A Rabbit Hunting Guide for the Beginners (with some great tips for hunting more rabbits!)

Rabbit hunting tips and tricks

If you ask - what was their first game, then most of them will give you the same answer - "rabbit".

Almost every hunter of North America begins their hunting with either rabbits, hares, squirrels, or game birds, usually in their childhood, accompanied by their dad or granddad. Hence, if you’re a pro-hunter then there isn’t anything new that I can tell you about hunting rabbits. This article is for the new hunters mostly. However, an experienced hunter may find it useful as it contains some updated information related to rabbit hunting.

Here we've tried to accumulate all the required info that a hunter would need to know for hunting rabbits including- 
                      -a detailed overview of rabbits
                      -difference between rabbits and hare
                      -best places for hunting rabbits
                      -best time for hunting them
                      -gun and gears required for hunting rabbits
                      -rabbit hunting tips and tricks/ how to hunt rabbits
                      -game processing


An overview on rabbits

Rabbits are small mammals, found abundantly in the USA. You’ll be happy to know that - around half of the total number of rabbits in the world inhabit North America. This means, more opportunities for hunting rabbits – almost as much as you can is acceptable in this area.

Difference between rabbit and hare

Although rabbits and hares are synonyms to many peoples, they aren’t the same. Not surprised? Ok! but, can you tell the difference?

Few differences are obvious, others are not. One significant difference is how their kits are born. Rabbit babies are born blind and hairless whereas hare babies are born with hair and good vision.

Another difference is their habitation. Except for cottontails, all the other rabbits live in underground burrow known as warrens. But hares live in above the ground nests.

Hares are larger, with long ears and legs. And, they were never been domesticated like rabbits, not domesticable like rabbits. Also, unlike rabbits, hares fur has black marking in their furs.

However, in the case of hunting approaches, there isn’t much difference between these two species. So, this article will cover both rabbits and hares at the same time.

Here's a video demonstration on rabbit vs hare:

Types of rabbits available in USA

Different types of rabbits are available in all over the country. Besides cottontails, swamp rabbits, snowshoe hares, whitetail jackrabbits, black-tailed jackrabbits, brush rabbits, marsh rabbits are also common in different states. However, different types of cottontail are the most popular among hunters.

Eastern Cottontail

Found in all over eastern and south-central United States.

Bush rabbit

Found all over the North America

desert cottontail

Western united states (Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Wyoming etc.)

Swamp rabbit

Mostly in south-central United States and along the Gulf coast. They are also plenty in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Georgia.

snowshoe hare

All over USA

White tailed jackrabbit

Available in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois in the United States.

Where rabbits live

Rabbits mostly live in underground tunnels and burrows. But Cottontails don’t like burrows. They, and also hares, live in normal nests above the ground. Though Cottontails don’t dig burrows, they sometimes choose holes dug by other animals i.e. groundhogs. Cottontails also make their nests in shallow holes, under dense bushes, or hide under vegetation.

Both hares and rabbits are very social animals. They normally live in groups forming dense colonies. Grassy areas with dense green vegetation, where they have sufficient covers for hiding, are their most preferable place of habitation.

What rabbits eat/ Rabbit diet

Rabbits and hares are herbivores.  They are exclusively vegetarians. Their diet largely depends on availability. Cottontail’s diet covers barks, twigs, leaves, fruit, buds, flowers, grass seeds, sedge fruits, and rush seeds. Read this if you want to know more!

The best places for hunting rabbits

Do you know that Rabbits and hares weren’t actually native in the USA? They are actually originated from Africa and Europe. Now, these “once an outsider”, becomes native in this country. They have spread all over America now. And, surprisingly, at present North America has almost half of total number of rabbit population of the world.

Their abundance and tasty meats made them one of the most popular small hunting games in the USA. Every state has its own kind of rabbits and hares. So, for hunting, you can go anywhere.

