Last gasp: A traditional bunny hunt closes out the season
You never really realize you’ve started a tradition until you’re several years into it. Such is the case with rabbits and me. And the last hunt of the season. It isn’t until this week, the last week of February, that I feel that familiar tug. The season will end very soon, and all of the time in the world has turned into no time at all as far as hunting opportunities are concerned.
Just like sitting out in the December cold for the remaining minutes of the archery deer season each year, I try to take one last day to stomp on brushpiles with a buddy or two. The goal of a few rabbits for the pot is obvious, but there’s also a subtle desire to take advantage of the last hunting opportunities of the season. From here on out it’s mostly a waiting game with turkeys tossed into the mix so we don’t go full-on nutty before September.
This year is no different, and I’ve got plans to hit a milk run of public and private spots. I’ve been saving a small private spot for this day, simply because I know it will yield at least one or two cottontails. It always does if the weather is decent. The public spots are a lower-odds proposition, but also more fun. It’s nearly a mile to the best rabbit stuff at my favorite place, and the hike is usually punctuated by crossing several sets of boot tracks. They were most likely laid in the snow by shed hunters, bird watchers, or just roamers and not anyone with an orange vest on. Occasionally though, those tracks will lead to the good stuff and they’ll meander through the blowdowns and overgrown thickets that I like as well.
We might get a bunny on the public land, or we might blank. Quite frankly, I don’t really care a whole lot provided I get to go. After all, it’s going to be a long time before hunting season really gets going again, so I plan to make the most of the last few days. You should too.