I have been shooting on my permission for maybe 3 or 4 months now. I have a lot of land to cover, maybe 3+ square miles or so. I have been concentrating on a small patch to start with maybe 1/2 a square mile. The bunnies haven't really been controlled much (an old boy sometimes wanders round with a .22 air rifle) but other than that it is just myself and my shooting buddy. We have taken maybe 100 or so since we started but haven't made much appreciable impact.
The question then....how long does it take to make an impact on a thriving population of rabbits? Most of our kills have been does and the occasional buck but there are so many of the critters......
PS I'm not in a rush to ruin my future shooting and know I'll never eradicate them but it is just that there seem to be just as many as when I started!
Its the same were we shoot, it seems like rabbits breed 24/7. Try shooting in the winter more when rabbits dont breed you will soon start to make an impression on them then
it may make a difference ???
The best things come to those who wait !
As Rabbitsniper said they breed less in the winter months so that's when you'll see the impact. Rabbits will breed anytime there's food available and warmth which means usually most of the time. Just keep doing what you're doing and eventually you will see that you're having an effect. Don't forget by the way, it may seem cruel to some but if you're there to do a job for the farmer shoot the small ones as well. If you don't I'm sure the farmer will find someone willing to shoot them. He'll not be bothered about the rabbits size just the damage they're doing to his crops and fields.
As stated above, almost an impossible task at this time of year to make much difference! Too much cover, too many rabbits, not much darkness. Also doesn't seem to be any Mixy around here this year?
I'm not far from you probably at Elmswell and the place is crawling with them!
Hit them hard in the winter if you want to make an impact. Empty burrows with ferrets too and fill in all the holes. Trouble is around here, they will just move back in from next door! At least your future sport is guaranteed
If you have any deer you need a hand with - I'm your man
Thanks guys...yes I have been asked to dispose of as many as I possibly can and the babies go too. The way I look at it is they have a lot of growing to do and therefore crops etc to eat and are fair game. TBH they are the easiest to shoot as they aren't very wary...but there's not much to eat on them either!
There are lots of deer but the farmer hasn't mentioned them as a problem. We're right next door to Ickworth Park so a lot of the fallow (?) deer come over, plus a few muntjack.
Assuming winter shooting means lamping...what sort of kit do I need? I have some very high power bike lights, bright enough to allow me to ride at race pace through Thetford Forest at night (they are bright enough that cars will dip their headlights anything up to 1/2 a mile away when I am on road sections). Assuming I can rig them up as a headtorch, would that work? I was thinking about a Fenix torch strapped onto the barrel....Any hints gratefully received.
There are several lamps available that are excellent for the task but the bike lights will do the job as well. Fit it to the top of your scope if possible as I found that under the barrel caused a fair bit of reflection (I now use night vision gear which I can thoroughly recommend but it of course depends on your budget (I've been saving 18 months for mine )
My lamping kit consisted of two home made lamps using 20 watt red bulbs bought from the auction site, aluminium tube, a bulb holder and old switch recovered from a bedside lamp. The tube had two bike pumps clips covered with rubber on it to attach it to my scope. Be warned the 20 watt bulbs kick hell of a lot of heat out especially enclosed in aluminium tube.
Shoot everything big or small, shoot often, show no mercy.
then lamp em hard when the light fails.
It takes time but with persistence you will start a down trend. s you have surmised you wont get rid entirely but you will thin them out an awful lot