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Thread: Fall Rabbit Hunting

  1. #1

    Default Fall Rabbit Hunting

    So the pheasant hunting in Alaska lacks, but there are those snowshoe hares!

    I haven't done too much rabbit hunting, but I usually hunt them by flushing a field with a few friends the same way you would hunt pheasants. This has been fairly successful, but does anyone have any other hints as to how you hunt them. I figure it to be a fun day trip if nothing else. Also, where would the best places be to go? I don't want your secret spot, but I am talking about type of terrain, ground cover, etc.

    With the snow coming down so hard already here in Anchorage I hope they haven't turned all white yet...

    Any insight would be appreciated!

    Thanks,

    -HT

  2. #2

    Default Fried bunnies

    Snowshoes hares are a blast to hunt--and I'd have to say that they are my favorite small game animal. As far as the best ways to hunt them,in areas with lots of bunnies,simply walking through the cover will produce lots ot shooting. However,a relatively slow,deliberate pace seems to work best--and as with grouse,pausing for a moment now and then will often unnerve any rabbit hiding nearby enough to make him flush.And if you see a brushpile or blowdown--give it a good kick,as hares often hide there and will let you walk on by unless you stomp on 'em. If you're willing to put in a little training time--and want to have a lot of fun--a good beagle is the best way to hunt hares. They will run in a sort of "circle" pattern,usually along edge cover--so if you hear your dog run by--get over there and wait--chances are the hare will be back through on this circuit again. With a good beagle you'll be blasting more bunnies than you you can handle!

  3. #3
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Rifles? Which?

    Hope you guys don't mind me asking, but will you be using rifles?

    If so, I'm curious which - I know someone who likes .22Mag. Must be several other types of rounds that work well.

    Thanks and good luck this winter.

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    5.7x28 is a good round
    Semper Fi!

  5. #5
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Bruce is dead on! I just take my time and work the really thick stuff. I use a 12 Guage cause I like sootin em while they are running. If you are new to bunnies by shotgun SHOOT! I allways looked for the perfect shot like I would on big game. Now all I need is a good guess that the rabbit is going to be behind that bunch of grass and I will level it. My harvest has gone up 10 fold. I use # 6 shot and most of it passes clean through. We also carry a cutting board in our packs and completely clean and quarter the hares immediately. We can completely butcher a rabbit in about 8 minutes w/ 2 people and at the end of the day we aren't trying to clean a bunch of stiff carcasses, not to mention I think the meat is better tasting that way.

    As to which rifle other than the various .22 rim fires. There are a number of people using .17 HMR/ Mach2. I have a friend that hammers with a AR 15 using a Halo sight on the run! They are very weak animals though the carnage of even the .17 is impressive and the .223 is a little disturbing! I have killed several and struggled to find more than a 1 or 2 pellet holes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce1965 View Post
    Snowshoes hares are a blast to hunt--and I'd have to say that they are my favorite small game animal. As far as the best ways to hunt them,in areas with lots of bunnies,simply walking through the cover will produce lots ot shooting. However,a relatively slow,deliberate pace seems to work best--and as with grouse,pausing for a moment now and then will often unnerve any rabbit hiding nearby enough to make him flush.And if you see a brushpile or blowdown--give it a good kick,as hares often hide there and will let you walk on by unless you stomp on 'em. If you're willing to put in a little training time--and want to have a lot of fun--a good beagle is the best way to hunt hares. They will run in a sort of "circle" pattern,usually along edge cover--so if you hear your dog run by--get over there and wait--chances are the hare will be back through on this circuit again. With a good beagle you'll be blasting more bunnies than you you can handle!


    What kind of training to you need to give a beagle to be a good rabbit hunter helper. Or is it just natural and teach them good traites like coming when called.

