Which are the best air rifles for shooting rabbits?

Air rifles: I was rabbiting recently with a .177 air rifle, but I couldn’t hit anything. Is this calibre powerful enough? Could you offer advice on the perfect air rifle for rabbits?

Learn how to zero your own rifle

This is the start of the ratting season for airgunners

Most farming units harbour 
a few resident rats throughout the year — especially if pigs or poultry are present — but numbers usually increase as autumn arrives. Many of these incoming rodents will have spent the warmer months in open countryside, foraging a relatively natural diet. But things start to…

How deep is the average rabbit burrow?

How deep is the average burrow and what's the deepest set you've ever come across? Also, how high above the ground should you set the noose on a rabbit snare?

damage on shoot in badger cull zone

Owners shocked to see wanton damage to family shoot in badger cull zone

I would like to make other shoots aware of what may happen if they are in a badger cull zone after what has happened to 
our small shoot. Wandering poults Last Sunday, my four-year-old daughter and I went down to our shoot, which has been run by our family for…

Sealyham terrier

Ratting with a Sealyham Terrier

The phone rang, “Hello Nick, it’s Harry Parsons, what you doing next Tuesday?” A quick check of the diary and it looked all clear. “Fancy coming out for a day’s ratting?” As much as I hate rats, especially their scaly tails, I do enjoy a day’s ratting with the Working…


How bad are rooks for game birds?

Do rooks do as much harm to nesting game birds as carrion crows and magpies. If so, what's the best method of control?

Ratting terrier

Ratting with terriers

I’ve been to a meet or two 
in my time: beagle packs on village greens; minkhounds 
on crumbling stone bridges that look as old as the river which winds beneath them; and foxhounds in the courtyards of austere country houses. But this was a little different. Bleary eyed, smelly, and…


Clear-up time for foxes and rabbits

One of the consequences of shooting foxes is that if there’s any increase in, say, the rabbit population, you’ll get the blame from the farmer whether it’s justified or not. As a result, one of the things that goes hand in hand with vulpine control is keeping a lid on the numbers of other pests in the vicinity. If…

Tom Sykes goes crow shooting

I always try to keep my farmers happy and control their vermin to the best of my ability. Doing this can pay off in numerous ways – other than job satisfaction another major perk can be gathering more ground through word-of-mouth. Crow problem Such a thing happened to me last…

Larsen trap

The Larsen trap – a vital tool

Of all the pest control activities that we carry out, Larsen trapping for crows and magpies is perhaps the most visible. It therefore follows that the better we do it, the more likely we are to make the right impression on passers-by. Filthy Larsen traps, with dejected-looking decoys, standing on…

Plummer terriers

A useful day out with some Plummer terriers

By their very name, terriers are dogs of the earth. In the past, before certain legislation was implemented, this varied and extremely valiant family of dogs did exactly that, going to ground in pursuit of their prey. Everything from badgers to otters was pursued by the smooth, the rough, the white, the coloured, the…

red squirrels

Volunteers needed to save red squirrels – and cull greys

“In most of the UK there are only a handful of refuges left for red squirrels,” said Dr Cathleen Thomas, programme manager of Red Squirrels United, a conservation partnership started in 2015. “Without help, experts predict this beautiful and treasured creature could be extinct within as little as 35 years.” Volunteers…

pest species in garden

Can I shoot pest species in my inner-city garden?

A: Always be very circumspect about shooting pests in your own back garden. You do not want armed police attending because some nosy neighbour has called to report that there is someone firing a gun out of the window. In most gardens, it is only safe to use an air rifle. However, larger gardens may be suitable for…


How to start ferreting

Ferreting is one of those activities that can be as complicated or as simple as you make it. For a newcomer it can seem quite daunting when you consider all the bits and bobs that are collected by those experienced in the art. However, you can still start ferreting and catch rabbits with a minimal amount…


Is a rimfire safer?

A: The conventional hollow point lead bullet fired by the .22 rifle has stood the test of time and is still immensely popular. However, it is known to have a tendency to ricochet if it hits a flint or stone. The .17 HMR, on the other hand, fires a lighter, polycarbonate-tipped bullet at a considerably higher velocity.…


New law on using rodenticide

Farmers, gamekeepers and pest controllers are reminded that from Saturday, 1 October, they will not be able to buy professional rodenticide packs for use outdoors without first showing an approved certificate of competence or proof of membership of an approved farm assurance scheme. Dr Alan Buckle, chairman of the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use, said that the way…

shooting rabbits

Tips for shooting rabbits

Rabbits seem to have exploded in volume this year. The early wet weather but milder winter has seen an ever-increasing population boom in the home counties and the torrential rain followed by long, hot days has turned sparse fields into verdant scenes from Land of the Giants where I shoot. This is good for herbivorous rabbits, providing them with…

setting a mole trap

How to get rid of moles

The mole has been trapped and managed for generations. There are still professional mole trappers practising across our land, turning fields of molehills back into rich pastures. In this article I will be talking you through how I trap moles and the equipment I use. Mole trapping is another one of those highly contentious pest control jobs where every…

cage traps

How to set cage traps for rabbits

A reader asked a question regarding rabbit traps: I have been given some cage traps by a farmer friend, but the only things I have caught have been birds and hedgehogs (all of which were released unharmed). How and what is the best way to set this type of trap? Professional…