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Thread: Virus

  1. #1
    Member Wirehunt's Avatar
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    The main rule of firearms.....Always point firearms in a safe direction

  2. #2
    Member viper's Avatar
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    I have been informed by a Farmer who's place I shoot that the virus has been released in the Central Otago area. About 2 kms up the road from where I shoot so it will be interesting to see how it affects the rabbit numbers and my shooting.
    I don't know how accurate the information is but he reckons it spreads at 500 mtrs to 1 km a day.....

    It will be interesting to see if the farmers have got any smarter than they have been when the first illegal release happened. Many sat back and did very little in the way of pest control and now have a problem again.
    A few with fore sight saw it as a chance to get a big break on the problem and try and stay on top of it.

    My moneys on the rabbits shrugging this off in 3-4 yrs. Can't just keep bringing in new virus's forever before something goes badly wrong and a strain mutates and jumps species.
    veitnamcam, ebf, stingray and 2 others like this.

  3. #3
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    @viper are the farmers still happy to let hunters onto properties or is it more for locals up there now.did the bunny shoot quite a few years ago and keen to go back and do some more rabbit shooting this winter.
    viper likes this.

  4. #4
    Member JoshC's Avatar
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    Just got to keep smashing them even after the virus has been released. Farmers that do that will see results. If they sit back and think its the golden goose they'll likely get a surprise in a few years. The rabbit numbers down here in places astound me. My neighbor has taken about 14,000 of a place down the road since October.
    BeeMan and Paddy79 like this.
    I'm drawn to the mountains and the bush, it's where life is clear, where the world makes the most sense.

  5. #5
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    my old easter bunny hunt crew very disappointed.
    Notification of its release 2 weeks ago prompted the cancellation/postponement of the bunny shoot only 3 odd weekend from its happening

  6. #6
    Member viper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berg243 View Post
    @viper are the farmers still happy to let hunters onto properties or is it more for locals up there now.did the bunny shoot quite a few years ago and keen to go back and do some more rabbit shooting this winter.
    hi @Berg , it's a good question for out of towners. It hasn't changed much with some farmers very reluctant to grant access and when they do despite the airfares / petrol money , accommodation costs, ammo costs and food bill that you are paying for they act as if they have just handed you the keys to the city. These guys are normally the one with the big rabbit problems. There are health and safety issues that they have to consider when you are on their land and it is a privilege to be granted access and a responsibility to act safety and exercise common sense and control around their property and in the handling of your firearms.
    However if it was my farm and I had some keen fella's happy to put the time and effort into my rabbit problem and you were genuine then I would be very happy to get you knocking them over.

    Then we have the farmers who know you are NOT going to fix their rabbit problem but every one you shoot is one less and rather than moan and ring their hands they appreciate any help they can get .
    I have one such farmer who really appreciates the effort I put in to shooting his rabbits, I haven't fixed his problem and it has cost me a lot of money in ammo and time and thats with him helping by buying ammo for me as well.
    He and his wife are older people and only have 250 odd acres however I am coming up to 3000 rabbits in under two years.
    It's changed my perception of the rabbit and the problem, it is fun and amazing sport for me and you...it's a farm buster for them..... the 3000 rabbits I have shot so far equals 300 sheep, that's a lot of extra stock or more importantly food for existing stock.

    I think you will have no problem gaining access to many farms, don't rock up like Rambo be polite and go in with the attitude that the worst you are going to hear is "no" ...most say ok.
    As for what the rabbit numbers do over the next few months will be interesting , as I stated in my earlier post I don't believe that the virus is the answer, it's short term and once immunity is gained it's worthless and becomes less and less effective per generation of rabbits.

    I have a farm that has used different methods of control that exist and have for years. It is a high country station that had a rabbit problem the like's I have never seen.
    He 1080'd nearly fifteen years ago, flys his Robbie every winter with a shotgunner in the passenger seat, welcomes shooters and has kept his boot on the rabbits throat, would be getting virus kills from the old original strain and is PRO-ACTIVE, I went up there and shot a Deer with my son the Christmas just gone. He know's I am a Varminter through and through and asked me to look for rabbits....in 6 hours I saw 4.... show's it can be done.