Hunting regulation regarding the rabbit isn’t very rigid in most states. However, every state policy isn’t equally flexible in this case. But, there’re differences in hunting laws from state to state. So, before the outing, you should properly check the hunting policies, rules (including bag limits, weapon, hunting season, etc.), licensing policies of your state.

Considering these factors, here're some of the greatest places in the USA for hunting rabbits (I also include, types of rabbits you can find those places and also some tips you’ll find useful):

Rabbit Hunting in Missouri

Missouri is a great place for hunting Eastern Cottontail and Swamp Rabbits. Although, most hunters like to hunt rabbits in the winter after the first snow in Missouri to avoid bacterial disease tularemia, rabbits are more available at the beginning (October) and end (February) of a rabbit season. 

Weapon: Any gauge of shotgun is allowed in Missouri, but 20 gauge is considered as the most effective. Also, hunting dogs are also allowed for hunting rabbits in Missouri.

Rabbit hunting season in Missouri: Generally, 1st October to 15 February, from sunrise to sunset. However, people don't get serious to hunting rabbits until December in Missouri - mostly because they like hunting them in the winter, and also they like hunting deer more. Therefore, rabbit hunting actually starts at its full rhythm after the deer season.   

Trapping season: Mid November to mid January 

Visit this site for undated information on hunting season of the current year. 

Bag limit for both hunting and trapping rabbits: Daily limit is 6 with maximum 2 swamp rabbit, and 12 possession with maximum 4 swamp rabbits.

To know best places in Missouri for rabbit hunting visit this link

Hunting rabbits in Iowa

Iowa is another great state for hunting rabbit, especially because of its high rabbit population and hunter friendly land owners. In 2020 around 123,000 cottontail rabbits was harvested by around 20,500 hunters in Iowa. These numbers proves - how attractive this place is for hunting rabbits.

Cottontail rabbit hunting season is normally starts at the end of August and runs through the end of February in Iowa. The daily limits are 10 rabbits and possession limits are 20. Allowed shooting time is sunrise to sunset during hunting season.

Visit this site for hunting season in Iowa dates of current year. 

Rabbit Hunting in Texas

Texas is literally a haven for hunting rabbits and hares. Why? Let's see-

First of all, there isn't any specific season or time for hunting rabbits here! Hunting rabbits and hare is allowed in all year-round in Texas. Which means, you can hunt rabbits any time of the year and any time of a day in Texas!

 Secondly, there isn't any bag limit for rabbits and hares either! - which means you can hunt as many rabbits or Jackrabbits you want in Texas without breaking any law.

Another interesting thing which is also a lucrative news for the rabbit hunters is - in Texas, rabbits can be hunt at night. Yes! you read it right, unlike many other states of USA, Texas allows nighttime rabbit and Jackrabbit (hare) hunting.  For a successful nighttime hunting you'll need some extra hunting gears such as - a good night vision optics (binocular, monocular or a thermal scope). However, you can choose a much cheaper alternative such as a powerful spotlight for hunting rabbits at night. 

Here's an exciting video of nighttime rabbit hunting in Texas-

Species: The cottontails are abundant in Texas, so is the most popular rabbits for hunting here. Besides, you may find some Swamp rabbits in the river bottom, marshland, and other wetlands of Texas, but their number is scarce. So, if you're planning to hunt swamp rabbits then you'll need some luck!

Apart from the rabbits, Jackrabbits (which is actually a hare species) are very popular game in Texas. You can hunt them as much as you want like the rabbits, as plenty of Jackrabbits are exists in Texas.  

To know the bag limit in different county check their official wildlife preservation site.

Rabbit Hunting in Kansas

Cottontail rabbits can be found all over the Kansas in large number. However, they are comparatively more concentrated in central and eastern portions of Kansas. As most Kansans doesn't care much about hunting bunnies, you will face less competition in hunting them. For the same reason, the population of rabbits never decreases to an alarming level.  

Therefore, Kansas wild life preservation authority encourages hunting rabbits to control their population. You'll see that in their hunting laws which is very "rabbit hunting friendly."  

