Rabbit Hunting


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The obscure little rabbit. He is food for many of the predators of the wild. He reproduces at an alarming rate. He can be found in most areas of the country. He tastes really good if prepared by someone who has had experience preparing and cooking this little delicacy. He can be hunted alone or with dogs. Shotguns and rifles can be used to hunt him. Some brave souls even use the pistol to take the furry little creatures. They live in varied areas of desert and heat in the South to the frozen waste lands of the North country. Hares and rabbits are all good hunting. From the Texas jack rabbit to the swamp rabbit which lives in watery environs the result is always predictable. Rabbit hunting is addictive and tremendously enjoyable.

For those of us used to sitting motionless in deer stands the rabbit offers a viable alternative.

Action abounds in this sport. The jack rabbit is usually hunted with rifles of the appropriate caliber. They are long distance runners and are sometimes observed at ranges that are well beyond the distances where cotton tails are harvested with shotguns. Accuracy is the number one objective in hunting the Jack. Running targets are not out of the question and can add tremendous sport to an afternoon of hunting. The rabbit and its cousins usually are observed right before sundown or early in the morning. The cotton tail is usually hunted with a fast moving shotgun. The cotton tail will usually go into the thickest cover that it can find.

Hunting rabbits in this situation is akin to hunting quail. You can expect fast moving and explosive action almost under your feet.

Walking in rabbit country is the best way to waylay these speedsters. The zig zag travel escape routes of the cotton tail can be exhilarating. This rabbit has more twists and turns than a couple on a blind date whose only ambition is to end this escapade and go home alone for the night. The rabbit goes from one set of protective cover to another. Your reflexes have to be sharp and your gun handling has to be true. The rabbit is not particularly hard to kill. Many sportsmen try to avoid meat damage by trying for head shots.

Many times I have witnessed rabbits running at a fast pace in open country with no change in their speed. If you watch long enough you can usually observe a dog or a predator hot on their trail. The scream emitted by a dying rabbit can usually mean one thing. The rabbit has been caught by one of its predators and the end is near. The hawk and coyote are very fond of rabbit meat. They know a good thing when they taste it. I grew up on rabbit meat. My mother always prepared the delicious bounty which I brought home from the surrounding fields. One of the downsides of growing old is not being able to follow the trail of the rabbit through rough country on a hunting afternoon because of age riddled limbs. My memories of those fun filled afternoons as a boy chasing the rabbit through the countryside will never escape my memory and will be forever a part of my heritage as a hunter.

Steve Graham is an avid hunter and fisherman and shares his experiences and knowledge with others.





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