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Headshot Rabbit Makes it to Burrow

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Headshot Rabbit Makes it to Burrow

Postby Kato256 » Thu May 02, 2019 11:34 am

Made a clean head shot on a medium sized rabbit yesterday evening at 25 metres whilst it sat at the entrance to its burrow.
I saw the pellet strike and saw the rabbit immediately roll over into its side with its rear legs spasming. However, when I went to retrieve said rabbit it had somehow managed to get back down into its burrow (presumably as a result of its spasming and proximity to the hole).
Being fairly new to rabbit hunting I have never had this hapoen before and was wondering if it’s fairly common place?
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Re: Headshot Rabbit Makes it to Burrow

Postby Shootist » Thu May 02, 2019 1:38 pm

Kato256 wrote:Made a clean head shot on a medium sized rabbit yesterday evening at 25 metres whilst it sat at the entrance to its burrow.
I saw the pellet strike and saw the rabbit immediately roll over into its side with its rear legs spasming. However, when I went to retrieve said rabbit it had somehow managed to get back down into its burrow (presumably as a result of its spasming and proximity to the hole).
Being fairly new to rabbit hunting I have never had this hapoen before and was wondering if it’s fairly common place?


It's not uncommon. The 'clean' head shot may not have been as clean as you suppose. Did you retrieve the rabbit? Personally I am reluctant to shoot a rabbit so close to it's burrow for this reason.
If you don't have to give up your car because other people commit crimes in their cars, why should I have to give up my firearms because other people commit crimes with their firearms?
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Re: Headshot Rabbit Makes it to Burrow

Postby Kato256 » Thu May 02, 2019 5:14 pm

Unfortunately the entrance to the burrow was only a couple of feet from the warren which is built beneath a Cornish drystone wall/hedgerow on our land and this made it absolutely impossible to retrieve. Not a good outcome, and not the one I wanted.
In future I shall follow your advice and stick to quarry that is on more open ground now I know what can and does happen.
Thanks for your reply and words of wisdom.
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Re: Headshot Rabbit Makes it to Burrow

Postby Shootist » Thu May 02, 2019 5:41 pm

Kato256 wrote:Unfortunately the entrance to the burrow was only a couple of feet from the warren which is built beneath a Cornish drystone wall/hedgerow on our land and this made it absolutely impossible to retrieve. Not a good outcome, and not the one I wanted.
In future I shall follow your advice and stick to quarry that is on more open ground now I know what can and does happen.
Thanks for your reply and words of wisdom.


The reality of hunting is that sooner or later you will inevitably wound a beast in circumstances when there will be nothing you can do to remedy the situation. My own was to shoot a rabbit, aiming for a head shot but instead I shot it's bottom jaw clean off. There was a seemingly long moment when we both froze before the rabbit set off at about 100 mph across a field and into wood. I'll never forget it. All you can do is maximise your chances of a humane kill. One reason that I do my hunting with a .17HMR now.
If you don't have to give up your car because other people commit crimes in their cars, why should I have to give up my firearms because other people commit crimes with their firearms?
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Re: Headshot Rabbit Makes it to Burrow

Postby Kato256 » Thu May 02, 2019 7:43 pm

I am perfectly happy that the head shot I took was clean.
My modus operandi was to stake the warren out using a Primos Trigger Tripod, Air Arms S510 Ultimate Sporter shooting JSB Exact Diablo 177 8.44gr, and a Hawke Sidewinder 6-24X50 FFP scope cranked up to maximum magnification.
With this set up I can consistently place 10 pellets within a 10mm grouping at 30 metres and watch the pellets land on target (follow through).

With regards to using a 17hmr, I am also considering whether this may be the best way forward.
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Re: Headshot Rabbit Makes it to Burrow

Postby Andy.I » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:49 pm

Have you ever tried to "wind" the rabbit out? If you take a bramble (or a length of barbed wire) and run it down into the burrow it might be possible to twist the bramble so it tangles in the rabbit's fur and extract it. This is a trick I've used to capture live rabbits from blind holes when they're out of arm's reach.
"Everything not invented by God is invented by an engineer." HRH Phil the Greek.
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Re: Headshot Rabbit Makes it to Burrow

Postby Deallad » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:08 am

CCI segmented hollow point 22lr subsonic is what I use for quiet rabbit shooting, the go down and stay down, if I need to push the distance 17hmr

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