Similar to Texas, there isn't any rabbit hunting season in Kansan as hunting rabbits are allowed in all year-round in this state. But, they have bag limit which is 10, and the possession limit is 30. 

Hunting rabbits in Louisiana

Two types of rabbits are abundant in Louisiana - the cottontail and the swamp rabbits. Because of their large population, you can easily find and hunt them in public land all over the state. 

Rabbit season in Louisiana generally starts from the beginning of October to the end of February (in 2021/2022 the season is from 2nd October to 28 February). And, the legal shooting time is half hour before the sunrise to the half hour after the sunset.

Limit: The daily bag limit is 8 and possession limit is 24. You can visit their official site to know more. 

Rabbit Hunting in Oregon

Oregon is another haven for rabbit hunters for two reasons - the number of rabbits and jackrabbits are large in this state, and Oregon's hunters aren't very interested in hunting rabbits. Therefore, you'll face little competition as rabbits are one of the most overlooked game in Oregon along with coyote and chukar.  

There are four types of rabbits are available here - snowshoe, mountain hare, black tail, and white tail jackrabbits. Black tail Jackrabbits are the most popular species for hunting in Oregon which are plenty in Oregon’s central and southwestern deserts. 

But, remember to be careful about pygmy rabbits as they are endangered species and illegal to hunt.

Season and limit: Season open all year round, no bag limits - means you can hunt as many rabbits/ jackrabbits as you can and whenever you want. However, early winter or late fall, when there aren't many places for rabbits to hide, and early spring when rabbit's become more active are the best time for hunting rabbits in Oregon.  

Rabbit Hunting in Florida and Arizona

Rabbit hunters would love these two states as there is no closed season for rabbits. Also, rabbit hunting has no bag limits. Yes! you can hunt as much as you want!

Hunting rabbits in Mississippi

Two types of rabbits are available in Mississippi - cottontail rabbits and swamp rabbits.

Season: Middle October to end of February is the hunting season.

Limit: Daily bag limit is 8 .

Rabbit hunting is allowed in some public lands in Mississippi. Location of public land can be found here

Rabbit Hunting in Oklahoma

Three types of rabbits are available in Oklahoma i.e. cottontail rabbit, swamp rabbit and black tailed Jackrabbits.

Season: Normally rabbit hunting season starts from October and ends in March in Oklahoma. One-half hour before official sunrise to official sunset.

Bag limits: Cottontail - 10 daily and 20 possession, Swamp rabbits and Jackrabbit: 3 daily and 6 possessions. 

Check this site to know more about hunting rules in Oklahoma!

Also check our article - Hunting in Oklahoma: licensing, seasons and available games you should know.

Rabbit Hunting in Nebraska

Eastern and Dessert Cottontails are found abundantly in this state. Also, two types of Jackrabbits i.e. black tailed and white-tailed Jackrabbits are available for the hunters here.

Season: Generally, rabbit hunting season in Nebraska is September to February.

Check this site to know more about hunting in Nebraska!

Rabbit Hunting in Georgia

Hunting season for rabbits in Georgia generally starts in middle November and ends in February.

Limit: 12 per day limits. 

Check this site to know the specific date for rabbit season!

Rabbit Hunting in Alabama

Season: Normally rabbit season extends from mid September to March.

Limit: Daily 8 bag limits with 8 possession.

Check this site to know the specific date for rabbit season!

Hunting rabbits in Wyoming

Another great place for rabbit hunters as this state has plenty of cottontails and snowshoes to offer. 

Season: Normally rabbit season extends from September to March.

Limit: Cottontail daily bag limit is 10 with 20 possession. And, snowshoe limit is 4 with possession limits of 8.

Check this site to know the specific date for rabbit season in Wyoming!

Hunting rabbits in New Mexico

Rabbits, along with few other species, are considered as non-game species in New Mexico. So, if you’re a resident of this state you won’t need any license for hunting rabbits in this state.

However, either a Nonresident Nongame License or a current New Mexico nonresident game hunting license will be required for a nonresident of New Mexico State to hunt rabbits here.

