Rabbit Hunting

Pheasant, turkey, dove, grouse, partridge, quail, squirrel, rabbits, etc.

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Rabbit Hunting

Postby andrew06 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:47 pm

Anybody hunt rabbits with a lab? Been thinking about giving it a try, I have a German Shorthair and choclate lab, bird season is over but can still rabbit hunt. Just curious if anyone has used either dog on rabbits?
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Postby harvey1b » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:58 pm

yep. The upland game I usually go for it pheasants, but I shoot rabbits too if they give me a shot, and my black lab will retrieve 'em just like a pheasant, duck, goose, quail, etc.
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Postby IBBoykin » Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:40 pm

I just got back from my first trip ever to South Dakota. We were there for the pheasants but they had the biggest Jacks I have ever seen in my life. The guide was astonished that we wanted to go rabbit hunting. He did tell us that those jacks were not worth anything for eating, they were just total nuisances for the farmers. So on the third day the guide turned me and one other guy loose in a field covered up in them. It was great steadiness training. Even had some diversion training in it. Had one rabbit down and a dog on it's way to retrieve when another jumped out. I shot it and the first dog had to stay on his while I sent my dog for the second. It was great.
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Postby andrew06 » Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:29 am

What do you mean when you say great steadiness training? Were you using a boykin spaniel?? I dont konw much about them - are they a flushing dog?
It does sound like it was a fun hunt!!!
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Postby skybuster20ga » Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:40 pm

i dunno if a lab would make a good runner or not. seems like they might always ahve a tendancy to over run?? i dunno. we always had beagles and black and tans to run. heres a pic of my buddys beagle pup from last march.......i think she likes me better though :yes: haha
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Postby bowhunter20 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:54 pm

My lab loves rabbits and is great at retrieving and i hate to admit but she is better at rabbits then birds now. Image
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Postby ajmorell » Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:09 pm

I suppose a lab could be used for rabbits, but beagles or hounds are where it's at.


...and to whoever said rabbits ain't worth eating....you must just not be cooking them right!
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Postby Penguine » Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:50 pm

He said JACK RABBITS, not cotton tails.
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Postby skybuster20ga » Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:03 pm

good. cuz mine are snowshoe hares haha
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Postby duckplucker » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:03 pm

never used a dog to hunt rabbits. I personally dont want my dog to chase a rabbit when im bird hunting, so i teach mine to not even pay attention to em. my dogs get a lesson when they chase a rabbit, and after one or two times, they never even pay em attention. Just this year I had my shorthair see a rabbit in open ground about 20 yards ahead, and he avoided it. But that's just me, Im sure a dog would work on rabbits if you want them to.
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Postby DerekCM » Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:28 am

I've hunted rabbits behind my brother-in-laws yellow a few times. She does well at it. All you have to do is tell her to "Hunt 'em up" once she's on a trail and she'll push them out of the brush more often than not. And she even likes to retrieve.
I think for all around hunting, a lab is about as good as it gets. Libby is a great duck/goose dog, we've done the rabbit and pheasant thing with her, and my brother-in-law has used her many times for grouse.
With the proper training, I think labs will do it all pretty well. And if we're not interested in, say, rabbits, we just tell Libby "Heel" on the first one she sees and she's good after that.
Definitely give it a try.

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labs, rabbits.......and a beagle

Postby take1a » Sat Jan 05, 2008 12:26 pm

I have a yellow lab that does well on pheasants. I've never shot rabbits that she's flushed, just re-directed her to go find a pheasant. Despite this, she has continued to find both pheasants and rabbits. Well, I've decided that maybe I'll start shooting rabbits next year, since she likes to find them, and I've always liked to eat them.

I'm also strongly considering getting a beagle to join in on the fun in the fall of '08. Since beagles will chase a rabbit until it circles (several times) I'm kind of wondering how that will affect my labs hunting style. She's always stayed in pretty close, just like I trained her.

