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Two Jacks Down


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#1 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:53 AM

Went camping this weekend with the family and some friends and decided to get out early on Saturday to do some rabbit hunting with my hunting buddy.

We got to the entrance of where we typically hunt at around 5:45am and spotted a few right away. I gave my hunting buddy shots at the first couple of Jack Rabbits we saw and he missed all his shots at around 15 to 20 yards. He was perplexed and so was I. It's hard to miss at that close range, but it does happen :smiley-innocent-halo-yellow: .

Anyway, we continued down the road a ways and I spotted a Jack Rabbit on my side of the road. I stopped and it hunkered down trying to hide itself. I slowly got out of the truck and figured it would have taken off, but it stayed. So I opened the back door of my truck, pulled out my .25 Marauder, loaded a pellet and lined up and fired. Dang! I missed! The shot was only at about 18 yards too. I figured I had misjudged the distance and it was closer than I had though (I thought it was around 12 yards, but it was 18 and that difference can send the pellet right over the head of the jack. Fortunately for me, it didn't moved. So I quickly cycled the bolt, acquired the jack on the correct mildot and shot. Bam! Head shot and the rabbit went down.

Photo of the .25 Marauder with it's early morning Jack:
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Early Morning Jack by itself:
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I immediately gutted the jack rabbit, placed it in a large ziploc type bag and put it in the cooler to get it cooled down as fast as possible. After that we drove just a little further and parked at one of the spots we like to stop at and got out to walk around. It was already getting really hot at 6am in the morning and we knew we were in for a hot, sweaty day of hunting.

While I was getting my liquid reservior in my backpack filled with Gatorade, my hunting buddy (we'll call him RK) as looking down the hill and out pops a cottontail. Of course he wasn't prepared with his gun, so it looked at him, gave him a look like "See ya sucka!" and ran off. I told RK he should have had his gun on him since he wasn't taking a backpack this time. He just looked at me and shrugged :rolleyes: .

After I got all my gear on and we were both ready, we headed south from the truck and immediately started seeing Jack Rabbits everywhere. Most were far off and running off in small groups of 4 to 6 rabbits. Of course part of that reason was that RK was crunching through the brush and sending them running. Oh well, I guess next time I'll have to make sure I'm further away so he'll send the rabbits running my way. After about a 1/2 hour in I spotted a jack and tracked him down as he hopped off. As I came over a small knoll I spotted the jack hopping away from me and then it stopped under a shady bush about 40 yards or so away from me. I knew I didn't have time for the shooting sticks so I shouldered the Marauder, lined it up and fired. I must have moved the rifle as I fired because the jack went down, but it wasn't a head shot. I ran over to where the jack was kicking to find that I had hit it just behind the front legs (or maybe a little more back from there) and it was still kicking around. So I chambered another shot and fired one into the jack rabbits head to put it down quick. I immediately gutted this one too because I wanted to make sure my shot had not punctured anything that was leaking into the rabbit that would spoil the meat. So I gutted it quick, drained the blood out, put it in the plastic bag and into my pack and headed to try and catch up to RK.

Second Jack with .25 Marauder:
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Second Jack Solo Photo:
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We walked around the area some more and spotted mostly Jack Rabbits and then walked back to the truck. After that we headed North from the truck and spotted a few more. I got a shot at a cottontail and a jack rabbit which were both at around 10 to 15 yards away, but I screwed up those shots and missed both of them. I was kicking myself for it too :doh[1]: . After about 30 minutes of leaving the truck I headed back because I wanted to try and leave by 10am to head back to camp and clean the two jacks I had shot before some friends showed up at the camp site to visit. While I was up at the truck waiting for RK I see him tracking something through the brush. After about 20 minutes I hear a gun shot from his direction and another 20 minutes later (which means I'm now 40 minutes behind schedule) he comes up the hill and around the corner with a jack rabbit. He had gotten a clean head shot at about 25 to 30 yards with his Henry .22 Lever Action carbine/rifle. I was glad he had finally bagged one since we had been out about 4 times now and he'd only gotten one cottontail in 4 trips. I didn't get a photo of his jack, but he did learn how to clean it when we got back to camp. I made sure to show him how to get the most meat easily off of the jack and he did a good job of skinning, cutting/butchering and rinsing off his jack. Now he'll know for next time when he gets either a cottontail or jack rabbit.

We could have come back with more, but we both had a good time and I was glad that RK had finally gotten his first California Black-Tailed Jack Rabbit. I could tell he was proud of his shot too. Hopefully next time we'll see some more cottontails. I only saw maybe 4 cottontails, but saw at least 20 Jack Rabbits.

#2 rustygun

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:00 AM

Sounds like a fun trip thanks for sharing. Congrats to RK and his first of many Jacks.

#3 ShooterJohn

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:13 PM

RK needs a little range time if you were to ask me. You are a very patient partner. I don't know that I would be as nice and give him shots.

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#4 True2ThySelf

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 01:42 PM

Sounds like you had a fun quick morning hunt.

RK needs a little range time if you were to ask me. You are a very patient partner. I don't know that I would be as nice and give him shots.


I think everyone could benefit from more range time but my range time happens to be my hunting time as well...unless it's the off season and then I'm out there trying to bust clays and plink with the .22 :D.

