Advice + Help/Links RE: SoCal Rabbit hunting tips.

TheGDog

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Strangely... though I've managed to take down 2 deer now.

It just so happens I've never taken Rabbits before.


Anyhoo... was wondering if you guys who do well with Rabbits could thrown in some advice, general tactics... and/or direct me to some links which provide info you deem to be good advice.

As always... questions will follow :)

-G
 

sierrahunter1

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I don't hunt wabbits in Southern California, but I hunt them in the Central Valley.
-Hunt early morning and late evenings
-hunt where there is cover. Not sure where you'll hunt, but bunnies love grapevines for cover and food. Brushpiles, too. Someone else will have to chime in to help with desert bunnies.
-If you're flushing bunnies by walking through habitat, use a shotgun. You'll see flashes of white tail as they flush. It can also be fun to just sit in one spot and watch for movements, or still hunt like deer. I've had them come up to a few feet of me if I don't move. You can use a bow if you're still hunting. You'll want to use some sort of judo point so you don't lose arrows.
-Use gloves when cleaning rabbits. Check for white spots on the liver (tularemia). Don't let the other bugs bother you.
-Rabbit meat is delicious, but can be tough. Braise for an hour or more, then grill, fry, or eat straight from the braising pan.
 

TheGDog

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What does "Don't let the other bugs bother you." mean? Are you referring to possible parasites they might have on them, like the Ticks on the deer? The permethrin on the hunting clothes seems to work well for that. I think I remember also reading they sometimes get Bot fly larvae in them sometimes? The nasal passages I think they said?

RE: cleaning the rabbits. How long can you wait before having to gut 'em? I'm talking like a situation where you're deep into the field. I'm asking because you're saying to use gloves, so don't want to be wasteful with the gloves, plus if the area is good I figure you'd want to possibly sit tight there for a while longer right? To see if another one presents itself? Or do you typically move a little further down the road if you've taken one? (due to the noise you just had to make with the shot and recovering them.)

RE: Tactic... I figured when it's in the same chaparral country I go for the deer, I'd just do a similar tactic of finding a good spot with some open meadow-y ground that borders the brush, where you can sit in a shadow and observe as wide a radius as possible and try not to move. Or move your head super uber slowly if you have to rotate your head in order to pan your FOV. Works for seeing the deer. And saw a cotton-tail also come out nearby the deer this one evening. Almost didn't see him in the grass at 100yds, thought I saw movement, glassed and was surprised to see him there. The weeds were taller than him. :)

Oh hey... I do remember ordering these things you screw on under your field-tips that turns them into small-game heads, like a Judo tip. Archery probably won't be my first choice. Maybe after I get a few under my belt. But I definitely wanna try my AirRifle! I've popped doves and rats and crows with it. But I guess I'll have to now find a lead-free pellet that works too, that I can take into the field with me. Just bought a brick of the new all copper CCI .22 LR's too. I'm assuming .223 would be a poor choice, even out of a carbine, right? Too much power, right?
 

sierrahunter1

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Yes, I mean bot fly larvae. They can be anywhere on the animal.

Don't use a .223 on rabbits. If you use a .22, aim for the head to protect the meat.

Most of your questions will be answered when you get out there. Good luck.
 

TheGDog

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Sorry to bother again. Had my first trip out there for rabbits. Didn't make it out as early as I'd hoped to. Arrived at like maybe 6:30a, As I drove up into this spot literally like 4 or 5 dashed back into the brush that was right there.

They freakin disappear once they meet with brush! Tried doing the waiting game with the AirRifle. Got impatient and also figured they wouldn't come back out with my car there.

Also wanted to explorer the area, so went on a walk. Tried to walk up slowly to the brush they disappeared into but nobody flushed as best as I could tell. But it's all close enough they could easily connect-the-dots from one to the next until on a side I can't see and then escape.

A good 3 other times I'd catch a bunny giving me the slip... at times extremely close by... but I could never find or figure out where within the brush it looked like they went into the were at! I don't have a shotgun yet... so when I do this again, I'm figuring I'll have to still-hunt. I distinctly remember thinking I could really use a shotgun out there, hehe!

Kinda tough because it was Flatlands meeting chaparral-covered rolling Flatlands... and.... apparently maybe to prevent people with motorized vehicle from trying to explore in there... lot of annoying barbed wire fences at intervals. Also it was during this weekends heat-wave. Thankfully some patches of clouds hung around at times. But It got up to 100 F that day too.

Anyhoo... wanted to get back to an answer to the question of how soon until you bother cleaning them when in the field? I'm asking because i'm assuming you want to strike a balance between cleaning/gutting in a timely fashion... but not spending lots of time on that and missing opportunities to get more Rabbits within the prime hunting hours?

