Rabbit Hunting Techniques
If you plan on going hunting without dogs you should know how rabbits react under different weather conditions. The best time for hunting rabbits would be the first hot day after a cold period because rabbits will stay in the sun all day to get their fur warm. On a cold day, you will find them in thick tangles of vines or briars and any other similar places which protect rabbits from the rough environment conditions.
In brush piles it is most likely to find a rabbit; cold day, warm day, it doesn’t really matter. Another location in which you will find rabbits in all weather conditions would be at an old apple orchard. If in the nearby vicinity you see tall grass or old brush piles, surely there is a rabbit around that area. When hunting rabbits it is good to know that they run in a straight line only for a limited period of time, after that they start bouncing – at this point a successful shot is almost impossible.
After you have spotted a rabbit it is advisable to move as slowly and quietly as possible so that the rabbit doesn’t hear you and run away. For situations like this, two hunters are recommended: one of the hunters should find a spot from which he might think a rabbit might run while the other slowly walks around the area, maintaining a distance between each other.
If you have the chance of seeing a rabbit running away, keep your eyes on him and see in which direction he is running because rabbits are known to have specific escaping routes which they religiously follow for years. Once you know their escaping routes, you will have more chances of catching them.
Hunting rabbits without dogs should be done by following the stop-and-go technique. Don’t make the mistake many hunters make of moving too quickly. What you should do is to inspect the area down to the last area of grass. Move 2-3 feet, then start looking again, repeat this procedure for a few times. If you are hunting with a partner, one of you should stay at a stand (preferably at the end of a fence row) while the other is inspecting the area. If you come across a brush pile, one of the hunters should find a standing spot from which he can have a good shot while the other jumps on the pile.
The second method of hunting rabbits is by using dogs. Hunting with a Beagle offers you a very exciting adventure and fast-action shootings. Shooting the rabbit can be a very hard thing to do as they run very fast once they see a Beagle. A word of advice: after the rabbit starts running and increases the distance between him and the dog he will most likely stop and look back, this is the perfect moment for a deadly shot.
If hunting on a pine tree plantation or an old orchard, you should find a spot where there is a little bit of elevation - after you find it, make a stand. Hunting in a pine tree area is quite easy as there are, in most cases, two-tracks at about every 10 rows of trees. You should stay as close as possible to these two-tracks. In most cases, the rabbits run for a short distance down those rows before they make a turn. If you use a Beagle, it is advisable to let the dog do his job.
Locating rabbits isn’t very hard, where there is food, there is a rabbit usually. They like to eat everything that is green, but also things like berries, grapes, fruit trees and other things in which they can sink their little teeth.
All in all, hunting rabbits can be a very exciting thing to do. With or without a dog, the choice is up to you, but whatever your method is, always keep your movement to a minimum and try not to make noise as rabbits have a very developed sense of hearing and once they detect you they will start running away.