Hunting rabbits with a .22 rifle, revolver, or pistol can be a fun and effective way to add some small game hunting time and add some more meat to the freezer. Though the most common way of hunting rabbits has been with beagles and shotguns, many hunters now live in urban areas and simply have neither the time or space for hunting dogs. I love to rabbit hunt and own a beagle, but he is an indoor dog that only chases the occasion cat down the hallway. But even without dogs, rabbit hunting can be successful. One way is to hunt in groups and jump the rabbits yourself and another way is to simply watch likely areas for a rabbit to present themselves. This second way is perhaps the best for those hunting with a .22.
Rabbit hunting in the snow is perhaps the best as they are easier to spot. But even in the snow, rabbits can be difficult to spot. Often their large eyes are the first thing to be spotted. Look for rabbits to be out on the sunny side of hills. On cold days rabbits can be spotted in somewhat open areas catching the sun. One tactic would be to quietly walk to an area before the sun hits it and get set up. Sit patiently as the sun’s rays settle onto the area and wait for the rabbits to come out. If the terrain is steep enough, by arriving early in the day you can hunt one side of the hill in the morning and the other side in the afternoon.
Another productive tactic for rabbit hunting with a .22 is to walk along field or pasture edges quietly and fence lines, right of ways, and farm or well roads. If you live in or frequent rabbit hunting areas, pay attention to where you regularly see rabbits and visit these areas. Sitting on one side of a pond on a farm I used to hunt was a productive area to hunt with a .22. The rabbits would appear in the open shoreline of the pond from the nearby brush and shooting across the pond necessitated the use of a .22 rifle instead of a shotgun.
Whether you are hunting with a .22 short, long, or long rifle, choose ammunition that shoots well in your gun. A rabbit’s head is not as small as a squirrel’s, but accuracy is still important.
Rabbit hunting with a .22 can provide for a lot of fun and some great meat, go out and give it a try.