Wet weather wor­ries

Sporting Gun - - SHOOTING ANSWERS -

I en­joy get­ting out from time-to-time at night with the lamp and .22 ri­fle. Some­times I make a de­cent bag but other times – even though the con­di­tions seem good – the rab­bits are pretty thin on the ground. A pal tells me it’s not worth go­ing out when there’s dew on the ground be­cause rab­bits don’t like get­ting wet. Is this your ex­pe­ri­ence? What would you say are the best – or worst – con­di­tions to go lamp­ing in?

Ed­ward says: I don’t lamp as much as I used to be­cause much of my night-time ac­tiv­i­ties are now spent with night vi­sion and ther­mal imag­ing kit.

That said, I have done a lot of lamp­ing in my time and you need the same con­di­tions un­der torch light as you do with ther­mal imag­ing gear to make a good bag of rab­bits.

I work a lot at night, and suc­cess de­pends on the time of year. From Oc­to­ber to March, windy nights with light rain will bring the rab­bits out and the nat­u­ral back­ground noise will give you more op­por­tu­ni­ties as it muf­fles your own sound.

Rab­bits cer­tainly don’t like get­ting their bel­lies wet and in such con­di­tions (in­clud­ing when there is a dew) they will pre­fer to feed on shorter veg­e­ta­tion.

As the weather be­comes milder and the days get longer, rab­bits will pre­fer to feed at dusk and dawn. How­ever, from May to Au­gust there is of­ten a pe­riod be­tween mid­night and 3am when rab­bits will feed re­gard­less of weather.

Frosts or still nights are bad for night work be­cause the rab­bits will flinch at ev­ery slight move, mak­ing them much harder to get near to.

Rab­bits don’t like get­ting their bel­lies wet

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