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Rabbit season 2016-17 wrap up

Discussion in 'BlueDogs Blog' started by bluedog, Apr 24, 2017.

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    Procrastination part two. Part one was Squirrel season wrap up found HERE. Nothing like writing up small game season recaps in April one week before the start of turkey season. I’m having severe flashbacks to cramming for final exams.

    Unlike squirrel season, this past season of rabbit hunting gave me lots of good memories and after all making memories is one of the things that sets hunting apart from just about every other method of procuring food for the table. The picture below is one I took during the opening weekend of rabbit season. It may not look like much to some but this place makes me smile. We call it the swampy area because we are not very original at giving places names. Well except Pooping Jim’s corner is a pretty unique name for another spot on the farm but it didn’t take much effort to give that spot that name. But I digress. The swampy area is a pretty much year round wet area that sits along our main crop field. Because it is so wet the trees never get very big and the brush stays thick. The swampy area holds plenty of rabbits but it is also a very difficult spot for one person to hunt rabbits even with dogs. There are just so many different routes those rabbits travel. Some years I am never able to shoot one single rabbit there but it does provide some really good running for the dogs. I did not shoot any rabbits on opening weekend last year but I was able to shoot two swampy area rabbits later on. Too many good dog runs to count though. Smiling.

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    The first rabbit of the season came in mid November from the brushy creek bank behind the house. I remember the dogs getting the rabbit up and running. There is a small clearing between where the brushy creek bank ends and my neighbor’s woodlot starts. That’s where I like to stand. The rabbit had already crossed through by the time I got there and so the dogs continued to push the rabbit through my neighbor’s woodlot. It was a classic circle. The rabbit came back over to my property and as things often happen it passed by just out of gun range. The dogs pushed the rabbit onward while I stayed put. It took a good amount of time as the rabbit zigged and zagged through that brushy creek bottom. The dogs kept on the track. The second time the rabbit tried to cross the clearing it was not so lucky and I had my first rabbit of the season. Good job dogs!

    While there was more dog running in November, there were no more rabbits shot. Even our annual Black Friday rabbit hunt had lots of rabbits going into holes and no rabbits going into game pouches. We still had fun getting all the dogs together and listening to beagle music as I like to call it.

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    While I did rabbit hunt and run dogs a bit in December, most of the focus was on deer hunting. In January my husband and I made it out hunting a couple times early in the month and my husband shot two rabbits on different occasions. There was a whole lot of teamwork behind these two rabbits and it took both hunters and 3 dogs to get the job done. This was especially true of a rabbit that was shot by our high tunnel. It took my husband and I and the dogs three tries before we successfully shot a rabbit at that spot although part of that is due to certain rules we have in place. First and foremost when hunting with dogs, we never jump shoot a rabbit. So the three tries were needed to find a rabbit that wanted to take the dogs on a circle first. More memories. Smiling.

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    February ended up being one of the warmest Februarys on record. The best hunt was one 65 degree afternoon when my husband, my boss and I went over to a neighboring farm. We hunted for four hours until the sun was low in the sky. The dogs were on their game and they ran one rabbit after another. My husband shot one rabbit and my boss shot two. It was very unlike me but I guess I was having so much fun that I have zero pictures from that hunt.

    I did make several more solo trips in February and was quite thrilled to shoot two rabbits from the swampy area and one rabbit from another neighbor’s farm. And after some inspiration from another hunting blog, I grilled some rabbit burgers for the first time ever. Spectacular is all I have to say about that. Making memories and good food. Smiling.

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    Steve and Deehntr56 like this.
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