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Bowhunting Rabbit: An Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Bowhunting rabbit is an experience worth trying – you won’t find it anywhere less than deer hunting. Here is a guide to help you, covering all its aspects.

How’s bowhunting rabbits similar to deer hunting:

Usually, new hunters consider deer hunting as the only worthwhile sport to show their hunting skills. But this is not true every time. Some seemingly easy targets, just like bowhunting rabbits, are equally challenging to some of the toughest ones (deer hunting).

Here are some similarities, which might help you understand my point in a better way.

  • The rabbits are small animals having limited area available for targeting vitals because of their small size, just like deer.
  • You might feel that deer is super speedy, but you haven’t seen the rabbits yet. They even find easy places to hide. So, you’ll have to be super quiet and super fast to hunt the rabbit just like a deer.
  • They can run for miles to escape other animals, so observing them in their natural habitat would not only be fun, but it will help you in understanding your prey better.

Not all rabbits are the same:

You’ll find different species of rabbits that you might have known when starting with hunting. 

There could be minor changes in the behaviors of these species as well. This is why I am explaining the few prominent ones that I know.

Brown Hare:

They are black or fawn on the upper surface with white bellies. Yellow eyes and black ear patch give them their distinctive identity.


Brown or grey from the upper side with the same lighter tone on the underside shows some of the physical characteristics of these rabbits. They have brown eyes and usually live in underground burrows.

Jack Rabbits:

They are a form of hares. Color-wise, they are found in the mixture of buff peppered and black fur on the upper side with white on the underside.

Hunting all these types is similar, but some of these animals could be tougher than the others, requiring an expert level of hunting skill.

Where and when to find the rabbits?

You don’t have to wait for specific months of the year to hunt the rabbits. They are present all around the year and are profound. So, no state of the United States has restricted its hunting to a few months.

You might not have to go to some far-flung area every time you want to hunt a rabbit. I see them all around in the overgrown fields. You can even find some green patches, specifically with bushes around you, and you’ll find some of these little animals to hunt.

But make sure to see if there are some specific hunting rules in your area. The penalties imposed by the authorities would be no way closer to the fun, adventure, and wild rabbits that you’ll find. So be cautious.

Pro Tip: You can use a rangefinder or binocular for finding the rabbits from distance.

Which bows, arrows, and bowheads would work best?

You don’t need excessive draw weight to hunt a rabbit. So, you can start your small game hunting right away.

Flu-flu arrow could be the best option when considering bowhunting rabbit because it provides a larger arrow fletching, and you would have been using some similar arrows in your practice sessions too. So, the overall experience wouldn’t be much different.

Using this arrow could save you from the additional effort that you might have to put in fetching it after a missed shot. The fletching ensures that your arrow won’t go too far away.

A fixed blade broadhead should be your choice if you are going after jackrabbits, but for normal rabbits, simple blunts would be fine.

The use of a recurve or a longbow in the traditional archery style would give you the taste of the old times and will polish your instinct to help you reach the acme.

Additionally, the use of colorful arrow vanes and feathers is helpful to get your arrows back, so this little addition could be saving a lot of your time and arrows too.

How to trace rabbits?

Supposedly, rabbit tracing shouldn’t be difficult when they are plenty of them. 

But that isn’t true. You might not see the rabbits present right in front of you because they are experts in hiding around the bushes and other places that they find. So, be a vigilant observer to get a hold of your small prey.

Rabbits are most activating at dawn and dusk. This is their feeding time. So they can be found around leaves and bushes. You might not be able to hit the arrow at this time (because of their swiftness); however, tracking their movement and hideouts is possible.

Stalking is the best technique that I would prefer to use. Keep an eye on the rabbit for some time. But it is not as simple as looking through the binoculars. The rabbits have very sharp ears and a sense of smell. 

They can blend in the terrain and can hold themselves in the hiding position until you walk away. They know that you are around, so any stalking in such a scenario is not going to work.

You’ll need to make sure that you don’t let the rabbits know that you are around. It will make them active. Any noise or movement could be detrimental to your stalking effort, so make sure to manage it well. 

If they feel you are around, it is better to move on and let the rabbit assume that they are safe. You can feel their alertness by their body posture. They usually sit up a little taller. Additionally, their ears could be hearing the little sounds you make, so watch out for the ear movements as well.

In situations where you see the rabbits and then just missed them instantly, it is better to look for them in the same place. They could just be hiding under shadows, making them a part of the terrain.

Another tip here is that if the rabbit gets alert and starts running, don’t run after it. The rabbits can run long distances without tiring, but you’ll get tired easily. 

If noticed closely, they even turn down their heads to make sure that they have maintained a safe distance from you. So, they won’t stop until they make this sure. Isn’t it a cute trait?

Also Read: Best States for Hunting

Tips for hunting a rabbit:

A headshot is the best option that you should use when aiming for a rabbit, but depending on your arrow and bowheads, targeting the heart area can also make you a one-hit master.

There is a variety of hunting options when going after a rabbit. These include still hunt, stand hunt, and hunting from the blind.

Make sure you have practiced a lot in the range to save the little being from any undue suffering.

Try to get a clear shot and be ready to leave if the rabbit sees or feels you stalking because that will more likely lead to a miss. Also, You can use any kind of bow but my favorite for hunting rabbits is the compound bow

After bowhunting rabbits:

You can find a delicious meal after your hunt. But for that, you’ll need to put in extra effort in cleaning the rabbits and cooking them.

There are great chances that rabbits could have parasites in them. To check, you’ll need to look around the heart, and stomach for any insects. 

If you see any, then don’t eat the rabbit as it could make you ill. Similarly, white spots on the liver could create problems for you, so discards it as well.

With all this information at hand, I believe your bowhunting rabbit would be fun. Happy hunting!

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