Rabbit hunt adds to memorable Mardi Gras

Bruce McDonald
February 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Tyler Hebert, John Heine and Glen Perque with rabbits killed during a hunt at Churchill Hunting Club.
Tyler Hebert, John Heine and Glen Perque with rabbits killed during a hunt at Churchill Hunting Club.
It was Sunday morning at 8 a.m. with temperatures in the high 30's. The ground was hard from a good frost and moist from a cold front two days earlier. Good conditions to leave a rabbit scent on the ground.

Bad news if you are a rabbit.

Groups of rabbit hunters met at Churchill Hunting Club to hunt the Louisiana swamp rabbit. Kenny Domangue, Glenn Perque, Hunter McDonald, Pete Cassagne, Andrew Callias, John Heine, Tyler Hebert, and myself set out on a very dense area of the hunting lease. It had lots of briars and fallen trees.  This is very good habitat for rabbits.  Between the large clumps of briars, the undergrowth broke-up enough to maneuver through the trees while trying to watch for the fleeing rabbits.  This allowed us to have good shots when the dogs chased a rabbit by a hunter. 

Pete's dogs are very good in many ways.  His dogs are getting up in age, so they don't chase rabbits very fast, but with three dogs, they never loose a trail made by a rabbit. One of the three will always be on trail.  When one dog jumps a rabbit, the two other dogs join in the chase.

At 8:15 a.m. we spread out around a large briar patch and Pete released the dogs. In unison, like a choir director directing a choir, one of the dogs jumped a rabbit and the other two joined in. Arlene let out an OUUUUAH, Barbara had a short YEPPP YEPPP, and Carol an AHROUUU.

With the dogs chasing a rabbit, Tyler moved along the road to get in position in case the dogs ran a rabbit across the road.  We try to spread out to make a firing line to give each hunter a chance to shoot and cover the area.  Hunter moved up about 30 yards from Tyler. The dogs, still on the chase, pushed a rabbit between Tyler and Hunter and Hunter let off a quick shot from his 11-87, 12 gauge shotgun. He missed and the dogs were still behind on the trail.

With everyone spread out, the dogs soon chased the rabbit towards John and one quick shot from his 410-pump shotgun ended the chase.

The rabbit was down. 

We moved the dogs 100 yards to a new briar patch and the same results occurred.  The dogs had jumped another rabbit. This time, Pete caught a rabbit sneaking past a cypress tree and fired the 1100 Remington 20 gauge.  The rabbit was down. 

Again, we moved the dogs up to a new location and a chase was on. We hunt on a hunting lease with 7,000 acres. Unless you have enough hunters to spread out and cover an area, the dogs will chase rabbits around the hunters. 

This was our case.

As the morning went on, shots echoed in the woods as the dogs chased the rabbits around the hunters. Not all shots hit their targets.

We hunted until 11 a.m. and the group had killed three rabbits. The dogs were tired as well and we called it a day.  We gathered around the truck to enjoy drinks and King Cake. Next weekend, we plan to make another hunt.

Hopefully, we will have more hunters.

View other articles written Bruce McDonald

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