View Full Version : cottontails without the dog

model 70
11-04-2005, 10:50 AM
anyone have any tips for hunting cottontails in river bottoms without the aid of a dog? cover ranges from grassyfield, dirt roads and paths, black berry bushes and scattered brush. what time of day is best and what conditions? the ones i've seen are small compared to the black-tailed jackrabbits i'm used to shooting. is that normal? thanks.

11-04-2005, 04:59 PM
Yup to all of the above. I have even hunted cottontail from the hood of a '53 ford pickup! Swamp bunnies tend to be alot bigger then plain old cottontails. It does help alot to have a dog, but you can still get some good shots without one. I find just before dusk tends to work best for me when I don't have a dog with me.


model 70
11-04-2005, 05:03 PM
do you find them out in the open or do you have to go kickin' through the grass and brush?

11-05-2005, 06:33 AM
Cottontails without dogs?:eek: I can't imagine that anymore.

Walkin and kickin every hiding place in site worked as a kid but now that I've got beagles life is good.

11-05-2005, 06:05 PM
Try early in the morning as soon as it's legal to shoot. Also, in the evening.

Walk real slow. Try and spot the rabbit before it sees you. When he runs stand still and wait. Usually, well sometimes, he stops and sets up to see what it was. That's the time I put the cross hairs on him and shoot.

We usually have snow here when I hunt. So I look for fresh tracks. I follow the tracks with my eyes to locate the rabbit.

Also, I've had them squirt out from under my feet.


11-06-2005, 05:02 PM
Usually I have them jump and run, Dont find them in the open often.


11-07-2005, 08:38 AM
We hunt rabbits along the outside edges of woods, fence rows, brush piles, etc. Also I wear a pair of brush chaps, from Cabela's, to save my pants. The outside edge of the woods is pretty thick, but, it opens up enough inside to shoot.

With a fresh snow, I look for tracks and try and follow them up with my eyes.

I've found that rabbits usually run toward the interior of the woods. This happens often enough that when I hunt with a partner one of us stays in the woods. Normally that person is the shooter.

Rabbits usually they run about 30 to 50 yards, out from me, and stop. That's when I shoot with a scoped .22.


11-15-2005, 05:28 PM
You will find them in the grass/weeds by walking slowly.If you see a brush pile, clump of vines, farm machinery, old pvc pipe, or anything else laying around that looks like it will hide a rabbit, kick it.
Dogless rabbit hunting is pretty hard work, but can be alot of fun. I recommend having at least 2 hunters for this:Alot of times, one of you will jump the rabbit and the other will shoot.

Shotgun Kid
05-25-2006, 10:29 AM
I hunt rabbit solo when i do this i usaly get 2 or 3

I use a pardner singleshot 12ga

05-25-2006, 01:34 PM
Nothing wrong with hunting rabbits sans dog. I do it every year and bring home just enough for winter stews. Granted, you need to work a little harder, but it sure is fun.

05-25-2006, 02:56 PM
Cotton Tails are much smaller then your jack rabbits,and taste better as well.River bottoms are excelent areas.It is much easier with two hunters,more fun and more action as these little rabbits disapear through the brush and usualy take for the clearing for a few seconds to put some distance between you and itself before going back into the brush.Thats where your partner or yourself often get the shot,and take turns pushing the brush piles and thickets.If your all alone try hunting the last couple of hours of daylight as they are waking and starting to move from their comfortable beds.Allways trying to spot them beore they jump.Often hunting with a partner will increase your success rate particulary in areas with no snow.Cotton Tails are great in stews,pies,roasted,fried.The list goes on.Most hunters I know cut thier teeth hunting these little buggers and still enjoy it as much today. ENJOY! ;)