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Thread: winter hare hunting

  1. #1

    Default winter hare hunting

    my 9 year old daughter asked me last weekend if we could go hunt some more bunnies. we got a bunch this fall when they were easy to spot but have not tried to hunt them in the snow... thought they were too hard to find. am I just being lazy?

    any tips on spoting them in the winter would be appreciated...

    I also have some questions on snaring them but I am going to post them in another thread

    thanks

  2. #2
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Used to hunt them around Fbks in dead of winter a lot and as crazy as it may seem,

    Those Eyeballs were almost always the thing spotted. Really
    When it's all snow and branches are frosted over, ALL White,
    Big Black glossy things just seemed to stand out first for me.

    Then I guess always check at the base of the bush, tree or Alder where they seem to be hunkering
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  3. #3

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    You can still hunt them and spot them. Yes, they are not as easy to see, but that makes it more of a challenge. Walk slowly, look for movement. Also, sometimes you can spot they're little black beady eyes. If you got a good dog, you can sometimes just sit real still and let the dogs run them out to you.

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    I've been having a heck of a time seeing them lately, i've gone back to the 20ga. cause the last 5 i've seen have been on the run, guess I haven't learned to spot the eye yet. I feel like they are mocking me cause I see all the tracks now but no bunnies! Point being I think they are definately harder to see now, but you need to change what your looking for and perhaps how your looking, slow down and look a bit further ahead is my plan.

  5. #5

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    Winter hunting is a bit harder, but seeing all those tracks sure does inspire!

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    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    Once you get the hang of it, they are not all that difficult to spot. Snow is a clean perfect white, hares are a dirty white with black eyes and black on the tips of their ears. Look at the base of trees, in holes, around corners, and sometimes even right in the open. If you do see one run, usually, they don't go far. Follow slowly and keep your eyes peeled. You will see them.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

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    Seems like the last couple trips out, I see fresh tracks but don't see the bunny, do you suppose I'm walking too fast and making too much noise, spooking them before I get close?

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    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Seems like the last couple trips out, I see fresh tracks but don't see the bunny, do you suppose I'm walking too fast and making too much noise, spooking them before I get close?
    I don't believe you can really surprise many of them, so I move fast enough to cover ground yet still look very carefully. I guess you would call it a slow, steady, 1.5 - 2.0 MPH walk. I also usually walk out the way I walk in so I can see everything from a different angle and I almost always see some that had let me walk by before. Another thing that gives away their location is that they seem to like to reposition themselves with their back to you as you approach. If you keep your eyes peeled, your eyes will naturally be drawn to the movement.

    The key is to make them believe you don't see them. Don't stare them down, just calmly keep moving and get your gun ready to fire. Then, just raise the gun, aim, and shoot in a steady motion.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

  9. #9

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    I sneak around like a tiger. VERY slowly and try to scan the base of willow thickets. I used to use a .410, but found that any .22 was much better. If I spook them I just keep stalking them until I can get a still shot. They usually don't go far. Plus, they are dirty/gray looking making them easy to spot in new snow. It's good fun, I'm going in the morn with my new .22mag pistol and my .22-250 strapped to my back for some predator calling.

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    I ran into a guy when I was headed out on snowshoes sunday, I thought I musta looked quite crazy, holding a .20ga with a .375 strapped to my back... Its the only straight shooting long range gun I have right now! I also wanted to rabbit hunt in and call a bit. I believe I called in a wolf but never saw him, saw his tracks on the way out, he would have been coming in behind me, kinda neat!

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    Eh, I've been getting a lot of them during the last two winters while I'm snow machining, mostly because they've been in a high cycle. I just run until I find a frozen creek that's got a lot of willow and sign. Slow hunt down it, get a bunch of bunnies. I really don't have too much trouble seeing them, often you see movement but they have a tendency to stop and look.

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    Member yogibear's Avatar
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    Default Worked for me

    I like to walk slow for 10-15 feet, then look around in all directions. I've walked past them before just to turn and have them sitting five feet from where I just walked. They rely way too much on camouflage for defense sometimes. If you bust them and they run, just watch where they go then slowly walk in that direction and many times, you'll get a shot.

    It's gets easier when there's at least 3-4 feet of snow. This makes their walking surface above the tops of most of the bushes. When there's less snow they can hide behind every twig sticking out of the ground and it's near impossible to see where they run.

    Be careful out there, I've been surrounded by the delicious but deadly vermin, scared for my life at times. You can be way out numbered.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yogibear View Post
    Be careful out there, I've been surrounded by the delicious but deadly vermin, scared for my life at times. You can be way out numbered.
    Ha Ha, This can get real, wait til this peak cycle starts dieing off and they start going Tularemia Crazy....

    Anybody ever been "Charged by a Crazed Rabbit ?" Seriously, I have, Now That was Freaky

    Didn't one of our Presidents have one jump in his canoe or something back east, That was probably a Crazed Hare.... Wild but True
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  14. #14
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Didn't one of our Presidents have one jump in his canoe or something back east, That was probably a Crazed Hare.... Wild but True
    That was President Carter, wasn't it?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Yea, I think that is right, "Peace Pursuing," President Carter going for a paddle on a lake, cameras rolling,
    Secret Service guys all around,
    and this White Bunny comes swimming across the lake straight for them and leaps in the canoe,

    Only to be subdued by a Secret Service Paddle

    It's on film somewhere, pretty outlandishly funny unless,
    you have EVER experienced a Tularemia Crazed Bunny come tearing right down a trail right at your legs,......

    Really, I still can't figure if it was Crazy Funny or actually could have been Crazy Dangerous, to have those teeth sink into my leg....

    I shot it at about 7yds. But it was such a shift from being Predator of these skittish little fuzzy critters to becoming potential Prey, having one come at me on a Dead Run.
    (I had taken a shot and missed, and he turned on me )

    Whoa, Another Fun Day living in Alaska
    (that was outside Fbks, at the pre-downflux of Hare Abundance, and yeah, he was sick as a dog inside)
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member Rising_Creek's Avatar
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    Is it considered unethical to spot with a light in the evening? I have been out during the day, see lots of tracks and never a bunny.

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    I found years ago that the hares and spruce hens both taste like spruce needles later in the winter so I don't shoot either one. "Just Saying".

  18. #18
    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    I hunt them where there are no spruce trees so it's not a problem.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

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