Rabbit hunting is a great way of spending time when the temperature drops and your normal games are useless. BTW do you know that the sport of hunting rabbit is called Rabbiting? Not many are aware of this slang except for hunters passionate about rabbiting. Hunting rabbits is not a very easy job. So here are some things to keep in mind to make your experience more pleasant.
It’s Freezing Out There – Make Sure to Buddle Up.
The rabbiting season starts from early November to late February. However, the best time for rabbiting is when the snow settles on the ground as rabbit tracks are easy to follow after the fresh snowfall. Unraveling tracks allow the hunter to locate the hiding place. Quite a handy tip ahem!
The Time is Ripe for Rabbit Hunting
Done with the weather, now let’s get to the time as it is also an essential factor to consider. Rabbits are early risers as they are most active during dawn and they also come out when they feel safe at the dusk.
The low light at that time provides protection to rabbits while they search for food. So, you can get lucky as you can spot more rabbits during early morning and evening.
Places To Go
For beginners, it would be easy to hunt in small farms. Long grasses and thick bushes are the best places to look for the rabbits. Old barns or farms with weeds also tend to attract rabbits. If you are hunting in a cultivated field then the best crops and vegetables to look for are corn, soybeans, clover, rye, peanuts, peas, and barley. Ohh, you thought carrot farm? Naah, that might kill the rabbit in a very unpleasant and not your choice way. So look where you can find your hunt.
Keep Equipments Ready
You must always keep the useful equipment ready and handy. Service your gun thoroughly before going for hunting. Its no use, if you cannot fire your gun when to moment is right. Wear proper clothes according to the weather to make sure you are not irritated throughout the hunting trip.
Keep a hat on your head to save you from the scorching sun and heavy winds. Keep your feet warm by wearing woolen socks. In case the snow starts melting due to temperature rise, make sure to wear the best waterproof hiking boot for good grip.
Learn about the vicinity before you start hunting by placing the best trail cameras appropriately around the farm at geographically important locations. Sharpen your knife for after hunting celebrations. Be ready with plastic bags, full hand gloves and cleaning equipment for the after hunting cleaning.
A Dog is a Man’s Best Friend
Having a dog on your hunting trip can improve your odds in many ways. Dog’s sense of smell is most useful while rabbit hunting. When rabbits sense danger they tend to hide in thick and tangled bushes. While the hunter might not be able to see them, the dogs can easily sniff them out.
Hunting of rabbits involving dogs (usually beagle or basset hounds) is called beagling. Just so that you know;). No doubt dog’s labeled as man’s best friend.
Hide and Seek
Rabbits love to play hide and seek game, yeah they really do. They dig deep holes and hide in those devil holes only to come up in search of food during the dark hours. It would be best for you as a hunter to look for rabbits in places with thick and dense bushes.
The rabbits tend to search for food near such a place where they can easily take cover. If you do not have a dog to help you sniff out the rabbits then you should look out for the eyes of the rabbit.
Seeing eyes in thick bushes is easier than looking for the rabbit itself. This skill may require time to learn but it is very useful and helpful not only in rabbiting but while hunting other animals such as deer etc. too.
A Splash of Color
But not just any color, only Hunter Orange. It is the best option while hunting. It helps you protect your life from the danger of getting killed by other hunters hunting in the same area, as it is easier to spot you in thick bushes all thanks to the bright orange color. Moreover, it helps you not get detected by rabbits as rabbits are color blind to shades of orange & red color.
Run with the Hare and Hunt With Flair
If you choose a windy day for your rabbit hunting trip then it can greatly work in your favor as the wind will push your noise and scent away from the rabbits and allow you to approach the rabbit more closely. While searching for a rabbit, its best to walk in a zig-zag pattern rather than walking in straight line.
This pattern will alarm the prey and bring them out from their hiding. Here’s a handy tip, take a sudden pause of 30 to 60 seconds while moving. This trick flushes the rabbit and scared by the silence, they think they are spotted.
While rabbit hunting, it’s essential to be ready with your arm/weapon. The rabbit quickly gets out of its hiding and will move in a weaving pattern. You should quickly point the gun at the rabbit, lower your cheek to the gun, track the flash running cottontail bunny with the barrel, and instantly shoot as the barrel moves ahead of the prey.
Aim properly and keep your hands sturdy while holding the gun while the gun butt rests on your shoulder taking appropriate support.
One Man Army
Rabbit hunting without a dog is not impossible, but not that easy as well. Thou rabbit hunting without a dog won’t get you as much as rabbits that hunting with dogs can get but it is not completely unachievable.
If you are a novice, it advised that you use a beagle to assist you to find your prey. But if you are insistent on going on a hunt without any assistance then it is quite possible with proper knowledge. If you are looking for adventure and a lot of action, and happy with less number of rabbits, it’s better to go solo for hunting.
Rabbits are found in areas with the wild dense cover in abundance. Go to a place where you know that rabbits are in high population, so that your chances of bagging rabbit’s increases.
Rabbits don’t travel far between cover and food so one of the best places to find them is in thick, bushy areas right next to where they like to eat like bushy patches of blackberries, honeysuckle, and blueberry. Also, keep an eye on areas that have a lot of burrows.
Tangled bushes provide great cover for rabbits where they can feed without fear of being hunted by predators. If you are hunting without a dog, be prepared, you have to do some action yourself. It’s not necessary that you go for hunting rabbits at dusk or dawn if you’re going without dogs.
Sitting in one place would be of no use, you have to walk around and kick the burrow places where rabbits can be found and get them out of their cover. You have to be prepared with your weapon since they would jump out and run away quickly.
Pause as frequently as you can while doing so, since this would confuse the rabbit about which way you are going. This trick works every time. If you are hunting in pairs, you can also flank each other, standing 12 to 18 meters apart depending on how large the area of hunting is, and alternately walking ahead of each other and pausing.
For newbie hunters, rabbit hunting is one of the best ways to sharpen your skills. Even if you have been a spectator of the game or are completely new to this, it will be a very enjoyable experience for you. You will learn new ways of hunting and then discover/invent your own little tricks to hunt rabbits.
While all the techniques used in this hunt won’t be very useful in others, they will surely teach you patience and presence of mind. Now that you have learned quite a handful of tricks, apply them and let us know how they work for you.
You can also share with us any of the handy tricks that you think are worth getting included in our list. Comment below and be connected.