A reader needs to carry out some culling

Q: 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 firearm certificate holders (FAC) we would have to start from scratch. Would you please let me know the current lawful recognised rifle calibres for fox and rabbit control?

Shooting foxes and rabbits – legal calibres do not apply

There is only a minimum legal calibre for shooting deer. It does not apply to rabbits and foxes.

Rabbit control

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.

Fox control

For foxes the preferred calibre is one of the .22 centrefire rifles such as .222, .223, .22-250 or a 6mm equivalent. However these are too powerful for rabbits.

Chinese water deer and muntjac

Most .22 centrefires also fit the minimum criteria for shooting Chinese water deer and muntjac in England and Wales or roe in Scotland. Muntjac are spreading rapidly so if you cull some you could be very popular with the farmer.

Another possibility is the .243 which is suitable for foxes and all deer.

CZ Style .22LR rifle

CZ Style .22LR rifle review

CZ Style .22LR rifle review: Eschewing size in favour of substance, the CZ Style 16in is proving itself a rimfire…

Sound moderator

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 a sound moderator entered on your FAC along with that for the rifle.

If you’re unused to rifle shooting then find an experienced friend and have a go with his.

  1. 1. Shooting foxes and rabbits - legal calibres do not apply
  2. 2. Can I shoot muntjac with No.3 shot?
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