There's no doubt about it: chasing rabbits is fantastic sport. Hunting cottontails may lack the sudden explosiveness of quail hunting or the mesmerism of a green-timber mallard hunt at dawn, but it has an immeasurable allure all its own.
While their popularity has slipped in recent years with the rise in deer and turkey numbers, many sportsmen still pursue gray and fox squirrels, especially as deer seasons wind down in winter. Squirrel seasons extend through February in many states, and others hold seasons in spring and summer as well. It’s easy to see why this small game favorite still draws thousands of hunters into the woods each year.
Although most rabbit hunters bag a few cottontails or swamp rabbits on each trip afield, certain techniques can bolster your success. These 12 tips should help you better enjoy the experience of rabbit hunting this season.
During cold winter months it is easy for hunters to get cabin fever and to develop a high anticipation for the upcoming spring turkey season. Other than predator hunting, there really isn’t much to hunt during the months of January, February, and March, unless one was to take up the sport of hunting crows. Yes, some people eat crow however it is not really an item that is popular on the menu.
Heat, humidity, mosquitoes, powerful thunderstorms – not the conditions that make many folks think, “Let’s go hunting.” However, if you just need to get out and apply your predatory skills … and burn some powder … summertime hunting opportunities do exist. In fact, there’s a whole lot of fun to be had that you’ll have nearly to yourself!
All furred game – big or small – should be opened up to begin cooling as soon as possible after it’s taken. In the case of hunting small game, like squirrels, it makes sense to skin and gut the animal completely right away. Especially with squirrels, the sooner you get to them, the easier they are to clean.
Easing slowly through the hardwood river bottom, I froze mid-step. The bark of a scolding squirrel rang out from the treetops. Scanning the woods around me, I finally spotted him—halfway up a nearby white oak. Slowly raising my shotgun, I aimed and fired. The scolding ceased, and I was one squirrel closer to a
As the blur of brown fur exploded out of the brush pile, the shotgun seemed to leap to my shoulder on its own. A quick squeeze of the trigger and my first cottontail of the day was in the bag.
It’s cold. A heavy frost rests solidly on the ground, covering every leaf with a crunchy film that even a mouse couldn’t tread across quietly. Deer season is in the heat of the rut and you’ve left your favorite spot alone for seven straight days waiting for the right wind. Anticipation is running high; you know that at any minute the ol’ heavy-horned super chief could walk by your hunting treestand.