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Thread: How Useful Is Rabbit Shooting Experience to a Novice Stalker

  1. #1

    How Useful Is Rabbit Shooting Experience to a Novice Stalker

    I have been stalking rabbits for some years with a .17hmr. So I am used to knowing the land, animal behavious, concealment, quiet movement, downwind approach and so on. Likewise shooting fairly small target out to about 100 yds and shooting prone, kneeling and occasionally standing. I am about to do DSC1, so have been successfully stalking the odd roe - but obviously without taking the shot - just for practice.

    Clearly the backstop situation will be a bit different, as rabbits start off that much closer to the ground, and likewise everything after the shot is that much bigger.

    But if you can stalk rabbits, is stalking deer that much different ?


  2. #2
    Not really that much different except the deer are way more switched on!

  3. #3
    A lot of the basics are similar but a lot of the basics are polls apart better to have the experiance than not IMHO.


  4. #4

    I started my stalking on rabbits over 40 years ago and still occasionally pursue them.

    Good luck. JCS

  5. #5
    i also started on rabbits and am very pleased for the expeiriance. what really gets you switched on is rabbiting with an air rifle. yes stalking deer is similar and very differant at the same time but it will stand you in good stead. i would practice the shooting position you are weakest at the most. then when it come to the shooting assesment it will be routine rather than something you avoid.

    hope you enjoy it as much as i do

    regards pj

  6. #6
    You have a knowledge and experience on one quarry species so give it a go on another and find out......... you may be pleasantly surprised !

  7. #7
    Rabbit shooting is invaluable for deer stalking, or even African hunting. Most people don't get particularly nervous when shooting a rabbit, and so every time you pull the trigger on bugs bunny you are building your muscle memory, and most importantly you are ingraining the pattern of locating your quarry, aiming the rifle, and squeezing the trigger. So many novice stalkers I take out for a deer are still very unfamiliar with firearms, and they are not confident about pulling the trigger on a target, never mind a nice pricket. The first bit of advice I give them is to go out and shoot rabbits as much as possible, it builds confidence, and so next time they venture out for a deer the mechanical aspect is very comfortable to them, now they must get their head around taking the life of a larger animal.

  8. #8
    Its good practise, when i starting using a stick for stalking, I learnt using an airgun on rabbits.

  9. #9
    It's generally a good idea, for all the sensible reasons outlined above. It generally builds more good habits than bad ones, although one thing I've noticed about people who do a lot of airgun/.22RF shooting is the tendency to over-shoot deer at moderate to longer ranges because they are not tuned in to the much flatter trajectory of the typical stalking centrefire.

  10. #10
    I agree with all of the above except I really think deer stalking is not very different at all. The other point I would emphasize is that if you stalk woodland or farmland for deer then the need to shoot off sticks will be paramount. I shot hundreds of rabbits off sticks just to practice the method etc and I am sure it stands you in very good stead.

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