For being a nongame species there isn’t any restriction for hunting rabbits in New Mexico that means this state has no specific season or bag limits for rabbits.

However, nighttime hunting using any types of artificial light is illegal in New Mexico. Also, White-sided jackrabbits are a protected species in this state therefore you should be careful while hunting rabbits in the woods of Hidalgo County.

But the good news is using dogs for hunting coyote is allowed here. 

Hunting rabbits in Wisconsin

There aren’t any rabbits in Alaska but hare. You can find two types of hare in this state – the Alaska’s hare which large (6 to 12 pounds) and the snowshoe hare (2/3 pounds).

Unlike cottontail rabbits, hunting hare in Alaska require a different strategy. Where for hunting rabbits, you need to move fast to push them out from their hideouts, but in case of hares it’s another story – you need to be slower and quieter. A walk-and-stop method is used to find them as they are much careful than the cottontails. Sometimes you may need to use a binocular to track them from a distant place. These strategies are for lone hunters.

If you’re hunting in a group then you can use your group members to rush hares out from their cover while you can wait for your target.
Season and bag limit

Alaska is divided into 26 game management units with different rules and regulations. Therefore, hare hunting season and bag limit varies from unit to unit. You can find the detailed rules for hunting hares in different units of Alaska here

There aren’t any rabbits in Alaska but hare. You can find two types of hare in this state – the Alaska’s hare which large (6 to 12 pounds) and the snowshoe hare (2/3 pounds).

Hunting rabbits in Utah

Rabbit hunting in Utah is a popular sport for many hunters across the state. There are two rabbit species found in Utah, the prairie rabbit and the desert cottontail rabbit. Both species of rabbit inhabit rocky ledges and mountain ranges throughout the western portion of the state. 

The majority of hunting rabbits and hares take place during the winter when temperatures are lower and snowfall covers most of the ground. During this time rabbits will spend more time above ground to find food for survival. Hunters take advantage by setting up perimeters around rabbit burrows or searching caves where rabbits will be hiding.

Season and Bag limit (source: https://wildlife.utah.gov/):

Rabbit hunting is allowed year-round in Utah but rabbit season dates vary from county to county. Before planning any hunting rabbits trips it is best to contact local authorities or a biologist with knowledge of rabbit populations in that region.

Cottontail rabbit (desert and mountain)

Season dates: Sept. 1, 2021–Feb. 28, 2022

Areas open: Statewide.*

Bag limit: 10 rabbits

Possession limit: 30 rabbits

Jackrabbit (black-tailed and white-tailed)
Season dates: Year round
Areas open: Statewide.*
Bag limit: No limit
Possession limit: No limit
Notes: May be hunted without a license, using any
weapon that you lawfully possess.

Snowshoe hare
Season dates: Sept. 1, 2021–March 15, 2022
Areas open: Statewide.*
Bag limit: 5 hares
Possession limit: 15 hares

Rabbit Hunting in Indiana

Rabbit and hare hunting in Indiana is a favorite pastime for many Indiana sportsmen. The Indianapolis star and other Indiana newspapers publish rabbit hunting reports throughout the year, including stories on where to hunt rabbits, what kind of gear you'll need (rabbit scopes are popular items), what guns and ammo to use, and how to field dress a rabbit.

"Hunting rabbits is very popular because it's a challenge," Indiana hunter Delbert Hochenberger told Indianapolis star reporter Linda heck in January 2005. "There are several ways you can hunt them during this season, including calling for them with a rabbit call and a whistle, tracking them with dogs, or still hunting for them."

There are several rabbit species and types that are available for hunting in Indiana. White-tailed jackrabbits (also known as desert cottontail) are the rabbit species native to Indiana. They have a gray coat with black ears, tail and nose. They are the rabbit species most commonly seen throughout Indiana.

Ewer and Black-tailed jackrabbits (also known as black tailed hare) are rabbit types belonging to jackrabbit species that can be found in Indiana too. Ewer rabbits have a brown coat with white on their sides, while Black-tailed jackrabbits have a brown coat with black tail and legs.

