What you are about your read is how I lamp my shoots and it’s a sort of a beginners guide that cuts most of the crap. I can’t include everything as it would take too long but use these techniques or a combination of these techniques and you won’t go far wrong.
You can get good results on foot but the 4 X 4 is the way to get big bags. However it can get a bit boring after you've shot your twentieth sitter from 25 yards. So if you want to challenge yourself go on foot and go with a lamp.
Red filters aren't necessary and I personally feel that white light is better. A dimmer switch gives you an advantage but it's not essential. It's also easier with two ie one on the lamp and one on the gun. I’ll explain it with two people but the technique can be used by the lone lamper two.
Anyway, flick your lamp on and scan the field moving from the hedge line outwards. Only do this for a matter of seconds and not too far out in front of you, say 70 yards, now turn you lamp off . If you have picked up some eyes then the stalk is on. You have to be downwind and you have to be as silent as possible and that means clothes that don't make a sound. You also have to be aware of your silhouette on the horizon. Walk slowly towards the rabbit’s last position and try to walk along the hedge line so as to keep yourself between the hedge and the rabbit. Using the dimmer switch bring the lamp beam from the hedgeline out every 20 paces or so to try and locate new rabbits or check that the one you are stalking is still there. Remember you only want a dimm beam to locate not to illuminate. You will see there eyes and it shouldn't spook them.
Once you are in range the lampman and the gun man need to know that each one is ready. Once they are make sure the lamp man is behind the line of fire but to the side of the gun and far off enough so as not to illuminate him when the lamp is switched on.
Using the dimmer switch slowly turn the power up, as you see the eyes reflecting back put the beam to the side of the rabbit so that it will light him up but so that it's not in his face and make sure the beam is on the side of the hedge so that when it's turned up, it effectively blocks the rabbits path back to the hedge.
Just increase the beam until the gun man can get a picture of the rabbit in his sights, then bobs your uncle, you've put a rabbit in the bag under lamp light, if only it were that simple.
This obviously works but rabbits do get jumpy in lamp light. They will either sit still as above, move slowly to another position or full on bolt.
If they are just slowly sloping off then dim the light and follow it until it stops and try again, it could be that you'll need to whack the lamp up full to get them to sit still but try the gentle approach first because a full beam can make them bolt and you could loose them forever.
Ok when and if they bolt it 's gloves off time. You need to try and stop them with the lamp. Follow them as best as you can with the lamp and try and put the full beam in front of them. In theory they should stop at the full beam unwilling to cross it and sit still, this is the point at which you should shoot them as they won't sit still for long.
This will work but sometimes they need a bit of encouragement to stop them in their tracks such as flicking the beam from side to side in a sort of strobe affect around the rabbits head. This is quite effective and works well but it can’t be done by the lone lamper and can only be achieved by a dedicated lamp man.
I’ve simplified it above and experience will tell you how to read a rabbits behaviour and what to do with the lamp in various situations. For me this is the hardest strand of our sport and apart from going in with a catapult there is no other shooting discipline that can match it for skill, IMOP. I’m still in no way an expert lamper and I would imagine it takes a good many years to become one. Some people try it and get fed up with going back with nothing so they buy NV in an attempt to increase there bag but stick with it, going out with an experienced lamper is a good way to learn.
So there you have it, this is my technique, it works. Some rabbits just won’t sit still so just leave those and move onto another. Also don’t be dis-heartened by empty handed trips, when I first started lamping I returned empty handed the first 12 times but then again I knew nothing about the subject then and that’s the key, there’s no substitute for experience so just get out there and gain some, you’ll be bowling over bunnies before you know it.
HW80 .22 vmach'd ginb stock
Good post, very useful thanks
well done very useful
Very nice post mate. As you say - a very wide topic and difficult to cover all the bases. I have just sent my version into Edward to see if he will make it a sticky in the help section? you should do the same as info like this just gets buried in the forum after a few days.
Last edited by hadaka-jimi; 30-08-2007 at 10:47 AM.
You have that pretty well covered me old beauty - I got onto some of my permissions last weekend when the land was dry enough for a two wheel drive Galaxy not to get stuck in.
I had better succes rates but somehow felt I'd cheated and in a silly sort of way, let myself down because it was so easy peasy, they just don't see a vehicle as a threat. That however is the difference between absolute pest control and a bit of that with a bit excercise, sport and leaving a few for next time.
Have you noticed that most runners stop just as they get to the hedge where they maybe feel they are a mere hop away from safety?
I work nights, and sleep days... sleep impediment allowing. Please bear this in mind when waiting for any replies
Whiter - just for completeness - here is my diatribe on the lamping side of the sport
Over power the lamps output but use a dimmer - prolongs the trip but allows you to set the output to what you need - VERY LOW - just visible to the human eye to sweep and you WILL get retinal eye reflection that is easy to spot to ID position. Also can ramp it up to check backstop is safe and if you go for FAC or rimmie later you dont need new kit. Also helps to search for downed quarry
I tend to use red filter but also switch to white if things start getting twitchy. You can use other colours but not tried this myself as basically too tight to buy them.
