Magtech .22 semi auto sweeps the garden

May 6, 2015 at 2:59 pm

A desperate phone call saying “Please come and shoot my rabbits, they are everywhere!”, took me back to visit a house set in a beautiful English cottage garden, that I was first invited to 18 months ago. Then, twice weekly visits for a month, had reduced the garden rabbit problem to a minimum, by dealing with their main port of entry, a bramble lined paddock to the rear of the property, well worn trails leading from the paddock, through the fence to the lawns and young flower shoots. Between two farms, I was in the habit of stopping off for a chat over a cup of tea with the lady of the house, popping off a couple of rabbits in the paddock, or garden and moving on to the farm down the lane. Winter had come and gone, a visit being well overdue, when I got the call.

urbanfieldsportsman 1273

I arrived in the early evening, one of the windiest yet this year. Leaves and branches littered the lawn, as gusts of up to 60 mph swept the countryside and could see fresh holes in the manicured sward, where rabbits had been feeding on the nutrient rich roots. Looking out over the empty garden, I was assured that there were always at least half a dozen rabbits on view at any one time, the house spaniel delighting in a game of  head butt the rabbit, which unfortunately was as far as it was prepared to go regarding pest control.

I settled down in the cover of  a flower bed to wait, having brought the Magtech semi auto for it’s rapid fire capability, expecting several targets to deal with and held my fire, when a lone rabbit ran onto the lawn and began feeding to the right of the lodge 40 yards away. Rested on my gun bag, I had a perfect bead, but watched as my target nibbled away, hoping for it to be joined by others, only squeezing the trigger, when a car pulled onto the gravel driveway, causing the rabbit to lift it’s head. A chest shot from the 40 grain bullet knocked it flat. At least I had one to show for my efforts.

urbanfieldsportsman 1274

After twenty minutes, nothing else came out and opted for a stalk among the various flower beds, turning a corner to see a preoccupied rabbit dining on roots only twenty feet away, the scope image being out of focus for the unmissable chest shot.

urbanfieldsportsman 1275

I returned to my original stakeout position and settled down again, but apart from a tiny baby bunny, that ran out, then back again without stopping, there was nothing happening, so got up for another stalk toward the bottom end of the garden and saw a jet black rabbit sitting out. It was so black, it looked more like a glove puppet, than a living thing, but soon hopped it once I came into view. I have seen black rabbits before, having failed over a season to shoot a very clever individual on one of my other permissions a few years ago. I continued on my circuit, back to overlooking the lodge, where two tiny kits were bobbing in and out of the shrubbery. With a good solid brick wall as a backstop, I was duty bound to take a shot, but they had too much energy to stay put for more than seconds at a time.

urbanfieldsportsman 034

This session was not living up to expectations, maybe due to the violent weather and spots of rain were filling the breeze, as I went in search of the black rabbit again, this time by a route giving me cover of trees along the edge of the garden. It was there again, about forty yards away in the corner, but due to the rising ground, needed to be closer to take a rested shot, using a tree to shield my progress, which brought into view another fat rabbit munching away in a flower bed to my right. Swinging round for the twenty yard shot, the rabbit toppled over without a kick, the black rabbit taking it’s cue to exit stage left, safe until my next visit.

urbanfieldsportsman 1276

The intermittent  waves of showers were now becoming more threatening and decided to report back to the house for a well earned cup of tea, the only consolation being that all the rabbits had been pregnant milkey does, effectively reducing the population by a higher factor. Any reduction was welcome, the garden now back on my must visit list.