#5 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 01:54 PM

RK needs a little range time if you were to ask me. You are a very patient partner. I don't know that I would be as nice and give him shots.


He claims that when he is at the range that at 25 yards he puts 20 in a row in the bullseye every time, but then when we go hunting he almost always misses. I try to be patient because I appreciate it when those teaching me are patient as well.

I've tried to explain to him that the closer the target is that he needs to adjust for that in the scope. I have also recommended that he bring targets in closer at the range so he knows where to hold when the rabbits are closer in the field. Or to get a ballistics program that will show him ranges with the zero of his scope and the bullet/round he's shooting.

I also think the first two shots he took ricchochete across the hood of my truck because after he shot the first two over my hood and missed there where two black, sooty streaks near the other side of my hood and a two inch long dent where one of the streaks was that weren't there before the shots he took. He swears he didn't do it, but they weren't there the day before and I didn't notice them before he shot over my hood. I'm just going to make sure that he doesn't shoot over my truck (any part of it) ever again. I'll make him walk to the front or back of the truck next time.

I try to nicely tell him what I would do or make recommendations, but so far they seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Oh well, I try. :)

#6 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 02:05 PM

Sounds like you had a fun quick morning hunt.

I think everyone could benefit from more range time but my range time happens to be my hunting time as well...unless it's the off season and then I'm out there trying to bust clays and plink with the .22 :D.


I know the only range time and zeroing or re-zeroing time I get is when I'm at the relatives house/property or if a take a few shots before or after I'm at my hunting spot. I do try my best to always have my guns zeroed and know what their mildot ranges are so that I don't miss (at least as much) or so that I know if they aren't shooting straight and need to be cleaned. Anyway I look at it, I hate/dislike missing my shots, especially when I'm hunting. ;)

#7 ShooterJohn

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 02:44 PM

Ray you're a good hunting buddy for your friend. I guess I shouldn't have put him down but I would hope someone I take would be perhaps better prepared. I know that's asking allot sometimes but you are one of the good guys and he's lucky to have you as a friend. I'd have kicked him to the curb. :lol: Just kidding. :rolleyes:

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#8 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 04:00 PM

Don't worry about it ShooterJohn. I give him flak for missing his shots too. ;)

I joke with him that if he misses any more easy shots that I'm going to be a rabbit hog and shoot them all myself, since my shot to kill ratio hunting with him so far is about 1.5 shots per kill in the four trips I've taken him on. This last trip I took 7 shots total (one which was at a ground squirrel that I nailed at 20 yards off hand and was the last shot of the day on the way back to my truck so for the day I was 3 to 1 ratio), but my usual trip I get about 2 to 4 shots and usually hit all shots if they are within 50 yards or less. This last time I know I was too tired (I only had about 2 hours sleep) and I missed 4 of the 7 shots I took that morning. That's pretty bad for me and my .25 Marauder.

I do try to be supportive and make helpful recommendations to my buddy, some he heeds and others he doesn't seem to listen too. It is his choice in the end, but I wouldn't tell him something that I knew wouldn't help out. I know I'm new to the whole hunting sport, but I do learn fast and I'm not stupid either. If I know something works, or logic dictates that it should or will work I will use that information to achieve my goal. I also listen to what people tell me and try it at least once or twice if it seems logical and if it produces results in the end.

I've even recommended that since his rifle will allow him to mount a larger scope that he mount a scope with at least a 40mm AO on it so that he can see his target better since he's always saying he can't see the target animal when I'm describing where the animal is (he currently has a 20mm scope on the gun). The more you can see, the better chance you have of keeping track of your target. I know it's not necessary, but I find that with my 50mm scope I almost never have a problem spotting or tracking the rabbits and I try to keep both eyse open until I'm ready to pull the trigger. Then I close the outer eye and only look through the scope when I pull the trigger. Maybe one day he'll be a bit less stubborn, we'll see. I guess we all are a bit stubborn about some things at certain times, myself included.

Of course, after the streaks/dent on the hood of my truck I'm starting to wonder if he realizes where the barrel of his gun is pointed. :lol: Joking of course, but in all seriousness, I don't know how he straffed my hood and missed the rabbit. If only it was being filmed I could prove to him that he shot my truck. :lol: :roflmao3[1]: He denies that he could have even done that. :crazy:

#9 Bisley

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:07 PM

Man oh man, I don't know which feeling is stronger, the sorrow I have for you having a hunting partner like that, or the joy I have for being so fortunate for the hunting partner I have had for over 20 years. Mine can hit running rabbits at over forty yards with a pistol almost at will, and I would bet a years pay he could probably throw his pistol and hit one at 10 yards :rofl2: . You have a hundred times more patience and restraint than I do brother.

God luck my friend, sounds like you could use it.

#10 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:50 PM

I'm hopeful that he'll get better (at least for now). It is just my opinion that he needs to learn his firearm a bit better to be more successful with it. We'll see how it goes. :unsure:

#11 rustygun

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:19 AM

AR, you are a very patient partner. Next time prior to actually looking for the bunnies, start of hunt, have him plink a can or two to see were his is hitting. Then go for the bunnies. Maybe he has a real bad case of bunnie fever.




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