Airgun Insider: What a difference a year makes

This time last year I was worried, and for a  good reason – rabbit numbers were alarmingly low.

Last summer was long, hot and dry. I remember in Airgun Shooter Issue 116 discussing how I’d stopped shooting the very few rabbits that I was seeing and the absence of young ones. I worried that the poor grass, mixy and the threat of the RHD virus meant I might not be seeing rabbits in the years to come.

Thankfully, it seems to have been a great year for my local rabbit population.  All of my permissions have been replenished with rabbits doing what rabbits do best, with fields alive with healthy animals. This has resulted in some very large bags, the biggest I’ve had for a number of years.

What always seems to catch me out is how quickly each new colony identifies a hunter as a threat, and after just a couple of visits they scarper the moment your head breaks the horizon.

I try to leave them for a couple of weeks between visits, but they must be keeping notes! I resort to setting up sniping points and taking a few that venture back out.

With the current talk of renewable resources, there can’t be many better than wild meat. Make sure any extras you have don’t go to waste – share with friends, or see if your local butcher will take your excess.

They’ll love the fact that they are head shot with an air rifle as there is no meat damage. And if all goes well, you’ll have a new batch to harvest next summer.

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