John’s Note: Now’s the time in February that outdoorsmen particularly enjoy hunting rabbits, especially with their families, neighbors and friends. Rabbits, like all other wild species, must have a combination of ample food and proper cover to survive. If an area loses either one, bunnies just can’t flourish. Throughout much of the nation, farming practices have changed. The small-plot family farm generally either has been abandoned or replaced with big-field farms, which are not conducive to rabbit hunting. So, where can a fellow go to find a mess of bunnies? The answer’s quite simple: anywhere you find an abundant food source and cover to protect the rabbits. Let’s see if we can define some rabbit-food hot spots and learn how to hunt them.
You’ll often find some of the best rabbit hunting ever along the right-of-ways with electrical power lines over them. Because of the regular clearing of power line right-of-ways, new growth of young grasses, close to the ground that rabbits can feed on, appear under these power lines. A large landowner in my state was very reluctant to grant permission for hunters to hunt his land. However, when I explained that all I wanted to hunt was the power line right-of-ways, I was granted permission and enjoyed some superb rabbit hunting all season long. Because right-of-ways are often planted with grasses to keep down the growth of weeds, they provide abundant habitat and food for the rabbit. In many states, power line right-of-ways are planted as green fields for deer. In some states, these right-of-ways are permitted to grow-up with briars and brambles. But in most states, power line right-of-ways provide hot spots for bunnies and the hunters who know how to hunt under the high-voltage lines.
When I think of hot-weather hunting for bunnies, the states of Texas, New Mexico and Florida immediately come to mind, since these states have plenty of bunnies. When a drought swept through the South a few years ago, I employed successfully the hot-weather tactics I’d learned elsewhere to my own state of Alabama. When most of the countryside looks brown, you will have a difficult time finding rabbit food. However, often tender, young shoots that provide excellent food for rabbits will grow around stock ponds, farm ponds, creeks, rivers and streams.
During one dry spell that occurred in the early fall one year, some friends and I went creek-hunting for bunnies. We wore hip boots, used beagles and hunted down the edges of small creeks that still had flowing water. The man with the dogs waded in the middle of the creeks and took bunnies as they ran or swam across the ankle-deep water. Divided evenly on shore, the rest of us took stands and shot the rabbits as they came down the edges of the creeks. If you begin to think like a rabbit and look for the essentials they need to survive, you’ll discover numbers of rabbit hot spots.
For delicious recipes for preparing rabbits and other wild game with our family’s recipes from the past 45+ years in the outdoors, get John and Denise Phillips’ new eBook “The Best Wild Game & Seafood Cookbook Ever: 350 Southern Recipes for Deer, Turkey, Fish, Seafood, Small Game and Birds.” “Click here to get this book.”
About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. “Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.”