Advice: Lamp shy rabbits

Hi all

I know it's probably already been posted but......

I I have a perm on a local golf course 110 acres... Lots of rabbit damage etc.. Shooting with a 22lr and can walk or use a buggy.. My problem is that as soon as the lamp goes on regardless of filter, the rabbits bolt ! (Very frustrating) isn't being shot by anyone else but has been in the past... Is it worth investing in nv ?

Dont think I'm doing anything wrong and have been in all weather conditions but doesn't make a difference ! Has anyone got any tips or experience in switching to nv with lamp shy rabbits.. I don't want to invest in nv if it's not worth it.. Typically go between 10:00 and 1:00..

Any by advice would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks lads



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I have a photon on my air rifle and I'm very happy with it, very easy to set up as long as you have adjustable mounts. Hopefully someone local to you may have some NV you can have a test of.


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I would firstly plot the damage areas on a map, you will probably find some areas of the course with high density of rabbits and others barren, obviously concentrate on the juicy areas. Before setting off check the wind and plan your attack route.

The other thing I would do is fit a dimmer on your lamp, less light less jumpy. Over the years I recon red is the colour that courses the least runners.

Also battery buggy would be better than petrol if there's a choice.

Failing that try an early morning outing and see how that goes.

Good luck!


Well-Known Member
Lamp shy rabbits

I would recommend:

Invest in night vision for your .22
Use subsonic ammo
Use moderator
Use bolt action .22 (More quiet than semi-auto)
Limit the number of times that you visit the ground
Try different approach techniques (Walk rather than use buggy? Depends if bunnies are used to buggy)
Use the wind when approaching
Stick to darker overcast nights to help avoid being seen
Shoot off a good set of quadsticks
Watch out for poachers lamping with lurchers. (May be reason bunnies are lamp shy. )


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The golf course that I am trying to clear of rabbits is on the top of a hill, so I am silhouetted in the glow the local towns if walking from most directions.
I find it best to switch off the headlamps and engine of the vehicle as soon as the rabbit is in range, check with the thermal spotter to see if it is still there, then use the Photon on the moderated .22lr to take the shot.


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A photon xt is very good for rabbits on a .22lr.
I have a few perms that I have cleared rabbits out of.
On the other hand I do have 1 that I have found the rabbits are aware of the ir but I have reduced the number fairly well there now.
I'm in the process of getting a fac air rifle and photon for pest control as safer and quiet.

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Get a Photon and do your research with IR units as a lot of them do emit a red glow make sure you get one that doesn't

.22LR is all you need lie out upto 80-100 yards and take them out


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As others have said Yukon Photon 6.5x50 XT.I've shot rabbits up to 140 yards with the inbuilt IR(moon behind me) so don't worry about an IR torch to start with - get a " black " IR torch later if they spook at the red glow.

paul o'

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t20 cost me £20 inc a x2 lens S/H it as good or better than the 800
As others have said Yukon Photon 6.5x50 XT.I've shot rabbits up to 140 yards with the inbuilt IR(moon behind me) so don't worry about an IR torch to start with - get a " black " IR torch later if they spook at the red glow.


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Try to vary the times that you go out, as well as the number of times per week that you go out.
Perhaps a bit of daytime practice at 'snapshooting' - the faster you can get your rifle on target, and accurately get some lead into the rabbits, the better.
A new golf course that I am on, was leaping with rabbits, so I was on there 3 times a week, between 0230 and 0500, until numbers dropped, then I changed my times and frequency for a few weeks, until it happened again, then a few weeks off, and start again.
Works for me, but everywhere is different.
I know you have a .22 but I've found the HMR with a photon way more successful than any of my .22 shooting. It seems the supersonic crack disorientated them as to the location of the threat and allowed me to pick off multiple rabbits before any bolted. This was out to 100m but quite a lot were 20-30m. When I've used the .22 with subs they hear their mate get thumped and then hear the click of the firing pin, put two and two together and leg it straight away. So maybe try NV but with HV ammo and see if that keeps them guessing.
Personally I now use thermal spotter and nv (pulsar challenger add-on, some people don't like them, I think it's a great piece of kit), but when I started with a lamp I built a gen 1 spotter to use in conjunction with it. Allows you to get within range and ready without spooking them, it's a cheap alternative to a scope and easy to build.


Well-Known Member
Really the proper answer is simple. if they're now lamp shy then don't use a lamp. Move on and use what you can afford, cheap nv will be better than a lamp but you'll soon get fed up of limited range. Buy the best nv you can afford, Dave (some bloke) on nv forum does some really good kit at sensible money and by upping the ir as time goes on you'll be able to see for quite a way :thumb:


Well-Known Member
Either that or try moonlight/full moon nights, u will have to use fieldcraft thou as rabbits will be able to see u.

Try knocking as many of as possible in daylight hours, go at first light with green keepers either ride about in there buggy or use 1 urself and use buggy as a mobile hide rabbits will be very used to it and hardly move. If thats working well be careful to try to target lone rabbits or doubles so ideally u shoot them both and not educating the rest the way u would shooting into larger groups

Changing filter may help short term too.

I'd also try to use a proper lamp rather than an led 1, i know leds esp scope mounted are very handy but i think the beam is very bright and concentrated with little duller edges, ideally a lamp with a dimmer works well but even just holding the rabbits in the edge of the beam work wonders.

Ur NV route may be way to go nowadays but still plenty of old tricks out there that u had to use before NV was invented/affordable

The 1 big downside in my opinion of NV scopes is u really need to invest in an NV spotter too, otherwise ur swinging a rifle about to spot rabbits, not a really best practice