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Air Rifle Hunter

A Great Cottontail Sunday

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:hellohello9il: Here's the story : My family and I visited some of our relatives this weekend. They live on 5 acres of hilly country. All the lots with houses are about the same size (5 to 7 acres). Anyway, they allow me to hunt rabbits, Eurasian Collard-Doves and Coyotes (if I ever actually see one out there) with my air rifles on their property and so I took my .25 cal Marauder up with me since I knew Sunday was the last day of the Cottontail hunting season here in California until July, 2012. This was my first time taking out the .25 Marauder. Sunday morning I got up bright and early right at sunrise, got on my clothes and a green sweatshirt, grabbed by rifle and some filled clips and headed out to a spot I could hide behind. The very first rabbit I shot came out around 6:30 and was about 20 yards away when I took it with a head shot, however I forgot to take a photo of it (brain fart!). It was a fairly big rabbit and probably the biggest I got all day. Around 6:45am the second rabbit came out (first photo below) and was taken at 38 yards with a perfect head shot. It went down instantly and never twitched. After that I saw one more in the morning, however, it spotted me, stood up and when I went to range it, it hightailed it into the bushes and was gone. So I decided at that point to clean these first two rabbits and spend sometime with everyone as they were starting to wake up by the time I was done cleaning the (2) rabbits. As the afternoon rolled by and 4:00 came around, I grabbed my gear again and headed back out to see if I could harvest a few more rabbits before the day was over. The 3rd rabbit I shot was about 27 yards away and went down fast with a head shot. I went down and picked it up and hung it on a limb nearby and got back into position. About 15 minutes later, another rabbit popped out of the hedge at about 30 yards away, it too went down with a head shot. After that, I figured no more would come out, however, I was wrong. Just as I was getting ready to clean the two afternoon rabbits, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, glassed the area and saw three more rabbits had come out of the hedge and were hopping all over the place. They didn't stay still long, darting in and out of the hedge. Finally one stopped long enough for me to feel comfortable taking the shot and at 38 yards I took it. The rabbit went down instantly. My daughter came down when she heard the "THWAP!" with a smile on her face and a thumbs up. "You got him, you got him?!", she said enthusiastically. "Yep, I got him", I said, and we both went down and she picked it up and carried it back where where we were getting ready to clean the rabbits. So after a morning hunt, fun afternoon with the family and an afternoon hunt, I had bagged my daily limit of (5) Cottontails on the last day of the season. It was a fantastic day! Photos of four of the rabbits are below. I think I'm going to plant some vegetation the rabbits like to eat in the areas the rabbits seem to hang out so that when rabbit season rolls around again there will be plenty of cottontails around. ;)Rabbit #2Rabbit_03_01292012_Small.jpgRabbit #3Rabbit_04_01292012_Small.jpgRabbit #4Rabbit_05_01292012_Small.jpgRabbit #5 (this one was a little bit smaller than the rest but still a decent size)Rabbit_06_01292012_Small.jpg

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Now that's how you close out a season! :hellohello9il: And now the long wait between seasons, which seems like an eternity, begins........

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Thanks Bisley. You are so right... it's going to seem like a long 5 months. I guess I'll have to search for a spot for Jack Rabbits. :hellohello9il: Thanks KnockedUp. They are going to become a very tasty meal. I plan on sharing a couple with some friends of ours that have shared some Elk with us just recently and the others I plan to take the one large rabbit and braise and bake with a glaze. The other couple I'll probably fry up.

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That's a nice bunch of rabbits you got. But at least you got them and it will give you more incentive to get out there the beginning of next season. How are you going to cook them up? Rabbit especially young tender ones fry up real nice. It's hard to beat some tasty rabbit. I like to roast them first on some carrots, celery and onions then when they are just pull from the bone tender to dip them in some beaten egg and then into bread crumbs and quick fried. They are delicious that way.

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Nice shooting! :hellohello9il:

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That's a nice bunch of rabbits you got. But at least you got them and it will give you more incentive to get out there the beginning of next season. How are you going to cook them up? Rabbit especially young tender ones fry up real nice. It's hard to beat some tasty rabbit. I like to roast them first on some carrots, celery and onions then when they are just pull from the bone tender to dip them in some beaten egg and then into bread crumbs and quick fried. They are delicious that way.
I'll have to try that. Do you put them in the oven in an open roasting pan or do you wrap them in aluminum foil? I want to make sure the meat doesn't dry out and stays juicy and tender at the same time.

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You can use a covered roasting pan or tin foil. I use an enameled cast iron dutch oven but anything will work. Put a little broth or wine under it to cover half of the vegetables.

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if you ever want to trade some rabbits for some rockfish, hog, or goat meat, let me know...I need some rabbit meat in my diet! Good job!

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Can I get in on this too (Just cottontails or jackrabbits too)? It's been a while since I've had rockfish and I don't think I've ever had hog or goat!

if you ever want to trade some rabbits for some rockfish, hog, or goat meat, let me know...I need some rabbit meat in my diet! Good job!

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