My last fishing expedition had resulted in tangles and broken lines, so it was time to retire to the comfort of my workshop to tie hooks and make up some stick float rigs. This is, in modern terminology, my Man Cave, with a bench running the 12 foot length, a swivel office chair, a good vice, a heater and even a downgraded music system that can entertain me with radio, or CDs. Through a connecting door is my garage with a lathe, a press and pillar drill. Surrounded by my various tools and boxes of bits lining the bench, it’s the ideal environment to work on fishing tackle, or my rifles, while planning my next outing. Man Heaven. The Shed.
The other door is opposite the kitchen door and this opened with my wife offering a cup of tea and asking if I would like to go shooting that afternoon. In wife talk, this means, if you want to go shooting, you could drop me off in the town for some shopping on the way, then pick me up on the way back. This is not ideal for either of us, as we are under a time pressure limit to do our things, ie number of shops to be visited for her and number, or lack of rabbits to be shot and cleaned for me within an agreed time. Obviously I agreed to her wishes, as anytime fishing, or shooting, is time to be savoured, although it’s amazing how the time goes, when you’re having fun.
This was going to be a brief hit and run excursion for me, with probably no more than 90 minutes field time and decided to have another crack at the rabbits near the entrance to one of the farms. They are always there, when I drive in, lazing on a hill to my right, but scatter as I drive by to park from the lane. This is not good PR for me, as the farmer got me in to shoot the rabbits and there they are for all to see. I’ve been picking them off one, or two at a time with the HMR at range , but a new approach was needed. One option would be to park up the lane and stalk within range, but shooting from a public highway is not legal and there is no gate apart from the main entrance to get onto the land.
While sipping tea, the idea came, that maybe it was the sight of me at the window of the van, that was scaring the rabbits. What if I reversed in? They might not see me from the other side of the cab. It was worth a try and after dropping my good lady at her hunting ground, I set off for mine. Approaching the farm entrance at a crawl, I could already see several rabbits on the hill and drove past, then slowly reversed in on my mirrors, not looking over to the hill. It was working. I slid out of the driver’s door with my Magtech 7022 .22 semi auto, fitted the ten shot magazine and cocked the action behind the cab, then resting on the windscreen, looked over to see how many were left. There were seven rabbits, framed by the branches of a tree, about forty yards away. With it’s homemade moderator, the Magtech is almost silent, the thump from the RWS subsonics hitting home being louder. The first two were a foot apart and went down in a few seconds, the others, startled, ran; one not far enough though and stopped at the edge of the brambles and the third shot bundled him over.
It was over in under ten seconds. I waited a few minutes, as sometimes a startled rabbit will jump back out, but not this time. Three out of seven is pretty good going. The semi auto can fire rapid shots, but the shooter needs to take the time to get a good steady bead to hit anything. I’d rather not take the shot, if it risks a wounded runoff.
With these three cleaned ready for the butcher, I swapped over to the .17 HMR , climbing to a vantage point with a view over much of the farm, but with time ticking, I called it a day after twenty minutes of non activity. Not even a crow, or magpie to test my sights on. As I drove away, I wondered if the reversing trick would work next time.