Author Topic: Rabbits in suburban Sydney  (Read 4683 times)

Offline Cuchulain

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Rabbits in suburban Sydney
« on: October 26, 2010, 04:22:09 PM »
Hi, all.

I'm quite new to the whole hunting/foraging thing, and there are some complications here in Australia (particularly in suburban areas) which make it quite difficult. No guns. No slingshots. Archery is allowed - although somewhat controlled.

The situation: I have just planted a decent garden, and have a whole heap of green stuff growing in my back yard. It looks like it'll be a nice harvest in a little while. Unfortunately, there appears to be an ever-increasing rabbit population growing in my local area. The last few mornings/nights, I've been able to spot a few out of my window. I'm actually quite ambivalent about this fact - I don't want those little bastards eating my crops, but at the same time I quite like the idea of popping a couple of them in the stewpot if I can get my hands on them.

Last night, upon turning off all the lights to go to bed, I noticed a happy little light brown fellow munching away across the road from me, lit by the lamppost outside our house. It's a sleepy little suburb, pretty much as far north as you can go and still call yourself Sydney. So there's no cars, no people about. I decide to try my luck.

Without any weapon prepared, I have to have a quick think about what to use. Ah, yes - those staves of wood I saved from a weed tree I chopped up the other day. I have them seasoning away in the garage. So I slowly, quietly make my way to the garage, silently open it and heft a 4 foot length up to shoulder height.

I stalk the bunny.

As I move closer in the shadows of my shrubberies, I go over my plan of attack. Should I rush forward, hoping to catch the bunny by surprise and knock the stuffing out of him? Or should I creep as close as possible and throw the branch, spear-like, at my prey, hoping to the unbalance or stun him long enough for me to grab him? I settle on the latter plan and raise the wood to my shoulder, testing its weight.

I manage to stalk closer and closer. The bunny isn't paying too much attention - he's used to humans walking past, and doesn't see me as a threat, I suppose. I manage to get half-way across the road, by this time in the full light of the lamppost, before the bunny decides I'm a threat. The moment of decision arrives - am I close enough to take the shot?

Alas, no. The bunny hops off into the underbrush.

Along with 4 of his friends whom I had not spotted!

Now, those of you who have been hunting for years will probably read this and face-palm in disgust at my lack of skill and knowledge. However, this is my first attempted hunt (other than spear-fishing), and I'm working under some limitations (see above.) I am open to any advice you might wish to give! (such as cross the well-lit road where it's not well-lit, and stalk up in the shadows of the other side of the road. That would be an obvious one.)

Incidentally, I had a go at setting a home-made bunny trap a couple of weeks ago, to no avail. I will try again tonight.

Offline Alpha Mike

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Re: Rabbits in suburban Sydney
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2010, 10:51:07 AM »
Trapping is good.  I have some commercial live capture traps I use when the rabbits get too thick around me.  For bait, I like a slice of apple.
Here's another option for active urban hunting... Sling shot - quiet, easy to learn, inexpensive, ranged attack and does not resemble a gun in any way.   Great for urban environments. They are generally legal here in the states.  I don't know about down under.

Good Luck and Good Hunting.

Offline Cuchulain

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Re: Rabbits in suburban Sydney
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2010, 04:14:48 PM »
Thanks, AM - I'll have a look at slingshots, see if they're legal down here, and in the meantime set up some traps.

As an update - I've noticed the bunny on the last two nights as well, last night he was even on my front yard. He's getting closer to the all-important vegie patch! And I think he's on to me - that first night he didn't pay much attention, but last night I tried to stalk him again, and he spotted me instantly. I guess I'm either not a great hunter (duh) or the bunny knows to be wary now.

The game is afoot.

Stay tuned for pictures of a triumphant Cuchulain stuffing a bunny into his stewpot.

Offline Roswell

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Re: Rabbits in suburban Sydney
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2010, 06:38:51 PM »
Go primitive on them.  ;D

Here is a thread I just started on trapping and snaring
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=22140.0

Here is one for tips on rabbit hunting
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=917.0

In addition to that here is a site with some good primitive hunting tools like spears, throwing stick and caveman throwing star.
http://www.m4040.com/Survival/Skills/Hunting%20and%20Snaring/Hunting%20and%20Snaring.htm

Offline Howard Wallace

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Re: Rabbits in suburban Sydney
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2010, 07:15:23 PM »
G'day mate.

Research the boomerang.  The non-returning kind.  They are very effective.  We have a primitive skills gathering up this way called rabbitstick.

I was recently down in Port Arthur.  The focal spot for what became your draconian gun laws.  People were still traumatized.  I hope and pray we can avoid the directions your society has taken.

Offline Cuchulain

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Re: Rabbits in suburban Sydney
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2010, 06:48:29 PM »
Many thanks for the ideas and resources! I put up a figure 4 dead-fall trap in my garden last night, baited with some apple. No luck so far. I'll try a snare or two tonight, I think. Use this as an opportunity to learn some skills.

Offline SuperDuty

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Re: Rabbits in suburban Sydney
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2010, 07:55:50 PM »
What about a sling?  Like a David-and-Goliath style sling?

http://www.slinging.org/


Offline Cuchulain

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Re: Rabbits in suburban Sydney
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2010, 10:29:20 PM »
...Awesome...

To explain why this appeals to me so much: I have a PhD in Ancient History, and am interested in ancient military history, of which the sling was a very important part. It didn't even cross my mind to try this method! I'm so doing it.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Rabbits in suburban Sydney
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2010, 12:17:45 PM »
I like to use throwing sticks. There is a little bit of room for error with them, at least a little more than with a small projectile. Granted, you usually have to get much closer to the prey to use a throwing stick, but if you can manage it they are a little more forgiving. If you don't get a killing blow on the first throw you may find that you have done enough damage or even stunned the prey giving you opportunity to run up and whack the critter on the head with another stick.

A good side arm throw with a stick can cover a lot of area.

The downside is that brush and ground cover is going to work against you. Heavy tall grass, bushes or even one small sapling in your line of fire is going to make a throwing stick all but useless. In situations like this, small projectiles work a lot better.

I like slings too, but you have to do the single whip and throw method. If you "wind up" the prey is going to see the commotion and take off.

With all of these methods, stalking is key.

Traps could well be the best option. Once set they're always ready to go as long as they haven't been triggered and you don't have to be around or spend any extra valuable energy for them to work.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Rabbits in suburban Sydney
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2010, 06:19:17 PM »
There's a ranger that I talk to quite often down there in Australia who says the rabbit problem is intense. So much so that part of his job is getting rid of them. I'm surprised that rabbits aren't a bigger food item in Oz, or are they?

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Rabbits in suburban Sydney
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2010, 12:55:30 PM »
Trapping is a low % method - you need multiple traps / snares to succeed.

Rabbits follow the same path over and over, once you know the routine, you know where to set the traps.

The best option would be #110 conibear style traps.

The cheap, simple option would be to set several large rat traps. In the US, they are made by Victor and are about $25 / dozen. Bait with peanut butter. (Does not hurt to drill a hole and tie the trap to a stake or other solid object - keep it from wandering off...)

*trapping / snaring may be illegal or otherwise controlled in your area, note you may catch / kill animals other than what you intend in a trap - damage to your fingers / knuckles is your own problem*