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Old April 16, 2006, 05:30 PM   #1
Death from Afar
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Easter Bunny Shoot

One of the highlight of the years shooting is the annual easter bunny shoot competition held in the bottom half of the South Island in a tiny town called Alexandra. The idea of the competition is have 30 teams of no more than 12 shooters who are assigned balloted blocks of rabbit infested land. The team that shoots the most rabbits in 24 hours ( rimfire and shotgun only) wins the prize of a trophy, glory, and bragging rights for the rest of your life.

My team of 18 persons ( and you are allowed extra drivers and "picker uppers" ) duely arrived armed to the teeth. Ruger 10/22's were the rifle of choice ( my shooting vehicle, which looked like a cross between an Abrams Tank and a Mad Max vehicle ) had 4 of them. The other gun of choice was a pump action shotgun. I actullay used my 870 P ( which became quickly known as the "Hose of death") as it was very quick, and handy as we chased rabits at 40 miles an hour by night with everyone on the back clinging on for dear life. During the day we stalked and shot rabbits on foot, at night with spotlights we chased them around the fields , with the shooters on the back blazing away quite happilly. Our team shot constantly for 24 hours, except for five guys who had an hours sleep ( "sleepins' cheatin'' ")

Well, in the finish our team shot just under 900 rabbits in 24 hours, to come a very credible third. The next team shot 1100, with the winners having shot an insane 1400 rabbits in 24 hours. I wont even begin to say how mauch ammo we let go of, but suffice it to say the ammo supply was getting low after 24 hours of blazing away.

So , very bruised and battered, sunburnt and happy we now plan next years shoot up....

From the newspaper...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3635957a10,00.html
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Old April 16, 2006, 06:35 PM   #2
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Just amazing man - so that was just this morning? I'll tell my nephews that DFA killed the easter bunny.
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Old April 16, 2006, 07:55 PM   #3
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i'm assuming with the kind of shooting done, these things are an epidemic, like how they had those mice in austria years back where they just wiped out everything? or am i missing something.

are they just layed out for pictures/counted and disguarded or are they eated/used for something?
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Old April 16, 2006, 08:03 PM   #4
Death from Afar
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yes, they ae a huge plague- they are turned into pet food after the shoot.
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Old April 17, 2006, 07:29 PM   #5
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Sounds like a complete blast, we have been wishing the jack rabbit populations would make a come back here, at least a little bit. 900 and 3rd place,, man thats a lotta bunnies...
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Old April 17, 2006, 08:54 PM   #6
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after shooting that many bunnies that shotgun must of felt like a cement truck. Can you just run em over?
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Old April 17, 2006, 11:52 PM   #7
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sounds like a great time, i'm glad they are put to use (pet food) and not just left to rot.

any pics perhaps? hard to sight in if on a stationary rabbit when the sight picture is distorted from the heat waves comming off the end of it
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Old April 18, 2006, 12:06 AM   #8
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If those Easter bunnies weren't pink before, they're sure red now...

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Old April 18, 2006, 12:52 AM   #9
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Another tragic waste of life that gives gun owners and true hunters (you know, those that stalk their game) a REALLY bad name. I'm sorry that you can't see how perverse your actions are, truly. Killing for food is justifiable. Killing for the sake (it clearly isn't much of a sport, or any more of a sport than taking candy from a child) of getting your rocks off is pathetic. Sounds like you're one bully that is long overdue for a good a** kickin', especially since you're probably the "holier than thou" type that prosecutes crimes yet fails to see your own actions are extremely demented. Seems to me that a District Attorney would have more intellect and education to warrant such disguisting behavior... but then maybe I'm wrong.

About 6 months ago another perverse man posted a video of prarie dogs being blasted by a .50 BMG and he was ridiculed. I see your perverse actions in the same light.

The only saving grace, which is likely simply to justify your perversions and pasttimes, is that the critters weren't entirely wasted but instead turned into food. I doubt, however, that was the intent of the "sport" massacre...
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Old April 18, 2006, 01:55 AM   #10
Death from Afar
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Hang on a moment LC, I am sorry if you feel that way, I truely am. I dont think you quite understand the way things are down here. I do not for a moment think this is "hunting", but nor do I see that there is a moral problem. I also dont think you understand that- and this may be very hard for you to understand- that as a general rule, the enviromental crowd basically support this sort of activity.

Did you read the news article that I did I hyperlink too?

If you look at the number we shot- and thats one team out of 30- and consider the total number of rabbits shot over the weekend- around 14,000, then it should become apparent after some reflection that we are not talking about trophy stags here- we are talking about a serious pest that has driven farmers off land, ruined vast amounts of pasture, and caused serious risk to native species. New Zealand has no natural mammals at all bar one species of bat. All have been introduced.

