By David Frost
Thursday, 09 September 2010
After many years shotgun shooting my partner and I have been looking into culling foxes and rabbits by rifle at the various farms where we shoot.
Not being FAC holders we would have to start from scratch. Would you please let me know the current lawful recognised rifle calibres for fox and rabbit control?
Deer stalking advice
The only animals for which there is a minimum legal calibre are deer.
For rabbit control the .22 lr rimfire – fitted with a sound moderator and firing sub-sonic ammunition - is most people’s preference but other calibres such as .17HMR are also suitable.
For foxes the preferred calibre is one of the .22 centrefire rifles such as .222, .223, .22-250 or a 6mm equivalent but they’re too powerful for rabbits.
Most .22 centrefires also fit the minimum criteria for shooting Chinese Water Deer and muntjac in England and Wales or roe in Scotland. Given the rapid spread of muntjac you might be popular with the farmer if you cull some of those.
Another possibility is the .243 which is suitable for foxes and all deer.
Whatever rifle, or rifles, you get I strongly recommend fitting a sound moderator.
Unless this is integral with the rifle (which it seldom is) you will need to have an authority to purchase entered on your FAC along with that for the rifle.
Buy a good book such as Foxing with Lamp and Rifle by Robert Bucknell and read it carefully before you apply for your certificate.
If you’re unused to rifle shooting then find an experienced friend and have a go with his.
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