This year's head count for the Great Easter Bunny Hunt is down around 2,000 compared to last year.
The annual 24-hour rabbit shooting event saw hundreds of Central Otago hunters kill more than 8,000 of the pests, down from last year's count of more than 10,000.
Hunt convener Dave Ramsay says they had fewer competitors, and a smaller block of land to hunt on.
"Our guys certainly experienced a bit of wet weather which may have also counted for some of the lower totals in some of the blocks."
The E-Rabbicators took out the top spot, with its 12 team members bringing in 875 rabbits and hares.
Animal rights groups have labelled the hunt inhumane and ineffective, but hunt convener Dave Ramsay says it's necessary to keep back the tide of rabbits.
"It's all very well for people in Auckland to criticise but when they see the plague proportions that are here in Central Otago and the effect it has on rural life, it's quite significant."
He says the rabbits are a "huge pest" and the hunt is part of a wider solution.
"It hasn't been going away with viral treatment on its own - it has to be a complete package."