Weihrauch HW100T .22 versus rabbits in the veggie patch

August 7, 2021 at 1:13 pm

Over the last couple of years my brother in law has been troubled by rabbits feeding on his garden vegetables, while I have been happy to keep down their numbers with my air rifle. He has had no problems this year, as his veggie patch now resembles Fort Knox, with netting and wire mesh keeping them safe from the bunnies.

For years Neale has been providing his next door neighbour Dianne with surplus produce, but this year she has ambitiously planted up an area at the bottom of her garden with lettuces, runner beans, chard and courgettes (zucchini). Dianne was dismayed to find the chard and lettuces were being cropped to the ground. Thinking that it was wood pigeons, she spoke to Neale, who provided netting to put over them, but he was quick to point out the tell tale droppings scattered around. Rabbits. Like Neale’s, Dianne’s garden backs onto a wood, the source of his rabbit problem. Once the courgettes began to disappear, along with a complete plant, it was time to give me a call, although with flowers and shrubs obscuring the vegetables, Dianne had not witnessed any rabbits, just the evidence.

I arrived later on a dull evening. It had rained heavily earlier, rabbits don’t like the rain, their fur is not water proof and I doubted whether they would be out. I had brought my Weihrauch HW100T as it had a full charge of compressed air, the .22 air rifle deadly on rabbits out to 30 yards. Unlike Neale’s garden, there is no clear line of sight down it and setting up my tripod in the cover of a laurel, I sat down to wait for movement coming down the path from the wood. Nothing appeared.

A cup of tea and a piece of cake later, I was fearing more rain from a threatening  black cloud and considering my options, when I looked back to see a big rabbit by the raised beds. Where did that come from? It took seconds to place the rifle in the V, but the rabbit had moved from view. More movement. There were two of them, one a juvenile in full view, but just an angle on head shot for the adult. Ping! The silencer is so efficient, but the Thwack from the 16 grain pellet hitting the adult’s skull panicked the juvenile into action, while the deadly accurate Weihrauch slumped the large rabbit forward.

Another adult rabbit jumped down from the courgette bed. Was this the one that I had seen earlier? How many were there? I had expected them to come down the path from the wood, but they had a safer way in. I could see movement through the runner beans and waited before creeping forward for a clear shot around the side. They saw me first and were gone through the bushes. I picked up the rabbit and carried it up to Dianne at the house. “Good shot!” she exclaimed, “Got anymore?” I shook my head.

Where had they got in? We went back to the gate and the wire fence, finding a scrape hidden by ivy. This was the way in. Neale still had some two inch square mesh and we spent the rest of the evening plugging the gaps. That should stop them for the time being.