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Thread: Rabbit strategies in snow

  1. #1

    Default Rabbit strategies in snow

    Went out to my secret spot on Friday. This is a place that this fall, after it had snowed and melted and the rabbits were white, I bagged 5 in 10 minutes and could have easily bagged 10 more had I not wanted to spend the time cleaning all of them. Everytime I went out there when it was snowless it was ridiculously easy hunting.

    Well, went out there this friday and there were tons and tons of rabbit tracks, but step off trail and I was waist deep in snow. I poked around the bottoms of pine trees that were close to the trail and saw nothing but tracks and pellets. Does anyone have any strategies for finding bunnies in such deep snow? I know they're there, I just can't find em!

  2. #2
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    snares!


    .....
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  3. #3
    Member rlcofmn's Avatar
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    Snow shoes and a 12 ga. It is a hole new game now that we have good snow cover. I have not had to resort to the 12 ga some but the my snowmachine 410 is a huge advatage over a 10/22. I found just to walk around alot with the snowshoes and keep your eys open to try to see one stationary but odd are you will end up shooting at them running. They are still out there the tables have just turned to there advantage now.

  4. #4
    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Default hmm

    Asrjb sounds like we are hunting the same secret spot. 1st time all year we were skunked.
    The family went out today for a walk & we saw zero. Didn't bring the snow shoes though & the dog didn't seem to want to work the deep heavy cover much(either did we) Had a Underarmor shirt on the dog & somehow she managed get it stuckto pull it off... strange indeed. So if you see a black coldgear shirt laying some thicket let me know.
    On a serious note though when the snow gets real deep we use one shotgun & one rifle, snowshoes, & let the dog go infront & hope to catch the movement as they circle back. Walk slow & pause sometimes they will get nervous & make a hop, & you will catch the movement. The visibility today wasn't great, so wait till some of the burrows & thickets get matted down more & you can see & they will reappear.
    If not we just have to drive farther. I usually make one trip to Cantwell & a couple to Sheep mtn. as the winter wears on. They usually produce a couple when there is nothing else.

  5. #5
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    I think white bunnies on white snow is only 20% of the battle ...the noisiness of the snow (SQUEEEK CRUNCH SQUEEEEEK with each step) is great for spooking the game away. I went out this weekend on snowshoes (Fairbanks area) and saw zillions of tracks and pellets, but no bunnies... had a good time anyway. Couple of weeks ago, I saw someone's dog chasing about 5 bunnies through the snow... I think using a dog is a good idea ...but don't have one and my cat doesn't make much of a hunting dog .

    Brian

  6. #6

    Default

    Sounds like your hotspot is now a nighttime feeding ground. I'd sure explore cover in the surrounding areas, especially if there was a bit of elevation change. Low spots are going to be colder and get less sun, so they tend to climb a bit in such conditions.

    Early first light is usually best for me, but evening last light can be good if you're prepared to walk out in the dark. In both cases they won't be buried so deep in cover, and may even be out in the open.

    Another tip for finding them in cover. They may be white out in the sun, but back in the shadows they are as gray as the shadows. Best medicine I have found is to try and spot their eyes or the black tips on their ears. Go slow and circle likely cover just far out enough to keep from spooking hares lurking within. If you start to see a pattern, as in the hares holding to the sunny side of the cover or the downwind side, work that to your advantage every time you approach new cover. And go slow!

  7. #7
    Member Fish4250's Avatar
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    If you are shotgunning walk slow and walk downwind. They sometimes try and crouch down under grass or branches until you are right on top of them. Kick the grass clumps and laydowns and be ready to shoot. If you want to get them you have to go where they are. A dog would be great but if you don't have that luxury then you do the best you can with your own dogs.

    If you jump one and can't get a shot then go on and come back about 20 or so minutes later. Rabbits are very territorial and run in and eliptical pattern for the most part. They want to be where they were otherwise they wouldn't be there. Usually you can get a shot on the same rabbit the second time, because you will be more ready.

    Good luck and have fun,

    Fish

  8. #8
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Default I didn't see any...

    Man, went out yesterday and walked a bunch with a friend of mine. Tracks and sign everywhere but we didn't see one darn bunny the whole freakin way. I've been trying to figure out if we were doing something wrong but maybe luck was against us today.

    Do they scare pretty easily when they hear crunching snow? We would walk for a ways then stop... sometimes go into the heavy cover and kicking into the bushes and little spots where you could tell they had been. Any ideas?

  9. #9
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default binoculars

    I usually do really well finding feeding areas (lots of bark chewed off the little sapplings to about 2 feet above the snow), then going to them at the crack of dawn or at twilight. Rabbits move back into the feedlots just before dark, feed all night, then go back into cover a little bit after daybreak. Binos work wonders for picking them out from the snow- maybe its something about light transmission, it somehow adds contrast to their fur, or else its just because they're magnified so much, it makes it much easier for me to see them.

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