I myself am very uneasy about eating rabbit since 1995 when a rabbit haemooragic virus was illegally introduced into New Zealand by desperate farmers. Nothing is known about the disease, and so I am careful even handling dead rabbits.

Rabbits were one of the introduced animals, and after liberation in the 1880s became a very serious pest to farmers.With no natural predators, and practically ideal climatic conditions rabbit numbers exploded causing massive erosiion and desertification of prime pastures. By the 1910's rabbit numbers were so high, the Government paid men to be nothing but full time rabbit shooters- same as deer incidentally.Professional deer hunters were shooting deer by the thousands and they were left to rot in the sun as numbers were so high. Rabbits are controlled by poisoning, shooting, and the introduction of disease all of which have done nothing to stem the numbers. When I was at school I would go out rabbit shooting practically every night. The most I ever shot by myself with a .22 was 250 in 4 hours. The team that won last year shot 1800 rabbits in 24 hours, with a total shot of 21,000. The tallies that have been shot recently are far below what has been shot in the past. My grandfather used to shoot up to 400 rabbits EVERY WEEK, for years.

This competition is done with the full sanction of farmers and the local council who are responsible for pest control. Frankly, I would rather see the rabbits shot than the other cntrol methods used, which include 1080 Poison- a cruel and vile death, or using cyanide gas down warrens.

I should add that you are most warmly invited down here to see the situation for yourself - and that applies to all TFL members- although I appreciate that is not the same thing as visiting Canada, say- and when you drive into a field at night and see maybe 50 rabbits, you will see what I mean...

Please PM me if you have any other issues- I would hate you to think that we kiwis are ruining the sport for others. How did you know I was a DA BTW?
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Last edited by Death from Afar; April 18, 2006 at 02:39 AM.
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Old April 18, 2006, 02:57 AM   #11
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Regardless of the moral issue (which I don't really think there is one...) it says you're a DA on your profile.

Ed
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Old April 18, 2006, 02:58 AM   #12
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DA is in your public profile. This guy doesnt understand the problem you guys and the Aussies have with pest species like cotton tails just eatin the place bald. I would love to come down there and give you a hand, but it is a bit too far for a weeks trip lol. The viral haemorragic thing is a very foolish thing to do desperate or not, you only have to look at the various enviromental disasters in Australia trying to control introduced pests to see that is not the way. You guys are doing a good and needful job long may you continue.
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Old April 18, 2006, 03:47 AM   #13
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Hi

I am another Kiwi from New Zealand, The easter bunny shoot is nothing more than pest control. As deathfromafar said these bunnys have raped the landscape and have turned profitable farms into struggling businesses. Honestly this is no comparison to blasting dogs with a .50, this is done to reduce the effects on our land.

BTW if any of you yanks are coming down to New Zealand PM and I can arrange some hunting spots and give some advice. Cheers.
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Old April 18, 2006, 08:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
BTW if any of you yanks are coming down to New Zealand PM and I can arrange some hunting spots and give some advice.
I think I'm going to start planning a kiwi walkabout.....can I bring a shotgun & rifle on the plane to your country? :-)
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Old April 18, 2006, 09:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
...especially since you're probably the "holier than thou" type...
Pot... kettle... what?

Me thinks someone is upset that they missed their PETA meeting.

Death From Afar -- sounds like great fun, and great way to get active in controlling a pest population. Most people are aware that rabbits breed at an alarming rate, and can quickly over come a loss of 14,000. This event should really be bi-annual at the very least.

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...you're one bully that is long overdue for a good a** kickin'...
This is absolutely ridiculous, leadcouncel. Grow up.
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Old April 18, 2006, 09:11 AM   #16
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Well, I can't hold a candle to this... Just wow man
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Old April 18, 2006, 04:10 PM   #17
Death from Afar
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Well, I am glad some of you know how things are down here, and oddly enough, I was so concerned that I had offended a poster I didnt really notice the:

Quote:
Sounds like you're one bully that is long overdue for a good a** kickin', especially since you're probably the "holier than thou" type that prosecutes crimes yet fails to see your own actions are extremely demented. Seems to me that a District Attorney would have more intellect and education to warrant such disguisting behavior... but then maybe I'm wrong.
Its a shame that LC didnt bother to get an insight into what things are like down here before busting into print. I wonder of he is man enough to apologise?
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Old April 18, 2006, 04:33 PM   #18
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leadcounsel, you need to do some reading about the problem of an introduced species into an ecosystem without natural predators against that species. Rabbits in Australia is one of the world's most famous disasters. I hadn't known that NZ had the same problem.

In the U.S. from time to time, it's our own native jackrabbits.

