Jackrabbit Hunting: Tips for Success June 28 2013
We live in the desert, which means good hunting requires quite a drive unless we’re hunting jackrabbits. This furry creature (actually a hare, not a rabbit) can be found in a variety of different climates making the jackrabbit an ideal hunting choice wherever you live. They tend to be plentiful, which means few hunting restrictions. This year in California jackrabbit can be hunted year round with no bag limit.
Jackrabbit hunting is a great way to get out and enjoy some hunting fun with friends. We went last weekend and although we didn’t have any luck getting a rabbit, it was fun to hike, look for critters and spend time outside.
Know the Regulations
Each state has different hunting regulations and it is important to acquaint yourself with your state’s rules. Many states have different regulations for jackrabbits than they do for other rabbit varieties (like cottontail). This list of wildlife regulatory agencies by state will help you find the most recent hunting regulations for your area.
Choose the Right Weapon
Shotguns are a popular choice for jackrabbit hunting. They can run fast (and for great distances) and a shotgun is an ideal choice for hitting an animal on the run. Small gauge rifles (like a .22 or a .17) can also work well, but these require excellent aim.
Hunt in Groups
While it’s always smart to hunt with a partner, it is critical when hunting jackrabbit. Having one person walk around an area to startle the animals with another ready to shoot when one appears can be an effective strategy. Handheld radios can help you stay in communication with your group while you hunt and T-REIGN’s ProHolster Protective Case will help you keep your two-way radios close at hand the entire hunt.
Timing is Critical
Jackrabbit hunting is often allowed year round, but there are times when it is more effective than others. In hot climates it can be difficult to find animals out during the day. During warm weather months, it is most effective to hunt in the early morning before the temperatures rise. Springtime is a great time for jackrabbit hunting because there is more food available.
Look for Signs
Jackrabbits leave signs just like other animals. Look for droppings and footprints to find areas where they have been. Rather than hiking around all day looking for signs of jackrabbits, we like to drive to a potential area, scope it out and drive elsewhere if we don’t see signs of nearby rabbits.
Practice Makes Perfect
Hunting jackrabbits is excellent hunting practice. It gives you the opportunity to track animals, handle weapons, practice your aim and learn about field dressing and handling meat. Handle your kills with the same care and attention you would give to a larger game animal like a deer.
Use What You Catch
Many people balk at the idea of eating a jackrabbit, but if they are properly prepared and not diseased they can be quite delicious. Here’s a recipe for Hare Stew and one for Barbecued Hare that you can try if you are successful on your hunt.
Large game isn’t the only way to hunt. Smaller prey like the jackrabbit gives you the opportunity to enjoy hunting all year round.