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VA – HUNTING – Rabbit hunting offers great winter recreation

With rabbit season remaining open through the end of February, here are some observations on hunting this great small game quarry from Marc Puckett, Virginia’s Small Game Project leader. And if you are worried that only those with a pack of beagles can enjoy this sport, think again. The game biologist points out that even hunters without dogs can enjoy chasing rabbits. Just put on some brush pants and a canvas coat and get in the grapevine thickets, greenbrier patches and honeysuckle tangles. Do the work the dogs normally do – hopefully with a friend along who’s ready to shoot when you flush out a cottontail or two. Here are the highlights of my questions for Marc and his responses. Are rabbits available widely throughout the state, or are some regions superior to others? Rabbits are widely available, with no part of the state having none. Hot spots tend to vary. Some years the southwestern mountains seem to be favorable. But what I see in most years is that the tidewater and the Piedmont – with typically larger acres of timber cut-over in regeneration, providing more cover, and commodity crop farming still doing well in many places – have the highest rabbit harvests. But more telling, daily hunter success is higher in those regions. The bottom line, though, is that rabbit hunters throughout Virginia should have no trouble finding a few rabbits to hunt. And it does not take many to make a good day of hunting.  [full article]

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