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Tips for shooting behind the combine

Q: I have been following the combines with permission. The farmer wanted me there but I wasn’t keen due to the dust. What tips do you have for such a shooting discipline?

shooting behind combine harvester

Following the combines

A: I love shooting behind the combine. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity this year, but after practising this discipline for a number of years, I have picked up a tip or two along the way. First, it is always undertaken in good dry weather, so you want to wear light yet protective tops, remembering the dust gets everywhere and it itches when you sweat. Face mask and goggles are a must, but remember to try the mask when mounting your gun because a lot of masks can hit the stock.

Your cartridges should be in a bag to keep them dust-free, and then there is your gun. Mine is a battered Lincoln so I am not fussed about scratching but, even so, it has to be cleaned thoroughly as the dust and shredding gets into every nook and cranny.

The one thing many forget is carrying the shot rabbits about. I always use a game carrier that loops around the rabbits’ rear legs; it is easy and natural to carry and it doesn’t impede your shooting action. Once you are comfortable and ready, your position among the combines is also important but it does come down to luck. Some rabbits run in before the crop is cut, many more afterwards once the dust has settled. SW