Archive for the ‘Upland Hunting’ Tag

TIPS FOR EARLY SEASON RABBIT HUNTERS   5 comments

The early part of rabbit season tends to be one when the weather is mixed as are the chances of success.  It is a time when planning and stealth are important.

 Many hunters do not pay attention to the moon phases but perhaps they should.  The best time to hunt rabbits is when the moon is in a dark phase and the worst time is during a full moon.  Common sense suggests that with a full moon the rabbits are out feeding all night and sleeping in during the day.

 Because of the rather limited insulating properties of rabbit fur, they tend to be more active when the temperatures are above 50-degrees and there is not wind.  Rabbit hunting is at its worst when temperatures fall below freezing and the wind is high.  Snowing weather also makes for bad rabbit hunting as they tend to just hunker down.

 Early in the hunting season, rabbits can find plenty of food in the cover.  Later as the food is consumed, they have to move around more in search of grain crops such as wheat and Milo.

 It is a good idea to hunt the edges of shelter belts and CRP lands.  The animals will dart in and out of the heavy cover as they feed on spilled grain along roadways.  They will move from cover to the remaining crop fields and grassy areas.  Open areas offer the hunter some clear shots.

 In years with heavy predator populations, rabbits become scarcer.  The remaining animals will be very wary and tend to stay in the heavier cover for protection.  If the rabbit population in a specific area is greater, they will tend to be found in more open areas.  This makes them easier to hunt.

 Rabbits that are well hidden will often sit tight and allow the hunter to walk past.  It is a good idea to walk and stop periodically to make them more nervous.  Rabbits cannot stand the pressure of hunters stopping near them.

 Another good idea is to keep possible travel routes in view at all times.  As the animals scurry along fence lines, ditches or little streams, they may stop on the edge of cover so as to not expose themselves to danger.  Good rabbit hunters soon learn to spot their prey in the thickest cover.  They call it looking for the eye.  The large black shining dot is a sure fire giveaway as it stands out giving the hunter an edge.

 Always take a second or two to look back over your shoulder at the area you just covered.  Rabbits are notorious at sneaking around a hunter and beating a hasty retreat out of the area.

 If the area in which you are hunting does not contain a lot of “pills” and prints then the odds are that it does not contain rabbits.  If there is no telltale sign of rabbit activity it may be a good idea to just move on to another area and not waste time.  You might find a few animals there but not enough to make it worth all the time and effort.

 There are fewer rabbit hunters these days.  That can be a good deal as it becomes easier to gain landowner permission. Rabbits are not as pressured as might be in a pheasant hunting area.  Line up a number of hunting locations before the opening day of rabbit season.  That way you do not have to waste valuable hunting time gaining permission to hunt.

 Finally, it is important that a rabbit hunter wear comfortable clothing and boots.  Choose your clothing according to the weather.  Boots should be properly broken in prior to the beginning of the season.  Wear them around home or walking in the neighborhood so that they toughen up your feet and become more flexible.  A blaze-orange hat and vest are recommended to make you more visible to other hunters who might be in the field.  Rabbits do not react to blaze-orange on their own.

 Heavy duty brush chaps or reinforced pants are good.  Rabbits tend to sit tight in heavy brush and thorns.  You might have to go in after them in order to get the little rascals to move into more open areas that presents shots.

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