St. Charles Herald-Guide

Hunters itching to get back into woods take advantage of late rabbit season

By Bruce McDonald - February 16, 2013

After months spent in the woods hunting deer, itís hard to stop hunting. Many hunters still wake before sunrise, wear camouflage, check the weather conditions and think about what it would be like to be in the deer stand.

When I received a phone call to go rabbit hunting, it took about two seconds to make the decision to go. Rabbit season is one of the last hunting seasons of the year and will close at the end of February.

On this morning hunt, eight of us took to the woods in anticipation of bagging a few rabbits. As we took our positions, encircling an area ahead of the dogs, huntersí orange could be seen scattered in the woods waiting for dogs to find the prey. The dogs were released and within minutes they found what they were looking for.

A rabbit will make a big circle from the spot he was jumped and return to that spot. Other rabbits will try to sneak away to avoid the dogs.

Throughout the woods, the pack of six dogs barked and yelped while the race went on. Soon, a shot rang out and Sylvester Badeaux bagged the first rabbit of the morning. While we waited to move to another section of woods, a sneaky rabbit hopped through a briar patch ahead of my spot trying to get away. I fired a shot from my Model 1100 Remington 12 gauge and the 7 Ĺ shot bagged him.

In fact, it wasnít long before everyone in the hunting party had bagged a rabbit.

Itís fun to listen to the dogs on a race and watch the precision of the hunters move through the woods. Sylvester and Pete Cassagne would follow the dogs and push them while most of the other hunters stayed ahead of the dog. As for myself, staying 50 yards behind the jump spot allowed me to get good shots after the dogs forced a rabbit into a turn.

Todd Phillips, Jason Ruiz Jr., Travis Gros, Sylvester Badeaux and Pete Cassagne with rabbits killed on private land.
Todd Phillips, Jason Ruiz Jr., Travis Gros, Sylvester Badeaux and Pete Cassagne with rabbits killed on private land.