Author Topic: Rabbit Hunting Tip  (Read 7874 times)

Offline DIM TIM

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Rabbit Hunting Tip
« on: November 09, 2008, 08:51:52 PM »
I've got a tip for anyone going to do any rabbit hunting. This tip was told to me by an old man, back when I was a teen, and just getting started learning how to hunt.
As you go, and happen to spook up a rabbit, if you get off a quick shot and miss, or have to hold for a second before taking the shot, track to your left slightly. You may get a quick shot off before it reaches cover or gets out of range.
Seems when they flush, they have a tendency to pull and run to the left. And they may only go a few yards and stop, giving you a second chance to take a shot.
I know that there are some folks out there reading this that will have the thought......." what if they break to the right" ?
I suppose it could happen, but in almost thirty years of being out in the woods, either hiking or hunting, I have as yet to see one that did.
Try to remember this bit of information. It may help you to take one home from a hunt that you might have otherwise missed, and in a survival situation that could mean the difference between having a full belly  ;D  or going hungry.  :'(

Offline firetoad

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2008, 06:35:55 PM »
One other thing to keep in mind that might help is that a jumped rabbit, many times, will come back around to its original jumping point.  We never used dogs growing up, so we walked it all ourselves.  Well, we always would walk areas a couple of times and could jump some of the same rabbits again, obviously after some time elapsed between the original and return walk. 

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2008, 06:52:55 PM »
Respawing rabbits...now that is funny.  ;D

I have never been rabbit hunting, but I have been trying learn tips. Hopefully I can find someone around here that I know that hunts so I can learn from them. Otherwise it is youtube classes and tips where I can find them.

Offline firetoad

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2008, 07:55:01 AM »
It is actually pretty easy (mentally, but tough physically) to hunt rabbits in my opinion.  You just have to know where to look. 

A few places to look and a few more tips...

Typically, thick hedgerows have yielded many rabbits in the past for us.  Sadly, for the hunter and the farmer, farms have slowly been cutting hedgerows back in an effort to maximize plantable area and be able to survive.  Many times, as hedgerows are thinned, remaining cover decreases or is gone all together.  Coyotes will then come in and take care of the population ahead of us. 

Briar bathes and thickets are another great place to look at and work.  Don't be afraid to get into the thickest, nastiest patches.  Trust me, the rabbits are in there because most predators don't want to go in there.  Shots in thick patches are typically short lived and quick because you will only get glimpses and fast sightings on the rabbits.

Brushpiles are a good resource for bedded rabbits.  One thing to keep in mind though is that the larger the brush pile, the harder it is to flush rabbits.  In large piles, they will either move from one end of the pile to the other or just stay put.  To hunt a brush pile, literally climb on top of it and start stomping around.

Best times to hunt in my opinion, in this area at least, is after a fresh snowfall, moderate winter temps, no wind and sun.  The fresh snow helps to find tracks and rabbit pellets and makes a good contrasting background to a running rabbit.  Moderate temps, sun and no wind will mean they are much more willing to be up and about and not bedded down tight.  On blustery, windy days, I can remember times nearly stepping on a bedded rabbit before it jumped. 

Key point to remember here is that if it is thick enough and nasty enough looking for you to not want to go into it, the rabbits are there!

Finally, a tip for hunting apparel...  This was always my setup in the past and it seemed to work well for me:  Full length, slip-on rubber boots (similar to overshoes) to prevent a wet foot or two when stepping across a frozen creek or trudging through snow, heavy canvas bibs or coveralls and a heavy canvas hunting coat (with interior pockets to carry your rabbits).  Why do I like this setup?  Because it tends to help with walking through the heavy briars, thickets and the like. 

Note:  All of my rabbit hunting has been without dogs.  I have never hunted with a dog in my life actually.  So, obviously, some of my suggestions would have to be tailored for a dog, but I am not the person to teach that.  Without dogs, you are the dog and it can be a workout.  Additionally, while these tips work in my AO, they may not be suitable in yours.

Offline wcff3431

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2008, 04:24:16 PM »
man i love hunting rabbits after a fair snowfall you can track him (if you are really queit) right to where he is sitting.its so easy then.but that needs to be with in a few hours of ithe snow has stopped.

