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Author Topic: Preparing to hunt...?  (Read 2280 times)

Offline Sarah

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Preparing to hunt...?
« on: July 16, 2008, 10:46:00 PM »
Though I grew up in central PA (home to a lot of hunters), no one in my family hunts and I've never done it myself. I'd never even shot a gun until a few weeks ago.

Some of you might remember my beginner's thread from earlier this summer. Anyway, I'd like to try my hand at hunting rabbits with my bow come fall/winter, but have no idea where to start.

Can you offer some advice on how I could prepare to hunt small game for the first time? (beyond the obvious of practice shooting, practice shooting, practice shooting)...

Thankee Kindly   :)

I want to clarify also that I will be hunting in central Pennsylvania.

Offline **DONOTDELETE**

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2008, 10:53:00 PM »
I found if you get a used 2 liter bottle and fill it half way with water you have a nice buddy target, but use rubber blunts on it... You can also blow up some balloons and just let the wind move them around... Just like bunnies....


The main thing is to have fun, No matter what.... Have Fun...

If You where closer to Jersey some of us are planning a fall trad bow hunt & we will be having our second Jersey winter bow hunt in January 2009, Your more then welcome to join Us.

Offline Sarah

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008, 10:57:00 PM »
balloons...of course! do you shoot them with blunts of field points? or a judo...I have one of those...

Offline **DONOTDELETE**

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2008, 11:08:00 PM »
any tip will be find for balloons, judo's will be better because they stand up in the grass/weeds so you don't lose them.

Offline 2-BIG

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2008, 06:59:00 AM »
My wife and I get prepared for rabbit hunting by shooting at a small, hard foam ball, and shooting rubber blunts. First we roll the ball or kick it and shoot at it while its moving. Then when it stops we shoot at it sitting. When you get real good, use a tennis ball.
For hunting you will need a back quiver with several arrows of your choice tipped with a small game head. Check out 3 Rivers and they will have a few different types of heads to choose from.
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who are not. - Thomas Jefferson

Online Charlie Lamb

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2008, 07:43:00 AM »
Sarah... The most important part of hunting rabbits is gonna be finding a place to hunt them. After that you just shoot at the little buggers until it comes together.

I'm not sure what kind of rabbits you have to chase in your vicinity. I guess there could be snowshoe hares up that way, but will assume your after cottontails.

Cottontails like brush bordered by open grassy areas. You won't find them much in the timber.
Brush piles are likely hiding places as are old junk yards or old buildings/farmsteads.

Anywhere there is hard core security cover for them.

Of course if you have snow to work with, you are ahead of the game. Their tracks and runs will give them away.

As a rabbit runs, he brings his hind feet around and in front of his fronts and pushes off. His track will look like a "Y" with the larger hind feet forming the top of the "Y" widely spaced. The front feet are smaller and placed close together at the bottom of the "Y".
The open end of the "Y" points the direction the rabbit went.

Rabbits have a fairly small home range so once you find one he will most always be close to that area when you come back another time...if you don't get him.
 ;)  

When tracking a rabbit on snow, remember that they will almost always circle when pursued. A good tactic is to leave a person where the rabbit was jumped and have another do the tracking until the rabbit comes back around.

When scouting for "rabbittat" in winter (I made that word up.  :D  ) look for small saplings, blackberry canes or sumac that have been stripped of bark close to the ground.

You'll probably want to use a broadhead of some sort (a cheap 3 blade works great). Though sharpness isn't as important as with big game, it still helps to keep them sharp for small game.

I hope others will add more tips. This should get you started.
Hunt Sharp

Charlie

Offline Sarah

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2008, 08:16:00 AM »
I have some blunts that I modified into "tarantulas" that I read about on here just to try it out. Will those work for the bunnies?

Where is the best spot to aim on the wee beasties?

Thanks for all the info everyone. Charlie: I suspect your bit about tracking will come in very handy!

Thanks all.

Offline 2-BIG

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2008, 08:28:00 AM »
Just like most all animals, the goodies are in the chest cavity. Broadside shots...aim for the front shoulder area or head. If you have access to a good Beagle then you should have lots of shooting as they keep circling the rabbit by you until you finally hit it or till the rabbit gets tired of being chased and decides to hole up!  :D
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who are not. - Thomas Jefferson

Offline Drew

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2008, 08:38:00 AM »
For practice I start with a 2 liter plastic bottle filled with expanding foam insulation and blunts, then move smaller to a 20oz pop bottle then a tennis ball.

If you shoot by yourself have an extra arrow at the ready and hit the target get it to move and try and get another shoot at it...or have some one throw it out ahead of you.

Great advice from everyone here...I love to hunt fence rows and standing pines after a snow, you call stalk them if they are out sunning themselves.

