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The day was bitterly cold, but dry & sunny, I left home at 2:00pm, went to my car, and found I had a dead battery (my interior light had been left on since Christmas Eve, and with the snowfall, wasn't noticed) so I walked to my nearest permission.

 

As I entered the field I saw 2 rabbits running for cover.

I walked further into the field, and slipped my rifle from its case, and headed towards the main warren.

 

As I got there, my phone rang. As I was talking to my I counted 32 rabbits fleeing.

 

I finished my call, and 2 more rabbits came through the gate on the top of the banking, steadily hopped down the banking, and casually went into the bury.

 

I crept into position, and sat in wait.

After 10 minutes, a large buck came out of the top hole. He paused for a moment, sniffed the air, then hopped halfway down the banking, then stopped again.

I slowly raised my rifle, at 12 yards he loomed large in the scope at 6x magnification. I squeezed the trigger...

He rolled down the banking, and lay at the bottom stone-dead.

 

Another 10 minutes went by, the cold was biting at my fingertips. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted movement.

I slowly turned to see a brindle Border Lakeland terrier heading straight towards my rabbit.

I sternly said "Oi!" The dog stopped in his tracks, looked at me, and I raised my rifle to my shoulder.

I took my aim, positioned my sight post on my target and squeezed the trigger...

The pellet hit its mark, my dead rabbit shuddered at the force of the pellet hitting it, and the terrier ran away.

As he ran, I saw his partner in crime turn tail too, she'd approached from the top of the warren, and hadn't been seen from my position.

Some landowners have given me permission to shoot any dogs seen on their land unaccompanied, and unleashed. But I hadn't been instructed by this landowner to shoot intruding dogs, so I refrained.

 

I sat in wait for another 10 minutes, then decided to take a patrol round the land.

I saw 6 rabbits, but didn't take a shot as they were approx 50 yards away.

I took my time as I walked the land, and then crept back to the main warren. I stood on the banking watching for rabbits.

 

I was stood there for about a minute, when a rabbit hopped boldly out of a hole on the crater floor.

He paused, I scoped him and squeezed the trigger

He slumped and lay on his side without a kick of his hind legs.

He was laid there about 5 seconds when another rabbit came out of the same hole.

She paused, looked round, I scoped her too, but she started to move away before I could squeeze the trigger. She hopped about a yard, paused outside the next hole, I scoped her again, but she slinked into the hole.

 

Another 30 seconds passed, and another rabbit emerged from a different hole, this time 1/2 way up the banking.

She hopped towards the rabbit laid in the centre of the crater, and stopped.

Once more I raised my rifle and scoped my quarry. She paused at 6 yards, but waited too long...

She slumped on the spot, lay on her side, and I re-cocked my rifle.

When I looked up again, she'd gone. A final nervous system inflicted kick must have thrust her into the hole she was laid beside.

I went straight down the banking, and checked inside the hole. I could see her white rump down the bury entrance, I reached into the hole. My shoulder was stopped by the banking, and I couldn't reach her.

I withdrew my arm, and could still see the white flash. I had to leave her where she lay.

 

I collected my 2 rabbits, and my gun case, and set off home.

 

I will be returning again in the very near future.

The bag of 2 (26/12/04)

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