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Originally Posted by ingwe
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.
This. Only if we have brush piles do we stomp and shake the pile to flush em.


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We have the hares. I hunt them with cast bullets and pistols. For example, the 38 special.

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Originally Posted by smallfry
We have the hares. I hunt them with cast bullets and pistols. For example, the 38 special.

I used to hunt hares a lot when I lived in Montana but not much in years now. Been thinking about it lately, big game where I live is almost a thing of the past! Been thinking about using a handgun and cast bullet's myself. Have a 38 spec in a S&W 38/44 DA that I have a 150gr load that shoot's pretty well! Also the gun I'm leaning toward is a S&W mod 16 in 32 long, boy I like this 32 long! Shooting 95gr cast from the 32 Long, pure wheel weight's! The 32 shoot's better than the 38 a bit the 38 is no slouch!

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If there's more than just one or two about you hunt them with a .22LR which is good for 80 yds. You still hunt: walk around very slowly and look for them. If they are scarce, you may have to shoot them perhaps up to 150 yds away, or not get them, in which case a .17HMR, .222 or even a .223 has the range. The .222 and .223 will destroy them because you won't get a headshot at 150 yards usually, you aim for the upper body. If you hunt them with a revolver or handgun your success rate will be low unless you're a very good shot with it. You need to do it several times so that you get used to being able to spot them,,,an ear, an eye or a rabbit shape behind some brush.

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Originally Posted by Bocajnala
[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
I lived in Ashtabula Co up until last summer, my brother lived across the road from a big section of Grand River wildlife area. We have never had to much success around there, gets hit hard by the pheasant hunters after the bird releases every fall. My boys have done well going out after an extended cold snap with snow when temps warm up above freezing, rabbits will come out to sun themselves in the afternoon. Slow stop and go through brush.


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Jake and Mwbyler, we need to do a rabbit/pheasant hunt next year!

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Used to stalk them solo in briar patches and etc in cattle pastures and field edges by walking along slow and spotting them. Used a bow some - great way to quickly ruin aluminum arrows; but satisfying when you thread it through the briars to nab them. Used glock 9mm some too (into handguns even back then). Snow works great to help find them.

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Along with shotguns, one of our guys always carried a Ruger Single six 22 Lr. He was often was able to find a rabbit that was holding tight sitting in plain sight. He would shoot them in the head. That black eye was an excellent aiming point. Lots of fun hunting rabbits with out dogs.

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I use to focus entirely on small game as we had no huntable whitetail populations except on the west side of the levee beside the Mississippi River. My favorite habitat for rabbits was the ROW beside railroad tracks, ditch banks, and blackberry or dewberry briar patches. Carhart overalls are most definitely your friend. Overgrown fields, harvested soybean fields with trash piles from the combine are other good place. The only shotgun I owned was a Winchester 37 steelbuilt in 12 gauge full choke. With it, I hunted doves, squirrels, ducks, rabbits, woodcock, snipe and whatever I happened upon. I also carried a Llama 22 revolver with a 6” barrel I bought in a Gipson Store that was closing for $50. I carried it cross draw and used it for finishing off animals. It was great for rabbits sitting in briar patches, hollow logs, and soybean trash piles. The black eye was a great bullseye. Used no 6 shot, cheapest Federal or Remington loads I could find. I hard to let the rabbits get out a ways because of the full choke. I tried to hit em in the head cos we ate what I killed or caught. Fond memories of simpler times.

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Shot my first rabbit at about age 5 with a single shot .22 rifle. Have shot quite a few in the decades since. Have never used a dog. Gotten them by walking through or near likely habitat and looking closely for them sitting. Don't remember ever using a shotgun. Did the archery route for a while. Learned pretty quickly that arrows are too expensive and bent too easily. Been using handguns almost exclusively since late teens - mostly .22; but also 9mm and others.

My tip is to try to figure out where they are and then try to spot them sitting. As I believe someone else said, their eye is what one usually notices first. Having someone else with you walking other side of fencerow or cover makes it more fun and productive.

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I hunt rabbit at my son’s place. Most productive area is a field along side the swamp. I still hunt the edges. Binoculars help. Usually take my old Ithaca 20 GA SXS with high brass #6.


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Kicked them out of fence rows as a kid. Very few bunnies were injured. Out west now and we will walk hill sides and rims with lots of broken rock about. Pretty much spot and stalk now.


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Originally Posted by Bocajnala
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
Hunt where you've seen them. Don't hunt past April as the Does are nursing. The old adage is only months with an "r".

Hunt early in the morning and use a shotgun. A standard trap load of 7 1/2 is fine. Fast shooting fun!

The reason for morning is that they hold longer for me - later in the day they bust while still 50yds out.

I carry a big container of water and a cooler with ice in my truck. I skin them fast so that I can get the blood out - they eat better that way.

Last edited by dla; 05/15/24.
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