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My first rabbit!
#1
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Got an opportunity to hunt private land down by Lynchburg, VA this past monday.

Mr. Kieth from Random Farms Beagles was offering a very generous and free, guided rabbit hunt to veterans. His frined Travis also contributed knowledge and the service of his pack of dogs.

I took him up on his generous offer and invited a co-worker to come along.

We had a total of 5 hunters and 9 dogs. (Beagles)

This was not a walk in the park!  Luckily, I brought thick, canvass coveralls to protect me from the thorny brush and briars that we waded deep into.  Not used to spending more than a few hours hunting.  We hunted from sun up to sundown and toward the end I got a bit dehydrated and got sever thigh and calf cramps, that make it hard for me to walk now, three days later!

   
   
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#2
Nice work Bill!

Sent from my SM-G973U1 using Tapatalk
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#3
congrats! i'm sure your hooked for life now. nothing better than bunny chasing with beagles. ARRROOOOOO!!!
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#4
(01-20-2021, 10:03 PM)Carcass Wrote: congrats!  i'm sure your hooked for life now.  nothing better than bunny chasing with beagles.  ARRROOOOOO!!!

Not sure about that!

Got dehydrated, pulled both hamstrings and had a severe cramp in my left leg as I was trying to climb up a steep embankment and nearly fell into the brook.  Three days later, I'm still barely able to get out of a chair or walk!

Not to mention I'm not too fond of spending hours pushing through thorns and briars and getting hit in the face with sharp nettles.

If it were a different property, maybe.

It's not like the youtube videos of rabbit hunts where you see guys just walking along an open field and have the dogs chase the rabbits out for them to shoot in the open.  It's a lot of work to literally get on top of the rabbits.
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#5
yeah, i hear ya. when i get invited to go with friends, it's always in areas like you were hunting in. Occasionally, some will break across a field or on the edge of a field, giving you an open shot. i love it though and can never get enough, but only get about one or two invites each year. some of the older hunters usually stick to hunting on the dirt road/paths and edges of fields and let us more agile fellas go through the thorny thickets. maybe you can go again one day and stick to the easy walking paths. i don't know what i like better--rabbit hunting or deer hunting.
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#6
Finally feeling better today! Not as painful getting up and out of my chair or going up and down stairs.

I think if I go rabbit hunting again I'd just try thick brush but areas without so many thorns!

There's a couple wmas, but fit that kind of profile. I've often hunted just the edges and sat quietly but never saw anything except the fox. Maybe I'll be more aggressive going into the brush at those sites.
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#7
Lessons I picked up from the hunting guides:
- Be very still and quiet when waiting for the dogs to flush the rabbit your way.  If he just hears a twig snap.  He will not run in that direction.
- More rabbits shot in the brush than flushed out to road or field edges.
- The UK method of gutting a rabbit by squeezing and popping everything out the back only works well on head shot rabbits
- Always wear thick coveralls and jacket to get in deep thorny brush.  In past, I've just worn jeans.  But now wear my Dulluth Trading Co. Overalls.  Think I need a tougher jacket.  My warm Realtree camo hooded jacket worked, but the nsulation was too hot for hiking around and pushing thru brush.  
- Carry a lightweight stick to probe into brush piles and whack old washing machines and rusted farm equipment.  I'm going to try a cheap extendible painters pole.
- Travel lite.  I thought my small pack full of snacks and water was a good idea.  It got heavy fast.  Just wear a blaze orange hunting vest with deep pockets and carry some water.  I hardly got hungry.  Did not eat my bologna sandwich til 4:30.
- A machete is good to have to cut thru some stuff.  I had one in the car, but forgot to grab on way out.
- #7.5 shot can do the trick, but more likely to wound the rabbit as it gets away.  Guides recommended #6.  I liked #5 and 4 for getting thru thick brush.  Also easier for me to pick out of the rabbit.
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#8
Gutting--I no longer gut them. I carry a couple of grocery store plastic bags and put the rabbit in those to keep the fleas and blood off of me and my clothing. I don't have a game vest which has a pocket on the back to hold my rabbits. instead, i carry a large cargo fanny pack, which keeps the weight of the rabbits on my waist instead of my back.
Coverall's--I wear Dan's Briar Proof bibs and am very pleased with them, but they are not briar proof!
Walking stick--I don't carry a stick, rather I find one on the woods and use it to beat the brush and toss it aside when I tire of it. Finding another is easy and cheap.
Snacks--I carry slim-jims and/or cheese sticks, which are very light weight and filling. Keep the water in the truck with my lunch.
Machete--don't bother carrying one. you'll quickly tire of it, especially if you're carrying a shotgun and a walking stick too.
Shot size--I shoot 20 gauge #6's. They're the perfect shot size for the bunnies.

I got an invite to go today and we had a very enjoyable day. It was 6 hunters and 9 dogs. The weather was perfect but the wind became bothersome as the day progressed. Four of us harvested one rabbit each.

Happy hunting!
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#9
(01-22-2021, 04:04 PM)Carcass Wrote: Gutting--I no longer gut them.  I carry a couple of grocery store plastic bags and put the rabbit in those to keep the fleas and blood off of me and my clothing.  I don't have a game vest which has a pocket on the back to hold my rabbits.  instead, i carry a large cargo fanny pack, which keeps the weight of the rabbits on my waist instead of my back.
Coverall's--I wear Dan's Briar Proof bibs and am very pleased with them, but they are not briar proof!
Walking stick--I don't carry a stick, rather I find one on the woods and use it to beat the brush and toss it aside when I tire of it.  Finding another is easy and cheap.
Snacks--I carry slim-jims and/or cheese sticks, which are very light weight and filling.  Keep the water in the truck with my lunch.
Machete--don't bother carrying one.  you'll quickly tire of it, especially if you're carrying a shotgun and a walking stick too.
Shot size--I shoot 20 gauge #6's.  They're the perfect shot size for the bunnies.

I got an invite to go today and we had a very enjoyable day.  It was 6 hunters and 9 dogs.  The weather was perfect but the wind became bothersome as the day progressed.  Four of us harvested one rabbit each.

Happy hunting!


Good Points!

I tend to overload myself when I go out.  As I do this more, I'll proably get a feel for what I don't need to bring.

I may go out and explore some place I had seen rabbit sign before, but didn't have the technique down.
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#10
Congrats! I had the opportunity the hunt Jack Rabbits in California and it was fun.
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