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12/6/2019 7:27:02 PM
Posted: 2/20/2011 9:33:17 PM EST
For some reason eating these furry bouncy balls is just now coming to my attention and I'm thinking about giving it a shot later this week. Any tips? Types of terrain/brush to look for? I'm going to try and borrow my father's 20 gauge but if not my 12 gauge will have to do. Is there a preferred shot size that you guys like to use? The season in this state ends March 15 so I won't have much time to figure out what I'm doing. I'll be hunting public lands that are mainly woods with some fields created to provide habitat for deer. Even the smallest bits of advice are appreciated.
Link Posted: 2/20/2011 9:47:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/20/2011 9:51:44 PM EST by Effenpig]
I'd say 4 or 6 depending on your choke and how far of shot you plan on taking. If it's mostly field where you'll be try out the treelines and any brushy areas. It's really helpful If you have someone to kick out areas for you while you stand ready, small sugared up kids are great for this. I used to nail em when I was younger using a 12 gauge 870 wingmaster full choke. Now I really prefer a 16 or 20 gauge o/u or
double barrel

I'm pretty sure rabbits are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. If you have someone to kick around for you anytime of the day should be fine.


Link Posted: 2/20/2011 9:57:56 PM EST
As for field dressing, some guys hold them by the neck and fling them like as if your cracking a whip. Then you can squeeze their guts right out their ass. I'm not a big fan of this method, I find it a bit repulsive.
Link Posted: 2/21/2011 1:52:53 AM EST
I've been out rabbit hunting lately and can't find any where it's legal to hunt. I am tired of getting cut from the brier. This is a tag for where I can find wabbits in the woods.
Link Posted: 2/21/2011 3:28:18 AM EST

Originally Posted By Effenpig:
I'd say 4 or 6 depending on your choke and how far of shot you plan on taking. If it's mostly field where you'll be try out the treelines and any brushy areas. It's really helpful If you have someone to kick out areas for you while you stand ready, small sugared up kids are great for this. I used to nail em when I was younger using a 12 gauge 870 wingmaster full choke. Now I really prefer a 16 or 20 gauge o/u or
double barrel

I'm pretty sure rabbits are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. If you have someone to kick around for you anytime of the day should be fine.



No one to kick for me, it'll just be me making noise along the edge of a field and praying they don't run out in front of me.
Link Posted: 2/21/2011 4:44:06 AM EST
Many years ago the Texas-Oklahoma area was infested with rabbits but they died out and have not returned in robust numbers. Rabbit Fever, or Tulermia, was the culprit.

If you have any cuts on your hands be careful to avoid direct contact with their blood. Rabbits - especially jackrabbits - may sometimes still carry Tulermia. Tulermia has been refined to serve as a biological weapon. It is lethal in its natural form as well.
Link Posted: 2/21/2011 5:49:30 AM EST
Try using a whistle in low shrub or grassy area, a high pitched one. Get their ears up.
Link Posted: 2/24/2011 12:54:03 AM EST
Leave the shotgun at home and bring the 22 autoloader. Or 22 mag for jacks. Spot and stalk is alot of fun, so is jumping brush piles. I am not a jack hunter, we don't have them here, but snowshoes are a blast to sneak up on, it really hones your spot and stalk abilities when you go up against them in their environment.

