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Air Rifle Hunter

A Few More Cottontails

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This weekend I got to do a little cottontail hunting and also helped to exterminate a few ground squirrels too.

On Friday, late in the afternoon I went to do a little ground squirrel eradication. It was really hot, maybe around 95 degrees and humid too. The squirrels were not out as much as usual. All shots were 45 yards and beyond with the longest shots being at 75 yards using my .22 Marauder Rifle. I didn't take any photos of the ground squirrels, but I did terminate 10 of the pesky little critters. Hopefully it is helping to dwindle down their numbers so that the property they are on is not so over run with them.

On Saturday morning I was just relaxing and decided to walk around my relatives property a little and while taking my stroll I spotted a cottontail hiding under the shade of a tall bush about 70 yards out. I turned and walked back to the house, picked up my .25 Marauder and slowly walked back to see if the rabbit was still there. It was, so I slowly worked my way within 35 yards and using my shooting sticks I got the rabbit in my sights. The profile the rabbit was giving me wasn't the best and after waiting around 10 minutes I decided to just take the best shot I could which was a heart and lung shot. I took the shot and the rabbit went right down, kick once or twice and that was it.

Saturday Morning's Rabbit:

RabbitHunt_08042012_01.jpg

I didn't do to much outside on Saturday due to the heat and humidity until the early evening when I decided to deal with the warmth and headed out with the .25 Marauder again. After scanning a section of the property for about 1 1/2 hours I finally spotted a lone cottontail working it's way across an area between some dense brush clusters. I ranged it and it was right around 55 yards. I steadied the Marauder on the sticks and took my time with the shot because the rabbit was constantly moving around. Finally it stopped giving me a quartering towards me shot. I lined up for a heart and lung shot and fired. The rabbit dropped but then crawled off. I quickly headed down to try and track down the rabbit. With all of the brush around there it was going to be hard to find it if it had gotten into the brush. Sure enough, I couldn't find it until after about 15 minutes of searching I found it lying on its side under some brush. It had gotten about 15 yards from where I shot it, which was amazing considering that when I cleaned the rabbit the pellet had gone through the heart and lungs and all the way to the back of the rabbit, lodging itself just under the skin of the rear leg. It had passed completely from the front to to back of the rabbit. I'm glad I found it because I hate wounding an animal or shooting one and then losing track of it. I know it happens from time to time, but I still don't like it.

Saturday Evenings Rabbit:

RabbitHunt_08042012_02.jpg

There were tons of rabbits out on nearby properties, but none of them came up my direction, so I only got the two which is fine because I just like being out in the first place. Maybe in a couple of weeks I'll get out again for jack rabbits and cottonails at my other hunting spot. :)

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Nice couple of bunnies and getting rid of some underground pests.

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It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Tom

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Thanks everyone! :)

I especially want to thank all of those that in my first year of small game hunting have really helped me by giving me the information I needed to learn quickly and start being more successful when out hunting small game. :good:

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It's kind of funny because I was looking up recipes in the search window for a friend yesterday and came across an old post of yours from June (I believe) about how you can't wait to get your first jack, let alone cottontail just to see what they taste like. Now you're dropping them like nobody's business, and got your daughter wanting to do the same thing. All in less than two months! Hope you're having as much fun doing it as many of us are watching it play out before our eyes :good:

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Yeah, it doesn't seem too long ago that I just started into hunting of any kind. I looked back in my posts and found I got my first cottontail around Oct. 16th, 2011 and didn't get anymore until around Dec. 5th, 2011. Then after cottontail season was over I started thinking about Jack Rabbits and didn't get my first jack rabbit until around May 28th of this year (2012) and since then I've harvested maybe 4 jack rabbits. I'd probably get more if the dang jacks wouldn't run off so far away.

I can't wait until I'll be able to take her out hunting with me. I did make sure to tell her today that if she wanted to hunt with me she was going to have to learn to read better so that she could take the safety course test. She kind of frowned a little, but I'll work with her on her reading skills so that she'll be able to hopefully take the test by the time she's 9 or 10. We'll see. Even after she passes I'll only be taking here to places where I don't have to walk long distances because I don't want to hear "Daddy I'm tired." I will be super stoked when she bags her first rabbit or squirrel for sure.

As far as having fun... oh YEAH! I'm having a total blast. Sometimes it is hard work to hike up and down hills, gullys and through cactus infested areas, but it is great exercise and very rewarding when I'm able to bring something back. :)

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