In a break away from what many would probably consider the normal progression of shooting, it may be surprising to learn that it was almost two years after shooting my first deer that I shot my first rabbit. Maybe there are some who'd say I've gone backwards, but I can't believe the entertainment value that can be had from our little furry friends.
I love stalking deer; the anticipation as you walk the woods and fields, the excitement of the initial sighting, the adrenaline when you find a shooting position and realise the shot is on, the stillness just before you squeeze the trigger, and the spreading smile when you see the beast go down.
With rabbiting, the excitement is lesser. Even a pro stalker probably sees ten bunnies for every buck. They're everywhere. The first time I saw a wild deer it was a novelty, a memorable experience. Even now seeing a deer as I walk the local woodland paths is an interesting event. But a rabbit? Barely worth a second glance.
I think that's what makes shooting them so much fun. I'm going to call it the Scalextric Effect. It's all the fun of a real race car, miniaturised and compressed into a small space and a short time, and made accessible. It's not quite like doing a lap of the Nurburgring, but who cares? You can do ten laps, twenty, fifty, in the space of a few minutes, with much less to worry about, and you'll still end with a grin on your face.
Rabbiting is, I think, the same. It's not quite like locating, stalking and ultimately shooting that big buck, but an evening might give you five or ten or even more little mini versions of that buck experience. The (fairly minor) anticipation as you walk the woods and fields, the (slight) excitement of the initial sighting, the (little) adrenaline when you find a shooting position and realise the shot is on, the stillness just before you squeeze the trigger, and the wee grin when you see the bunny go down... Then you just pick it up and start all over again!