Eastern cottontail rabbit (also known as eastern hare) is another rabbit species that are very common in Indian. Their coloration is similar to white-tailed rabbit but smaller with shorter ears and body length than the latter. They tend to live in more open country, while white-tailed rabbit can be found in more wooded areas.

Eastern cottontail is considered as the most popular small game species in Indiana. 

Cottontail rabbit season is from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28. You can hunt rabbits half an hour before the sun rise to half an hour before the sun set. In Indiana rabbit hunters can use any types of weapon for hunting. 

However, you can't use any means to force them out from their hole/ burrow which is illegal. Also, you can hunt swamp rabbits as they are listed as an endangered species in Indiana. Apart from this, you must wear orange vest while you hunt rabbits. Good news is  you can use dogs to chase the rabbits all-year round. See this site for more information.  

Rabbit and hare hunting in Indiana is a favorite pastime for many Indiana sportsmen. The Indianapolis star and other Indiana newspapers publish rabbit hunting reports throughout the year, including stories on where to hunt rabbits, what kind of gear you'll need (rabbit scopes are popular items), what guns and ammo to use, and how to field dress a rabbit.

"Hunting rabbits is very popular because it's a challenge," Indiana hunter Delbert Hochenberger told Indianapolis star reporter Linda heck in January 2005. "There are several ways you can hunt them during this season, including calling for them with a rabbit call and a whistle, tracking them with dogs, or still hunting for them."

Here's a nice video on hunting rabbits in Indiana:

Rabbit Hunting in Idaho

Three types of rabbits/hares are available in Idaho - the eastern cottontail, snowshoe, and Jackrabbit.

The Eastern Cottontail lives wherever brush and grasses are abundant - even city parks. The desert Cottontail is difficult to spot unless it moves -- its coloring blends with sagebrush.

The Black-tailed Jackrabbit is the most common in Idaho. It hops through a variety of habitats and is usually found in open areas.

Both the snowshoe and jackrabbit hare have decent meat and are fun to hunt. To catch rabbit you need to set rabbit traps and rabbit snares in rabbit hunting sports. Knowing where rabbits live is important for hunting them, but also knowing how to track them by looking for rabbit sign is very useful as well. Rabbits have a tendency of traveling the same trails over and over again. If you find rabbit sign in those places then set your stand and wait for a rabbit to come by.

As for rabbits, the season on cottontails is open generally from August to through February 28 and on snowshoe hares through March 31. However, as the Jackrabbits are considered predators under Idaho law and hunting is unregulated. Which means there's any restrictions for hunting Jackrabbits in Idaho and you can hunt them whenever you want.

The season for hunting rabbit and hare with dogs opens Aug. 1 and extends through March 15, except during those dates rabbit may only be hunted on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. During the rabbit season any area open for upland game hunting may be used for taking rabbits, except areas limited by the upland game proclamation, and those described in subsection (4) of section 37-506 , Idaho Code. The daily bag limit is six by possession. A hunter with a valid big game or upland game bird license, may take an unlimited number of rabbits while in the field hunting for these species.

Rabbits can be hunted at any time of day, except from one hour after sunset until one hour before sunrise. Hunting with firearms is prohibited within 200 feet of a non-hunting public road or highway or 100 feet from any occupied dwelling.

Bag limit: Eastern cottontail bag limit is 8 and possession is 24 per person.

Remember, pygmy rabbits are restricted to hunt, so proper identification is important for hunting rabbits in Idaho. 

a running rabbit

Best time for rabbit hunting

First and obvious step is to ensure that you are hunting in allowed season for rabbits with your local state wild life preservation authority. Don’t get yourself into any trouble by violating laws. Check your state laws for that.

That being said, rabbits are most active during early morning just after sunrise and late afternoon to dusk. Rabbits also stay active at night like most animals. But, not all states allow nighttime hunting of rabbits. So, be aware of that too.

