St. Charles Herald-Guide

Hunters track down rabbits in Lafourche

By Bruce McDonald - December 23, 2012

Every year Glenn Perque, Kenny Domangue, Pete Cassagne and I make our annual rabbit hunt to Lafourche Parish on private land. Itís a series of pastures, which are partially wooded, with big briar patches scattered throughout the property.

This time, we only managed to kill two rabbits, but should have gotten more than 10.

"Rabbits love to hide in these briar patches. They give the rabbits protection but when the dogs get behind them, thatís when you better be ready," Domangue said. "You never know when or where they will come out."

It was a peaceful morning when we released the dogs in the back corner of the property. We worked the dogs along a patch of woods, briars and palmettos. In the distance we could hear the gunshots from duck hunters on Lake Boeuf. As we entered the woods, a woodpecker began working a tree by hitting his bill into the wood in search of a morning meal.

It was at that moment that one of Cassagneís dogs let out a yell. The pack of six dogs chimed in and the chase was underway.

We had scattered out in the woods and as the dogs chased the rabbit, shots would ring out as the rabbit passed a hunter. A loud bang from the .410 and Domangue yelled out, "I missed and he is headed your way Pete."

Once a rabbit is jumped, he tries to elude the dogs by making a big circle, but returns to his jump spot. Every hunter holds his spot in hopes of getting a shot. Within a few minutes, Cassagne let out two quick shots from his 20 gauge and yelled out, "I got him!"

We got the dogs to a new location, which was a large tree top in the ground. Cassagne began stomping on the tree top when, out of nowhere, a rabbit came out the end of the branches running from my left to my right. My gun found its mark and got my first rabbit of the morning.

After that we would move to a new spot, run a rabbit for a while, someone would miss a shot and we would repeat.

With only two rabbits, we decided to call it a day around noon.

The 2012-2013 season for rabbits ends Feb. 28. The daily bag limit is eight rabbits per hunter.

Glenn Perque and Kenny Domangue hold two rabbits killed after a morning hunt.
Glenn Perque and Kenny Domangue hold two rabbits killed after a morning hunt.