I was recently invited to do a rabbit control job in welshpool on a few grounds that my cousin shoots.We had decided on a lamp session on a golf course and then shoot a couple of farms the next morning.After loading the car up we embarked on the 1 1/2 hour trip up the A5 to the welshpool golf club getting there just before dark.
On reaching the course we saw the odd rabbit out feeding,a good sign i thought to my myself,so off to the club house we went to get sorted and get the buggy ready.
It was dark by the time we had got lamps fitted and guns charged up so off we went to slaughter the green wreckers.
First shine round produced a nice 30yard sitter,i took him out and what a start i thought as we drove to the next green.The next shine showed 3 on the fairway about 80 yards away , within seconds they had bolted for cover,this was not a good sign.
The next 3 fairways produced the same thing , shine and scarper, it didn`t matter if it was red or white light they just wouldnt sit.
The 5th fairway did produce some action nigel took one out on the fairway and as a couple ran they stopped close to the edge of some bushes and i took one out as the other hopped to safety.
This problem lasted for hours and it was apparent that the course was getting poached big time,out of probarbly 200 rabbits that we spotted we only managed 24 shots resulting in 22 rabbits.It was probarbly one of the hardest and most frustrating nights work i have ever done to get a few rabbits in the bag.
The next morning saw a nice sunny day on the cards,warm sun at 7am is just what the doctor ordered and we hoped would bring a few rabbits out to bask in all their glory.We pulled up at the farm and got the kit ready and decided on a split up approach to cover as much ground as possible in double the time.
No sooner had we split up and nigel had bagged his first, i seen it tumble down a little bank stone dead.Great start again i thought but i wasn`t getting my hopes up this time,i had walked along a steep bank into some trees and within 2 mins i had my first shot, a nice squirrel was busy feeding and hadn`t noticed me sighting him up,one stop was all i needed and well ,the rest is history a nice head shot sent him tumbling down the bank into a small stream at the bottom of the steep bank.Now after my last trip where i went for a swim after falling down a bank into the river i wasnt going to risk a second swim so i left him.
On i marched along the thin track and within 40 seconds of shooting the squirrel a rabbit ran across me 25 yards away,it stopped just up the bank near a hole so quickly the rapid went up and i stoned him,after that shot it just went manic, i seen 2 more run about 20 yards behind him up towards some nettles so i walked another 10 yards and found a nice rest in a tree trunk and looked towards the nettles through my scope.
Scanning the nettles i saw the 2 that had ran so i took aim at the clearest in view,an estimate of 40 yards was in my mind so i gave him the first mil dot and let fire.Crack was the sound so i reloaded quickly and checked for the second ,no probs on him ,he was just behind the first one i shot so i took the same aim point and repeated the same thing,crack number 2.As i checked to see if i could see him dead i noticed some movement at the side of the nettles,at first i thought it was the second rabbit ,had i missed ,so i took aim again and made sure this time,just when i thought that was it i seen another hop through the nettles,i could see his head behind a nettle leaf so i took a guess where his eye would be and shot through the leaf,i heard a good crack and the hole in the leaf was just where i had aimed so off i climbed to take a look at what i had.
On reaching the nettles i was suprised to find a small warren ,i found the first and second rabbit right where i had thought i had shot them,the third one was lay over a hole at the side so where was the fourth ,i thought i had missed through the nettle but there was blood over a hole so i had a look down and i could see its tail,i pulled him out and it was a nice clean shot just below its eye,what a great 2 mins that was 5 rabbits and a squirrel, could it get any better only time would tell.
After picking the rabbits up and taking them back to where we split i noticed nigel lying infront of a warren on a bank,i scanned the warren and already i could see 2 dead ones so a good start for him also.
After another walk through the wood i took another squirrel and a rabbit in more or less the same place as the last but this time i picked up the rabbit and carried on to the edge of the path that leads onto the field,after a quick look round nothing was showing so it was back to nigel to count up and back to the farm for refreshments.
Nigel had took 4 more off the warren and what a start 11 rabbits and 2 squirrels in the first hour lets just hope the rest of the day was going to produce.
After a good hour of refreshments we decided on the same split and cover ground trick,i found a nice warren on top of a bank behind the farm and nigel took off along the bottom hedgerow.It didn`t take long before i got the first for me in the bag , a nice clean headshot on the top hole of the warren,in the next 2 hours i was there i managed 11 rabbits from the warren, so i decided on a walk back to the farm and drop off what i had shot before moving to another warren that i had spotted rabbits infront further down the field.While i was at the car nigel had been busy as i found 10 in a bag under the car,things were looking good.Over the few hours more that we had stayed the sun got hotter and the rabbits didnt seem to come out as much but after a good walk round we had managed over 60 rabbits to finish the trip,what a shame the lamping session didn`t live up to expectations.
Maybee next time.......