I took a quick trip out after tea on an Easter bunny hunt.
I left home @ 5.30 and drove to a local permission, as I went through the gate, 3 rabbits were sat on the banking less than 10 yards from me.
I slowly slipped my rifle from its case, and popped in a magazine.
As I raised the rifle to my shoulder, 1 rabbit bolted and went into a hole nearby.
I changed my aim, and the 2nd rabbit bolted as I scoped him,
he dived straight into the same hole.
The 3rd rabbit then made a dash for the hole, but he paused too long and became #1 for the pot.
I headed towards the main warren, but didn't get 20 yards before I spotted a rabbit sat tight in a cattle footprint.
I raised the rifle and she became #2.
I carried on towards the main warren, and as I crept into the crater I saw rabbits hopping about all over the place.
One popped out of a hole, raised himself onto his hind legs and stood staring at me.
He wasn't standing for long, as the pellet made him #3.
Rabbits were everywhere and running for cover. Those that went into the main warren wouldn't be seen for a while, so I walked round the field looking for the ones that didn't know I was there.
As I walked up the crater banking, I spotted a rabbit just hopping through the gate into the next field.
I know there isn't a warren in that field, but I often get the odd one sat out feeding.
I crept to the wall, and peered through the gaps to spot him, sure enough he was sat feeding.
I crept along the wall to get within range, and kept checking through the gaps as I went.
I slowly peered over the wall with my rifle ready; the rabbit was about 20 yards away.
I squeezed the trigger and the rabbit rolled over kicking.
I lay my rifle on the ground, and stood up to climb over the wall.
As I did, the rabbit got on its feet and set off running. It ran through a gateway and then approx 150 yards straight down the field to a rabbit hole that goes under the boundary wall into a large warren next-door (I'll be knocking on his door soon).
I headed towards the 2nd biggest warren in the field, and spotted 4 rabbits sat out.
I used a small mound as cover, and crawled across the field to get a clear shot.
I peered over the mound, and scoped a rabbit sat less than 10 yards away.
I clicked my tongue, and 7 heads popped up to see what the noise was, then #4 was in the bag.
The rabbits dived into the warren, but I could still see a pair of ears sticking up.
I re-cocked my rifle, and slowly stood up to get a clear shot.
I could see his eye just over the edge of the rabbit hole, so placed my shot and squeezed the trigger.
The pellet hit the ground and the rabbit disappeared underground.
I headed back to the car and as I got near I spotted 2 rabbits sat out (probably the same 2 that were out as I entered the field) I took my aim, and #5 was in the bag.
The other rabbit ran straight passed me and went into the same hole it did earlier.
As I collected #5, I spotted 5 young rabbits in the corner of the field; I've never seen rabbits in that corner before so I went to have a look.
There were 2 holes, and it was obviously used as a nursery chamber.
I went back to my car, and was home again for 6.30.
When I dressed the rabbits, 2 does were milky, and were carrying embryos.
What I thought was a total of 5, became 17.
Many disagree with killing rabbits at this time of year, because of the young.
But when a farmer wants the rabbits kept under control (which by law he has to) he is kept happy by a large cull, which in turn keeps you happy because it means you keep the permission.