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Thread: Bunny help

  1. #1
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    Default Bunny help

    Been in Alaska for almost a year now and I'm trying to get into hunting rabbit up here. Every spot that I have heard about has been a bust (Rabbit Slough & hay flats). Can anyone else give me some hints of places to try? I don't want to know your specific spot...just a general idea. I live in Anchorage and would be willing to travel about an hour and a half

  2. #2

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    Grinch,

    The rabbits are pretty thick this year. I have been out a few times and have seen rabbits every time (haven't shot them every time as I have been taking my six year old out a lot and this makes killing bunnies more challenging). Rabbits like to hang out in a lot of places. I have hunted them down along the creeks and rivers in the willows/poplars all the way up to dang near tree line in the sparse spruce/alder patches. Look for tracks wherever you think of hunting. If there are not a lot of fresh tracks, there probably aren't many rabbits in the area. They can also be very tough to spot. Look for fallen trees with brush...they like to hide in that and also under spruce trees. Often they will freeze when you are near and you will see them sitting under some brush with their nose sticking out looking at you. I think it is more productive if you can walk along a tail or open area where you can see them and be somewhat quiet as opposed to crashing through the woods. You really have to look for them because they are hard to spot...often you will just catch a glimpse of them as they slink off. I have not been to the areas you mentioned this year so I don't know how the population is in that area but I have seen plenty of tracks/bunnies in the spots I have been. I would suggest looking for rabbit habitat, then chances are there will be rabbits there. Take a drive and check out some side roads for habitat and tracks, then go looking for bunnies! If you persist, you will find them.

  3. #3
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    I have had the best luck walking roads or trails that border very dense vegitation. You'll walk right by most of them but every now and then one will make a mistake and stay out in the open enough to see them along the edges of the thick stuff. I've also shot a few that were back in the thick stuff, that I could see through a little "window" in the branches.

    I have shot a couple "in the woods" off trail, but I think they spook easier off the trail because there not so used to people just walking by.

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Remember they can't close their eyes so sometimes you can see that little round black eyeball in a patch of white that just doesn't look quite right. Walk riverbanks and look into the brush piles and under the cut banks where you are seeing tracks. They will hold their position many times if you are just walking by.
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  5. #5

    Default dont feel discouraged!

    welcome to the AK! I suppose wabbits are the only successful animal i've killed so far this season. And like posted before, there are alot of them around. I live in anchorage too, and we all know gas sucks to pay for now, so areas around anchorage are ft. richardson, kenai, hope, creeks/lakes down south, and man, just about anywhere. you'll always see tracks around, especially after a snowfall... just follow tracks, and you'll be popping wabbits like mr. fudd

    -gary

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Simple fact is that the areas you are hunting have rabbits. The problem is the hunter not the location. My advice is keep going back but do something different each time. The good news is that each unsuccessful trip you learn one more way NOT to hunt rabbits. A couple years ago I had a similar post to this looking for pointers. I think it took about 12 trips before I connected. Eventually I was pulling large enough numbers consistently that it wasn't really worth posting about anymore. I know that I have walked 2 miles into an area working cover and got nothing only to walk back out the same way and catch my limit.

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    I totally agree with LuJon, I didn't see a rabbit for several trips and then I saw one, then the next trip a couple and so on. Now I see some that I don't know how I ever saw them but I did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I totally agree with LuJon, I didn't see a rabbit for several trips and then I saw one, then the next trip a couple and so on. Now I see some that I don't know how I ever saw them but I did.
    Its just one of those things that imprints on you. I still spot grouse that blow my friends away and I have crummy vision now days. I have spotted grouse 15' up a spruce tree and 30 + feet off the trail from a moving wheeler. I really think my mind is just trained to spot the odd round curvature of their head. It just stands out to me. Spend enough time in the woods and you don't have to consciously screen for game, your brain will do it for you and it will just jump out at you. There are simply shapes that don't belong in nature. Smooth curves are very odd, the head of a grouse, the rump of a moose/bou/deer, round eyes, ears etc..

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    Member sniper3083006's Avatar
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    Hey Grinch send me a email at sniper3083006@yahoo.com

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    I'm going bunny hunting tomorrow, text or call me if your interested in meeting me and having a trip 907-748-6270

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    I'll be up most of the night, so time doesn't matter

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    Grinch,

    The one I shot Saturday looked like a light gray rock that was sorely out of place considering the 2 feet of snow which was covering all other rocks, then the rock moved!

    Humor aside, I try to watch for anything light gray/tan/white that doesn't look quite right and then look at it closer. I actually was taking a second look at this one when he started to run, actually popped him on the move with a .22 in the hind quarter Didn't go far before the dog caught him.

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    Sorry, didnt get this message til today. I work Monday thru Friday and go out to the woods on Saturdays and Sundays.

  14. #14
    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Default A few tips for ya.

    Great advice above! Listen up because these guys have you on the right track....Here are a few more pointers.