Apart from that, rabbits love the sun. So, during cool weather rabbits never miss the warmth of bright sunny days. If it’s a sunny day then you are most likely to find many opportunities to hunt then. Just found their burrows and wait in the sun – you’ll busy pretty soon.

Rain isn’t good for rabbit hunting as rabbits aren't very fond of getting wet. So, during rain, they normally do not come out from their hidings. That's why, after a long heavy rain they usually become very active. Long time without food, it's normal to get a little crazy about food, right? So, after rain is a good time for hunting them. And, for the same reason just before storm rabbits become very active. If you can take the risk of stuck by thunder then this could be your another opportune time for scoring rabbits.

Best gun/weapons for rabbit hunting

Different types of weapons can be used for hunting rabbits such as rifles, shotguns, pistols, compound bows, crossbows, etc.

If you’re familiar with shooting and have a certain level of accuracy then .22 Long Rifles would be the best choice for you. But, for a new shooter, it could be difficult in the beginning. In that case, you can go for a shotgun. Much easier.

But, remember, never go above 20 gauges. Otherwise, you’ll mess up the whole rabbit. And, it won’t have any use for you.

But, remember becoming a better marksman depends on how much you practice with your rifle. So, my advice is to go for a difficult option, which may give you some frustrating hunting experience in the beginning but reward you later.

Read this article for know in detailed about small game hunting weapons.

Gears for rabbit hunting

Like most big game hunting, you don’t need a tree stand for hunting rabbits. But apart from your license and weapon, you will certainly need the other things. See the following list:

How to hunt Rabbits

Ultimate rabbit hunting tips and tricks

Now, as we have already learned all the basics and prepared ourselves with the required equipment it's time for the actual hunting tips. Let's dive in:


Rabbits mostly feed on the leafy green. So look for foliage. Weed fields, crop fields, ditches, fencerows, are the places you'll find them usually. You can also look around cutout woods.


Look close to the ground for small pallet droppings around their feeding area. While you are tracking rabbits stay stealthy. The best way is, take 10 steps at a time and then stand still for 30 seconds. Try to listen to any movements are occurring around you. Then again take 10 steps and wait.

Unlike, deer hunting, you won’t need to be quiet all the time. Little sound if OK! Cause, your sound will scare them out from their hidings, which you want.

How to call rabbits for hunting (tips for rabbit call)

One way to use rabbit calls for hunting them is target calling, which means you are calling a rabbit to come and get the food at a certain place. You will need rabbit food for your rabbit call and a little patience waiting for those furry creatures.

To make rabbit calls you will need specific rabbit sounds that contain various pitches and tonality patterns. The basic rabbit decoy should be able to produce one of these rabbit sounds: rapid chirping or staccato; broken twitters or purrs; territorial whines, whistles, and alarm barks.

There are two types of rabbit calls you can use for rabbit hunting and they depend on the time of day: call-in rabbit calls or rabbit distress calls.

Mostly rabbit distress call works better at night because rabbits hide in their burrows in the daytime to avoid predators like hawks. If a rabbit is hurt it might yelp to try to invite other rabbits to help it escape the predator - predators which would otherwise attack it alone. As we know that leaves a wounded rabbit vulnerable to being eaten by us, so our only chance is finding the rabbit before its fellow bunnies get there and saves itself from becoming prey...

The rabbit distress call is a rabbit in trouble and it yelps to let other rabbits know where the danger is, so they can come to its rescue. It's not such a great call hunting rabbits, but if you do find something that sounds like a rabbit then use rabbit distress call as this will encourage the rabbit to show itself from its hiding place.

It is called rabbit distress call because it helps us to locate rabbits and attract rabbits to our location. However, hunting at night will often mean being out when the rabbit mating game is in full swing here are some of the key things we need to know about rabbit distress call.

When do rabbits use their rabbit distress call?