  7. #7
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    will do a trip up to see some farmers without rifles in the off season to find some places.

  8. #8
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    What is amazing is they are saying that they hope to achieve at least a 40 % kill on this new release. When I was still doing pest control work they always said you needed to be getting kill rates in the high 80 to 90 % to have any sort of effect on the populations. 40% will do very little except to promote increased breeding with the remaining population.
    Back in the late 90's when it first hit my area in the BOP I had count lines established over 20km's of farmland and we counted the lines twice a year.
    The year the illegal release was done I had counted close to 1100 rabbits pre the virus within a week it had spread through the whole area and when the post count was done I counted 32 rabbits.
    We warned the farmers that these remaining rabbits would come back if left to there own devices, which they were and with a year and a half were back to pre virus levels. Problem now was you had rabbits that are resistant to any future releases. This is a different strain but 40 % is a pretty low kill rate I think. It will be interesting to see how it effects the populations over the coming months. One thing is for sure the rabbit will survive whatever man can throw at them.
    Tahr, veitnamcam, Munsey and 4 others like this.

  9. #9
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    It will be just another tool. I predict that it will have a good kill first time round if it is done right. Long term will stabilise out at around 40% annually. Remember councils don't want to get hopes up and need to keep farmers grounded in reality.

    Farmers will have to stay on top of rabbits with traditional tools to maintain low populations. Those farmers that continued to spend on rabbit control through the 90's and beyond more than got their money back in increased productivity, that will be the same for this strain too.

    Off to Alex this weekend, so will shoot a few and get a good feel for the "before" population.
    "The generalist hunter and angler is a well-fed mofo" - Steven Rinella

  10. #10
    Member viper's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Dama dama;688310]It will be just another tool. I predict that it will have a good kill first time round if it is done right. Long term will stabilise out at around 40% annually.


    The virus won't stabilise , as time progresses and the rabbit populations immunity climbs the kill rate will decrease. This has been shown from the original strain release and why they are now releasing a new variant .
    I agree that done right the initial release should be effective.
    Australia got the release last year and results have been mixed. Some area's reporting kill rates up to 80%, others around 40% and some showing very little result at all.
    veitnamcam likes this.

  11. #11
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    The problem is: they multiply like rabbits.

  12. #12
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    No sign off it yet on the property I hunt.... will keep you posted.
    "The generalist hunter and angler is a well-fed mofo" - Steven Rinella

  13. #13
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    why was it not released earlier to allow it to take effect before the bunny shoot then it would have been a good followup with the bunny shoot?

  14. #14
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    Pregnant (and I think lactating) females if infected by the virus can pass on immunity to the young. Plus, I understand it, there needs to be a good fly population in order to act as a vector of the disease. Autumn is one of the few times of the year that rabbits are not doing what rabbits do best, whist's still having a "good" active fly population. So the window of opportunity is small to get a good establishment of the disease over a wide geographic region and hopefully a good first up kill over the next month or so.

    Shame about the impact on the Easter bunny hunt, but I for one support the councils and farmers in this.
    "The generalist hunter and angler is a well-fed mofo" - Steven Rinella

  15. #15
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    Now 3 to 4 weeks after the realease, depening on your location in Otago or Canterbury, the general feeling it that the Aussie suppliers pissed into a bottle and sent that over.

    No dead rabbits reported at all in the Mackenzie. I sincerly hope someone will tell me something different because we need any new tools we can get. The 40% projected kill rate is underwelming but the hope was the new virus would kill of lot of already immune ones from the old, and start a leap frog effect between the two viruses.

    Might be wishfull thinking but whatever happens they gave it a shot so thats ok but what next.

    Pity is that a lot of farmers stopped doing any control works a while back, and now the virus doesnt appear to be killing anything , so now they realy have a very big problem.

    Ive just ordered a lot of Pindone pellets for the winter.

 

 

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