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Any good tips?

I frequent a public area that should be good for rabbits.

I haven't seen a rabbit out there in several years. This is during squirrel and deer season. I haven't specifically hunted rabbit in a long time.

So maybe I'm not looking in the right areas.

I have seen them along the roads driving out at night.

My best advice to anyone hunting anything is to hunt where your target critter is at.

But what's some advice for rabbit hunting without dogs. What am I looking for? What style of hunting am I doing?

Growing up we walked allot of brush and ditches with shotguns and tried to kick them out.

I've heard of guys hunting them slowly with .22s.

What's your advice?

-Jake


Small Game, Deer, Turkey, Bear, Elk....It's what's for dinner.

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Get fresh snow and go tracking. Look for bunnies sitting balled up in cover, look for their eye. That eye will stand out and once you recognize it spotting rabbits sitting in cover becomes easier. A .22LR carefully placed in the head makes for a perfect eating rabbit.


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Hello Jake, we are neighbors and I probably hunt the same ground as you. Rabbits without a dog is a really good way to get plenty of exercise, you will walk much! Couple of things I have found are going with a crew of hunters so you can canvas large areas of brush in picket formation. Carhart coveralls are your friend here. Go early or late evening when they are active. Walk and stop, sometimes rabbits will sit and you will pass over them. The areas I hunt the rabbit population seems to be down, not much hunting pressure either. Me thinks, the coyotes are getting the lion share but I have now evidence. Good luck.

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Raptors eat a lot of bunnies. Redtail hawks and Great Horned Owls put a hurt on bunnies.


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Without dogs is the only way we hunt them. The thee of us got to be very good at it. We mostly hunted hedge rows between crop fields but thickets in woods also. One guy would go ahead at stand off where he could see well. The other two would then push out in the direction of the stander. The stander only moves when he is shooting at a rabbit. other wise he is a statue. The pushers walk through and over every piece of brush in the hedge row as they go. The pushers will get some shooting both running and stationary shots. Stationary shots on a sitting rabbit mean, shooting at the tip of his nose so you do not blow up the rabbit. If you are doing it right you will get shredded by the thorns and be tired at the end of the day. It is fun hunting and you can set a leisurely pace. A little bit of snow is awesome to hunt in deep snow is not good. Carhart jackets and brush pants head to toe, leather gloves, orange baseball hat with safety glasses. Any shot size works as long as it under number #6 or smaller.

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Like others have said, you need to learn to 'see' rabbits.... kinda like deer, the first time all the people you hunted with could see the deer that you could not, but once you did 'see' then you saw what they were seeing....

I have hunted rabbits a couple of times with dogs, I was invited to go I should say....

It is hillarious watching a half dozen beagles lined up, nose to tail, noses down, tails up, trailing a rabbit, and baying......

I would hunt with dogs so that I could watch the dogs!!!


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Spot and stock. I have killed hundreds of rabbits without a dog. You need to find rabbit habitat (rabbitat) and then hunt them as you would any animal, with good binoculars and any gun of your choosing…



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Get a good pellet gun and hunt them in town! LOL
Best rabbit populations it seems these days.

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Every year or so, my brothers and all our sons have gotten together to hunt rabbits on the old family farm. No dogs other than the young guys. About half use shotguns and half 22s. I even used a 30 carbine with somewhat reduced loads and Rem 110 soft points on one hunt.

We walked around the field edges with half inside the brush line, kicking any brush and the others walking in the fields. We’d swap up ‘cause kicking the brush could get a bit tiring. Stopping once in a while would make Br’er Rabbit a little nervous and they’d run for it. Lots of times they would run 20 or 30 yards and stop offering a good shot for those of us carrying 22s.

On one flush, one of my nephews had a rabbit run right between his legs. 😳 He’s been known as “Dancing Rabbit” ever since 😂

It has always been a great time but safety was key. Orange and consciously being aware of where everyone was, either visually or whooping or talking.

Last edited by navlav8r; 02/04/24.

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Rabbit hunting is a very relaxing, fun hunt. You can talk while you do it and there is no need to start in the dark. Cool weather is best, it is not fun for me when it is hot.

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I'm hoping to get some more snow this year before the season is over. That will tell me at least if I'm in the right areas.
-Jake


Small Game, Deer, Turkey, Bear, Elk....It's what's for dinner.

