Air Rifle Hunter

Finally! Private Land Rabbit Hunt Success!

26 posts in this topic

Well, I haven't gotten any game for a while and was getting a little bummed, but was not going to give up. This weekend we went to visit some family that lives about an hour away from me and decided to take my .22 and .25 Marauders with me along with some targets to do some zeroing in of the .25 Marauder. They live on about 3 to 5 acres of land where all of the lots about about that size and in hilly, mountain type terrain. While talking to them I brought out the air rifles and showed them to them. They were very surprised that they were so powerful and nothing like what they pictured (they though the were like the daisy or crosman lower power BB or Pellet rifles). After showing them to them and explaining how they worked, they mentioned that they have been having problems with coyotes in the area and on their property. I'll be back to set something up and take those critters out another time. Also mentioned in the conversation was that there were cottontails that come out about 1 1/2 hours or so before dusk. I asked if they would mind if I hunted for some of them and explained that if it was alright, I would never take an unsafe shot, ever. They said "no problem, go right ahead". Yippie! Finally another permission (though obtained much more easily that approaching a stranger, which I have yet to try). Now I just had to find some wabbits! While setting up to zero in my .25 I decided to take a look on the lower part of the lot with my binos to see if anything was out yet. The time was right around 3:30pm. I moved behind a tractor and started glassing. Bingo! Two nice sized cottontails were out munching near some brush. I slowly backed away and once I got around the corner I bolted for the location I had left my .22 Marauder. I grabbed it and my range finder and took off back for the spot where I would most likely be able to safely shoot from while hiding my presence a best I could. The larger rabbit was at 27 yards so I lined up my shot, slowed my breathing and eased back on the trigger. Thwap! A perfect head shot with the pellet passing clean through! The rabbit dropped and never twitched. I immediately noticed that the other rabbit had moved but was still visible, looking at it's fallen companion. However it was slighly behind some grassy brush making the shot not as clear as I would have liked. I lined up the shot and saw it hit some of the brush and the rabbit took off. It must have been deflected by the twigs and I totaly missed the shot. Rats! Well I went down to claim my prize with a smile on my face. Brought it back up and my daughter was so excited that I finally had gotten another rabbit. She even had my wife take pictures of her with it she was so happy. Anyway, I quickly cleaned it, checking for health and any possible reasons not to keep it. It was fine.Here's a photo of the rabbit.post-3-1323130231.jpg After cleaning the rabbit and bagging it for freezing, I decided to check again. The other rabbit was back out again. This time at around 31 yards. I calmly lined up the shot and another perfect head shot! I brought it up and set it on the counter I was using to clean them. I decided to look down from that area and saw two more out. I didn't have my range finder with me then and had to guess at the range. I figured it at about 40 yards, lined up my shot, not having anywhere to rest or steady my shot and fired. A hit, but not perfect. It had hit low for a lung shot which is still good, but the rabbit was kicking a little. So I rushed down, since the other had left the area and finished it off with a head shot. I didn't get any photos of those two until after I cooked them while we were there for dinner.Here's a photo of the baked rabbits in bacon...post-3-1323130247.jpg I thought it tasted real good and knew it would be slightly on the chewy side since I'd only soaked it in brine for around 1/2 an hour. I'll be having the left overs for dinner tonight! Well, my daughter was happy she got to eat rabbit again and even asked me to save one of the pelts to tan for her (which made it take much longer to clean that one due to the care I took not to ruin the pelt as I skinned it), I was happy that I'd finally scored on some cottontails ((3) total) and would get to come back anytime I wanted by calling ahead of time, my wife was happy that I was so happy (but she said she can't quite get used to the difference in the smell of cooked rabbit meat just yet) and the property owners were impressed to say the least and more than happy to have let me hunt there with my air rifles. They really want me to take out some coyotes, but I said that I would have to figure out the best way to accomplish that without breaking the laws in their area. They also have rattle snake problems during the late Spring to early Fall months, so when I'm out there if I see one I blast it too. So, even though I didn't get these while out in BLM land or National Forest, I was still happy to have made some good shots, had some tasty rabbit and had a great time in the process. :signlol2iu:

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Nice shooting. Wish I could have gone out this weekend but it's been very windy, non-stop for almost the past week! Has it been windy in your area?Nice job picking up a new spot to hunt. Looking forward to your private land hunts,Henry

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Total score :smiley-innocent-halo-yellow: ! Can't wait to bag some rabbits too. I hope to see some pictures of rattle snakes on the grill too, maybe your wife will be okay with the smell of cooked reptile! Thanks for your report.