In 1980 or 1981, there was a population explosion of jacks in NE Nevada and SW Idaho. The farmers in Idaho, in order to try and save some of their crops built mile-long vee-fences of chicken wire. Hundreds of people would gather and herd the rabbits into the killing ground, and kill them with shovels, clubs, rakes, hoes, etc. (The tax man doesn't care if you make a crop or not, he wants the school taxes on your land and house.)

We're just plain lucky that Florida waters are not warm enough for piranhas to propagate. But the rabbits in New Zealand are no different than the fire ants in the southern US or the Africanized honey bee.

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Old April 18, 2006, 05:49 PM   #19
Death from Afar
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The invite applies to you too Art.

The rabbits in Australia werea true enviromental catastrophy. My uncle has a farm- well, its about the size of Maine- near Warburton in West Australia and when I was last over there, they were shooting routinely 500 rabbits a night, which was apparently the best they had been for years. Even I was shocked by the numbers.

Funny thing, a few years back I was doing some liason work ( when I was in the service) with some guys from "deep Freeze" the United States Antarctic Programme, which is based here in Christchurch. Some of the boys wnated to go out shooting, so we took them up deer hunting, pig hunting, shot a fee wallabies, usual thing. But the thing they enjoyed the most- after a weeks world class trophy hunting- was night shooting rabbits from the back of a truck.
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Old April 18, 2006, 06:17 PM   #20
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Yea yea yea you can justify your murderous actions all day long. Frankly, if "raping" the land of its resources were enough to warrant a death sentence then humankind is long overdue for our death sentence.

If it were truly a problem then nature would run its course and the weak rabbits would die out, or other predators would move in to take care of the problem. Any Kiwis ever consider introducing some natural predators such fox, snakes, coyotes into the enironment? Oh wait, you'd rather have a barren desolate landscape void of any creatures except humans, huh? Kill everything in sight.... great attitude. Unfortunately it's your indifferent attitudes toward life and the balance of nature that have caused the extinction or near extinction of countless species of animals. Just shoot 'em cause it's fun. Yeah, that's really intelligent "pest control." Very scientific. It's the same attitude why coyotes, wolves, bear, etc. are very rare in N. America; why whales are struggling for survival, why apes and gorillas are also fighting extinction, etc. What makes a life valuable to you. Have you ever had a moment of introspection or reflection on the value of life? Is there only value in life when it's fighting extinction. Imagine for a minute if that rabbit you so couragously shoot were the LAST of it's kind. Would that trouble you? Would that make it's life any more valuable? Ponder that for a minute. Why does it matter that there are a million rabbits or only one to change your attitude toward the life of an individual rabbit? Or consider this. Maybe it's not the rabbits who are ruining the land and the real pests. Maybe it's the HUMANS... gasp. Do you feel any remorse for the wholesale destruction that humans (myself included) have caused against the earth and nature? Have you ever considered the phrase "walk gently?" I suppose since we're bigger and stronger and have tools and intellect might makes right and you can wholesale kill as much as you want. Seems particularly strange for a DA to feel that these actions are "just and right." I can't seem to reconcile that attitude, nor do I really want to understand it because it is so foreign to me. (BTW your profession is listed on your profile).

I'll say it again. It's your indifferent attitude that give gun owners and legitimate hunters a very bad name.

For the record, I am a carnivore. I believe that hunting for food is very natural. I own lots of guns. I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum from the passivist. I DO have strong beliefs and am not affraid to speak my mind and defend my beliefs and what I feel is just and right. I am not a member of PETA and feel they are often very extreme. However, I do side with them on the humane treatment of animals issue. Just cause you have a brain capable of logical thought, opposable thumbs, and can use tools doesn't give you the right to slaugther at your whim. In fact it gives humans the responsibilty to show some compassion toward creatures large and small.

Before you attack me for being a "hypocritical carnivore" I know that beef was a cow that was slaughtered. However, I make every attempt to purchase meets, eggs, etc. that were humanely raised. I don't eat certain products like veal or lobster for the humane reasons. It's not a perfect world and this isn't always possible to be humane. However, I absolutely do not condone the senseless slaughter of wildlife and waste of life you partake in and many of you condone or get your kicks from. It's completely perverse and stone age thinking.
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Old April 18, 2006, 06:39 PM   #21
Death from Afar
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*sigh* So much for trying to be polite.

I couldnt agree more about "raping the land" by humans. But, you need to look at what you say. The rabbit was introduced by Humans. Therefore, it is humans responsibility to deal with the problem.

Mate, your comment about if "they were truely a problem they would die out" is astoundingly naive. Rabbits just wont up and die once they reach a large number- they will maintain at whatever level the land will support them- to the exclusion of all else.

