The hedgerows, banks, ditches and copses of rural Ireland that surround its quiet pastoral settings are the life blood and refuge of copious amounts of vermin. Thick and dense, they provide shelter and food to a myriad of species, including Rabbit, Wood Pigeon, Grey Crow, and Magpie. Two thirds of Ireland's bird life nests here, which as a point of interest, in turn attract large numbers of birds of prey such as Owls, kestrels, and sparrow hawks. Shooting vermin amid the sprawling and unfading green fields of Ireland, beneath ever changing skies, in whatever season, is a singularly unique experience for the shooting specialist or amateur.
These perfect prey animals are in profusion throughout the wild Irish countryside, playing an important role in the biodiversity of the country. As one of our 'true native species' with a legendary ability to reproduce, this coy target will test your metal, with its extreme evasiveness. Whether heading into the breeze at early sunrise or just after dark for Lamping, great stealth and superb marksmanship are what's required to bag the Irish Rabbit.
Pigeons are in great abundance throughout Ireland. These feral, flight loving, skilled aviators are seen frequently and are one of the most testing of the avian vermin to bring down. As for all birds, set yourself up with your back against the wind, as they land into the wind to slow themselves down. Clay pigeon shooting practice will help you bring down more pigeons.
The prolific grey crow, or hooded crow, with its Houdini like abilities, conversely inquisitive nature, large beak and vicious temperament, makes for a crack shot. Not easily intimidated, and persistent in its pursuit of vittles', this verminous bird is best shot at in and around its nesting sites. As a continuous pest that plagues the Irish countryside, everyone should take a pot shot.
With its distinctive white and almost blue black plumage, this striking bird is regarded as being highly intelligent, and is one of the few species that can recognise itself in the mirror test, as developed by Gordon Gallup. This may indicate that the bird is self- aware, and indeed its ability to skilfully evade the hunting rifle would suggest a certain aptitude. Best ambushed near its nesting sites or along its favourite flight lines, a shot rabbit hanging in a field is a tempting attraction for this carrion lover.