Q: The rabbits around here are getting lamp shy! Or is it a case of leaving well alone for a few weeks? In your experience how long will it take for rabbits to 'forget' about the dangers of seeing a light at night?
A: Rabbits are not stupid and never forget the way of the lamp and the more they see of it the sooner and quicker they will run.
When they’re really twitchy they will even run before the beam gets near them.
Some people say using different coloured filters helps in situations like this and I have to admit I’ve had some success with this ploy – especially when using a moderated rifle.
Personally I don’t consider lamping an effective means of control because it only helps keep a cap on numbers, nothing more.
My approach is to get rid of most of the rabbits by either ferreting or trapping and then mop up the stragglers with a lamp and rifle.
Done this way you will find rabbits are less lamp shy, with fewer rabbits on the ground you will not be educating too many others.
On the other hand if you lamp areas where numbers are high you will frighten and educate ten bunnies to every one you shoot.
If you can’t, or are just too lazy to net or ferret the rabbits, you can open the season with a .22 then move to .17hmr, once they have clocked what’s happening.
After that, try changing filters and see if it helps before switching to a 12 bore from the back of pick up truck.
That said, the best way is to use a Hushpower moderated .410 from a 750cc quad.
The quicker the rabbit heads for home the quicker the quad needs to intercept it!
By changing tactics and upping the ante you will have a better success rate.