If you’re interested in getting into rabbit hunting, there are a few basic tips you’ll need to know before your grab that hunting rifle and go on a mission.
1) it is legal to hunt rabbits without any kind of weapons licence, as long as you’re using a .177 or .22 air rifle, with an impact power of less than 12lb per cubic foot. Check out the Gov.UK site for legalities on the animals and weapons that can be used here in the UK.
2) You’re gonna need some rabbits to hunt. This may involve getting the permission of a landowner, and, if required, enticing him by offering some of what you successfully catch.
3) In order to get a sense of where your airgun finds its centre, you’ll need to practice with target. A printed paper target is fine for this, along with a target holder / pellet catcher. There’s no replacement for understanding how your specific gun, and the pellets you have, perform in your hands, than to fire out a few practice shots like this, to get a ‘feel’ for it.
4) In order to be legally compliant with your target practice, you need to be at least 50 feet (15.2 m) away from the centre of roads or public areas. Any close than that, and you’re breaking the law here in the UK. Place your target and holder 30 metres or yards away.
5) Lay down on the floor, and use a bipod (check out our cool range!) to help you aim your weapon.
6) If you’d rather stand upright, that’s fine, but in either case, don’t hold the rifle too tightly, let it sit on your shoulder, and support the weight of it with your forward hand. This is because holding your rifle tightly can affect your aim.
7) Aim at the target for five seconds, breathe in, relax all muscles besides those which you’re using to holding the gun. While exhaling, stop for a couple of seconds, and hold your breath, and go ahead and squeeze the trigger. Count to five before moving the gun away from the target.
8) Adjust your sights, and repeat the process. Keep repeating the process until you feel you have the optimal setup, and are comfortable with your airgun. You must practice again and again. This is so that you don’t injure or wound an animal, and instead are able to kill it with one, accurate shot to the head.
9) Position yourself 20-30 metres from a rabbit hole, with warm clothing., etc, and wait.
10) Load your gun, and aim at the rabbit as it comes out of the hole. Wait for a minute to get a good angle on your shot. Stay perfectly still at this point. Aim for the back of the head, between the ears, as opposed to the body, as this may cause the rabbit unnecessary pain. If you’re aiming from the front, then shooting behind the eyes, and beneath the ears is best, as this is the most effective way to get an instant kill.
11) Use the process described earlier of breathing in, and then out, etc. to gradually adjust to your target, before firing. Ensure the bunny is further than two yards from the nearest rabbit hole, otherwise the rabbit may disappear before you can hit it.
12) Once you have hit the target, get the rabbit, and hold it in your hands for five seconds. If there is any movement in the body of the animal, fire once to the brain. Be careful not to shoot yourself! Alternately, hold the animal by its legs and hit it with a fast strike with a blunt object to the back of the neck.