First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

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crackehelmet
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First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby crackehelmet » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:31 am

I'm going to be heading out on my first hunt ever this upcoming Saturday, looking for bunnies. I'll be going going alone since I'm new to the area (Minnesota) and don't know anyone who hunts. I've got my hands on a .22 and a 20 gauge for the rabbits though I'd much prefer the .22 if I can make it work (Old soldier. Just love rifles). Without any experienced friends to initiate me into the sport I've taken to a lot of YouTube videos and reading a bunch of hunting articles. I'd sure be appreciative if anyone wants to throw some pearls of wisdom my way regarding getting a cottontail or two into the stew pot.

I'll definitely follow up on this with a report of how it went


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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby matt1336 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:27 am

I love rabbit hunting. Look for thick, thorny cover with lots of bunny tracks and pellets (poop). Kick around in that stuff and you'll get some running. I'd take the 20 gauge cuz those little suckers are fast.
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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby crackehelmet » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:00 am

Thanks for the advice! Quite a bit of what I read supports your preference for the 20 gauge. Maybe I'll take the 20 gauge out on Saturday and see if there are any good spots where I could take up a shooting position along the wood line for some time with the .22 on Sunday.
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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby creepingdeth » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:19 am

Sounds like a blast. When younger, used a single shot .410...Bunnys in the snow, I think I'll see if I can get my youngest out and maybe get some scouting in at the same time. good luck, be safe.
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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby crackehelmet » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:09 pm

Well, due to the MN DMV I wasn't able to go that Saturday. Never had to wait 3-5 weeks for a drivers license to be printed and mailed. Anyway, the DNR said I wasn't in the system as a resident yet in time for that weekend, but I did manage to get a resident license and get out this last Sunday and Monday.

On Sunday I walked the perimeter of the hunting ground and saw a lot of rabbit, coyote and grouse (I think) track. I wore myself out pretty good trudging through the snow but never saw a single bunny.

On Monday my luck wasn't any better as far as bagging a rabbit, but I noticed that the further east into the WMA I got the more coyote tracks I saw and the fewer rabbit. The only way into the area is at the very western edge and the area gets some pretty regular use from people going out to walk dogs or snowshoe. I figured that the coyotes were staying out east to avoid the human traffic so I went and took a closer look at some wood stands I had passed up before because they would have been the most heavily traveled by people. Sure enough, rabbit tracks and droppings everywhere in a nice stand of pine with what I think is smooth sumac under-story (Showed a picture to a friend who knows more about that stuff). They had clearly been out and active but they also weren't there anymore. That stand also didn't have the kind of brush piles I've read about jumping on to flush them out, so I followed some tracks down the side of the hill into some denser growth along the side of the hill that leads down to a frozen pond. Down there I found a rabbit hole with fresh tracks and dirt kicked out onto the snow as well as a spot under a fallen branch where it looked like one of them had hunkered down for a while. Probably hiding from me on my first pass through.

So not the best hunting story, but I think I got some pretty good scouting done for a beginner going it alone. I'll be out hunting that stand early next Saturday morning.

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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby Crazinamatese » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:44 pm

I used to hunt cotton tails in my backyard when I was younger. There were a couple old fencelines that cut thru back in there that became overgrown with prickly ash and other nasty pokey brush and the rabbits holed up tight along those strips of brush. I used to spook them out and wait until they stopped then took a shot. Sometimes they would keep running but most stopped long enough for a shot. There was also an old junk yard on top of the hill with old junked out farm machinery that they would hide in.
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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby creepingdeth » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:46 pm

Sounds like you are on your way...not sure which WMA you were at, but there are quite a few places to roam., some down this way also(SE metro). Have'nt hunted small game but have squirrels and bunnys around. :D
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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby crackehelmet » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:53 pm

That sounds like a blast. I'm a bit limited on where I can hunt at the moment. I live in the suburbs and am super new to the area so state land is about all I got available right now.

Did you always intentionally flush them? Is there any use in getting out into an overlook early and waiting for them to move in like you would in a deer stand or blind?
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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby crackehelmet » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:57 pm

creepingdeth wrote:Sounds like you are on your way...not sure which WMA you were at, but there are quite a few places to roam., some down this way also(SE metro). Have'nt hunted small game but have squirrels and bunnys around. :D


I was out at the Lake Robina WMA in Hennepin county. As far as I could tell it was the closest to me and when I saw rabbit tracks I figured it was worth going back a few times at least to see if I could get onto anything. I'm defiantly open to suggestions of better spots for chasing rabbits though!
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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby Crazinamatese » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:59 pm

nope, never tried hunting them like that. I just slowly wandered the thick stuff and booted them out. I do remember they also like hanging out around spruce trees. Im guessing the ground scrubbing branches provides them some security cover for them.
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Crazinamatese
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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby Crazinamatese » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:00 pm

Also, be sure the tracks you are seeing aren't squirrel tracks. They look similar.
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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby ttsbuck » Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:06 pm

crackehelmet wrote:That sounds like a blast. I'm a bit limited on where I can hunt at the moment. I live in the suburbs and am super new to the area so state land is about all I got available right now.

Did you always intentionally flush them? Is there any use in getting out into an overlook early and waiting for them to move in like you would in a deer stand or blind?

Some spots I hunt don't have good brush where rabbits will hide, so most are holed up early in the day. I will go to those spots at first or last light and take a stand this usually produces a few.
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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby jwilkstn » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:28 pm

Sounds like a good time, good luck 8-)
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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby ihookem » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:11 pm

I almost never see rabbits unless it is before sun up and after sun down. I hunt them about 1 hour in the morning and just before dark. Love those rabbits though. Aint nutthin better . You can have deer meat . I'll take rabbit even before my free range meat chickens.
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Re: First Hunt this Saturday - Rabbits

Postby Jonny » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:11 pm

My dog was about a half second away from catching a rabbit today. Probably shouldn't have given her that burger before we left :doh:

Would like to go hunt rabbits, just never enough time
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