Cottontails are different. Right now in Wisconsin we are at the low end of the cycle and it saddens me greatly. For about 3 years we stop rabbit hunting to let the numbers come back up in conjunction with the natural cycle. It is difficult since my buddies and I are hard core rabbit hunters. We use 22 semi auto pistols since using anything else is just not fair. Our best methods for hunting is to drive them. Work the brushpiles and other hiding areas over really well to flush out the bunnies and then take them as they race for cover. It also depends on the type of hunting we are doing. If we are erradicating bunnies for people who are having rabbit issues we jump on brushpiles to smash them down and trample grass to crush the hiding places, always leaving one or two strategic piles intact so the rabbits use them instead. We hit the place hard a few days in a row, then let it sit for a week. When we hit a place the third or fourth time we know where the bunnies are going to run to and we set standers in place to take them as they head for cover. If we are hunting a place over and over we usually set seasonal limits on how many rabbits we take from it and then stick to the limits. We do not destroy habitat and monitor the bunnies in the area.
Link Posted: 3/4/2011 6:44:48 AM EST
great topic. I'm also just wanting to get into bunnies for the first time. Still have a lot to learn.
As far as shot placement, if your using a .22 where do you want to hit? head? Vitals? or anywhere? and for shotgun I assume you just go straight for it. Seems like its a pretty small target and not a lot of meat. I wasnt sure if you were supposed to go out of your not to ruin any meat.
Link Posted: 3/4/2011 4:35:28 PM EST
rabits have died out here. just dont see them that much. about the only time i would see them is driving down the road about 4 to 5 in the morning going deer hunting. i do a lot more squirrell hunting now cause i see more of them than i do people
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 1:44:17 AM EST
I havent seen a Rabbit in Texas since I moved here, plenty of squirrels and dove though. Growing up in Iowa there was at least 1 rabbit in every yard around dusk in the summertime, more than you could fling .177 pellets at.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 7:20:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2011 7:31:19 PM EST by Clarinath]
We mainly head shoot them, sometimes they get shot in the body, but most often the bunnies are sitting still and then you can get a good head shot. If they are running they might get hit elsewhere.

I am an absolute rabbit hunting fanatic and these are my observations.

With bunnies you have three different positions you need to concern yourself with.

The Bunny Ball: This is when the bunny is sitting in a cute little ball with its front feet tucked back so you can't really see them and they look like a little furball. You will find them in this position when they are hiding, or sunning themselves, it is their most relaxed position and they rarely, rarely bust into a run from this position.

Alert: In this position the rabbit's front legs are out a little ways from their back end. You can see the seperation. Their butts are still on the ground or a little bit off. They know something is up, they just don't know what yet. They are ready to take off, but not quite, you have a little time.

Ready to Run: This is the position they will be in when they are less than a heartbeat away from kicking in the afterburners and heading for cover. Their bodies are stretched out, their butt is off the ground, their front legs are way out in front of them. If you see a bunny like this all they are waiting for is you to move just a bit and they will take off.

Knowing their body language helps you hunt them. When they are in the first two positions you have a little time to slowly move your gun to shooting position, in the third, they will probably not wait around.

Hunting the bunny.

Bunnies must have cover. Brush piles, old machinery, old cars, junk piles, anything that gives them solid overhead cover is where they spend much of their time. Rarely will you find a rabbit out in the wide open. Dense cover such as brushlines along fields are a good place to find bunnies eating. A simple way to hunt is to jump on the brush pile until the rabbits run out. It is usually a good idea to hunt in pairs. One person can jump the pile, the other can stand and shoot the bunnies. When confronted with an old car or pile of logs or equipment use a stick to poke under the cover to get them to flush.

Always remember that the rabbit will run in a circle unless they go straight to what we call a Bunny Hilton. A Bunny Hilton is a pile you cannot get them out of like a rockpile or a giant solid brushpile. If they go into a Bunny Hilton, acknowledge your adversary as getting the best of you and move on, go back another time.

Here in Wisconsin toward the end of season, the bunnies are forced to eat bark and buds. A funny thing happens to their urine at this time of year, it turns all kinds of funky colors, I have seen bright red, blue and pink bunny urine in the snow. It depends on what they are eating. Bunnies have such a simple digestive system it is only one step up from an earthworm. They even eat their own poop after the first go round to get all the nutrients out of their pellets.

Right now the rabbits are on the low end of their 7 year cycle. I didn't hunt at all this year and hopefully will get to go next year. Good luck, and have fun.

Here is a simple recipe. In a stock pot, put down a layer of sauerkraut about 2 inches deep. Quarter the rabbits and put a layer of quarters on the kraut, cover them with kraut till they are completely covered, then add a layer of bunny. Put in as many layers as you like then put a lid on it and put it in the oven at 350 for 3-5 hours, depending on how deep the layers are.
Link Posted: 3/13/2011 7:27:05 PM EST
I prefer using a .22LR rifle, my friend uses a Ruger .22 pistol but he is a real good shot. I only hunt in the winter during the snowy season to avoid disease.

I glass for eyes. The cottontails will tend to freeze unless you are using dogs. The snowshoes/hares are more likely to run.

I harvest more cottontails.
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