispatch is an option that should not always be used.
If the quarry is a fox or raccoon, serious thought should be given to letting the animal go so that it can be hunted again another day. A farm can easily be hunted out, especially if you are hunting more than a few times a year. Having said that, an animal that is wounded should never be released. It's better to terminate a wounded animal than have it suffer infection or starvation in the wild.
An alternative to dispatch is relocation. Animals that are tailed out alive, snared or netted can be placed in a fiberglass bag or large Havart cage-trap and moved to distant farms or wildlife management areas.
If you decide to dispatch, or the farmer requires it, there are three options. The best, in my opinion, is a hard rap to the skull with the back (blunt side) of a machete blade. A strong well-placed blow with a dull instrument will create instant death and no pain, and very little blood will be evident. It is also very safe and has no legal complications.
This method should only be used if there are no loose dogs, however. A blow to the head can easily be delivered to a terrier if it is still jumping about and leaping in trying to rag an animal that is pinned under a boot or held in a snare or net.
A common dispatch method is a .22 round to the brain-pan. Without a doubt this is a very quick and humane way to dispatch an animal, and a very safe one too if the shot is done in the hole after the dog is pulled. Some farmers are a bit dodgey about guns on their properties, however, and anyone with a .22 revolver should be sane, sober, and not very excitable. If you are not familiar with guns, there is no reason to buy one now to do terrier work -- a strong rap to the head will do the trick.
A third method of dispatching quarry is with a large knife to the heart, or to the neck vertebrate, with another cut to the carotid artery. This method works well if you have loose dogs about, as a knife can be methodically placed through the heart, or driven into the base of the skull severing the neck bone.
A final tip is that a Cold Steel Mini Bushman knife fits perfectly onto the end of a digging bar and can be used to dispatch quarry in a deep hole where the quarry cannot be tailed out alive, when it will not bolt, and when it will not present itself to be snared, and when it is required that it be killed. The Mini Bushmen knife is designed to be lashed to a pole, and the loose cord can be temporarily affixed to your digging bar with several turns of electricians tape.
Finally, never let your dog to rag quarry to death -- it is a sickening thing and debases not only the person that allows it, but all working terrier enthusiasts.
After you have dug a sette in a hedgerow or forest, please take the time to repair the den by jamming sticks cross-wise into the hole so that as much of the den pipe as possible is preserved after you backfill it with spoil. A reconstructed den will, in time, be recolonized by raccoon, possum, fox or groundhogs. Reconstructed den pipes help guarantee productive hunting grounds for seasons to come.
Want more tips? Read "Mistake and Regrets" >> here.