Don’t put your bow away just because deer season is over. Whether you want to hone your hunting skills, put more meat in the freezer or simply extend your time in the field, hunting rabbits with archery tackle is something every hunter should try. Here are five reasons why.
The art of tracking and spot-and-stalk bowhunting isn’t easily mastered. One wrong move while sneaking up on a cagey buck is all it takes to blow your opportunity for the season. But rabbits are usually plentiful, making rabbit hunting the perfect, target-rich opportunity for honing your craft. Start by picking up a fresh rabbit track in the snow and then following its path, constantly glassing and looking ahead for a dark blob under a pine limb. The approach is the same for big game, but you’ll get more opportunities when targeting rabbits. You’ll likely blow plenty of stalks along the way, but eventually you’ll capitalize. The skills you’ll learn while hunting rabbits just might help you sneak up on a bedded buck next fall.
Rabbits have a knack for tucking themselves in tight quarters, barely big enough to slip an arrow into. If you’re going to put a bunny in the slow cooker, you need to be opportunistic and make the most of the shots you’re given. Identifying small shooting lanes and having an intimate understanding of your arrow’s trajectory are critical for success in the briar patch. Once you’re comfortable threading the needle on a target the size of a grapefruit, the buck standing in your shooting lane will be a piece of cake.
There’s lots of crossover between trusty spots for brush busting bunnies and bedding areas for whitetails. Both spots are thick and loaded with browse that deer and rabbits need to survive. If you’ve found the rabbits, you’ve probably also found the deer. You’ll stack the odds in your favor next fall by spending more time in the field right now, identifying honey holes that would otherwise go overlooked if you spend the offseason on the couch.
From rabbit stew to Buffalo hot legs, there are plenty of opportunities to get creative in the kitchen after you bag a few bunnies. Generous bag limits allow you to experiment with different recipes until you find your favorite. When you do, host a wild game potluck with your hunting buddies, and steal the show with a delicious rabbit recipe that no one will expect.
The best part of any hunt is the people you share it with, so rather than waiting for the calendar to flip to next deer season, round up your hunting buddies and chase rabbits this winter. Rabbit hunting is a social activity and a great excuse for winter fun and beating cabin fever.