Saturday, 23 May 2009

Fieldcraft: The Twenty-Third of May

A mesmerisingly beautiful afternoon in the fields today: blackbirds singing, warm sun on my back (snuff plastered all over my nose, ants walking up my sleeve) - and then a rabbit hopped out at thirty yards. I took a shot at it and it disappeared.

I'd taken another shot about half an hour earlier and, though I'd seen the rabbit leap into the air and disappear from my sight in the scope, I hadn't been able to tell if it had jumped because of the noise of the rifle or because it had been hit. I climbed out of my cover behind a bank of nettles and scoured the field. I found plenty of dried cow pats in the grass but I didn't find a rabbit. I must have missed and it had scarpered.

So this time I just lay there and looked around. Further down the fence-line I could see three or four reddish-brown, long-eared heads peeking out and looking around but I couldn't see anything at all where the rabbit at which I'd fired had been. I assumed that I'd missed again. I went back to gazing across the field at the patterns that the sun was making in the grass - deep, wonderful greens criss-crossed with bands of shade and everywhere dotted with buttercups and the seed-heads of countless, gently-waving dandelions.

Quite happy, I got up after twenty minutes of dreamy dozing and decided that before I walked home I'd have a quick check up the field where I'd fired. To my surprise, I found a freshly-killed rabbit.

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  1. HH,

    Good job my English brother! That photo is pretty good too.

    You know, we are going to have to figure out how to get The gang of three together. SBW, HH, and AAR on a hunting and eating expedition. That should give us enough writing fodder for a month at least!

    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.
    Hogs and Dogs

  2. That sounds like a very pleasant outing in prospect, Albert, you can certainly sign me up for that!

  3. <span style=""><span style="">

    <span style="">Good day, I am new in hunting with air rifle, and I was wandering if you could be kind enough to inform me in which kind of fields I’ll be allowed to be hunting rabbits and pigeons near London?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span>As I really don’t want to get in to trouble with the law and farmers.</span>
    <span style=""> </span>
    <span style="">Many thanks</span>
    <span style="">Allen</span>



  4. Hiya Allen,

    The only fields you can legally hunt for rabbits and pigeons near London (or indeed, anywhere else in England as far as I'm aware) are ones where the landowner has given you permission to do so. Otherwise, it's illegal. (I'm not saying people don't do it, but they don't do it legally!) So it's really a question of going around and knocking on farmer's doors and asking them. Some will say no, you just have to expect that. Some, eventually, will say yes. Be polite, look trustworthy and make a big deal out of advertsising your respect  for their property - these would be my suggestions. Check out the air gun forums like Airgunbbs for more tips as well. It can be done! I asked three myself; two said 'no' before one said 'yes'.
    The very best of luck, mate!

  5. thank you very much for your kind response.

    many thanks
    <span style=""><span style=""> </span></span>