In Australia, rabbits are not a native species but were brought to the country by settlers that wanted to make their new land feel more like home. Absent of the many natural predators that rabbits faced in many other parts of the world, the rabbit population flourished to the point where they are now considered to be an invasive pest and can be found in many areas of Australia. Hunting rabbits in Australia is a fun and entertaining sport and each year there seems like there are many more rabbits to hunt.
Australia thought to control the spread of the wild rabbits by allowing individuals to hunt them for sport, but the climate in the country is so suitable to the rabbits that all that are taken are quickly replaced through natural reproduction. It is estimated that all of the hunters in Australia take a mere 1-2% of the rabbit population each year. The hunters would need to take more than 150 million rabbits annually to place any sort of dent in the wild rabbit population of Australia.
For many years, rabbits have been the main source of recreational hunting in many areas of Australia. Hunters have always been able to depend on taking a few rabbits with each hunt using various methods and many of these hunters decide to eat the rabbits or skin them for the hide. Rabbits to hunt can be found in various habitats around Australia, including everything from deserts to the coastal plains.
Hunting in Australia can include the use of firearms, bows, traps, ferrets, dogs, or other items such as spot lights, although not much more than a rifle and some bullets are needed for a successful rabbit hunt. A hunting permit is required for all individuals that would like to hunt in Australia and each hunting permit covers multiple feral, non-native species of animals as well as a few native species that are not protected by current hunting laws. If the hunter is using a firearm, then they must also possess the appropriate firearms license and any individual under the age of 18 must be hunting with and supervised by an individual that is over the age of 18.
Most hunters decide to hunt rabbits in Australia using a rifle, generally a .22 rimfire (magnum or long rifle), but some prefer to use a shotgun or a bow instead. The most common way of hunting rabbits is to flush them out of their burrows and out of bushes into an area where the hunter can get a clear shot at them. It is important for the hunter to always be aware of their surroundings when hunting rabbits because there is no telling which way the rabbit will run and the hunter will only have a few seconds to take the shot before the rabbit reaches cover again.
Some hunters use dogs or ferrets to flush the rabbits out into the open where the hunter can get a shot at them. This is a tricky hunting method because the hunter never knows from which direction the rabbit will be coming from or in what direction it will be heading. Hunting rabbits in Australia can be a fun and exciting pastime for both the national and the international hunters that decide to take part in the sport.