If you know how many guns you own... you don't own enough.

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[quote=bartman]Hello Jake, we are neighbors and I probably hunt the same ground as you. Rabbits without a dog is a really good way to get plenty of exercise, you will walk much! Couple of things I have found are going with a crew of hunters so you can canvas large areas of brush in picket formation. Carhart coveralls are your friend here. Go early or late evening when they are active. Walk and stop, sometimes rabbits will sit and you will pass over them. The areas I hunt the rabbit population seems to be down, not much hunting pressure either. Me thinks, the coyotes are getting the lion share but I have now evidence. Good luck.[/quo

te]

I see that. I hunt grand River allot.
Hawks, eagles, yotes and even bobcats. All tough on the rabbit population.

I have a picture from this fall of an eagle in a field out at Grand River. Who knows what it had but it was eating something.

-Jake


Small Game, Deer, Turkey, Bear, Elk....It's what's for dinner.

If you know how many guns you own... you don't own enough.

In God We Trust.
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Jake

If driving back to the shooting range at Grand River I have had success with pheasant on both sides of the road, rabbit not so much. Other areas are Kokosing, West Branch, Big Island, Pleasant Hill and Woodbury. Mainly a small game hunter but will go to Grand River on Monday and try to call a few coyotes.

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See that area looks like good rabbit hunting to me. But I've had no luck there. I was going all the way back to the wood line and hunting that transition area.

-Jake


Small Game, Deer, Turkey, Bear, Elk....It's what's for dinner.

If you know how many guns you own... you don't own enough.

In God We Trust.
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Went to a northen gunshop yesterday.
One the way home hit a public land spot where folks run beagles.
Nasty thorn rows.

No snow, saw one up close but too thick. Missed getting safety off on new Browning Citori 20 ga.
Was only there 45 mins total. Had one cut across field strip 60 plus yards out.

Two groups of hunters in other areas running dogs.
Place gets hammered, but there are still rabbits this late.

Def need 2 people, and snow.

Got out of shower and removed one thorn buried in back of leg.
The ol lady says "aint the first time" LOL

The shop had a 28" Citori Lightning 12 ga w Inv Plus tubes. Couple little scuffs, $1600.
Wood isn't great, but at least has some figure compared to my brand new Hunter model 20 ga.

Of course a buddy says he has a White Lightning he'd sell me for a couple hundred less.

Decisions decisions.

Honestly, that first rabbit woulda been in the bag if I had an 870 Special Field 20 ga.

No gloves, windy, and thorns all over, it wasn't a great 45 minute loop. I had to backtrack a fair bit to find a way out of some tangles.
But I saw two, how many I didn't see? And a heavily hunted spot.

We get some snow and Ima head back in there smile

Last edited by hookeye; 02/11/24.
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I hunted great rabbit spots. Now am forced to hunt public. My only private deer spot has rabbits, but not enough IMHO to hunt em.

In every case, the place where you stand to get torn up the most, is where the bunnies are.

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As a kid I bowhunted em behind our house.
Doc owned the woods and piled brush in the middle, made a mowed path through it.
School used it as part of X country course. used to be field in middle but was being invaded by saplings.
That age of habitat, was PERFECT for rabbit.
We couldn't have a garden, as even out of the woods the population was high (fence rows, under sheds, etc).

My aunt owned a thicket below her house that was same age wise in foliage. It was great. Its all woods now.

Buddy had CRP it was good rabbit hunting too, but planted trees and the change (plus coyotes) wiped out the rabbits in a few short years.
Of course, turkeys moved in.

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FWIW I learned as a kid hunting rabbits back east alone without a dog the thing that worked best by far was VERY careful still hunting like you would do for whitetail.No, I'd never catch them sitting but when you stop after a couple sneaky quiet steps it seemed to really unnerve them, and they would flush from their positions....much better than trying to noisily kick them out of the brush.


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I used to small game hunt in the river bottoms here for squirrel rabbit and whatever game birds were in season. I always had better luck moving slow and looking for them sitting. Best along fence rows or railroad track. If you walk fast they will let you walk by them without moving. Squirrels and rabbits both.

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I used to small game hunt in the river bottoms here for squirrel rabbit and whatever game birds were in season. I always had better luck moving slow and looking for them sitting. Best along fence rows or railroad track. If you walk fast they will let you walk by them without moving. Squirrels and rabbits both.

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