I like to use the Ace "Bunny Busters" as they work well for cottontails..I haven't connected with a snowshoe yet!

Best of luck, it's a great feeling to get a rabbit with your bow...

 
Just a Coyote Soul out wandering...

Offline no

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2008, 08:53:00 AM »
get a beagle or two if you really want action bunny hunting. You are actually in a decent area down there for getting dogs.  Mike
Big Mike

Online Charlie Lamb

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2008, 10:01:00 AM »
Sarah,

What head will work best depends on how heavy/efficient your bow is. If you must use the modified "Tarantula" blunt, then I'd suggest trying for head shots only.

Otherwise use a blunt with a smaller striking surface so you get some penetration.

I suspect you are using mid to low forties for bow weight. Once again, a broadhead is good insurance. Rabbits can be surprisingly tough.
Hunt Sharp

Charlie

Offline madness522

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2008, 10:17:00 AM »
I like shooting tennis balls with judos.  It really makes you focus on the shot.
Barry Clodfelter
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Offline Hamish

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2008, 10:43:00 AM »
If you happen to wound one pick it up by the back legs and give it a good karata chop across the back of the neck to kill it fast.
Ron Pittsley Predator Classic 59#@28"

Offline Don Stokes

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2008, 02:15:00 PM »
Judo points are great for rabbits- they're not hard to kill, and the spring wires on the judo will cut right through them.

My favorite rabbit hunting spot is some beaver ponds surrounded by hardwood forest. The thickest cover around is on the edge of the ponds, and when you jump one, if you have a hunting partner one of you can circle around out in the woods and come back to the band of cover and wait, while your partner walks the edge and drives the rabbit to you. They're not moving quite as fast and are easier to hit that way.
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.- Ben Franklin

Offline Killdeer

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2008, 03:43:00 PM »
Some rabbits ARE hard to kill.
Sarah, I started out hunting 25 years ago with no mentors except what I could pry out of magazines. You and I are a lot alike, 'cept now we have TradGang and a whole Internet out there. (remember, I'm an old fart...the Internet is a big deal to me!)

I have hunted rabbits ONCE. I had a great teacher in Shawn Leonard, Swampbuck, a couple-three beagles and a host of other TradGangers. The rabbits up there pee blue. Like raspberry Slurpee blue. Look for blue spots on the snow. It comes (most likely) from chowing down on raspberry canes. I had very good penetration and shocking power using Ace hex blunts. They snake through brush better than Judos, too. My first kill was a perfect heart shot...for a deer. It was too far back in rabbitworld. The heart is under the shoulder muscles, don't worry about the bones.

The entry on this bunny is where the hair is all gloopy just behind the foreleg. That is a gut shot on a rabbit.
 

This one went through the neck and snapped the spine.

 

I have a better pic, but someone suggested that I was trotting it out too often.  :rolleyes:  
I don't care.

 
Killdeer
Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend.

~Longfellow

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Offline JEFF B

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2008, 04:14:00 PM »
yeah you tell em killie!!  :biglaugh:
'' sometimes i wake up Grumpy;
other times i let her sleep"

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Offline LMCHIEF

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2008, 09:55:00 PM »
hey sarah- did you get your new bow yet? if you do give me a call and we will go shoot, I will take you out to the airport and we can shoot at tennis balls with the judos you bought a couple weeks ago
dave

Offline Sarah

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2008, 11:16:00 PM »
Thanks everyone for the info.

Killy, you continue to make my day. did you get that email I sent you?

Dave, sorry I didn't call today, I got off work a bit late and opened up my package to a heap of rain.   Am I cursed for not shooting this beauty the day I got it? I'll call you tomorrow.

Any more information anyone's got would be great...I'll most likely be hunting alone, though I may have a  non-hunter along (one of those outdoorsy types), and I certainly will not have a beagle. Any ideas for such a scenario?

Offline Killdeer

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2008, 11:26:00 PM »
You mean the one with this link in it? Nope...  

 Check out this picture!!  

Awesome!  :bigsmyl:
Killdeer  :thumbsup:
Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend.

~Longfellow

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Offline Killdeer

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Re: Preparing to hunt...?
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2008, 11:38:00 PM »
Scenario 1:
Get the nonhunter to jump up and down (down is important) on all brush piles. He or she must do this vigorously, and with feeling. Stand a few yards off, in the direction that you feel the rabbit will go, and to the side of their path. If you wait for snow, you will see the runways that they habitually take. Be ready to shoot.


It's almost midnight, and I get up at 4:45. How many of these do I have to come up with?

Scenario 2 involves a hand grenade.

Killdeer  :biglaugh:
Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend.

~Longfellow

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