Tips for Hunting Rabbit in the Winter

Lepus Europaeus, hare, rabbit

Rabbit season is still in where I live, and right now is some of the best time of the year to get out there and get after them. I prefer to rabbit hunt in the winter as oppossed to the fall. With that said, there are a few things to know and think about.

Rabbits behave a little differently when the temperature drops and because of that, you’ll need to adjust your hunting strategy. Here are some things that should help you along the way

Go Hunting After It Snows

winter field with hare trail in the snow and dry twig
Image from Getty

This can make for some seriously cold and sometimes wet days out in the field, but it’s the easiest time to go hunting for rabbits in the winter. Why? The little brown buggers are easier to see. They stand out on the bright white snow and should be easier to hit because of it.

The second thing is that you can very easily spot rabbit tracks and droppings. Rabbit has a very distinctive pattern when it comes to their tracks. If there’s a fresh snowfall and you don’t see any rabbit tracks, chances are, there aren’t any wherever you’re hunting.

Dress for Brush Busting

Winter hunting at sunrise. Hunter moving With Shotgun and Looking For Prey.
Image from Getty

Cold weather can cause rabbits to stay in one place longer. They love thick brush and foliage. This means you’ll have to get close to them before they jump and take off. I’ve had it before where I almost stepped on a ribbit when I was hunting in thick brush. It waited until I was right on top of it to bolt.

This means you’ll need to dress in clothing that’s durable and ready to protect you when you’re pushing through the brush. Get some hunting bib overalls or some thick hunting chaps and you’ll be ready to blast through brush no problem.

Even if you’re hunting with dogs, you need to dress in clothing that’s durable and ready to get you through at least thigh-high, thick foliage or brush.

Look for Sunny Patches of Ground

Winter. Winter snow-covered forest with a frozen lake
Image from Getty

What’s one of the best ways to warm up on a cold day? Sit in the sun. Rabbits know this, and they will find a sunny hillside or a good spot of land to sit and warm their bodies. Some will stay in the cover of brush, but sometimes they will come right out into the open to sun themselves. In the photo above, the little dip where tan grass and brush sits is where I’d go stomping.

When hunting in the winter on a sunny day, look for parts of the land that get plenty of sunlight. You’re bound to find a rabbit or two hiding there trying to soak up some of the sun’s rays. As an added bonus, you also can benefit from the sun’s warmth and feel pretty good while hunting these areas.

Rabbit hunting can be one of the best winter hunting sports out there if you’re well-equipped. If you need anything—a new shotgun, some blaze orange clothing, warm winter hunting gloves—check out the selection at Gander RV & Outdoors

Tips for hunting rabbit in the winter


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