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On Friday evening, I received a phone call from Jim, a local landowner that I have permission from, he had counted 18 rabbits sat just outside his plant nursery compound in the morning, and he asked me to make another visit, so I said I'd be there tomorrow afternoon.

 

Jim explained that he had got me more permission (about 300 acres) on the neighbouring farm, and would take me to introduce me when I went on Saturday.

 

I took my air rifle & lurcher (Flash) and arrived at 4:00pm, as we'd arranged, and we walked to the neighbour's farm.

Every field we walked through, we saw rabbits run for cover.

I sighted a rabbit sat in the open, about 25 yards out, & about 6 yards from a huge Bramble patch.

It started to stumble.

It moved about a yard and stumbled again.

It lay down, but was still moving.

I cast off Flash, and as she jumped onto the wall, the rabbit made a run for the Brambles. Flash leapt from the wall, and landed about 5 yards down the field. The rabbit made it to the cover, and I approached to see if I could retrieve my bag. There was no sight of it in the dense mass of thorns, so we carried on across the fields and arrived at the neighbour's.

 

A knock at the door, a long chat in the yard, I asked where the boundaries were, and the permission was secured.

 

We headed back through the fields towards Jim's;

 

Field 1: A rabbit bolted from behind a couple of hay bales, and Flash set off in pursuit. The rabbit made it to the boundary wall, and Flash jumped on top of it. Another rabbit bolted from about 30 yards away from her, and she set off after that one. It went through the sheep netting, and Flash leapt from a broken wall and cleared the barbed wire topped fence. She chased it up the hillside, and lost it when it reached a bury. On the way back, she put up another, and chased that one into a huge Nettle patch, and returned empty handed.

 

Field 2: We slowly walked through the field, watching for a rabbit, but I only saw one, about 50 yards away, as it slipped into the boundary cover.

 

Field 3: We were back on Jim's land, and as we walked we were chatting about where I normally get the rabbits, I pointed to the location as we approached, and sure enough, a rabbit poked its head up. I raised the rifle, and the rabbit ducked under the boundary fence, and disappeared into the undergrowth.

We walked along the boundary, and I said that I normally get them sat about 20 yards from the fence in the next corner. At 25 yards from the spot, Jim spotted a rabbit's ears poking up. He pointed it out and I sighted the rabbit.

The rabbit keeled over, Flash set off and just as she passed it, it kicked a hind leg, she turned and picked it up, brought it straight to me, and lay it at my feet. When she catches them live, she keeps hold until I grab it, but dead ones she just drops at my feet. Jim was impressed at Flash, as he'd not seen her working before.

 

Field 4: I peered over the Ferns & Brambles, but didn't see anything, so climbed the stile, and checked the other side. As we walked back up the hillside, Jim held Flash back, while I checked. He called out that he'd spotted a rabbit sat in a clearing in the next field. So I used the available cover, and got as close as I could.

 

Field 5: I got about 45 yards away, and the rabbit sat upright, I slowly crouched lower, and the rabbit sat up higher. I waited a moment to see if it would return to feeding, it didn't so I slowly got into a shooting stance, and raised the rifle. I took the shot, but missed, and the rabbit went to the nearest cover.

I turned back towards Jim, and whistled, Flash came running, and Jim followed.

 

Field 6: As we approached the top of the field, I spotted a rabbit jump onto the wall, I scoped it, but missed, it jumped off the wall and ran up the banking to the large feeding area in the next field. Flash set off in pursuit, I called her back, but she'd turned a deaf ear. She went over the wall, up the bank, and we saw her running all over the feeding area where the majority of the rabbits gather. She must have put a dozen rabbits to ground, and messed up my chance of a couple of rabbits from this patch.

 

We headed back to Jim's shed, and chatted for about 1/2 hour.

I decided to put Flash back in the car, and try the main feeding area again, I'd just put Flash in the car, when Jim's son came out & was asking about some painting that needed doing on the farmhouse. While we were chatting, Jim's wife came out & we ended up chatting too.

It's amazing how fast time flies by when you get into a conversation, the next thing my wife was on the phone "It's 5 to 7! Are you going to be much longer?"

 

I made a quick scout of the top fields, and spotted a large buck sat about 8 yards from me.

He keeled over and lay dead. I collected him and moved to the next feeding area.

 

I counted 14 rabbits sat out and I scoped the nearest, about 15 yards away.

The field emptied, and my rabbit slipped off a ridge it was sat on, and disappeared down a hole. I made a quick scout round the area, but didn't find him, or any others, so headed back to my car, and went home.

 

The afternoon had been quite successful, as I'd got:

2 rabbits

about 300 acres extra permission.

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