Anyone have any experience hunting with both a lab and a beagle at the same time, on the same hunt, for bunnies and pheasants?
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Postby Kurt » Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:31 pm

I live in SD and there are rabbits everywhere. I got my lab trained to ignore them nothing make me madder then when a dog chases a rabbit and 50 pheasants get up in front of you. I help a freind guide and one of the first things we tell people dont shot anything on the ground for the saftey of the dogs. I like going out with the .22 or bow when the season is over and walk through shelter belts and shooting them. Cook them in the crokpot and tell people it is pheasant and they dont know the difference.
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Postby skybuster20ga » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:30 am

they dont know the difference from a rabbit to a pheasant??? hahaha. you could floss your teeth w/ rabbit meat for christ sakes!
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Postby take1a » Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:44 pm

So, is that one vote against trying to hunt rabbits, and pheasants, with a beagle and a lab?
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Postby rifleman » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:52 pm

Good pile of bunnies there!
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Postby Kurt » Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:44 pm

beagle yes and if want a dog that is good with birds i would leave the lab at home. Just my opinion though. if you use both let use know how it gos.
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Postby take1a » Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:12 pm

My lab is a great bird dog. She wants to hunt rabbits too, but up until now I've only shot birds in front of her. Now, with my interest in eating some rabbit again, I'm wondering how hunting with a beagle and a lab together would work out. Both dogs, ideally, would be going after both birds and bunnies. Whatdya think. Natural hunting styles of the lab and beagle too different to combine them, or not?
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Postby duckplucker » Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:46 am

it could work i suppose. Especially if you could train them to hunt their specific game. (lab for birds, beagle for bunnies). I have a feeling though that working a beagle -which would predominately hunt rabbits- with your lab, the lab would be inclined to join in on the rabbit hunting and focus less on birds since it already likes hunting rabbits. Just my .02. you could always give it a try and see if it works.
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Postby Sniper John » Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:22 pm

It really is up to you and what you want to hunt. The two dogs will hunt in very different ways and the Lab could be distracted when the Beagle is on a long chase, or the Beagle working farther away could flush Birds out of range, but you would still take game and that could be lived with as long as your having fun. Nothing wrong with having gun dogs rather than field trial dogs. My Vizsla is allowed and encouraged to hunt all game. Fur and Feather. It has been a problem on on rare occassions like going into the brush for a crippled pheasant when two rabbits run out and creates all kinds of confusion for the dog, but actually for me, times like that makes it that much more fun.

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Postby DuckGunn » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:23 pm

I have never tried hunting them with a dog. We just walk through the sage brush and jump shoot them. The 12 gauge is just too much fun. The pistol makes it more challenging!

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Postby Sniper John » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:42 pm

Great pictures. That Oregon country looks a whole lot like where I hunted Jacks in Texas last year. But without the Snow. I am going to Colorado to hunt Grouse in September next season and had hoped to do some rabbit hunting along with that, but just noticed that Rabbit is not in season there during that time. Just as well. I can get all of that I want in Texas.
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Postby DuckGunn » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:50 pm

That is in Central Southern Oregon. What we call the high desert. We dont really have a true rabbit season here, they are not listed as a game species. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the local ranchers encourage us to kill as many as we can and I am happy to oblige.

I would love to travel around the country and kill them. I just might do that one year. Just get some friends together, get a few state hunting licenses and go for jack rabbits. I am going down to Nevada this year and hoping to maybe get some hunting time in there, I just need to look at the regs.

Those are nice looking rabbits, similar to what we have up here. Ours are mainly black tail jack rabbits. Not worth a damn for eating but fun to shoot.
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Postby Sniper John » Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:10 pm

I started doing about a two week low budget all game public land hunting road trip with my Vizsla each year. Has involved everything from Pheasant, Duck, Goose, Prairie Chicken(failed on that one), Rabbit, Squirrel, Snipe, and Quail. This year I stayed with Texas and Oklahoma, Last year I went from Texas, through Oklahoma, and on to north central Kansas. I invited both people I know and people I met on the forums meet me for some of the days when I could, but mostly it was done with no real plan or destination for most of the days. I have really enjoyed that kind of hunting once I got the nerve to just get in the truck and go. Next year I am going for something completely different by doing a September road trip, starting with Dove in Texas. At least one destination is for Blue Grouse in Colorado. I would like to try Sage Grouse in Northern Colorado. As I already mentioned Rabbit is out in CO during that time. But who knows what State I may go to from there if I have time.

As for the original poster that asked the question. Do please let me know how things turn out if you try both dogs together. I am curious to hear how things went.

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Postby DuckGunn » Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:44 pm

That is a good idea. I will get a group together, get a plan on where we want to go, and jump in the truck and do it. I can't imagine it being too expensive and it is a great way to get out there and explore new hunting land.

Because of our location, we would probably do Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. Or any combination of those.

I have grandparents who live in Oklahoma so maybe I will plan on taking a visit down there and do some hunting in that area.

Thanks for the advice and good luck this year.
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