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Nice shooting. Wish I could have gone out this weekend but it's been very windy, non-stop for almost the past week! Has it been windy in your area? Nice job picking up a new spot to hunt. Looking forward to your private land hunts,Henry
Thanks Henry. It was a little windy earlier in the day, but around the time the rabbits came out the wind had died down quite a bit and made it easier to be out in the cooler weather.

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Total score :smiley-innocent-halo-yellow: ! Can't wait to bag some rabbits too. I hope to see some pictures of rattle snakes on the grill too, maybe your wife will be okay with the smell of cooked reptile! Thanks for your report.
I hope to get some reptilian game too. One thing to do though if you do get a rattle snake is:1: Stay away from the head/mouth when attempting to cut the head off.2. Cut the head off around 4" back from the backside of the head (from what I understand this is to keep any chance of venom getting into the meat) and bury the head deep enough so that it won't work it's way back up to the surface before decomposing.3. Gut and skin it (duh!).4. Stick it in the freezer overnight. The reason for this is that from everything I've seen, when you immediately cook a snake after killing and skinning, it writhes all over the grill or skillet. It's kind of creepy (as my kid would say) to see it doing that after it's been dead for a while. If I do get one, I'll definitely post photos of the entire process here. :doh[1]:

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Nice job, I really want to get a rattle snake, turkey and coyote one day.

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Nice job, I really want to get a rattle snake, turkey and coyote one day.
CBR400RR, Don't worry, if you get out there enough you will find plenty of snakes and yotes. Seems like I come across a rattler about once a year. The last one I spooked him as much as he spooked me. So much so that he didn't even get a chance to get a rattle off before he attempted a half a$$ strike. Turkeys might take a little longer unless you have got the inside scoop.

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What's the best time and place to get a rattle snake? I want to skin it and cook it with my boys and make something out of the skin and rattle for them.

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When it starts to warm up go to san felipe wildlife area out by julian. Seen a bunch of them out there when me and my buddy were on the search for turkey this past april. Just watch your step and keep your eyes and ears wide open..143.jpg146.jpg160.jpg081.jpg

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Great pictures! Love the one of that turkey with his tail feathers all out and prancing around. The one of the rattler is cool too!

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One important thing missing is in regards to the Rattle Snake head, cut it off and bury it please. The Rattle snake head is very possinises even when dead. Small kids, dogs and other animals could be poisoned by accident.

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Nice job, I really want to get a rattle snake, turkey and coyote one day.
Thanks. For the turkey you'll need to make sure you have an Upland Game Bird stamp for your hunting license. Spring turkey season comes up around the end of March I think, but I could be mistaken. I'll have to check the regs again. For the others, all you need is your license and a good shot! :two-cents:

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SO who wants to go snake hunting with me when it gets warmer?

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Not me! :hellohello9il: I'll kill 'em and keep them if I see them while out hunting, but I'm not going to go out and look for them on purpose! I've get enough dangerous things trying to kill me on a daily basis. I don't need to search out another one :roflmao3[1]: . I'm sure you'll find some brave (or extremely crazy) soul to go with you out there somewhere. :roflmao3[1]:

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I was looking around for chukars , but came across this guy !post-6097-1323470750.gif

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Nice pictures.. I'll pass on the snake hunt. I've stepped on a few this year checking on the dead squirrels I shot...

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Awesome pics and stories everyone! Grats on your private hunting arrangement ARH. As for the discussion with snakes...haha, I've never eaten a snake before but I've killed 5 or 6 of them including a water moccasin back when I lived in Florida...I was about to jump in the pool and then whoaaaaaaaaaaaa nelly! I killed him like the city slicker I was with some palm tree pruners. Stuck them down in the water and got a clamp around his neck, pulled him out of the water and slice. I always keep my eyes out for rattlesnakes but they always find you when you're not looking for them :). Next time I get one I'll be sure to BBQ him up. Also, Santa is bringing a nice camera for Christmas so I'll be able to get some great pics and videos up of my adventures. wewt. :yahoo:

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