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Break?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by ferplexed, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. ferplexed

    ferplexed Posting Addict

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    Just wondering if anyone takes a break around this time of year and for how long due to the breeding season and the potential of the does having kits in them?

    In all honesty, i've only ever shot in summer months and only recently started ferreting and lamping.
     
  2. williamjames555

    williamjames555 Well-Known Member

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    erm depends on why your hunting if your in control and just keeping the number controled sure let them breed from about now till spring when you see the babys out. but if you dealing with a over populated area with a real problem and have been called in to clear a number then shooting now is ideal as one kill could be equal to 5 or 6 ? see ?
     
  3. ferplexed

    ferplexed Posting Addict

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    Get ya!!!!!

    It's pure preference then? Great. :) Both my permissions are all over populated so i don't feel as guilty then. We got one the other week that had 6 kits in it - we reckoned we'd reduced the rabbit population by about 50 off the one doe (average of 6 kits per doe) for a period up to Christmas 2013.

    1 doe - 6 kits + 6 kits next spring = 12
    Her 6 kits - 6 kits next spring (min.) = 36
    Total = 48 (min. assuming they are all female)

    I felt guilty but not now you've put it that way. :):)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  4. mark.177

    mark.177 Donator

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    I dont lay off completely as like to get out but do go easy on them, watched 3 young'uns running about less than 30 yards out last time i was out, both me and my mate didnt take a shot, daft bu@@ers running round in big circles jumping and play fighting while two lumucking great hunters stand watching with rifles!
    we got the numbers down quite a bit last year but dont want to cull our selfs out of a shoot!
     
  5. ferplexed

    ferplexed Posting Addict

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    That's the other thing. As my Dad always says, "You're killing your own sport!"
     
  6. Ravenhill

    Ravenhill Well-Known Member

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    Im sure a doe can breed up to 4 times a year and each young can them repoduce at the age of 1 month. So you have stoped more than 6...

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
     
  7. dave ratz

    dave ratz Posting Addict

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    I personally don't stop as most of mine want all vermin gone, my own shoot I control not clear,real bad weather I hit the barns so weather or season i dont stop...Ratz
     
  8. ferplexed

    ferplexed Posting Addict

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    Correct. That's why i'm saying MINIMUM of 48 assuming they are all does. I think females can breed from 6 months.

    Some interesting reading on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit
     
  9. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Donator

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    I've been told by a couple of old boys here that you should only take rabbits when there's a "R" in the month (ie, not May, June, July, August) and give them a break through the summer. That said, there are so few around here at the moment that I'm very rarely taking any.
     
  10. ferplexed

    ferplexed Posting Addict

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    Hmmmm...they're the months i seem to be most productive with kills. They seem to be more relaxed and less wary. In all honesty, both my permissions are so jam packed with them i think for every one i kill, 3 or 4 others morph from out of the ground to laugh at me next time i'm there.
     
  11. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Donator

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    I certainly see more bunnies in those months, but I tend to restrict myself to the occasional one for the pot, and usually with the .17hmr from long-ish range.
     
  12. ferplexed

    ferplexed Posting Addict

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    I think i'll just carry on as i am. It's not like i'm bagging hundreds at a time. I only usually get 1 or 2 per hour and am only out for a couple+ hours a time.
     
  13. mark.177

    mark.177 Donator

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    yes it doesnt hurt to give them a little respite but the best eating rabbits are taken in these months... young, tender and full of flavour! infact i tend to eat more rabbit when there's an R in the month lol
     
  14. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Donator

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    Yes, that's definitely when they're tastiest!
     
  15. kenhawker

    kenhawker Honorary Member

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    I tend to leave me bunnys alone untill summer, I tend to give me rats a break until I load the next pellet.
     
  16. ANGOF

    ANGOF Posting Addict

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    I stop shooting bunnys on Christmas Eve and will start again June/July. Stopping squizzers and Woodys at the End of Feb to allow for bumper harvests later in the year. Magpies will be lest alone to breed as well. Just the occasional rat and lots of target for me for a while :) Ive got about 5000 acres over 3 ajoining farms and none of them are silly enough to expect one man with an air rifle to clear the land of vermin nor have i been asked to do so, In fact i turn down a fair few silly horse people who want there 3 or 4 acres cleared and give them the number of the local ferret lads.
     
  17. mark.177

    mark.177 Donator

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    5000 acres! would be great to have so much land to shoot your turning some down! though i agree leaving the bunnies or at least cutting them some slack is good for our "sport" i cant agree with you regarding magpies as while your "giving them a break" they'll be decimating the local songbird population. grey squirels are like rats as far as im concerned. i've never seen a red down my way.
    i thought i was lucky with 200 acres, trouble is its all paddocks and pasture rabbits and the odd rat are just about all i ever see would love a bit of woodland or crop for pigeon and squizzers. though saying that i have just been offered chance of another 350 acre shoot near me that i've yet to see.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  18. ANGOF

    ANGOF Posting Addict

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    Whilst 5000 acres may sound like a lot only a small proportion of that land is productive for shooting, theres about 50 acres of woods and maybe 150 acres of fields with any great rabbit numbers. The rest is field after field with nothing worth walking around it for. Yeah sure theres small warrens in the Cornish hedges in some of those fields but with only a dozen or so rabbits living in them i dont bother.
    As for not shooting in the breeding season. I dont hold with the magpies killing songbirds, yeah sure they raid some nests but not enough to make a real difference imo. Theres plenty of songbirds ( too many bloody Blackbirds if you ask me, many a worthy stalk ruined by there alarm calls) and plenty of Corvids so a balance seems to have been reached. Will never see any Red Squirrels down here doubht if there was ever any reds down here. Ive culled the Greys and rarely see one now and if i do its taking off at top speed. I want a good crop of them for the freezer next autumn so left in peace they will be.
    I started Air rifle shooting in the mid to late 80`s and John Darlings writings where my bible. And he says "Sportsmen dont shoot in the breeding season, its time to clean and restore your gear and practice, practice,practice". I know hes laughed at by todays shooting generation but I still shoot by his teachings and always will :)

    AN GOF 44 going on 64 :)
     
  19. mark.177

    mark.177 Donator

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    hope im not offending anyone with my post here? i can completely understand angofs reasoning but i do enjoy getting out hunting and tend to go stir crazy if i cant get out! as i've said i do lay off the bunnies through the spring and early summer to be honest i havnt bagged a magpie for years or pigeon or squirrel as there are none really around my permission, see the odd magpie. still like to get out with the rifle and will walk about seeing whats there and taking stock and maybe bag the odd rabbit or two for the pot. later in the summer though when there are hundreds its another story!
    first pic springtime weekly/fortnightly bag..... second pic summer time bag twice or three times a week!
     

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  20. ANGOF

    ANGOF Posting Addict

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    Yeah i agree, i also get stir crazy if not out with the rifle. Last winter me and my boy would get out about once a week and set up various targets for each other on some of the scrubby fields. Mainly "Tarian Marks" hanging on branches etc and a couple of small spinners and knockdowns. Only the one who set the "course" would know where they where and the other would then stalk around said course trying to hit them as soon as they spotted them. Sort of a poor mans HFT i suppose :D. Kept us amused for the winter/spring and improved both our shooting and stalking. We would of course take a look around whilst we where out and sometimes bring back a rabbit or pigeon for the pot. But would avoid the main hotspots of the permission so that come June the aboundance of new rabbits and pigeons wouldnt be so wary and we could get good bags in :)
     

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