Rabbit hunting can be fun and even effective without the help of hunting dogs. If you can locate a few good hunting areas, maybe where you have seen rabbits before, you can locate them yourself. Just be prepared to shoulder your shotgun fast, as these guys are quick when they sense danger nearby! Here are a few common areas and techniques for rabbit hunting without dogs.
Find a good field with tall grass, hay, or milo (sorghum) growing in it. Look for rabbit trails in it and rabbit droppings. If it looks like a good field to hunt, start at the corner of one end and zig-zag your way to the opposite end, picking up your feed and stomping to make more noise. Get ready for rabbits to come running out of clumps of grass or holes. You may even be able to get a shot at one sitting still. If this happens, try to get a head shot because you don’t want your rabbit to be filled with pellets when you clean it. Once you reach the end of the field, turn around and walk back to the end you started at, only this time zig-zag to cover the other sides of the field. Fields are good to hunt because you can see them at a fairly far distance.
Thickets & brush
Hunting in thickets can be a little difficult to walk through, but rabbits love to hide out around saplings and in brier patches. Stomp your way through a little bit, looking for trails and holes in the brush piles. Stop every now and then and listen closely, because you may be able to hear them creeping along to take cover somewhere nearby. Shotguns are perfect for hunting in thickets and brush because they will blast right through small twigs and brush when you can’t see the whole rabbit. You won’t have to worry about limbs or anything being in the way.
Rabbit hunting in the woods is good because you can see around you pretty well and there will be brush piles of old trees and limbs around. Look for the piles that seem like rabbits may be in them, such as ones with holes in them, rabbit droppings, or even rabbit fur. Climb up on the pile and start jumping up and down for a little while, at the same time preparing to shoulder your shotgun because you may see a rabbit come scurrying out to take cover elsewhere. Stop every now and then and listen for movement. Do this for about 5 or 10 minutes and move to the next one. Jumping on the brush piles for a while gets the rabbit’s to think you aren’t leaving any time soon and that a predator is bound and determined to get a hold of one, because it may take a little bit to chase them out. Rabbit hunting in the woods can be fun because their seasons usually coincide with squirrel season.
Remember to use the right size of hunting loads for your shotgun. Also, make sure you know your state’s laws on rabbit season and daily bag limits before heading out. Remember, safety first and good luck!
Further reading from the writer:
Deer Hunting with a Bow is More Rewarding
Age Old Secrets to Successful Deer Scouting
Top 10 Deer Hunting Rifles