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Thread: South Island bunny hunt planning

  1. #1
    LJP
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    South Island bunny hunt planning

    Hi Team...... enticed by the tales of moving hills made of rabbits my mates & I are contemplating organising a South Island bunny hunt just for something different. I know of the annual Easter Bunny Hunt.... but have no idea if this is even worthwhile, is this the best time of year to go, best area to find plague proportions of bunnies. Just wanting to ask for any information or advice to maybe turn this from a dream to a reality. What can you tell me?

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    So which Central Otago golf course do you plan to shoot on?

    I'm sure others will chime in, but finding a farm(s) to shoot on is the first hurdle. I wouldn't head down this way to shoot rabbits on Public Land administered by DOC (assuming you can even get a small game permit for that activity where you want to go).

  3. #3
    Still learning JessicaChen's Avatar
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    Yeah you will have to find private farmland for that I reckon. I was given permission by DOC to shoot bunnies on DOC land a long time ago but I did not find a bunny there. Forgot what the place was but it was a beautiful mountainous area near a wind farm. Great walk, not great for bunnies.

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    Have a read of this, numbers well down on previous years;
    https://www.odt.co.nz/rural-life/rur...-12000-rabbits

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    i would start with contacting a few vineyards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JessicaChen View Post
    Yeah you will have to find private farmland for that I reckon. I was given permission by DOC to shoot bunnies on DOC land a long time ago but I did not find a bunny there. Forgot what the place was but it was a beautiful mountainous area near a wind farm. Great walk, not great for bunnies.
    @JessicaChen was that the Papanui block, near Lake Mahinerangi? I went there once after getting an elusive small game permit, and had the same experience...no small game to be seen.

    It's taken me about 2 years selling guns to cockies, but only recently have I started to get some positive responses to requests to get on farmland to shoot bunnies. Too many have had bad experiences with dickheads, and/or they are worried about OSH liability.

  7. #7
    Still learning JessicaChen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin007 View Post
    @JessicaChen was that the Papanui block, near Lake Mahinerangi? I went there once after getting an elusive small game permit, and had the same experience...no small game to be seen.

    It's taken me about 2 years selling guns to cockies, but only recently have I started to get some positive responses to requests to get on farmland to shoot bunnies. Too many have had bad experiences with dickheads, and/or they are worried about OSH liability.
    Yep that was it! Found an old photo I took of an abandoned looking little hut on the way in.
    Name:  10547855_10152618769152207_4909867763669272095_o.jpg
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    As Kimber correctly stated, you'll struggle to find land to shoot on but there certainly are small pockets of places where rabbits are over-populated. Emphasis on the "small". The media love to show footage taken in the late '90's where the hills are moving and clearly this continues the misconception the hills are still like this, however reality is completely different. Populations come and go. The number of variables as to why are endless. But right now - as many here will tell you - the populations are generally lower than they have ever been before.

    You mention the Easter Bunny Shoot. Let me provide some thoughts on this to illustrate the point:

    I've been enjoying this competition since 1995 and over the years the highest total I can ever recall being shot was in the order of 24,000 rabbits. Remember the timeframe has traditionally been 24 hours. To win the competition you have always needed to shoot around 1000 - 1200 rabbits in the allotted timeframe. This year was the first time the competition has been run over 48 hours and my expectation was that the winning team would come in around 2,000 rabbits. You could argue they could have conceivably come in with more like 2,400 rabbits because of economy of motion - as a percentage there would be less wasted time spent in setting up and then breaking camp. I was frankly quite astonished when the top team came in at 1185 rabbits.

    The competition harvested 12,000 rabbits (or close enought to 12,000) and we had twice as long to hunt so in reality numbers were about 1/4 of what they have traditionally been. Why? Well as I said there are lots of variables... but land use is probably the most significant. The big station which always held the huge numbers is now a large vineyard... and a significant number of the other blocks which traditionally held good numbers of rabbits have gone the same way. Many of the other infested areas have been broken up into 20 acre lifestyle blocks and as a result the rabbits have moved on. Irrigation has turned the dry paddocks into productive pastures and the thyme-covered dustbowls are diminishing. With them, the rabbit numbers.

    Don't get me wrong, there are still pockets of high numbers but certainly around here these exist only in places where you are unable to get permission to shoot. Reserve lands, parks, verge areas... places where you'll get arrested for even thinking about shooting. Or get lyniched by tree-hugging animal rights activists - the same ones who complain about the rabbits eating their organically-grown crops.

    But don't let me put you off. Go hard and enjoy yourself.
    Frogfeatures and viper like this.

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    @planenutz you could find a station property for a weekend forum shoot.

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    Now that would be fun @berg243

    viper and berg243 like this.

  11. #11
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    @LJP , living down here and doing a lot of rabbit shooting I thought I would throw my observations into the ring as well.
    As mentioned by Planeutz the hills generally aren't moving and numbers are down probably through a combination of factors which have been mentioned already.

    Vineyard shooting will be a problem , firstly access during daylight hours. The harvest is happening at the moment and that will be followed by winter pruning so there are a lot of workers about.
    Vine yards are tricky to shoot as there is a massive amount of infrastructure in place. Vines themselves, irrigation, frost protection, pump sheds, machinery and a heap of other items.

    Unless you know the vine yard well a lot of the shots will be long and back ground unknown in the dark. You don't want a .22 or 223 round howling off into the darkness ending up fuck knows where.
    Central isn't the sparsely inhabited place it use to be..
    Look for a farm or two, knock on doors and be prepared to be declined plenty.
    It can be done as I did my first Central Otago rabbit hunt from the North Island before I moved here. I made a lot of calls and it took a long time to get a break.

    Good luck, Viper
    kidmac42, Padox and Joe_90 like this.

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    And dont get the block my old easter bunny hunt team got this year. 2 day event and the farmer said he didnt know why they were sent there. Also told.not to shoot any of the deer. Got 56 bunnies. Main reason I dont do it anymore.
    Group next door were allowed to get deer and got 12. Maybe the overflow from the next door neighbours.
    Dont know the bunny count
    Top 3 teams did do alright though and were up around the 1000 mark I think

  13. #13
    LJP
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    Thanks for all the information guys, really appreciated. Sounds like I need to go do some ground work & door knocking when I'm down next on our annual Wallaby shoot to Waimate. Think there are some properties Kurow way that might be worth an ask.

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    Looks like you should be able to knock on anyone's door

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/far...nmental-fiasco

  15. #15
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    God I love those little furry fuckers, one of natures great survivors.
    That is a piece of selective journalism, the devil is in the detail. Small area's like lifestyle blocks , parks and reserves and people who don't like rabbits or guns or poison but just want the problem to magically disappear.

    Rabbits and Dickheads in high numbers in certain areas ...they both need taking care of cause they go hand in hand.

 

 

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