And honestly mate, I just about fell off my chair laughing when you talked about introducing natural predators into New Zealand. That has been tried! Stoats and Weasels were introduced in the 1920's soley to deal with rabbits- and guess what? they would mauch rather tuck into the native flightless birds than Peter Rabbit. Been there, done that, abject failure. And as for introducing wolves! Your grasp of nature is , I am afraid to say, lacking. One cannot introduce snakes (!!) into a country that does not have them lightly. (its too cold for snakes anyway) Do you know where New Zealand is?

There is no possibility whatsoever of rabbits ever becoming extinct in New Zealand. Indeed, in the 1930's there was a serious attempt to completely eradicate them from the Country- kill every, single one. It cant be done.

There are extremely serious penalties for killing the large number of endangered birds in this country- endangered in part because of the introduced animals. To give you an idea- and maybe you should google rabbits and australia to get an idea- there is no season whatsoever for introduced rabbits, possums , deer and so on. The only game in this country that has a season is waterfowl. Everything else can be shot all year round.

Finally mate, your logic is lacking. It is OK to shoot one rabbit- but not 900. So what do you say? should I only shoot one a year? Is that your argument? Its OK to kill one rabbit but wrong to shoot more? I estimate this year alone I have shot about 750 rabbits. Have I reached my bag limit?

And to suggest this give hunters a bad name- this competition was covered in all the national newspapers- see that URL I posted- and the main TV news. I doubt any Kiwis got upset by 14,000 rabbits getting shot. In fact, we gave hunters a good name.

From your NBC:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12265571/
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Old April 18, 2006, 08:55 PM   #22
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He is not amused........



Revenge of the Rabbits
Attached Images
File Type: jpg giantrabbit.jpg (42.1 KB, 298 views)
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Old April 19, 2006, 12:05 AM   #23
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Proselytizing for PETA, lc?
When you find mouse poop in your pantry, you set a trap, in order to kill the mouse. You clean house, because if you don't do so the pests overrun your habitat and make your home unliveable.
The appropriate target for your distain is/are the idiot(s) who released the pests on the land in the first place. 'Course, they are all dead by now - Death from Afar is just part of the clean-up crew.
Bet you're a city boy. Sorry that you've become so disconnected from reality you conflate pest control with murder.
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Why does it matter that there are a million rabbits or only one to change your attitude toward the life of an individual rabbit?
News alert: Because a million is a lot more than just one.
Absolutely pathetic. Hey, if we humans are the problem, at least demonstrate your sincerity by offering to take the first step off the pier.
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Old April 19, 2006, 12:16 AM   #24
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My apologies...

Quote:
Hey, if we humans are the problem, at least demonstrate your sincerity by offering to take the first step off the pier.
I got carried away with his anti-human rant and it was rude to have suggested that.
But I still think he's entirely disconnected and is no authority on the problem our friends in NZ face.
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Old April 19, 2006, 02:00 AM   #25
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leadcouncil-
Care to tell me what what leads you to believe coyotes are "rare" in N.A.?

As for wolves, they weren't excipated from most of their range because of people wanting to go kill something, but because of fear (even if that fear was unreasonable which is a different debate.) Reintroductions have been successsfull to point of being counter productive. (Hint: you might want to do some research before decide to try to counter this point) And yes I know that wolves will most likely never repopulate a large chunk of their original range for the simple fact that its its not compatable with the modifications humans have made to the landscape. Anyway, around it wolves are still not "rare" in N.A.

Bears: same story as wolves. Again we aren't going to see grizzly bears over much of their traditional landscape because of ecosystem changes in addition to the fact that grizzlies don't play well with humans. In areas that can support Grizzly populations: Canada, Alaska, Yellowstone, the Northern Rockies, etc; research tends to show they are doing quite well.

Black Bears- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is your deffinition of rare Mate? Rare in Iowa? Yes. Rare in N.A.? Your on crack

Mountain Lions? I don't think you want to go there.

Whales: Research market hunting. I'll give you a hint: its the same thing that did in passenger pigeons and pretty much crashed the waterfowl, deer, and turkey populations of much of the U.S. Hate to burst your bubble but it wasn't a bunch of "good ole boys" sayin "hey lets go out and kill a whale today, that sounds like fun."


Its also nice to know that you "make every attempt to purchase meets, eggs, etc. that were humanely raised." Do you ask your t-bone when you pick it up at the store if it was humanely raised? How bout the guy behind the meat counter cause I bet he would know.

Do yourself a favor and do some research on the problems Death from Afar and his mates are having with rabbits, cats, and other non-native species. And no, your PETA newletter doesn't count as "research"
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