  7. #7

    Default Beagle

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew cochran View Post
    What kind of training to you need to give a beagle to be a good rabbit hunter helper. Or is it just natural and teach them good traites like coming when called.
    Andrew--it's pretty much natural for a beagle. If the parents were good hunters,the pup probably will be too. Mainly,get them out in the woods and let them roam around in some low evergreens. Sooner or later they'll bump into a hare--and the chase will be on! At first they probably won't chase it far....but of course they'll smell it--and eventually will begin to scent trail the hares. You might try running them with an older hound that's already hunting rabbits--but I've had a beagle that would not run with other hounds--he seemed to lose interest if another dog ranged out in front of him...he was dynamite alone though. Another thing that really helps: when the beagle is just a young pup,take a fresh rabbit skin (or even a whole rabbit) ,tye it on a string,and keeping the dog out of sight-- make a trail by dragging the skin around,making it "hop" a little by lifting it off the ground as you go.Then put the dog on the trail where it starts and let him trail and find the rabbit--make a game of it.Keep the trails short at first--but make them longer and more complicated as the dog starts to get the hang of it. Drag it around corners,over logs,beneath evergreens....and hide it at the end of the trail. Then of course,hit the woods and look for some real bunnies. After you've shot a few in front of him--he'll be more excited to go hunting than you are.

  8. #8
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    Default Snowshoe color

    I was hunting rabbits last week, and I was able to shoot one and he was still brown. The grass was high, and you didn't get that really good clear shot. We jumped several for the short time that we were there, my buddy saw one that was grey so, it is a matter of time until they turn white. For those with rifles in mind, .22 rimfire in early season is good, after they get shot at alot, they seem to run a little farther than they do at the beginning of season. Just take your time and you will be able to get some good head shots.

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    Thanks for the help!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce1965 View Post
    Andrew--it's pretty much natural for a beagle. If the parents were good hunters,the pup probably will be too. Mainly,get them out in the woods and let them roam around in some low evergreens. Sooner or later they'll bump into a hare--and the chase will be on! At first they probably won't chase it far....but of course they'll smell it--and eventually will begin to scent trail the hares. You might try running them with an older hound that's already hunting rabbits--but I've had a beagle that would not run with other hounds--he seemed to lose interest if another dog ranged out in front of him...he was dynamite alone though. Another thing that really helps: when the beagle is just a young pup,take a fresh rabbit skin (or even a whole rabbit) ,tye it on a string,and keeping the dog out of sight-- make a trail by dragging the skin around,making it "hop" a little by lifting it off the ground as you go.Then put the dog on the trail where it starts and let him trail and find the rabbit--make a game of it.Keep the trails short at first--but make them longer and more complicated as the dog starts to get the hang of it. Drag it around corners,over logs,beneath evergreens....and hide it at the end of the trail. Then of course,hit the woods and look for some real bunnies. After you've shot a few in front of him--he'll be more excited to go hunting than you are.
    I hunt a Beagle out here in the valley, she does not have any training but usually runs rabbits great. Cool thing about Beagles is that they run the rabbits in circles so you can many times get a couple of shots before they lose them, just find a spot where you can see both directions and wait. Beagles ears turn off when their noses turn on though, I bring a GPS so that I can find my way back to the road as many times you have to go get them off a rabbit (half mile is not unusual). Frustrating when its getting dark and they will not break a scent for your schedule. Leave the 22 at home as they are always moving when they have a dog behind them. 20 gauge is about right.

  11. #11

    Default

    I hunt with a 10/.22,I get about 1/2 what my friend with a 12ga. does,but then theres no meat wasteage or bloody meat with headshots.Many times they run for 2-3 yds n stop,theres almost always time for a headshot.Obviously I cant hunt the real bad thickets.Thigh high mixed cover like you might find towards the copper river valley works best for me.I like to look for eyeballs with a ear sillouet under small spruce trees.
    I find looking for "rabbit highways" to be productive,you'll know what I mean when you see one.
    I like the idea about the small cutting board for quick cleaning,and I just picked up a pair of stainless pruning shears for quick clipping of feet and ribs after quartering.Theres alot of meat along the backbone,great for the stewpot.
    Im thinking its about time to start a Wabbit Wecipe thread,not that I have much to offer,but would like to hear others fav recipes.

    good luck
    ak4195

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