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Thread: lamp shy rabbits?

  1. #1

    lamp shy rabbits?

    This is probably a very common question, but I'd be very interested in people's experiences:

    I have 4 permissions for bunny shooting. On two, the bunnies are generally very acommodating, and sit still nicely under the lamp - even after multiple visits. On one, they started out very calm, but have recently become very difficult indeed, scattering as soon as they see a hint of light (total 6 visits over about 6 weeks). And on one they vary even within 100m or so - in one area scattering immediately, in another sitting still.

    Assuming that only one person is lamping a bit of ground (which may or may not be the case - in general, I think I'm the only person, but it can be a little hard to know for sure): how quickly do rabbits learn to be lamp shy, and what are the favoured ways to deal with this?

  2. #2
    are you using a filter? ours sit far better on a red filter than white light. We lamp for a certain period then mop up with night vision which really is the only answer if they are pretty much nocturnal. If not then obviously morning and evening at last light you can get hold of a fair few

  3. #3
    A different colour or density of filter can help, A dull lamp won't scare the bunnies so much as a bright one - I use a 35 watt halogen mini Clulite with a fairly dark red filter. You soon get used to the lower light & you don't get so much flare back from muzzle smoke or mist.
    You will get best results by being quick.
    Learn the lie of the ground & the get to know the areas where the bunnies are to be found, keep the light off the bunnies, look carefully to check no-one or livestock is in the field of fire. Get in place for a safe shot, rifle ready on sticks or rest, looking through scope, light on, quick safety check, safety off then shoot.
    This also works well for foxes.

    Ian

  4. #4
    In my experience the more you miss the more lamp shy they become, and clipping the ears or wounding them makes this even worse! - I run a vermin club at my local range where I take a lot of kids and newbies out on a few bits of land local to the range where I have permission to do so, I also have my own shoots where I take no-one but proven shots.

    The club-land is very hard going (as despite passing a shooting test they still make mistakes), and I have to resort to tactics like changing the colour of the filters or using low intensity beams with filters. Sometimes going the other way with a really high intensity white beam works (would guess it blinds them). Night vision is obviously the next thing but even then they can get wary of things like the noise of the IR torch being turned on.

    On my own shoots they rarely become lamp shy as I'm hitting most of what I aim at and try to avoid shooting bunny's in groups. The exception to this is when I've had other people shooting my permissions without my knowledge.

    My guess is that the person who gave you permission is shooting themselves or is letting someone else - as they don't understand the effect this has. The problem this causes is that because you don't know someone else has shot it, you show up the night after they've been around shooting anything that moves, and hence they learn to associate lamps and rifle noise with danger.

    My advice is that you avoid going up on specific nights so they can't predict your routine. I once caught a guy I'd been teaching going up to one of my shoots every Monday night as he knew I took people out Tuesdays - we'd show up to find nothing was showing and anything that was was lamp shy. So we'd leave it for a week or two to rest it in which time he'd been back the day before we went to shoot the rabbits again! Cheeky f*cker!

    Failing that, just try resting it for a month or so - they soon forget. If the farmers not happy with this then it may be time to switch to night vision.... though if you're only having to do this because he's letting other people shoot there then maybe try explaining to him what the issue is first!

  5. #5
    use an NV monocular to spot.

    get set up for the shot and then turn the light down so when it comes on you literally can just see the eyes reflecting. dont need much time for the shot.
    I also use a red filter, IMO it works better than Amber

    I have been hammering one particular spot for the last 3 months and the ones that are left are a bit flighty, but I have been using the NV spot, set up, light up, shot routine from the beginning so no Stalag 9 searchlight sweeping the area.

    using this method and flicking the light off between shots I have shot three rabbits so close together when I went to pick them up they were touching with one lying on top of the other.

  6. #6
    The previous posts have covered most aspects, all I would add that an early morning after a night of heavy rain will be productive as will the following evening if it has stopped raining.
    After a few years experimenting I have, I believe, cracked the bunny control and now get paid to clear them my setup is this;

    Moderated .22 RF using any subs
    3-12x44 AGS side parralex scope with solid BC flip up mounted as far forward as poss.
    Cobra merlin NV add on
    Variable power Deben Tracer with IR filter (mount trimmed 1/4" to fit scope)
    Lithium 10ah battery in pocket
    Harris bipod
    Cheap Lidle 5x50 NV spotter

    The Cobra and IR filter can be removed in seconds to revert to white light shooting.

    Fully mobile setup and a joy to use sitting in bedroom window shooting their pesky wabbits lol

    Regards WB
    Last edited by willowbank; 12-10-2012 at 09:28.

  7. #7
    Get your self a ferret now winters fast approaching and spend a few weeks/month doing that give them a break from lamping! then go back to lamping!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by BunnyDoom View Post
    .

    My guess is that the person who gave you permission is shooting themselves or is letting someone else - as they don't understand the effect this has. The problem this causes is that because you don't know someone else has shot it, you show up the night after they've been around shooting anything that moves, and hence they learn to associate lamps and rifle noise with danger.

    My first thought on reading the OP


    [/QUOTE] it may be time to switch to night vision.... QUOTE]

    A route that I have now trod

  9. #9
    My experience was to change from 22 to 17HMR; miss loads less and louder 'crack' disorientes in hilly ground or with trees for the sound to bounce off: So even a variation from subs to hi-velocity may have an effect.

    If you work on the basis that everyone you miss you are educating, then dont miss or wound !!

    If you have deeper pockets NV is great; if in a hurry to complete this job then ferrets:
    If its sport then give them a break like 'wiked...' suggests.

  10. #10
    I had a mail from someone selling an archer d grade if nv is of interest. 900 plus postage. Mail me if interested and I will pass his details over to you. Haven't seen it myself but have bought a scope and a dedicated gen 2 off him at different times and v pleased with them.
    I can speak in-depth and with great knowledge about most subjects until some bugger who actually knows what he is speaking about opens his gob .

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