Airgun Shooter

19:05 GOING THE DISTANCE

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AFTER A QUIET START to the session, Mat eventually spots a group of three rabbits out feeding. They are well out from the hedge and oblivious to any lurking danger so the stalk is on.

Although Mat has been moving slowly and carefully since leaving his car, the stealth goes up another gear now. The rabbits are more than 100m away, and Mat creeps ever-closer, constantly watching for any signs of alarm from his quarry.

At around 40m, Mat stops and slips his rangefinde­r out of his pocket. A quick press of the button confirms that the nearest bunny is now 37m away. Shooting prone and with the support of a bipod, the shot would probably be on from here, but Mat wants to get in closer for this one.

Just a couple of steps after resuming the stalk, Mat’s shoe clips a fallen branch and the noise is enough to make one of the rabbits sit up. Mat freezes dead still until the rabbit settles back down and starts nibbling the grass again. This is his cue to proceed with extreme caution as he closes down the final few metres to get within comfortabl­e striking distance.

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