Ultimate Ultra - Gone Shooting

Having seen what the rifle could now achieve in test conditions, it was time to see what it could do where it really mattered - in the hunting field - so it was off to my main shoot, 35 acres of gently rolling pasture and hedgerow, and hopefully lots of rabbits.

My hopes were answered, because the fields were teeming with rabbits when I arrived in the late afternoon sunshine. I was quietly mooching towards one of my favourite rabbit hot-spots when I noticed no fewer than 23 of them in the corner of a field that only normally yields one or two. Most of the rabbits were small, but there was a perfect pan-sized one quietly cropping the grass, who conveniently let me close on him to 25 yards, which I needed to do because there was a slight cross-wind. A perfect head shot saw him roll over. Now while some hunters have a brief to cull rabbits regardless of size if they're being a pest, I have the luxury on my shoot of being able to fire when I want to, so the smaller rabbits were left well alone to fatten themselves up for next time.

Off to the next field and there was another large group, all busy gorging on the succulent grass, made tender by the recent rain. I had to belly crawl to a suitable ambush position 30 yards away, but once there it was a case of picking my target and gently squeezing the trigger. Two more rabbits fell to the regulated Ultra. I could have shot more, but like I said, I was shooting for sport, not extermination, and three rabbits were all I needed. One for my family, one for the landowner and the other for a friend. Job done. And that's what this rifle's really all about - doing a job. It just happens to do it in style.

After my success with the rabbits, I thought it was time to return to the car to collect my gutting gear. But they say you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, and the gift horse in this case was actually a cheeky grey squirrel. The grey was sitting watching me from a tree. I initially intended to leave him alone and walk straight past him, but when he refused to hop away and just sat there staring at me, I knew I had another addition to my game bag in the offing.

This particular squirrel was very obliging, allowing me to put down the rabbit I was carrying, make ready my rifle and take careful aim, ensuring an instant drop-dead head shot. What was going through his mind - apart from the pellet of course? Maybe the fact that he stuck around showed a reckless, devil-may-care attitude. Maybe he thought staying stuck to the branch rendered him invisible. Either way, he got shot, he got eaten. It would've been rude not to.

The SportsMatch bridge spirit level

The SportsMatch bridge spirit level is a great help when setting zero - and in the field when lying prone on uneven ground.