Outdoor Hunting

How to Hunt Rabbit

Written by Chris Alan

Rabbit hunting is the third most popular sort of hunting in the United States. Wild rabbit hunting is a great method for novices to get into hunting because it takes skill, patience, and intelligence to do it right. For many hunters, rabbit hunting offers a novel and enjoyable challenge. Your body begins to stiffen as a burst of brown fur emerges from the bush, followed by the smooth movement of your gun. 

There are plenty of rabbits in Oregon, and there is no restricted season or bag limit, so more people should take advantage of it. They also taste nice. Learn the proper methods and techniques involved in hunting a rabbit if you want to ensure your hunt is legal, safe, and successful.

Get a license 

In order to hunt rabbits, a license from the state is required. Before getting a license to hunt rabbits, you might need to complete a test or a course on hunting safety and gun security in certain places. Before each new hunting season starts, renew your license to ensure you are eligible for hunting.

Wait for the right season

Hunting rabbits might only be possible during a specific season where you reside. Rabbit hunting season typically lasts from late fall through the winter, but in certain places, like California, it may be possible to hunt rabbits all year long.

Identify the rabbits

There are different varieties of rabbits, and not all of them should be hunted. To ensure that your hunt is legal and secure, you must learn to identify the right species of rabbit you’ll be hunting.

Find out the bag limits

Typically, you’re only permitted to take six rabbits at a time. However, there are some locations where small game, such as birds, rabbits, and other creatures, are not restricted. To be certain, check the regulations in your area.

Suitable hunting rifle

Hunting for rabbits frequently involves hunting rifles, shotguns, pistols, and even bow and arrow setups. It can be challenging for novice hunters to produce accurate shots with a.22 hunting rifle, but for many hunters, a.22 hunting rifle is perfectly useful for hunting rabbits. Due to the speed of rabbits, a smaller-gauge shotgun may often be the most effective weapon. Don’t use a shotgun heavier than 20 gauge; such a weapon can be too powerful and damage little rabbits.

Where to hunt

Rabbits can survive and build nests in a range of habitats. Talk to some local hunters to get a sense of the busy locations that would make safe hunting sites so you can discover where to find rabbits in the area you’re hunting. Generally, you can find rabbit bedding in or near tall grass, clover, broadleaf crops, soy, wheat, and gardens.

Get permission to hunt on the land

Wherever you choose to hunt, you must ensure that you have the authorization to do so and don’t unintentionally stray onto private land. Get a thorough map of the region or have property owners walk you around to know the boundaries to ensure you don’t mistakenly leave the property.

When to hunt

Rabbits feed when there is little or no light, so they are most active when the sun rises or sets. Finding rabbits can often be difficult because of the soft light, but you can learn to train your eye in the proper direction to find rabbits in their surroundings.

Search for tracks

If you come across various recent rabbit tracks, go back and check the area again, or think about following the tracks to see if you can’t locate the rabbit’s nest.

Move them out

The most typical method of hunting rabbits is to walk slowly and let the sound of your footsteps frighten them. In contrast to deer hunting, which demands complete silence, you want the rabbits to be able to hear you. Don’t worry about being completely silent; just quiet enough to hear for movement.

Search the ground for possible locations for rabbit nests while keeping a sharp eye out for any movement. After moving and making noise, it takes a few seconds of silence to frighten a rabbit. Do not hurry. It will make them walk out.

Observe their eyes

Rabbits blend in quite nicely. Experienced hunters know to focus on the rabbit’s glinting eye rather than trying to see the entire animal. Sometimes, the dark eye can stand out against the scenery, especially if it’s snowing. You can get ready and target your gun before the rabbit runs away if you can see it before it sees you.

Seek the help of a trained hunting dog

Hunting partners with dogs are great for frightening off rabbits and helping to bring them back in your direction. Dogs can be used to locate and rescue injured rabbits. Using dogs to hunt rabbits significantly reduces effort and eases the task. A well-trained hunting dog can significantly boost your catch.

Use the proper safety equipment

You should never forget about your safety whenever you are out hunting. Make sure to bring the following items:

  • Safety glasses and earplugs.

  • Wearing blaze orange.

  • Bring a lot of water.

  • Some emergency equipment.

  • First aid kit.

  • Wearing covered clothing (long sleeves and pants).

Dressing your rabbit

If treated correctly in the wild, rabbit is an excellent meal. After killing it, immediately field dress it. It is simpler to do this before the animal goes cool and will help keep the meat secure. Also, don’t forget to keep the rabbit clean. Avoid using unclean water, and keep the body away from mud, dirt, and leaves. Wear rubber gloves and make sure your knife is clean.

Steps to field-dress your rabbit

You’ll need your hands and a sharp hunting knife to field dress a rabbit. 

  • First, remove the feet by making small cuts around the ankle bones of the rabbit. 

  • While grasping the back skin of the rabbit, make a small slit across the rabbit’s back.

  • The fur can be removed like a jacket by pulling it in opposing directions. It should be very simple to remove.

  • The head can be cut off with a knife or twisted firmly when the fur is gathered around the rabbit’s neck. 

  • Carefully make a tiny slit with your knife between the rabbit’s groin and ribs so as not to damage the body.

  • Use your finger to draw the organs out while holding the rabbit with its feet pointing down. 

  • Thoroughly clean and dry the rabbit’s body. 

The meat should be put in the fridge as soon as it has reached room temperature, below 50 °F. For up to one week, the meat should stay fresh.

Use a meat thermometer to check that the interior of the meat reaches 165 °F after properly cooking the rabbit. It is necessary to remove any bacteria in the meat. Before cooking, some people give the flesh a dip in boiling water. 

About the author

Chris Alan

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