Happily, the brief interval between 'I can clearly see that there are no rabbits' and 'I can't see a damn thing' yielded me the first bag of 2010.
Joy! I was - as they say - well chuffed.
My thanks again to Fred for the scope he was kind enough to bung me in the mail when my foolishness trashed the Hawke. Idiosyncratic the Rhino may be, but it's hugely more effective in low-light than iron sights and my old myopic peepers!
Using the only Rabbit Stew Approved Recipe ('use what's in the cupboard'), I stewed the meat in a stock made from the butchered carcass (which I later removed) added rosemary, thyme and parsley, a spot of Agave nectar that was lying around to sweeten slightly, some dried Shiitake mushrooms that Santa brought me, plus carrots, cabbage, broccoli and rice.