New rabbit shooting permission follows recommendation.

June 16, 2015 at 10:44 am

My pest control efforts, regarding the increased rabbit population, have not gone unnoticed in recent weeks and the farmers’ bush telegraph had my name and number passed on to another landowner, desperate to be rid of them.  The land, either side of a lane, has been sub let to horse owners in recent years and become run down, but the new owner is keen to get the land back into beef production and arranged a meeting on the land.

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It was obvious from entering the first field, that rabbits were a serious and ongoing problem, hopping through from a raised area of brambles, that encircle two thirds of the perimeter, legacy of London’s Green Belt policy, that has seen much land blighted by the strict no building rules, only to fall into disuse due to lack of proper management. What should have been healthy long grass, which could have been gathered in for hay, had been eaten down to stubble by the rabbits in several wide patches, to be followed by digging and burrowing to get at the subsurface root systems.

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Rabbit droppings were everywhere and the cropping had allowed weeds to ingress on the soil. I doubted that shooting the rabbits alone would solve the problems of this land, but I’ll leave that up to the farmer. I’d taken my Fire Arms Certificate and insurance with me, to put the land owner at ease, regarding the legality of shooting on his land, while pointing out that having an “open ticket” saved a visit from the local Fire Arms Officer to approve the land for shooting. The other field of about 40 acres, had it’s own problems, being enclosed on two sides by the lane and a main road, which would give back stop difficulties, restricting safe firing positions from it’s many undulations.

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I had taken my CZ 452 HMR rifle with me to show the farmer and he was happy for me to demonstrate it’s effectiveness, there being a few rabbits grazing among the long grass already, despite it only being early afternoon. Resting on the fence to his yard, I aimed below the first set of visible ears 60 yards away and saw them disappear with the first shot, two others popping up from the grass nearby to see what was going on. The second was knocked down, while the other ran to the edge 80 yards away, but didn’t make the fence. White tails and ears were now visible, retreating to the brambles, at least ten rabbits in this small corner, the field stretching down to woods at the western end, which are also part of the permission. This will take some clearing and explained that once the grass was cut, I could take advantage of the long range accuracy of the rifle and stop playing Hide and Seek with the rabbits.

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