I'm assuming most people just remove the guts immediately after they kill them, but leave the rest of the animal intact while they are out there and still hunting, yes? Just drop 'em into your meat-bag after gutting? Yes?? No??

And then deal with skinning/deboning when you get back to the truck? What's the preferred habits you guys use in this regard of when to field dress them?

I appreciate your input, thank you.
 

El Maton

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It's rabbits...don't make it to difficult. Get out again and get sum!
 

ilovesprig

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'Dog,

I don't gut my rabbits at all and I clean them at home.....Here's what I do in pictures....2 back straps, and 4 pieces off the back legs....I then put them into a bowl of water for a day or two....Pure white meat.

.

.
 

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nicapopolis

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In regards to the barbwire... those are old cattle fences. The area you are in was probably an old ranch prior to it being purchased (or stolen) by the government.

The alternative is that they are left over from a grazing lease on said public land.

I just don't want you to assume they were put there to keep the public out.
 

DOG ON POINT

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Get a pair of binos and practice spotting them from a distance. When you see one. .. then shoot it. They'll never know what hit them.
 

duck-boy

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Yo Gdog, if you ever go on a Sunday and want some company, let me know. I'm getting tired of this dark meat. Haven't shot a rabbit since my girls were born....
 

TheGDog

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Yo duck-boy... bet man. This next weekend coming is a no-go... Mama wants to do that Uncorked Wine festival in Santa Monica. But the one after that, sounds good to me. PM me.

ilovesprig said:
'Dog,

I don't gut my rabbits at all and I clean them at home.....Here's what I do in pictures....2 back straps, and 4 pieces off the back legs....I then put them into a bowl of water for a day or two....Pure white meat.

.

.
Was watching a vid... do you try to squeeze-out their bladder and guts contents first before shoving them into your meat bag in your backpack?
 

TheGDog

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DOG ON POINT said:
Get a pair of binos and practice spotting them from a distance. When you see one. .. then shoot it. They'll never know what hit them.
Yeah... I probably don't use 'em as much as I should. It's just pretty thick out there. And it was real hot that day and I didn't get in there as early as I would have liked too. My phones alarm either didn't go off or I just didn't wake up from it.

Love my 8x28 Diamondbacks. They are perfect hunting binos for use by hand. Pretty easy to hold em steady even when you've been huffin and puffin and shaky. And they can see plenty far enough.

I'm just going to have to make sure to get out there earlier next time. And setup over that spot and just sit and wait. Next time I'm not going to drive the car into the area. Feel pretty certain that's what screwed me over. Like a said, maybe like 4-5 of em scattered back into the bushes when I first rolled up.
 

ilovesprig

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TheGDog said:
Yo duck-boy... bet man. This next weekend coming is a no-go... Mama wants to do that Uncorked Wine festival in Santa Monica. But the one after that, sounds good to me. PM me.

'Dog,

I don't gut my rabbits at all and I clean them at home.....Here's what I do in pictures....2 back straps, and 4 pieces off the back legs....I then put them into a bowl of water for a day or two....Pure white meat.

.

.
Was watching a vid... do you try to squeeze-out their bladder and guts contents first before shoving them into your meat bag in your backpack?
NO.......I shoot from the truck....... :smiley-wnk-yellow:

And if I did (do) walk around.....I just carry them back or put them in game vest.
 

nicapopolis

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They are a little animal. Don't worry about spoilage like a deer. Clean them when you get home and eat em.
 

Skeet

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Also try river beds or areas around ag fields or grass fields makes it a little easier
 

ilovesprig

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D12 Tracker said:
When did shooting them out of the back of the truck with shotguns and spot lights in the hay fields stop being the preferred method?
I thought it still was................. :smiley-ugly-lol-bashing-sign:
 

TheGDog

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DOG ON POINT said:
Get a pair of binos and practice spotting them from a distance. When you see one. .. then shoot it. They'll never know what hit them.
I put this practice much more into use this Sunday!

I think I'm going to have to start taking the 10x42's instead of the nice compact 8x28's when it's for Rabbits. Man... hard to see them at long distances in grass in low light!

Mid day switched over to the CZ 452 .22 I bought for my boy. Wind kicked up in the afternoon, so figured better to switch over.

In the PM after sunset the winds died back down and a few presented themselves at something like 120+yds away.

I'd never tried .22 shots at those distances before, nor hadn't ran the numbers for trajectories for the CCI 22 Copper's. So was just taking my best guess at hold over. Too low, then too high. We'll do our homework so that next-time I know my hold-overs for those distances.
 

TheGDog

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Oh geez! Hold over is like 8+ inches out that far, HA! I guessed maybe 4" hehe.
CCI%20Copper%2022%20Ballistics%20w%2060yd%20Zero_zpstufpkx6y.jpg
 
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