While you may think it's a 24-hour rabbit language, this isn't actually true throughout the year it comes into play during particular times only...Just before dawn, dusk, and through the night. A rabbit under attack finds its voice when death or injury is nearby so start your search for bunny after sunset each day between April and October... And before sunrise too!   As well as early evening, when rabbit distress call will likely be most effective, it's also wise to start your rabbit hunting at night just before dawn breaks. The rabbit mating game tends to heat up after dark, and you're sure to draw in plenty of rabbits if you can pinpoint the ideal time...

Take a look at this rabbit call video clip: 

Where should you position yourself?

There are three main things that determine whether rabbit distress calls work or not:  Rabbit disturbance: Find an area where there is lots of rabbit activity. Barriers: Make sure there is no fence line nearby - ideally they will be more than 100 yards from your rabbit distress call. Noise: While rabbit distress calls can be used all year round, you'll need to use them during the rabbit mating season from November until February - this is where rabbit activity is at its peak.

More rabbit calling tips

You could also try adding rabbit urine to your rabbit distress call in order to attract even more rabbits, as rabbit urine acts as a pheromone for mating purposes (but again, only between November and February).

Once you've found the ideal location with lots of rabbit disturbance, make sure that there are no barriers nearby such as fences or trees that will stop your rabbit distress calls from reaching the ears of any rabbits within range.

Finally, when performing the rabbit distress call; don't forget to cover up any noises that you could potentially be making, such as rustling leaves or twigs.

Where to shoot?

Both head-shot and chest shots are equally effective when you are using shotguns. Because of its massive power, it would be less painful for the rabbits. And, it's the basics of hunting ethics - to kill causing as little suffering as possible.

Rabbit brain is just behind the eyes and between the eyes. If you’re taking a head-shot, you have to shoot here. But as a first-timer, I suggest you forget this. Even within a short-range, this shot is tricky as they move their head a lot. There’s a good chance that it hits the face instead. It would be a mess.

Rather, go for an easier shot. Aim at the lung and heart instead. The chest shot is not shooting at the chest exactly. Halfway up in the middle of the body in the same line with the front legs is the sweet point. Shooting here will kill it fast with less possibility of non-lethal injury.

Hunting rabbits at night

Due to the rabbit's nocturnal nature, rabbit hunting is much more challenging than other popular game animals, such as deer. However, with some practice and planning, rabbit hunting at night can be very successful.

Compare to daytime hunting, hunting rabbits at night has some advantages too. For example, it’s easier to hunt rabbits at night without being seen by the rabbits. Though rabbits have very good eyesight, their visual capabilities are much less developed than the eyesight of a human; rabbit can see only a few meters at night, and rabbit does not have a good perception of colors in darkness. At night rabbits perceive an image by means of their dynamic visual field, which doesn't include peripheral vision. Rabbits also have problems seeing details and recognizing movement at night. So, a hunter can easily capitalize on this weak vision of rabbits when he/she hunt them at night.

“In order not to be seen by rabbits, you can try wearing a black cloth or something dark.”

Also, rabbits do not feel as threatened at night as they feel in daylight, therefore they move less and sit still longer in one place (so that you have more chances of a successful hunt).

But you should remember rabbits have a very strong sense of smell that they can literally smell anything suspicious about one kilometer away. For this reason, if you’re going to hunt rabbits at night then you need to take note of that and should be more careful about your scent.

A rabbit can also hear very well, but the trick is, they cannot recognize sounds in which high tones predominate. This rabbit's limitation makes it possible to hunt rabbits using the sound of a large metal object which is dragged across the ground because they won’t be able to identify any other noises such as footsteps for that high pitch sound.

You can hunt rabbits at night by sitting just like during a day hunt in a tree stand, but during the night rabbits will feel safer enough not to move away from you, and rabbits will sit much closer to the stand. If rabbits have heard or smelled you, rabbits won't come within a shooting distance. But at night rabbits become a little careless about nearby danger, and will come into shooting range easily.