Offline flagtag

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2008, 06:13:08 PM »
OK guys.  How to clean a rabbit?  I just barely remember my father doing it.  He had some "tong" type tool that he used, I blieve to skin it.

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2008, 07:13:30 PM »
OK guys.  How to clean a rabbit?  I just barely remember my father doing it.  He had some "tong" type tool that he used, I believe to skin it.

Easiest thing I've found to do is just make a slit in the hide about midway down the back.  It should be big enough you can get the index & middle finger of both hands in & then pull them apart.  Rabbit hide isn't particularly tough & will pull apart easily.  You may have to do a little more work if the body is badly damaged but the concept is the same.

I just pull the hide over the feet on either end then slit the belly & crack the pelvis, clean out the innards, cut off the head & feet.  Quarter however you prefer & basically that's it.

You can always search Google for videos, I'm pretty sure there are some on there for cleaning rabbits.

Offline firetoad

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2008, 07:19:30 PM »
I am sure that there are a number of different ways to do it, but this is how we always did it growing up.  

Sometimes, we would gut them in the field and then hang them in a tree to pick up later (especially if you got a few too many pellets in the gut).  Other times, we collected the rabbits up as we hunted and then clean them all at once at the end of the hunt.  

To clean them, it is nice to do it with snow on the ground or near a creek so you wash up the worst stuff.  Anyway, we would always hold them, back down with one of our left hand (if you are right handed) with the hind legs away from us.  Peel off all of the belly fur that you can.  Just pull it and it will come right off, very easy to do.  Using a small pocket knife (my uncle always used a small filet knife) and cut the belly skin from just below the sternum all the way down the belly to the bottom of the rabbit.  Cut just below the surface and be very careful not to cut any of the internal organs.  Reach your hand in, up and under the rib cage (obviously you have turned the rabbit around now in your left hand).  Pull all of the guts towards the bottom and you should be able to get everything out in one grab.  If not, pick the rest of it out.  It is nice to have some water to wash the body cavity out at this point to minimize the amount of blood remaining.  At this point, we would always take them back to my grandfather's and skin them in his basement.

To skin them, we actually had a nice little system that would hang the rabbit upside down, secure their feet with strong clamps and keep the legs spread open to ease skinning.  You could build a board with two nails towards one end about 10" apart.  You can then put the nails through the lower portion of the legs between the tendon and the bone and accomplish something similar.  We would then make a circular cut around each foot on the hind legs.  Also, you can make a straight cut along the leg from the first circular cut down toward the belly.  Now pull the skin down towards the head/ground.  It should pull down in a single piece.  Now, cut the front feet off, pull down the rabbit from your fixture and cut the rear feet off.  You will generally notice some small bruises from where the shot pellets entered the muscle/meat of the rabbit.  We always made a slit along these "bruises" to help "bleed" them out during soaking.  You can get the pellets out of the meat many times as well through this slit.  Some people will keep the rabbit whole while others may "quarter" it in essence.  To store them, we typically cut them up, placed them into a milk jug full of water with the top cut off (after washing and soaking/brining them for a little while) and then placed the whole jug into a standup freezer.  They would store for a while like this.

Offline flagtag

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2008, 08:48:07 PM »
Thanks for the tips, Delta and firetoad.
The only thing I really remember was my father "pealing" the skin and that it was around the rabbit's feet. (of course, that was a Loooonnnnggg time ago ;D)

Offline firetoad

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2008, 02:04:20 PM »
Not a problem flagtag!  Some of my post was "fly by memory" because, unfortunately, it has been a few years since I last rabbit hunted. 

On a side note, your post really brought back some memories for me.  Everything I wrote, I learned from my grandfather.  I also learned lots of other fishing, hunting and just plain living right wisdom from him.  He passed away several years ago, but answering your post brought back some good memories of him!  Thanks!

Offline flagtag

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2008, 05:13:59 PM »
Oh, well good! I'm glad that I asked then. 
Strange, isn't it, what will bring back pleasant memories of loved ones.  Sometimes just a sound or smell.............

