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Thread: Hare Help?

  1. #1
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    Default Hare Help?

    I was hoping people might be able to chip in and help me up my success rate for snowshoe hares. I'm beginning to feel a bit like Elmer Fudd. I've tried a bunch of different places, some with a lot of hunting pressure some with little or none. Same result - mostly going home empty handed. I've tried crashing through the thick stuff hoping to flush bunnies; I've tried sneaking along slowly and quietly. What are other people doing? Should I be looking close or 30-40 yards out?

    Crashing the brush worked yesterday worked to some degree but I rarely was able to get a shot off because it was so thick. Should I be confining my hunting to more open areas where I'll have a better shot even if it means seeing less? Right now I'm mostly hunting alone and without a dog. I'm figuring it's one of those things that once I figure out what to do and exercise a little patience I'll get the knack eventually. Right now I'm trying to do a little of everything. I've read the other posts that were similar to this but was hoping that people might be willing to add some additional info.

  2. #2
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Well I'll give it a shot..... Firstly the most common thing I see folks new to chasing bunnies do wrong is they walk to fast and don't look enough when they are in good habitat. Rabbits tend to hold tight, especially in heavy cover and can be very difficult to see. I've seen folks walk right past rabbits with no idea they were even there. Spotting them gets easier with practice but slow down and actually look. Many seem to think they need to look yards ahead of themselves, think feet! I'd say 90% of the bunnies I bust are within 30 feet or less. On more than one occasion I've shot rabbits that were 6 feet from the arrow tip in heavy brush. Get down on there level from time to time, that's right if your in the thick get low, rabbits don't live in trees and I've yet to see one as tall as I am. Don't try to pick out "rabbit" while scanning cover, your looking for general rabbit like shapes and horizontal lines, most non critter things in the woods are vertical.

    Hope this helps some
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    So Ive been out a few times. Im new to hunting and i love being in the outdoors. I really appreciate the pointers ive been getting on this site. Ok, here is my question. When hunting small game should I worry about noise discipline or can I just talk normal with my buddy?

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    Default Follow up question

    Rick,
    Knowing that they are going to be closer will be very helpful. Do you find that there is a trade off between cover that is thick enough to provide cover or thinner to make it easier to see them? So far I've been mostly sticking to the the thick stuff but it's hard not to make a bunch of racket. Is this likely to make the rabbits bolt further out? I'm trying to get this dialed in a little better to take my kids out. My four 4-year old has been out a couple of times and has had a blast but I amfraid will start to lose interest if we don't start seeing more rabbits.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I like working the edge of thick stuff. My nephew and I have found pretty good success walking along clear areas right next to the thick brush. We'll see the hares holding in thick cover, but we're clear enough to be able to get off a good shot and to move fairly quietly. That being said, I'm not sure how much the noise really matters. Most hares knew we were there before being shot, but they'll hold still in hopes that they haven't been spotted.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Cammerclimbs

    Small game is a much more social affair, talking with your friends is part of what makes it fun. I do have better luck solo, quiet as a church mouse and small game is great practice for the bigger stuff but not every hunt has to involve high numbers of game harvested to be a success.


    Tron-duick

    My 3 year old loves to get out, meat for the pot or not. We are looking for different things than our kids are. Without success adults tend to get bored and give up trying much quicker than the little ones, they are just happy to be somewhere new, seeing new things and being with there Dad. It's great you take your kid afield with you to few parents do these days, Gunther has been on hunts with me all over our state.
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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Follow up


    I try to work the outside edges of heavy cover, since you have a little one though use him as a "dog" from time to time. very carefully instruct your kid to walk through the scrub slowly while keeping an eye on you.(don't let them out of sight) So we can walk at the same pace if you see a rabbit point at it! This not only flushes game but gives your child the feeling he is important to the hunt. Nothing keeps a kid on track like having an "important" role to play.........don't worry everyone who hunts has had a father, uncle or friend use him or her as a "dog" at least once and you will be stunned how many bunnies he sees that you missed.

    I have found Gunther dose much better with archery hunting, a shot gun blast is scary no matter how well it's explained to a little one and it can be hard on there ears.
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    Bowyer to the forces of light in the land of the midnight sun.
    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

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    Member blasterak's Avatar
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    I've been trying for a few years and finally got my first winter hare on sunday. Must of walked miles, hunted all weekend morning to night and finally got one. It happend to be right on the way back to my truck, just when I was bout to give up. Them hares are sure tough to hunt, hardest part for me is trying to spot them. All I can recommend is keep on trying, you will connect eventually. When I get tired of chasing the bunnies, I take out my predator call and try call in some predators. Most any day out in the woods is a great day, with or without getting any critters.