You can get rabbits at night using rabbit calls and rabbit decoys. It doesn't matter where you are sitting, rabbits will move to a place with food or water. Rabbits have the ability to smell danger but in total darkness at a short distance away their fear can be overruled by a desire for food. That is when rabbit calls can be effective.

Also, at night rabbits don't have good eyesight so they rely on their hearing sense more than any other animal. That's why rabbit calls can be your secret weapon.

And that's it! Simple, huh? Well not always. Many rabbit hunters will tell you how tricky rabbit hunting can be - especially at night. But I can say from experience that rabbit hunting is a great way to get outdoors and socialize with other like-minded people, and of course, there are other benefits too...

For example, rabbit meat provides one of the best sources of protein out of all meats available in the USA and if cooked correctly (boiled or baked), rabbit meat is actually very tasty!

Rabbit hunting with hunting dog

Other tips

  • Shoot when it's sitting still or just at the moment of jumping
  • Try to take a slow-moving or sitting shot.
  • While bow hunting, stay quiet when you sneak up on rabbits.
  • For a chest shot, shoot it from one side.
  • Careful about scent. Don’t overdo with your aftershave, deodorant or cologne before hunting. Rabbits have very sharp olfactory nerves (strong sense of smell).

After hunt game Processing

Tools needed

  • A set of knives
  • Two separate containers. One for the unwanted parts and the other is for the parts you want.
  • Garden shear or scissors
  • A mean of suspending the animal

Phase 1: Hanging

Hook the back legs of the rabbit with nails facing the stomach toward you. Then place a bucket just below it. Then cut small area near the rabbit’s neck using a short blade. As soon as the skin breaks, reach with your blade underneath the flesh. Sever the skin near the neck and gradually proceed to the veins and muscle. Then take a large knife to cut the ligaments lie between the vertebrae. Now you can easily take off the head.

Phase 2: Skinning

Cut off the front feet. Cut a small slice around the back legs and insert the blade. Extend the cut so that the foot skin is separated from foot now. Now insert a knife and cut in such a way that the genital area lies at the top and the stomach skin be on one part.

Repeat the same thing for both of the legs.

 Now turn the rabbits back toward you. Now insert a knife near the tail and go on cutting through the genital area. Separate the skin from this section. Now grab the separated skin and pull it off.

Phase 3: Cutting and gutting

Step 1

For removing meat, begin from the front leg. Carefully cut the shoulder muscle and deltoid.  Then Insert a large knife into the shoulder socket and sever the ligaments. Then pry off the leg using a blade. Do the same for the other one.

Step 2

For removing the back straps, start with the side of the backbone. Run the blade from buttock to the clavicle. Now cut the straps and pull it out. 

Step 3

Now it’s time to harvest the internal organs. Pinch the stomach covering membrane. Cut one cm. Hole there. Then insert a knife and proceed down to the rib-cage slicing.  Then remove the intestines or other internal organs simply with your hand.

Puncture the diaphragm by poking it with your finger. Yes, this time you are allowed to puncture!

Step 4

Then take the thigh muscle, first from the top and then from the bottom.

 After collecting muscle, they should be rinsed properly. If you want, you can use the bone for cooking stock.

Or, you can follow this quickest of skinning your rabbits demonstrated in the following video, however, it requires expertise in this are. So, be careful with this method.


  • If you are hunting in group or other hunters are around then be careful while you take the shoot.
  • If you are hunting with your dogs then be aware of that as well. Hunting dogs tends to run after rabbits, they may come to your line of fire. So, unless you want to hurt your dog shoot carefully.
  •  Always wear hunter orange to reduce chances of getting shoot by other hunters.


Rabbit hunting has always been a fun and action-packed game. Unlike, squirrels, rabbits are always running most of the time with a full blast! So, hunting rabbits is more challenging and fun.

 Also, rabbit meat is a blissful thing, who doesn’t know that!?
Rabbit satay
Steven Rob - July 7, 2021

Great Article… I love to read your articles because your writing style is too good. It is very very helpful for all of us and I never get bored while reading your article because they become more and more interesting from the starting lines until the end.

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