    An old thing my grandpa used to say was keep an eye out on the highway for a few dead bunnies (roadkill) and stop and hunt back off the road.

    If I were you I would pick a direction...Parks, Glenn or where ever and try that... Keep in mind I have hunted areas with some of the highest densities I have ever seen and if your not there at the right time your not going to see many if any at all.

    Here is an example; A couple of years ago as I was headed out for a moose hunt, I passed through a stretch of highway just as it started getting daylight. In about a 3 mile stretch I bet I saw a hundred bunnies bouncing around in the ditch line. I looked at my brother in law and said "were going to bring the kids back here later this fall"

    Well later that fall I went back and we headed off the highway in search of all these bunnies that I just knew were there. after about two hours of walking without seeing anything I started to wonder where they all could have gone. Finally we saw one and my boy shot it. A few minutes later another, then another and by the last 30 minutes of daylight there were so many hopping around you couldn't decide which one to go after.

    The point in all of the above is hunt early and late or your just out for a walk. I see guys posting here all the time saying they saw sign everywhere but no critters. It's not where your hunting as often as how your hunting.

    I hope this helps you out....Good luck.

  15. #15
    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Its just one of those things that imprints on you. I still spot grouse that blow my friends away and I have crummy vision now days. I have spotted grouse 15' up a spruce tree and 30 + feet off the trail from a moving wheeler. I really think my mind is just trained to spot the odd round curvature of their head. It just stands out to me. Spend enough time in the woods and you don't have to consciously screen for game, your brain will do it for you and it will just jump out at you. There are simply shapes that don't belong in nature. Smooth curves are very odd, the head of a grouse, the rump of a moose/bou/deer, round eyes, ears etc..
    Great post and so true! My grandpa and grandma live in Iowa. They go on a drive every single night on the country roads they live on to look for deer. They used to take us kids along, and now when I get back there, it is one of the things that look forward too! Anyway, they are both elderly with poor eye sight, but man can they spot deer! My grandma says she just looks for specific shapes and colors that are out of the ordinary (things she is used to looking for after doing this for 60 plus years). I am absolutely floored when she picks out an erect deer ear 50 yards into a densely wooded forest (while going 25 mph)! Look for things out of place like that black bunny eye! Also I like to take it ssssllllooowwww. I've seen a number of guys just crashing and cruising through areas. I had a buddy walk and hunt an area in front of me briskly last year (he only had a little time). I showed up to our spots as he was walking out of our area (after work). He didn't see a thing. I walked on to the same trail he had just walked out on, and about 20 yards down the trail (I was going really slow), I connected. He probably walked so fast past the rabbit that it held still (like they do). When I came by at a slow pace, I made the bunny a little too nervous, so he moved. End of story!

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    man i dont know what it is but i just love small game hunting!
    Semper Fi!

  17. #17

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    Well, don't feel bad - they are all over my back 5 acres and I haven't gotten one yet. I decided to do it differently today and sit and wait for them to come out at dusk....well, the big boy came out (he is probably about 10 lbs) behind where I was sitting to the right. When I turned to get a look, he froze, but as I maneuvered to get a shot, he took off and I got nothing.

    I like this new way of laying in wait though...I am gonna set up a taller stand with a better view of the whole area tomorrow and hopefully snipe one or more from there.

  18. #18
    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Explorer View Post
    well, the big boy came out (he is probably about 10 lbs) behind where I was sitting to the right. When I turned to get a look, he froze, but as I maneuvered to get a shot, he took off and I got nothing.
    AK Explorer, those big ol bunnies are smart...They didn't get that big by being stupid. Its vary hard to judge a trophy bunny by weight, but if you get a good look at his ears and you can see 4"+ or you think the hide may go 18"+ squared, then you are on to one exceptional animal.

    Stick with it... I am waiting for a hunt report when you finally bag that big ol bruiser. He likely will not make the winter anyway.

    Good luck.

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    I almost kicked a big gian one like that a few weeks ago down in Homer, I was in a somewhat residential area, in a company truck, with co-workers so no shooting, but I was amazed to stumble upon him that close! Man I really wanted that one!

  20. #20

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    i only have one bunny this year, and it was out of sheer luck to find one hopping around at 3:30 pm in bright daylight...
    Anyhow, today makes the third day in a row that i went out to bag some rabbits... it was also the third day without any luck...
    On monday, i tried hunting around 12-3pm same area with lots of jackrabbit tracks that showed up after sunday's snow. Tuesday, i tried 10-12am. same area, but tried slowly walking and intently examining the area. no luck again. Today (Wednesday), I figured: hell i'll wait for sundown. So I went back, at 4:30, right after the sunset (Or during the end of the sunset), came back at 7pm tired, annoyed, and hungry.
    man. I feel like i missed the "magic hour." Maybe i should be hunting before the sun sets?? i've tried still hunting, and spot-stalk, but i can't seem to nail the technique... This is probably my 12th day hunting this season. I'm starting to feel like i suck or something. But anyways, I hope my observations save you a few days of troubles...

    -Gary

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