Eley Rabbits & Air Arms Rats
as Night Pearl Joins The Team
One of the ladies on the estate I manage has some very high class horses, some you may have seen in events like The Grand National etc, now for the last few years because of the ghastly RHD disease in Rabbits we have not had hardly a humble Bunny about the estate, this last year in small pockets we seem to be getting a few back, for me being a traditional rabbiting man much preferring using the ferrets, purse nets, long nets, and a running dog to control the humble Rabbit, shooting them with a rifle or indeed a shotgun is just too easy for someone with my marksmanship experience and field craft knowledge, that said I am quite partial to bolt shooting the rabbits over ferrets and taking them with a 4.10 shot gun, but again nothing beats catching them in the nets for me.
Now we start out on a bitter cold winter afternoon, not that healthy frozen cold no, but that wet cold that bites right into your bones, I was glad of my fieldsman fleece and digi cam jacket and boots from Jack Pyke I telle, that gear really works for me and fits me right, the rifle of choice is my beloved 22LR a calibre I have loved since boyhood, match that with the awesome Eley Subsonic Hunting Ammunition and you have a rabbit stopping combo second to none, I have been using Eley Ammunition for over 40 years, my Uncle Dave who taught me how to shoot rifle and indeed pistol would not use anything else, he was well is an accomplished Countryman and Marksman with Rifle, Pistol or Shot Gun, Farmer, ex Game keeper who has forgotten more than I will ever know about Country Sports or Nature, if you have read any of my best selling books or articles before you will know well of Uncle Dave.
Like I say I had 6 fresh shot rabbits in the bag before I had even properly set up, much to my Cocker Spaniel Goose's joy, for he was sent to retrieve all of them, such great practice for this cracking young little dog, that settled him down no end for he knew we were there to do business and he my right hand man, well dog in this case, he retrieved each one on its own merit to hand beautifully, I was rather proud of him right there.
Over the course of the next week I went there three times, each hunt very different, but each time Goose and I had a good bag of rabbits, saw some amazing sights like the pair of carrion crows who have set up home in the Ash Tree chasing off the pair of Buzzards who like the Yew Tree, both sets of birds defending their area fiercely, that really was wonderful to watch, a sparrowhawk hunting the hedge tops taking the odd song bird etc, as the dusk fell the Tawney Owls calling to each other and one landing above me in the tree, a Roe Doe and followers tip toeing along the hedge line behind me none the wiser goose and I were there.
The final night I started dealing with the rabbits and got a nice bag of rabbits, all of which were paunched out, skinned and butchered and given to some local OAPs that had asked me for some rabbit meat, their pensions don't go far and fresh rabbit goes a long way with these wonderful people, of course I kept some back for myself and Goose as we fancied my famous KFR that's Kentucky Fried Rabbit to you muckers, I was also given by said OAPs some wonderful preserves, pickled eggs and onions, oh and a wonderful hand made Coffee and Walnut Cake, as we say a fair exchange is no robbery, the old country barter system is alive and well here I telle, for like all of us we like to give for what receive.
Again we start out on one of those bitterly cold, wet style cold afternoons, like I said the ones that get right in to your bones and freezes you to your very core, the photos and videos that are accompanying this article will tell you of the clothing and equipment I am wearing or using, but as a point of note, the rifle of choice this time is the mighty Air Arms S510 Ultimate Sporter, mounted upon my Gen 3 Primos Trigger Sticks, with the Night Pearl Seer 35 Thermal front add on scope and the Night Pearl Scops Max III thermal spotter, the ammunition of choice was as always the awesome pin point accurate Air Arms Field Diablo pellets in 5.52, those Scaly Tailed Ratticuss never knew what hit them.
Eley Rabbits & Air Arms Rats
Night Pearl Joins The Team
By The Ole Hedge Creepers
*photos for illustration purposes only*