4 Steps to Hunting Rabbits (Step-by-Step Guide)

Are you wondering how to hunt rabbits? Well, we could help you in that area!

Today, we will be talking all about rabbitting. We will walk you through the preparations up to the last step. By the end of this talk, you will hopefully see that rabbitting could not only be fun. It is very doable too!

If you are ready, let us get this show on the road!

1. Know the Rules for Hunting Rabbits

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First, you want to familiarize yourself with the rules for hunting rabbits.

Each state has a unique set of rules for hunting rabbits. Whether you are new or not to the sport, you always want to check on the state’s guidelines before you get on with the chase there.

Is a Hunting License Needed to Hunt Rabbits?

Generally, yes, you do. As we have said, each state has a different set of rules and regulations. As you might expect, the application process, requirements, and fees would vary.

The rules for obtaining a hunting license depend on several factors, like the hunter’s age. Sometimes, minors and seniors do not need to get one to hunt rabbits. Sometimes, a hunting license would be required, but it would be free of charge.

There is really no fixed rule for getting a hunting license. However, most states have their hunting rules and regulations on their website. With a few clicks, you can have access to their set of rules.

Where Can You Legally Hunt for Rabbits?

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All states have public areas where people could hunt. However, there are also public areas where hunting is prohibited. Again, designated public places for hunting would depend on the state. Nature preserves, for example, are a toss-up.

On the other hand, there are also private areas open for hunting. Still, you might need a permit to hunt in these areas.

Additionally, often, you can hunt on your property without a problem. That is, even without a hunting license.

When Can You Legally Hunt for Rabbits?

Another thing you have to consider before going hunting is the time of the year. Again, different states have different rules for this. Some allow all-year hunting. Some only have hunting seasons.

What Rabbits Can You Legally Hunt?

Rabbit hunting might be legal. However, it is illegal to hunt some rabbits. For example, Idaho does not allow the hunting of pygmy rabbits. Again, check the local guidelines before you hunt. Killing a protected species could lead to a year in prison or be as costly as $50,000.

Other Things You Should Check on the Guidelines

Again, different states have different rules. They could be pretty unique, but a few general things you would want to check out is the limits, firearm you can use, and traps you can employ.

2. Know Your Rabbits

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Hold it right there! You cannot start hunting rabbits yet. After knowing the rules, you now want to study your target. With the size, speed, and smarts of rabbits, you want to get to know them before taking them on.

What Rabbits Can You Hunt?

You do not want to hunt sick rabbits. An ill rabbit might be an easy catch, but it is pretty much useless. It is not advisable to eat it. Also, it might make you sick. So, let the little guy go. It might be its last few days. Let him enjoy the great outdoors.

But how can you tell a rabbit is sick? Well, lethargy and slowness are good signs. If a rabbit seems to be moving too slowly, it might not be that it is your day and everything is working in your favor. It could be you are dealing with a sick rabbit.

Where Can You Hunt for Rabbits?

Earlier, we talked about where you can legally hunt rabbits. Now, let’s talk about where you can find them.

Rabbits can live in different habitats. If you are trying to find their homes, you will not have to worry about cottontails. They hide their nest in plain sight.

On the other hand, most of the other rabbits go underground. Now, if they are not at home and you are trying to find other places they hide, you might want to check the bushes and tall grasses.

Still, it might be best to ask regular hunters of an area to grasp the habits of the rabbits in that place.

When Can You Hunt for Rabbits?

Rabbits are crepuscular creatures. That means you can’t find them at just any time of the day. Since they are crepuscular, you want to hunt them in the early morning or at sunset.

3. Prepare Your Materials and Gear Up for the Rabbit Hunt

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A shotgun with a 12 or 20 gauge is the most common choice for hunting rabbits. However, some choose to use a .22 rifle. These are not your only options, though. If you want to go a little old-fashion, you can also use a bow and an arrow.

On the other hand, you also want to dress up for the chase.

First and foremost, you cannot forget your blaze orange clothing. You might want to blend in with the surroundings, but that could be dangerous.

You want to stand out. You want other hunters to see you to avoid accidents. Additionally, you also want to partner your clothes to the season.

4. Keep These Things in Mind When Hunting Rabbits

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Finally, let’s talk about the things you want to keep in mind when you are finally out there.

Follow Rabbit Tracks

If you don’t know where to start looking, you might want to look for bread crumbs first. In this case, those are paw prints and bunny droppings. You may not always find a rabbit at the end, but it will give you a good idea of where to look.

Get the Rabbits Out of Hiding

As we have said earlier, rabbits are small but intelligent creatures. If you want to catch them, you have to outsmart them.

Unlike other animals, stealth is not the way to snatch them. You want to let them know you are there. You want to make some noise. Not enough to have them running towards the direction opposite you, but enough to let them know you are in the area.

What you want to do is pace around for a bit. Then stop and stay very, very still. With this, you give the rabbits the impression that you have spotted them.

They will not come out of hiding immediately, but if you patiently wait, you should see a rabbit dart out of its hiding spot sooner or later.

Look for Rabbit Eyes

It’s in the eyes. That’s what they say. This line might not be for rabbits, but it can apply to them. When you are on the lookout for rabbits, you don’t want to wait until you fully see them.

That could be hard. With their fur and their coats, they could camouflage with their surroundings. The best way to spot them is by looking for their eyes. Additionally, you want to spot their eyes before they spot you.

Employ a Hunting Buddy

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Are you having trouble flushing out the rabbits? You might want to employ a hunting buddy. Having your friends around is fun and all. However, we’re not talking about them. We are talking about man’s best friend – dogs!

Having a hunting dog with you could make this task pretty easy. Not only can dogs help you find the rabbits, but they can also help with flushing the rabbits towards you.

If you are a dog person and thinking of getting a hunting buddy, you might want to consider a beagle. They’re one of the best for this job, after all!

Where to Aim When Hunting Rabbits

Aim for the head. It is the most ethical shot as it kills the rabbit immediately. As much as possible, you do not want to bring unnecessary pain. The best way to do this is to wait for a rabbit to be still.

However, that is not always possible, and it’s okay. You can try to take a running rabbit down. However, you want to make sure you go to it as soon as possible and put it out of its misery. We will talk more about this in a bit.

You can try to gun down a running rabbit. However, it might not be the best or safest choice to try to take down a rabbit that is already 90 feet away.

Finally, rabbits are on the floor. You want your gun pointed at the ground and not parallel to it. Otherwise, that is an accident waiting to happen.

Dispatching a Rabbit

If you bring a blow to the head, you might still see the rabbit kicking when you get close. You do not have to worry, though. If you delivered the shot right, you would only be seeing nerves by then.


How to hunt rabbits? Sure, it is not the easiest activity in the world. As you have seen today, though, the trouble is worth the fun time you might have! We hope we got to help. If you need any more help with these little furry creatures, then feel free to hop by again!

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