Last night saw me out on one of my favourite permissions – a sheep farm that has lots of out buildings. It offers good sport with both rabbits in the fields and rats around the yard.
The rodents are an out and out pest and a health hazard. But the rabbits aren’t without blame either; their prolific and constant digging around the edge of the fields makes the fences unstable and increases the risk of sheep escaping.
Arriving with around an hour of daylight left, I headed for a bramble covered bank in the corner of one of the sheep fields. Fortunately, the woolly inhabitants hadn’t spotted me and stayed well away.
An old trailer used to take kids on rides around the farm sits alongside the field and provides a superb, elevated vantage point to cover the bank. There are hay bales to sit on and the sides of the trailer provide cover and a handy rifle rest.
Sat on my perch, I had a good view of the bank, which is riddled with holes, and waited for the rabbits to appear. My rifle for the evening was a .22 calibre, 12 ft. lbs. Brocock Bantam which is matched with an MTC Viper Pro Tactical 3-18×50 scope and is a true tack-driver.
The spot never ceases to disappoint. In fact, it takes super-human levels of self-restraint not to over-shoot it. Sure enough, the rabbits obliged once again and a fully-grown buck, by the look of his tattered ears, soon appeared.
Wary of the potential for a shot rabbit to kick itself into a hole, I waited, watching through the scope, for him to move. Eventually he did and at around 25 metres, the shot was a formality. Or so I thought. I lined the Bantam up, squeezed the trigger only to hear the pellet zing off the barbed wire and fly wide. Needless to say, the rabbit didn’t hang about for an encore.