I use a very low setting to sweep to get the eye reflection. If you dont have a dimmer which i consider to be an essential for lamping, put the beam up high and use the edge of the beam for the same purpose. You will spot without cooking their eyeballs and spooking them. Dont believe me - get a mate to shine a lamp on full beam at you and see how uncomfortable it is to our eyesight. Just dont have the lamp gun mounted when you try it :-
If you catch retinal reflection it really stands out - you wont miss it though it can be a funny thing as someone standing a couple of feet to your left ot right might not see it.
If I ID it as a rabbit, then I will put scope on it then gradually ramp up the output. Once I have confirmed my initial ID I will drop it if backstop safe
Go for gun mounted as this allows you the option of being able to run solo or lamp with a mate. Some have an optional handle if you dont want gun mounted or it is easy to improvise a handle if desired.
Be careful what you see. A rabbit will usually look at you side on as their eyes are set either side of their had so they get much wider field of view so you may only see one eye looking at you. A pigeon for example I think can see 360 degrees.
If you are seeing two eyes and much bigger reflections, it is likely to be a predator such as a fox/badger or something like a deer - their eyes are set to the front of the skull like ours and it is set up to benefit binocular vision for range finding.
Get to learn how each species tends to react to being illuminated and be sure to ID 1st. A monocular will help you look at longer targets without pointing a loaded rifle at something or someone you shouldnt.
I use a Deben Max Pro. It is a good lamp in that it has a decent output, large reflector but is very light. Overpriced and it pays to get some additional glue on the front lens. It can be adjusted for both elevation and windage although it is a little crude in the mechanics. Small low output lamps are a waste of space for me but ok for sub 12 air if you want to keep it compact but some are basically sh.i.te.
The connectors are crap on Debens and worth changing or taping together. They always seem to come undone at a critical moment and the light goes out.
I have chopped the lot off of mine and put a male ciggy attachement to the end of the lamp and a female on the battery so i can plug it in the vehicle power source when in a vehicle and then plug n play if I go on foot - takes seconds to do.
Range estimation will be your biggest challenge - it takes a while to get used to it and generally your senses will be confued and what you think is 35 yards may only be 15 !!!! A laser range finder might be a useful accessory here if you have a shooting buddy to lamp - generally however, to lamp, range find and drop takes too much time.
It pays to do a bit of homework re range so get some measurements down and if necessary, put some range markers out so you have a reference from a sniping point - it will surprise you. A well placed stone or a stick pushed into the ground will help. A decent scope with a mil dot based ret will also be a useful aid and I also have an illuminted ret which has a decent low setting. The prob with some cheaper illum rets is that they are far too bright and cause your eye to react making things worse BUT a low output illum can be a real help. I shoot an MTC Viper as I simply love the ret and the level 1 illum ret is absolutely spot on for me.
Also learn how many of your paces equal so many yards so you can pace out if you want to double check your visual estimation.
Usually better if there are 2 of you in case something happens
Use reflective tape for areas of danger such as a safe margin if a house backs onto land. it will act as a reminder and also a ref point too. An arrow shape also makes it instanly recognisable and will highlight the no shooting zone like >> and << equals unsafe zone
carry a back up torch - check out an LED torch called the Fenix P3D - very compact but superbly bright. Long range and not too expensive are the Tiablo A8 or the A9 - seriously bright and long range for an LED (so no more burnt out filament bulbs). Also handy for searching for kills if they go down in any length of grass.
Carry a mobile (and a radio) if there are more of you and you split up
A head light torch can also be handy so you can use both hands and have light such as reloading esp if it has a red light to preserve your night vision.
Dont shoot until you have positively ID'd quarry and think about where the round will go if you miss. Carry weapons muzzle down. I would rather be shot in the foot than in the face although not being shot at all is preferable !!!
Maybe worth informing the local police station before you start and when you leave and get a CAD number. I have had 2 armed response visits but I shoot under Heathrow so they are patroling regularly and HAVE to investigate even though we call in and they are aware. A 1-2-1 with a Heckler & Koch can be a brown pants experience for some.
Think about how you are going to carry and dress and dispose of any kills. If you paunch were they are shot means that you dont have to bag and dispose of 30 rabbits internals in one spot.
Have a bloody good time - I love it. It is my fav shooting at the moment
I'd agree with that me old mate, especially on the deben connections, they are rubbish, if they had something closer to the logun lamp connectors then they'd be a lot better. I use a deben mini pro, although I have lamped from a 4 x 4 with one of these I find something slightly more powerful more use from a 4 x 4 such as a lightforce 140.
HW80 .22 vmach'd ginb stock
so it doesnt get buried why dont you ask a mod to move it there for you!
very usefull, it certainly has the basics to get someone on a really good start however this is how 'you' lamp and must stress that scenarios differ emensley.
I have found that coloured filters are a must as the frequent trips i do take casuse the bunnies to be lamp shy and bolt, even on seeing car headlights!
good post and happy lamping
great read this thread and some very useful stuff to take on board - thanks dudes
No worries Chiller, happy to help. Figam, you are right there mate. Different shoots will required different uses of the lamp and different techiques or a combination of techinques, it's mostly experience that puts rabbits in the bag rather than reading up on techinique. But reading such techiniques are either a good place to start or grounds for experimentation. Happy lamping
HW80 .22 vmach'd ginb stock