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When spring hits and most of the regular hunts are through I try to get some jack rabbit hunting in. I know some good areas that seem to hold a lot of rabbits/hares. I normally try to gather some friends, all armed with various weapons, and head to these spots. My question lies in the stories I hear from others about shooting hundreds of rabbits. Nearly everyone that I talk to about rabbit hunting all have the exact same story about the time they went out and shot over 100 rabbits. It always sounds like 100+ is a frequent occurrence.

My reality is this: On a good day we will see, on average, in very infested spots, maybe 1 rabbit per 5 minutes of walking...sure sometimes 5-10 pop out of one spot, but we are talking averages here. This one rabbit per 5 minutes usually stands an extremely good chance at getting away. A combination of speed, distance, cover, and uneven terrain are all in the rabbits favor. If the rabbit does not stop, I am guessing an average window of shooting opportunity is somewhere around 1 second, and you might get 2 windows of opportunity per animal. My normal weapon of choice is an open sight semi-auto 22lr. I am an accurate, fast shooter and am still lucky if I shoot a dozen critters in a day. The times I have used a shot gun increased the percentage. I am perfectly happy with these numbers, especially if my friends did the same.

So what gives? Are the rabbits in these tales of hunting wonderment so thick that hunters have to shew them out of the way to get their car doors open? Are they physically exhausted from being chased by coyotes all night? Are the hunters sporting infra-red goggles and firing mortar rounds? I just don't get it. Maybe what I think is a a lot of rabbits really is not. Please enlighten me. I do not doubt that an occasional hunter has had a day for the record books, but my suspicion is that most people are confusing rabbits that they "shot at" with rabbits that they "shot".

My normal go to spots are near snowville and in the deserts far west of Utah Lake.
 

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I've never heard of anyone getting 100 rabbits in a day. I think it would be possible but pretty rare! I also have a very hot spot for jacks and the best I personally have ever done is exactly 30 bunnies in one day and I didnt hunt the whole day. My weapons were a 7mm :twisted: great practice, 12 gauge and a 22 with a 1970's scope. My hunting partner shot 15 that day so 45 is are standing record for one day! After shootin so many bunnies I have resorted to coyote hunting O|* . But the bunnies will always be fun!
 

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It's kind of hard to miss when they're less than 20 yards away. My eyes still glaze over when I think about that hunt....
 

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That was you? So when you shot the first rabbit the other 449 rabbits didn't run off? :shock: Loke I want some pictures. :D They had digital cameras back then didn't they? :lol:
 

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That hunt took place in 1987 or 88. No, they didn't have digital anything back then. Back then, if you really wanted to slaughter the rabbits, you went to southern Idaho and got in on one of the rabbit round-ups. You would get a hundred or so people and encircle a large area. Everyone would walk toward each other, tightening the circle. When the circle was small enough, you would dispatch the rabbits with clubs, baseball bats, or some would even use golf clubs. Firearms were not allowed. The dead rabbits would usually number in the tens of thousands for each drive.
On The Hunt, we were in about 2 feet of fresh snow, and the rabbits were not spooky. They would hold until you stepped on them. I don't think that these rabbits had been hunted, and they had a great food supply close (a haystack). That may have been why the were reluctant to move.
 

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I heard about those round ups in Idaho that sounds like a blast. check these pics out they are from tonight. I used my .223 ar.

I call this one blood on the highway.



I tried taking my gordon setter for some help. He would point and hold. it was awsome.

 

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Looks like a great time. It reminds me that I need to go rabbit hunting.
 

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I've heard stories too of tons of rabbits. I wonder if they're not either going out of state or close to state lines. Lots of guys talking about up north.... and I guess if you get way out in the middle of nowhere, its possible. For me, a good day is seeing 20-30 rabbits, having a shot at half of those and connecting with a kill shot on half of the fifteen I pop off at. My best in one day is 8. There was one spot where a friend and I took 11 cottons in 45 minutes, but I haven't been back since that day. Usually I walk and walk until my feet hurt and call it a day. Shooting that many rabbits in one day would suck with a shotgun.... that ammo gets heavy after a while and to shoot 100 rabbits, I'd have to carry a four box case of shells (at least) with me... no thanks. 8)
 

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To tell the truth, here is part of the problem:

My normal weapon of choice is an open sight semi-auto 22lr.
Get a .223 with a scope. You will be amazed what you can do with one of these.
For that matter any varmint rifle that shoots 3000+ FPS will do. The thing is, that the bullet gets there so fast that you don't even need to lead a rabbit up 75 yards. If those cross hairs are on it when it goes off, Dead Bunny! Then they shoot so flat you don't have to adjust for elevation like you do with a 22LR. A shot gun is ok for close shots, but you invariably end up cussing cause most of the targets are over 40 yards and you are just wasting shot.

The other part of the problem is the abundance of rabbits. Years back, as others have already said, the rabbits were lousy out around Snowville and Southern Idaho. We had to be careful to stay out of Idaho as we never did get an Idaho license. You had to have a license to hunt rabbits in Idaho.

I had a buddy, alas he is now gone, who I used to hunt with, and we both used fast shooting varmint guns. his was a 218 Bee, and I had a 222 Rem, with scopes . It was not unusual to get well over 100 rabbits (each) in a day's hunt and shoot near 90% hits. I assure you that it is possible and that many hunters have developed the skill to do this. Of course you have to be fortunate enough to find a spot where you have lots of targets. I don't know where that is now-a-days.

I must confess my great rabbit hunting days were before most of you folks were born. Back in the 1960s. Now that makes me older than dirt? We used to get the kind of hunting you describe right here in Cache Valley, 5 to 20 a day, but I haven't even seen a rabbit track in the snow here for close to twenty years now. When those Bald Eagles started to winter here, and snowmobiles became common, and the coyote population boomed when they made them quit poisoning, the jack rabbits disappeared.

Great Hunting!
 

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A couple of pics from the old days. (maybe 1962)

These 18 rabbits were killed with a 222 Rem without taking a step.
18 shots, 18 dead rabbits, I promise, and about 3 minutes to do it.
I just sat there in one spot, and shot all I could see.
No BS and not to brag, just the facts.
The rabbits were lousy that day. This was one of those "over 100" days.
We had walked about 2 miles before we found the bunch.
The location is west of Snowville and near the Idaho border.

I ran out of 222 ammo that day so killed 32 rabbits with my Ruger single six 22 LR.
A day to remember.
Geeeeez, I wanna go rabbit hunting.
I wish all you youngsters could have the great hunting we had in the 60s.
Have a good hunt!
 

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That volume of rabbits can still be found in Northern Utah. I have found an area that it could be possible to pull off 100 in a WHOLE day. The bunnies are abundant and so are the yotes. It boggles my mind how many rabbits and coyotes there are in such a small area. I dont know how but time after time we sweep through this area for the last 2 years now and its like we were never there each time we return, bunnies everywhere!
 

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Tell me where that spot is, and I'l tell you if it is as good as it was back in the good old days. :wink: :wink:
 

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if you don't believe that a hundred in day is possible pm me and ill send a picture from last year me and some friends shot over 160, it was in state but a lond drive (6hrs total)
 
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