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badsworth

Where have all the bunnies gone!

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I was out in west Northumberland on Mon, Wed & Fri gone, I had 26, 27 & 28 respectively.

 

On Friday 14 of them came from sniping a single warren for maybe 10 minutes tops, there must have been 25-30 sitting out in the evening sun. The rest of the time I mooch around in the truck picking nice shots from the wing mirror or the roof of the jeep, I dont shoot anything unless its at least 50yds and all are head shots otherwise it becomes too clinical and not very sporting, I shot best on Wednesday when I never missed anything at all, ranges between 50-102yds, it was a very still evening so no need for wind adjustments and all the longer shots were lasered and dialled. My best this week were two at 104yds and one at 102yds. I also shot one at 96yds which was very steeply downhill so dialled in for 85yds and the impact was just behind the eye which was very pleasing. I take my two cockers with me and it gives them plenty of retrieves, Ive got a pup and she is 15 months so its great training for her.

 

There really are a lot about this summer for me, I hope Im not rubbing it in here guys, its just nice to tell others when the shooting is good and the weather nice, its night like this that I wait all winter for. :)

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No hard feelings Big Al - I am pleased for you. It used to be like that round here, and might be again one day. In Aus the mortality rate from Calesivirus has fallen to around 15% in

some areas and they are trying to develop a new strain. Hopefully things will return to a more equable level in time around here.

 

B

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Hi been reading this thread with great interest. Here in NI numbers are up in some places and down in others. Seems to fluctuate year to year. No doubt the warmer weather has something to do with it, Mixy comes and goes, so that impacts numbers as well. I too, have noticed black rabbits occasionally and in one spot where I've seen them, the numbers are definitely down. Is it likely that DEFRA here are spreading a virus to control rabbit numbers? To identify IF there actually IS an official secret plot to eradicate the humble bunny it would only take a question forwarded to the appropriate dept. under the Freedom of Information Act. They must answer, (truthfully and fully), within a set time frame. It is a criminal offence not to answer or to cover up the truth, (with a couple of exceptions, IE, Official Secrets or if it would take over 18hrs. work to answer the question). I'd be surprised that a civil servant, (certainly at lower levels) would be willing to risk losing their freedom, income and pension just to keep rabbit control a secret. Perhaps someone should actually ask the dept. and see what the response is? Maybe the BASC ?? Just my two pennies worth. All the best. J.

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We have a lot in North Yorkshire this year.

 

Agreed, I'm out once a week and I usually bag 6-12 in a couple of hours. I've noticed that there seem to be a lots of hares about at the moment too.

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I've noticed that there seem to be a lots of hares about at the moment too.

Yes, Hares are making a strong comeback here too. I don't shoot them - partly because their numbers have been low for years and there still aren't enough to cause problems, and partly because it seems unsporting. They have not been shot for years and have little fear of humans. Most of the ones I see sit and stare at you like Labrador puppies (and about as big) until you get about 30 yards away.

 

B

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On one of my shoots a wood and pasture, the numbers I took suddenly dropped about 60%. That was three years ago. It's not improved since. On a mates shoot about 10 miles away the numbers are down too the last couple of years. Mixy hits annually but that always did so there has to be another reason.

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We've never had so many rabbits on the farm, a proper plague this year. Once the hay is cut I'd expect quite a few nights of several hundred quite easily. That wont be for a while yet though as the grass is pretty late this year as a result of our non-existent summer! Just getting time to deal with the blighters!

 

We've had black rabbits here for 7 or 8 years now, always see them near the same holes. Funnily they dont spread to the rest of the farm, despite me not shooting them!

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farmer7 you are very lucky to have a decent population of rabbits, plenty sport

here near perth the rabbits continue to disappear

I have always been convinced that the spread of the disease was done by somebody and not natural

a lot of gamekeepers and trappers used to get employment through high rabbit numbers-not anymore

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As a farmer I dont feel lucky. As a sportsman I do. When you have large numbers they cause so much damage to the hay fields at this time of year. On the other hand I get plenty shooting. Just too many for comfort this year!

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Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease probably another one from the white coats in a lab! Anyway in Cornwall it's decimated the rabbits my last outing with the ferret's i only got two rabbits two years ago i was lamping about 20 to 30 a night on my last outing 3 weeks ago i only spotted about 12 all night it's at the point I'm about to stop shooting them!

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Just a thought, but perhaps someone has shot them?? Don't moan when there are to many, then moan when they're gone

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On 3/28/2017 at 10:49 PM, Matt234 said:

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease probably another one from the white coats in a lab! Anyway in Cornwall it's decimated the rabbits my last outing with the ferret's i only got two rabbits two years ago i was lamping about 20 to 30 a night on my last outing 3 weeks ago i only spotted about 12 all night it's at the point I'm about to stop shooting them!

I did that 6 or 7 years ago,  previously I could shoot 70 in an evening or 150 in a lamping session.  These days I only see an odd one.

Certainly miss them,

 

A

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