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    Default Tron-Diuck, Don't make it about killing

    The kids are having fun because it is all new. They quit having fun when it becomes boring, redundant, or you act like you are not having fun because of what you consider to be lack of success.
    What do they find new that is exciting? Rabbit poop? Chews? Trails? Rabbit fur on a stick? You will be surprised what they can and will see that you will miss.
    Stop and smell the roses. Or, stop and find new stuff to point out, to talk about, to touch, to enjoy. Bring home sticks, and leaves, and all sorts of cool stuff. Look for birds nests and bee hives and Lord knows what else. Find a piece of an egg shell lying beneath a nest and you just hit the jackpot. At that point, who in the heck cares about a rabbit? That egg shell is a lesson in life itself.
    Go ahead and get yourself into a pellet throwing fight with your 4 year old. It just may be the best time you have ever had.

  10. #10
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak River Rat View Post
    Go ahead and get yourself into a pellet throwing fight with your 4 year old.
    great idea, just make sure the pellets aren't too fresh or they stick to your gloves...

    here's a few of family/friends "bunny hunting"





    ------------------------------------------------
    pull my finger....

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    Default TJM Nails IT!

    Well done! Nice photos! You get the idea. Fun is fun. Don't leave it to go find it, and if you find it on the way, stop, and play! All 3 pictures are priceless.

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick P View Post
    I have found Gunther dose much better with archery hunting, a shot gun blast is scary no matter how well it's explained to a little one and it can be hard on there ears.
    Gunther? the way Tracy talks about him I thought his name was just Gun.

    I need to get some ear protection for my kid. He thinks the 22 is too loud and the 410 has enough kick that, er, well... "scoped" by the hammer


    But he always wants to go and always has a good time.

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    Member Rising_Creek's Avatar
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    If it helps I am in the same spot. We have taken 2 grouse all Fall. Thanks for asking the question about how everyone gets this done. And thanks to everyone on this forum that shares what they know and the great pictures. My son and I will post our first bunny soon. He is out there right now munching on something.

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    Thanks a bunch for the good tips. I'm also very glad to see how many people are taking their young kids out. Mine have been having a blast. No rabbits yet but we've seen where a fox was eating a duck, magpie nests, mice tracks,......I didn't really give much of a second thought to taking them out hunting with me but I have gotten some strange looks from some non-hunting friends and family members. Oh well. All I know is that I am jealous of my boys. I would have given anything to grow up here. If they only knew all the fun stuff I have planned....

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    What part of the state are you in Tron? A friend and I spent the day out at Jim creek today and bagged 8. We probably saw 30 or so though. If you are in the area I'd be glad to show you how we do it.
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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    One trick I learned early that has served me very well is to just stand still. Vary the cadence of your walk. Take 3 steps, stop, 10 steps, stop, 1 step, stop. Stay still and look around. Sometimes seconds, sometimes minutes. The bunnies like to hold tight to cover, hoping you don't see them, but when you stand still their nerves give out and they just have to move! Be listening and looking for motion, and you'll start seeing them. Provided there are bunnies in the area you're hunting!

  17. #17
    Member woodman6437's Avatar
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    Default Got "skunked" today

    Me and my buddy went out past chatanika chasing bunnies today and we didn't get anything. It was our first time out and we saw tracks everywhere and some droppings but not a single rabbit. Started before 9 AM and walked through the woods until noon. I think we were going too fast because I felt like that with all the tracks they had to be there, we were just walking past them. I had my over-whites on but my buddy didn't. I'm not sure how much that matters though. Next time I am going to really make an effort to move as slowly and deliberately as possible.

  18. #18
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    Default Saw lots of tracks but no bunnies

    I did the same thing today. Im going to try and vary my pace. I felt like i was hiking more than hunting!

  19. #19

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    Find the thickest bruch possible that's hopefully covered in rabbit tracks. Walk through it with 2-3 people spaced 20-30 feet apart. The bunnies will try to go between you and sometimes will make it successfully. That's when you realize that you are walking right past most of them.

    Be very careful and make sure you know where your buddies are before you shoot. Sometimes it's so thick that we can't see each other only 50 feet apart.

    We are still eating frozen bunnies from the last trip so probably won't go out again soon.
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  20. #20
    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    One trick I learned early that has served me very well is to just stand still. Vary the cadence of your walk. Take 3 steps, stop, 10 steps, stop, 1 step, stop. Stay still and look around. Sometimes seconds, sometimes minutes. The bunnies like to hold tight to cover, hoping you don't see them, but when you stand still their nerves give out and they just have to move! Be listening and looking for motion, and you'll start seeing them. Provided there are bunnies in the area you're hunting!
    Bingo! Move stop, move stop, and move some more. I like to cover ground so I don't sneak around. I walk at a slow walking pace and stop after a random number of steps, scan the area and move on.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

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