17 Apr 2014

Numbers down for bunny hunt

3:02 pm on 17 April 2014

More than 300 hunters are getting ready for the annual Easter Bunny Hunt in Central Otago but numbers will be down this year.

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The hunt is in its 24th year and involves teams of 12 shooters from all over the country.

Hunt organiser Dave Ramsay says they are expecting about 26 teams this year which is down on previous years, when there are usually about 36 teams.

He says the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Air Show has meant some farmers haven't offered up their land for the hunt this year, and with Easter being later, many people just don't have time to participate.

About 20,000 rabbits are killed in the hunt each year and Mr Ramsay says he is still expecting a reasonable kill rate, despite some areas, such as Tarras, having a high incidence of RCD in the area.

He says Millers Flat and Ettrick are expected to offer very good hunting this year.

The areas for each team will be drawn by ballot, under police supervision.

The shoot starts at midday on Good Friday and hunters have 24 hours to complete their kill.