Could it help us shoot more rabbits quicker?
The use of firearms is a big part of our company these days, with at least one of us shooting each night of the week. We cover a large acreage which means we are constantly looking into ways to streamline what and how we do it. To add to this many of the locations that we work when controlling rabbits are not practical to drive 4x4s, so we rely on a lot on quads to travel around at night. Rifle shooting has become a bigger part of what we do now with a fair amount of use with thermal and night vision equipment.
Traditionally, using a rifle from a quad at night has never been the most convenient way to shoot rabbits. In all truthfulness it has always been a bit awkward which is why we preferred to use moderated 410 shotguns for lamping instead.
Storing a rifle whilst driving, knocking scopes making them inaccurate whilst bumbling about, getting a steady rest to shoot as well as safety are all issues of rifle shooting from a quad. These factors have always limited this as a viable combination for us. So, when I heard of a rifle rest that might change this I was certainly interested to try it although sceptical at first.
The “SmartRest” – Quad Rest which is designed by Australian company “Eagleye Hunting Gear” can be purchased from Bushwear here in the UK, at a cost of £179 including VAT. As soon as we received it we had it fitted to the front rack on a Kawasaki 650cc quad.
The rifle rest itself is a gun rack which compresses down and pops up, designed to hold the rifle firmly in place when driving in the compressed position and has supplied rubber bands for securing the rifle of which it safely holds without any help. Yet the rifle can quickly be accessed by the driver of the quad by popping it up with minimum effort to take a shot in the elevated position while supported by the rest. This all happens via a series of pistons and swivel points without any worry of the gun being dropped or knocked making it a convenient deal for both the part time and professional hunter.
Most of our rifle work is with night vision gear which has meant we did need to move the positioning of the rest on the quad rack frame to suit the rifle balance due to all the extras on it. This is easily done using the supplied hardware that comes with it. Even with the night vision and IR attached the result has been good and it all works very well even on rough ground. I wasn’t sure if this equipment would take the pressure of constant use but after months of abuse it is still proving invaluable to our night operations. On the big jobs it also means we can each have highly successful hauls with out the need for two people, the rifle sits in place whilst we drive with night vision or thermal depending on the size of the moon until rabbit is spotted, grab the gun, pivot it to elevation and angle we want and take a safe and accurate shot, the rabbit is then picked up and put in one of the quad trays.
A useful asset
I can conclude that the Quad Rest by Eagleye Australia works a treat . I would advise to look up www.eagleyehg.com and search more uses for the Quad Rest, it does adapt to trucks, Side x Side Buggy’s, and more. You can buy a Quad Rest in the UK from Bushwear here: www.bushwear.co.uk
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