I'm glad I could give a little something back. 

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2008, 01:15:15 PM »
OK guys.  How to clean a rabbit?  I just barely remember my father doing it.  He had some "tong" type tool that he used, I blieve to skin it.

This technique will work on most small game.

Tim Suggs
Birmingham, AL. USA!


Offline DIM TIM

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2008, 07:55:16 AM »
Great posts guys. One thing I would like to add. I read FIRETOAD's post, and at the bottom he mentions some of the outer wear for hunting thru briars and thickets. Another thing that you need to have ( and I tell you this one from experience) is some good eye protection.
In 1997 I was deer hunting with my cousin and some friends at a gentlemans property that one of our friends had met, and secured permission for us to hunt it for cleaning up a large amount of debris just inside the access area, that had been dumped over the years by losers that had no respect for private property.
I was on top of a ridgethat overlooked our camp, and my cousin (who is an amputee) was down below in a draw between two other ridges to the East of our camp. About an hour or so into our hunt I heard a shot from his direction, followed by a loud a loud wistle from him. I knew that he had bagged one, and needed help dragging it back to camp, so I started down the hill to help.
About half way down, I ran into a large briar thicket. Because I was padded so well, I decided to just cut thru it instead of going around. BIG MISTAKE !!

One of the canes had grown in such a way, that as I entered the patch, it got cocked by a bunch of the others as I pressed forward. At some point the thing moved just right, and whipped back right into my face, stricking me in my left eye.
Needless to say that deer camp for the rest of our stay was not a lot of fun for me. As soon as I got back home, I went strait to my doctor. I now have a tiny scratch on the surface of my eye. I was very lucky. He told me that if it had been a fraction of an inch more, I would have probably been blinded for the rest of my life in that eye. To this day, I still have times where something will trigger it to irritation, and it feels as if it has something in it. A bit of visene makes it stop, and I have no vision problems from it whatsoever.
BUT...let this be a lesson to you all. DON'T TAKE ANY CHANCES. WEAR SOME EYE PROTECTION !!!

nate49080

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2008, 08:03:39 AM »
i heard on that you can only eat so many rabbitts becase of the protien is that true?

Offline firetoad

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2008, 09:49:35 AM »
nate,

Check out this thread:  http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=995.0

DIM TIM,

Very good addition!  Most everybody I know neglects protection of their eyeballs.  It only takes a fraction of a second to impair the rest of your life.

nate49080

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2008, 10:19:27 AM »
thank you.

Offline Dan

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2008, 11:19:54 AM »
You could build a board with two nails towards one end about 10" apart.  You can then put the nails through the lower portion of the legs between the tendon and the bone and accomplish something similar.  We would then make a circular cut around each foot on the hind legs.  Also, you can make a straight cut along the leg from the first circular cut down toward the belly.  Now pull the skin down towards the head/ground.  It should pull down in a single piece.  Now, cut the front feet off, pull down the rabbit from your fixture and cut the rear feet off.
That's how we used to do it. We raised rabbits for meat and processed several hundred over the years doing it this way.

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2008, 05:33:47 PM »
BUT...let this be a lesson to you all. DON'T TAKE ANY CHANCES. WEAR SOME EYE PROTECTION !!!

I wear a pair of military style Sun, Wind, Dust goggles. They are good for protecting all areas of my face. I have had the occasion when a stick has tried to poke me from the side where my glasses were vulnerable. I have three used goggles. Two in my car and one in my BOB.

Offline Roswell

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2009, 11:06:14 AM »
Sorry to revive a thread so old, but in Georgia rabbit season is about to start.  What time of day do you guys recommend going?  Does anyone have any specific tips for hunting rabbits in Georgia?  Thanks

Offline millwright

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2009, 05:26:09 PM »
Be  Vewwwy Quiet!

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2009, 10:02:39 AM »
Be  Vewwwy Quiet!

