Per­mis­sions Ga­lore!

Russ Dou­glas is hav­ing great suc­cess in his quest for hunt­ing per­mis­sion

Airgun World - - Contents -

Russ Dou­glas gains an­other cou­ple of per­mis­sions, per­fect for air­gun use

Fol­low­ing on from my ini­tial pest con­trol ar­ti­cles in the Septem­ber is­sue, I’m slowly work­ing my way round the pad­docks on my pri­mary per­mis­sion, tack­ling the prob­lem ar­eas as di­rected by the farmer and liv­ery clients. In one prob­lem cor­ner, the bur­rows are hid­den within an over­grown va­cant plot, be­side some cot­tages – off a main road – that over­look the pad­dock from slightly el­e­vated ground.

The rab­bits here are a real prob­lem be­cause they’re busily dig­ging mul­ti­ple holes in the pad­dock, and they present an ex­tra chal­lenge be­cause they’re par­tic­u­larly wary. I tried static hunt­ing them one morn­ing be­fore dawn, with my usual hide/seat set-up 20-35m along the fence line they in­habit. This was just be­hind the gable end of a cot­tage’s garage, but sadly they dis­ap­peared when I got half­way across the field with my hide-laden trol­ley. They didn’t reap­pear un­til I packed up an hour later, and frus­trat­ingly, I saw a few pop­ping up as I drove by that very spot on my way to work af­ter­wards.

I was aware that the plot was very pub­lic when viewed from a busy ad­ja­cent road, hence dis­creetly sit­ing my hide be­hind the garage.


So, next I wrote the home­owner a po­lite ‘per­mis­sion ap­pli­ca­tion’ let­ter, and kept my fin­gers crossed for a pos­i­tive re­sponse. A few weeks later, I got an email giv­ing me ap­proval, and a sec­ond, signed shoot­ing per­mis­sion fol­lowed to add to my records. I then

“was pre­pared for a worst case, but to my de­light got the op­po­site”

ap­proached the im­me­di­ate neigh­bour, to in­form them po­litely of my in­ten­tions, and al­lay any fears should I be seen in the neigh­bour­ing gar­den. I was pre­pared for a worst case, hor­ri­fied re­ac­tion, but to my de­light got the op­po­site. So, I now have a third gar­den per­mis­sion, and an­other home­owner very keen to get some rab­bits for his din­ner ta­ble – bonus!

I can now set up in the back gar­den, be­side the same garage I sat in the lee of a few weeks ear­lier. I’ve rapidly dis­cov­ered that there’s a sub­stan­tial rab­bit pop­u­la­tion, but they’re par­tic­u­larly wary. I had to be ex­tra-cau­tious tip­toe­ing along the noisy gravel drive, and even scared one or two off with a very faint ‘clink’ as my foot knocked against the leg of my trusty Trig­ger Sticks whilst ad­just­ing my po­si­tion. My quiet pa­tience was even­tu­ally re­warded with three more rab­bits for the pot, plus a bonus bunny I bagged in the farm­yard, af­ter driv­ing round to col­lect my tally from the pad­dock. The barbed-wire fence, plus in­ner elec­tri­fied wire, makes for a long round trip to col­lect them, but I got there just in time, as a cheeky crow started peck­ing at one of them.


Fol­low­ing this ul­tra-wary rab­bit ex­pe­ri­ence, I made some kit im­prove­ments (see page 81), to im­prove my stealthy ap­proach next time. With both my crutches and Trig­ger Sticks now in stealth mode, I wanted to re­duce the chance that I’d be heard by neigh­bours or the uber-wary rab­bits, so I pur­chased a Huggett si­lencer for the Wild­cat, from BAR. When asked which I pre­ferred, I said, ‘Whichever is qui­eter’, so didn’t go for the more com­pact Belita.

Cue a cat­a­logue of er­rors; un­known to me the ‘end cap’ which has al­ways un­screwed from the muz­zle was ac­tu­ally in two pieces

“He thanked me for con­sid­er­ing my pos­si­ble vis­i­bil­ity to the pass­ing pub­lic”

– the shroud end piece should have been Loc­tited in place. It’s now fixed.

I’ve al­ways re­garded the Wild­cat as quiet, but the Huggett ups this to a new level, and re­ally is a ‘si­lencer’ not a moder­a­tor. The only noise now is from the ac­tion, which only the shooter re­ally hears be­side their ear any­way. With the weather cool­ing off, I also up­graded my fleece with a Jack Pyke Gal­braith smock – cosy and wa­ter­proof.


In case it’s of in­ter­est, I’ve just done a chrono’ check both with and with­out the Huggett in place:

FX Wild­cat mk1 – stan­dard shroud, eight shots = 774 fps/11.23 ft.lbs.

FX Wild­cat mk1 – Huggett si­lencer, eight shots = 768 fps/11.06 ft.lbs.

There is hardly a dif­fer­ence at all, and nicely within the le­gal limit: 799fps us­ing .177/4.52mm JSB Ex­act 8.44 grain pel­lets.


As usual, I for­warded scans of my newlysigned shoot­ing per­mis­sions to the lo­cal po­lice firearms in­spec­tor. He thanked me for con­sid­er­ing my pos­si­ble vis­i­bil­ity to the pass­ing pub­lic, and for no­ti­fy­ing the neigh­bours to keep ev­ery­one aware. He also agreed with me that this was an­other per­mis­sion per­fect for us­ing an air ri­fle be­cause there’s no safe back­stop here for a ric­o­chet-prone .22 rim­fire, and this farm is not rated for .17HMR.

Thanks to John for tak­ing the photos – his freezer’s cur­rently full of bunnies, thanks to me, so I didn’t feel too guilty about bor­row­ing him. My first ef­forts at bunny Masterchef went okay and there are a few por­tions in the freezer still; bar­be­cued ‘pulled-bunny’ next time.

I hope you find these new pest con­trol for­ays in­ter­est­ing, and as al­ways – en­joy your shoot­ing. I


Pri­mos Trig­ger Sticks: £120 BAR / John Roth­ery Whole­salers Huggett si­lencer: £90.00 BAR / www.air­gun­ Jack Pyke Gal­braith smock: £65.99 John Nor­ris of Pen­rith


Feel free to con­tact me with feed­back/ar­ti­cle sug­ges­tions, es­pe­cially for dis­abled-re­lated ar­ti­cles or re­views you’d like to see - via RussDou­ Flickr: @RussDou­glasAGW: RussDou­glasAGW where al­bums carry HD ver­sions of ar­ti­cle photos, of­ten in­clud­ing many ex­tra im­ages.

ABOVE: Crutches and Wild­cat both si­lenced. BE­LOW: Stand­ing is less suc­cess­ful be­cause they see me even af­ter dark.

Set­ting sun be­hind me, I’m less vis­i­ble.

Cov­er­ing your face is vi­tal when you’re close.

Sep­a­rat­ing slow-cooked rab­bit meat from the many bones.

The plot was very pub­lic.

Ta-daa – only this end cap should come off.

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