Tips for Hunting Winter Rabbits
Posted by Peter Bunnell on November 02, 2012 0 Comments
With winter fast approaching and holidays around the corner, nothing makes for a mean, lean delicious dinner like a rabbit, or perhaps two rabbits. Similar to chicken, but heart-friendly and healthier, this furry rodent is yet another white meat.
In most areas, winter hunting rabbit season opens in January, at least for the eastern cottontail variety. Rabbits spend most of the fall and winter months just trying to survive – with vegetation being limited and their hiding grounds far more susceptible to predators. Every year, the hardy rabbit somehow manages to survive and procreate.
The top rabbit hunting tips include:
· Clover – Cottontails adore clover, which is their first dietary meal choice. Rabbits never stray far from a delicious patch of clover.
· Blackberries and Raspberries – Providing fantastic summer yields and a valuable thicket of protection, these types of bushes provide some of the best ready-made cover for rabbits. Rabbits can easily weave paths between these dense areas, creating a maze they inhabit season after season.
· Saplings – Thin saplings, those that stand in groves of more than half an acre, always keep behind a few winter stragglers. Faced with starvation, rabbits will unearth a small amount of green under the dead-looking sapling bark, which provides much needed life-sustaining nutrients to keep them living until spring’s lush bountiful fields take root and grow.
· Deer Food – As rabbits and deer have the same dietary habits, if a hunter comes across an area frequented by deer, chances are rabbits are nearby too.
· Fencerows – Old farmstead fences are long overgrown, home to brambles, brush, trees and briars, making them ideal hiding places for rabbits. Hunters can shake and stomp on the wires, forcing the rabbits to dart out from this thick layer of protection.
· Brush Piles – Over time, brush piles become naturally overgrown with weeds, vegetation and briars. Offering excellent protection from predators, including dogs, cats, foxes, owls and hawks, many rabbits make these areas their home.
· Honeysuckle and Multiflora Rose – As honeysuckle is sweet smelling and extremely dense, it is often provides excellent cover for rabbits. Multiflora rose is also extremely dense, growing to a height of approximately 15 feet.
· Cedar Trees – Providing a canopy of weather protection in wet, cold and windy weather, cedar trees are magical hiding places for rabbits.
· S-L-O-W Down – Rabbits sit tight in cold weather, helping keep their core body temperature up. If a hunter walks very slowly, pausing between steps and making a great deal of noise, rabbits will often come to from their cold-induced coma and come alive in front of the hunter.
· Beagles – Many people don’t know that beagles are excellent rabbit hunters. Additionally, beagles can also smell better in frigid temperatures, allowing them to easily sniff out rabbits during winter hunting season.
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