Funny MW!  I know this may be "obvious", but better to speak out loud here and save someone a few $$$ hundred of them green thingies than meet the Game Warden.  For most "situations" a hunting license will be required, and many states now require you to complete a "Hunters Safety/Education Course" prior to hunting down Mr. Fluffytail (no, not that one HOC).  And here in AL, if you are caught in the woods with any type of weapon (gun, bow, spear, etc.) that could conceivably be used to take game, then you better have a hunting license in your pocket to go with it.  They can confiscate your weapon, your vehicle, not to mention your butt too.  And they do too!  I know several friends that have lost cars, guns, etc. after being popped for "hunting" when all they were doing was a little plinking with a .22  Take the time to find out what the requirements are for your state/locale FIRST.

Tim.

Offline caldweller79

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2010, 06:45:50 PM »
I found the observation about leading left very interesting.  I was talking to an old rancher this week that said any time you push cows with a horse you should be on the left side.  He said the reason is that every mammal tends to drift left when it walks.  I told him that was the silliest thing I had ever heard of.  He had me close my eyes and take ten steps.  Sure enough, I had drifted a few feet to the left.  Maybe there is something to it. ???

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2010, 10:14:08 PM »
The way I was taught to clean rabbits is thus:
Grab them with both hands just behind the knap of the neck. Then just pull the hide apart with both hands. No knife or cuts needed to skin them.
I pull the hide off of everything I can, then cut off the feet, head, and most of the tail. The rest of the tail is gone when I gut it.

Then I gut it as you normally gut anything.
Takes just a minute to do.


Another tip. I mostly hunted without dogs, and it was just my dad and I. One of us would sit still with a shooting lane, and the other would walk around the thicket. The rabbits would move ahead of the walker, and the shooter would then have plenty of shots. I remember stacking up 5 or 6 of them in one of these little walks back then.
Also, if you DO use dogs, remember that the dog is right behind your rabbit when shooting, and if you dont lead and follow thru on your target, you could hit your dog.
RipT

Offline Who...me?

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2010, 11:10:53 PM »
Quote
Also, if you DO use dogs, remember that the dog is right behind your rabbit when shooting, and if you dont lead and follow thru on your target, you could hit your dog.

That's what these are for...ROFL

http://blackarmor.com/Vest/dog.htm

Offline Dawgus

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Re: Rabbit Hunting Tip
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2010, 04:49:10 AM »
 Rabbit hunting is a great way to practice shooting at running game. I've rabbit hunted my entire life, with and without dogs, and have never once shot a sitting bunny. Common sense tells you that like any other small game, they will run when they hear something approaching that could be a predator, but rabbit's tend not to. I've been walking thru briar patches or brush, and spotted rabbits a foot or less from my feet. They'll just sit still and hide. There have been more than I remember that I had to literally kick to get to run.
 My dad taught me to clean rabbits just like a few other posters have said. Pinch an area of skin in the center of the back, make a cut, insert 2 fingers from each hand and pull apart. I've always just snapped apart the joints at the feet and cut the tendons to remove them. I just twist & pop off the head. I've always kept empty bread bags in the game pouch of my coat to put the clean carcasses in after field dressing.
 Sadly there aren't many rabbits around where I grew up  hunting by my dads place. Not many people hunt anymore, and the feral cats, coyotes, and foxes have nearly whiped them out. A friend and I went out just before Christmas and jumped 2 rabbits in 4 hours. I got  permission from all the landowners to call & shoot coyotes, so it should be a fun summer!
 I need to get a new pair of Carrhart brush pants,(those 34's are somehow a bit tight..they must have shrunk lol) but it looks like I'll have to order them online. Not a single store around here carries them anymore, or much of anything for small game at all for that matter. Rows and rows of endless combos of deer hunting camo, but not one single pair of brush pants. *sigh*
 I'd love to be able to get out and spend an entire day rabbit hunting again like we used to. Some of my best life memories are in the field with my dad, uncle, and neighbor hunting rabbits with the beagles we all had. My uncle is gone, my dad can't go outside, and the neighbor quit hunting. Every time I walk those woods, they're all still with me though...and so are Sam, Susy, Jeannie, Cocoa,Lucy, Speckles, Morgan, and Lady. I sware sometimes I miss those beagles as much as I do the people.