I didn’t have time at the end of last year share a quick account of an afternoon I spent with Buckup to mark the beginning of my Christmas holidays a fortnight ago. We’d met a couple of times before at the last two H4H shoots in Bisley and he’d invited me to come and try to shoot some rabbits with him as he lives quite close to me. The first time, he’d made his kind offer whilst I was in the middle of burning myself over the barbecue and so I’m afraid my response may have come across quite short. However this year, he reiterated it, and so we arranged a date. Now I thought I was being invited to try to shoot a rabbit with my little CZ452 stutzen, but in the event, it turned out that this would be preceded by a foray after deer! The generosity of the people I meet through SD never ceases to surprise me. This is a good thing of course, it wouldn’t do to grow complacent about it…
As it happened, conditions were pretty awful for stalking with high winds and rain. We did manage to stalk to within about twenty metres of a hare who was hunkered down in the open in a field, but of course I hadn’t brought any 16 bore cartridges for my drilling. And whereas we couldn’t find any muntjac, slowly creeping through the more sheltered, wooded valley, we could have had some fantastic pigeon roost shooting. It wasn’t to be, so after a highseat session up a swaying tree, I called it an afternoon, especially as the old 6x43 scope on the drilling is just not as good an my Swarovski binoculars in low light. At one point, I wasn’t sure whether I was looking at a hare, a fox, a muntjac, so I unloaded and climbed down from my perch.
We stopped for a pint on the way to the rabbiting ground which was a chance to get to know each other better, after which we headed off for my first ever lamping session, with Buckup driving slowly through the mostly waterlogged fields, and me sitting on an old office chair at the back, resting my rifle on a sack of charcoal on the roof of the cab, which was novel! It took me a couple of missed opportunities to catch the knack of finding a rabbit in a small circle of red light surrounded by darkness in the scope, but finally, in the top corner of a field, I shot my first ever rabbit with my little .22LR!
2016-01-04_11-37-06 by pinemarten, on Flickr
As it happened, that was the only one, and I’ve discovered the quite limited accurate range of the .22, but I daresay a little more practice should help. Unfortunately, there were no hares to be seen this time, but Buckup gave me one from his freezer to add to my rabbit, which I subsequently did justice too with a traditional Alsatian Hasepfeffer with home-made Spaetzle.
2016-01-04_11-35-54 by pinemarten, on Flickr
Hopefully, I shall be back to visit this year at some stage, perhaps when the ground dries up a bit, which looks like quite a distant prospect right now.
Oh, and the Star Wars thing? Well the next day, Mrs PM and I went to see The Force Awakens. There’s a bit with fighters chasing each other through space with a pilot doing the spotting and another firing the lasers: “That’s sort of what I was doing yesterday” I explained. Sort of.