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jrod

Rabbit Loads

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I went hunting on boxing day and got my first rabbit while hunting for duck. The load I used in my 12 gauge was probably not the best choice for a rabbit 10 meters or so away and I'm thankful that I made a head shot. I was going to make rabbit pie but ended up with stew because I started eating it before my wife came home with the pastry dough. I was surprised how good rabbit tastes. Anyone use 22lr for rabbit or can recommend a better load than 3 inch high velocity #4 steel :blush:

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When I hunted rabbits many years ago we used lead shot #5 for bunnies & #2 or BB shot for jacks . Anything any smaller would make removing pellets from the meat harder to do . Since you are now using steel shot , is it magnetic , or is it stainless steel shot which is not magnetic ?

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A 22lr is ok if you have sitting shots and you are sure of the background, i.e. no dogs, people or buildings in the line of sight. For a 12 ga. nothing more than 2 3/4" 1/8 ounce field loads in 4, 5, or 6 lead shot is necessary for cottontails. Choke is more important. Modified choke is ok for most situations. My medicine for cottontails in the thick stuff where I hunt them is my side by side 2 3/4" 12 gauge with the barrels cut back to 25". With this combo I can handle the close shots as this is open choke. Even with this I try for the head shot if the bunny is just loafing along. In the really thick stuff I sometimes use a load of #2 shot to punch through the brush better and if the shot is close..... less pellets in the meat. A 20 ga. is perfect for cottontails and for a real challenge i will use the 410 with a full choke. I have the advantage of loading my own shotshells so I can get the best load for each gun.

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A 22lr is ok if you have sitting shots and you are sure of the background, i.e. no dogs, people or buildings in the line of sight. For a 12 ga. nothing more than 2 3/4" 1/8 ounce field loads in 4, 5, or 6 lead shot is necessary for cottontails. Choke is more important. Modified choke is ok for most situations. My medicine for cottontails in the thick stuff where I hunt them is my side by side 2 3/4" 12 gauge with the barrels cut back to 25". With this combo I can handle the close shots as this is open choke. Even with this I try for the head shot if the bunny is just loafing along. In the really thick stuff I sometimes use a load of #2 shot to punch through the brush better and if the shot is close..... less pellets in the meat. A 20 ga. is perfect for cottontails and for a real challenge i will use the 410 with a full choke. I have the advantage of loading my own shotshells so I can get the best load for each gun.

All good advice above!

I like #6 shot. For years my standard bunny buster was a .410 cut back to a Modified choke (or thereabouts!). Nowadays I carry a sweet little 20 ga. SxS that weighs just a tad over 5 lbs. and is choked Cyl. & Cyl. We hunt thickets and I can't remember the last time I had to pass up a shot because it was too far.

BunnyHuntJan23004.jpg

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I have a over under .22 mag, .410 can get them on the run or sitting. Pretty much any light load for the 12 guage will do. I wouldnt go over 2 3/4 inch though,

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All good advice above!

I like #6 shot. For years my standard bunny buster was a .410 cut back to a Modified choke (or thereabouts!). Nowadays I carry a sweet little 20 ga. SxS that weighs just a tad over 5 lbs. and is choked Cyl. & Cyl. We hunt thickets and I can't remember the last time I had to pass up a shot because it was too far.

BunnyHuntJan23004.jpg

thats the way to do it

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A lot of great advice. Thanks.

I think I'll start by telling my wife I need a new gun.

I looked through my ammo box and my target loads seem to fit the bill. Will bring some with the next outing. Thanks again.

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That beagle looks experienced with a little gray on the muzzle.....kinda like me only better looking.

Now that you mention it, I do believe that photo was taken on what would be her last hunt after 12 seasons as a rabbit's worst nightmare. This snow we have now signals the start of the 3rd season for the "new" beagle! In fact, we'll be going on a little warm-up run in the morning!

20101219Cookie03.jpg

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I grew up on 30 years of beagles where rabbits were a matter of walking out of the back yard. Hunted a lot of rabbits with one of us acting as the dog. You learn a lot about the little buggers when you track them around a few times. Don't have any right now but a friend has a nicely developing little male who also likes pheasants - a dream dog. He got a few up for us this past season. You ain't hunted rabbits until you've hunted them with a yodeling beagle.

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