First time rabbit hunting, and introducing some hunting-newbies

Thread starter #1
I was thinking rabbit hunting would be a good introduction to hunting for some guys who've only ever shot at paper. Before someone says it, I tried to get them to come squirrel hunting and they balked... I think they just think eating squirrels is gross. But I figure some kind of small game or upland bird is the way to go, since a) that's mostly what I do myself; and b) I figure it's important for their first hunt that they see and hopefully get a chance to shoot at something (versus e.g. deer or turkey hunting, where the possibility of getting completely skunked is pretty high for any given day). Dove/quail hunting would actually be ideal, but I've never tried that outside of an organized hunt, and these boys are broke so I think paying to hunt isn't the way to go.

There are some catches hehe. I've never hunted rabbits myself, we don't have beagles and don't know anyone who does, and we don't have access to private land to do this on.

For the lack of dogs, I figure I can just put on my snake-boots and brush pants and do the hard work of kicking through the brush while they stand on the edges looking for runners. I'm concerned about positioning and safety-- I figure I'll make them stay slightly ahead of me, and make sure they understand their allowed fields of fire, and everyone will wear a ton of orange.

For the lack of private land, I called one of the managers at Pine Log WMA, which is reasonably close to us, and he told me about a few fields he's mowed rows through specifically to give rabbits some habitat, and said he saw bunnies running as he was doing that mowing. The regs here seem to say that it's open from now til the end of February, minus only next weekend which is open for deer. I've been to Pine Log and know the terrain, although I don't know squat about the rabbit populations.

For the lack of MY experience.... well I dunno what to say about that. I figured I could go up there solo during the day and try to beat the brush and maybe get a shot or two, and then hang out around sundown and see if I can pop any with a .22. My thinking is just to figure out, on my own time, where the populations are and how to flush them out without dogs.

What do you guys think?
 

antharper

“Well Rounded Outdoorsman”
It can work , sounds like you’ve thought it out pretty good , I’ve killed a lot without dogs about as you have described trying , good luck and make some noise so your buddies don’t sting u with bird shot !
 
I find that without dogs the best way to get rabbits to flush is by stopping and starting you walk. I guess they figure they've been spotted when you stop a moment.
 
Thread starter #4
Thanks for the responses guys, I was waiting to hear "well you could do that, but it's gonna be frustrating and you'd be better off getting those guys into X Y or Z instead".

I'll post pics when I/we get out there, probably weekend after next as I'm leaving to go duck hunting this weekend. And should have some chances over the holiday break to go up there mid-week, if only to get away from the in-laws :)
 

Dbender

Senior Member
Rabbits aren't as plentiful as they used to be. You're going to wear yourself out busting brush piles and prob have no luck. I'd try and sway their opinion on sq. That will be your easiest best opportunity.
 

antharper

“Well Rounded Outdoorsman”
When I’m small game hunting I take whatever opportunity presents itself , rabbit, squirrel, dove , quail maybe even a duck , just make sure they are in season !
 
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