11th March 2011
The first thing that I shot with my bow was a rabbit and ever since then I have always enjoyed chasing rabbits with the bow. Coming from a background of using guns, I started out with a bow not knowing anything about how to use a compound bow and still today I am learning more and more about the sport of archery.
Bow hunting rabbits is always good fun. One of the main reasons is that you can hunt rabbits with a group of mates, who most of the time put pressure on you not to miss your target. A laugh is always had when hunting with mates and many memories are made. There are always the stories after the hunt that everyone enjoys telling; it’s usually the same old “I missed him by that much” or “that bloke woulda felt the wind of my arrow”. When I have hunted rabbits it is often with my mates and I can’t think of a better way to spend time with my mates and enjoy the competition.
I have hunted rabbits in a few different areas. I have been down south in Victoria chasing them around thick black berry bushes and thistles, walking the hills around the big dams in NSW putting in the hard yards to get over that next rise and then the granite rock hills around home where if you miss your target its goodbye to that arrow, not often your arrow will win against a rock.
I have used 3 different methods to hunt rabbits: spot and stalk, sit and wait and spotlighting. My favourite would be sit and wait, all you do is find yourself a nice warren that has a bit of rabbit activity, sneak up to within 20-30 metres of the warren with a bush or tree on your back to break up your outline and wait…………sometimes wait a bit more but when a nice big rabbit comes out of his hole, let him sit a bit and become relaxed then when he presents a nice shot, take you time to draw and settle the pin on his chest and take you shot. Sometimes it’s possible to get two or more bunnies off the one warren. It’s all patience.
Spot and stalk is another good hunting method. When walking along spots where there’s a bit of cover e.g. bush, blackberry bushes, ferns or grass, or any cover where a rabbit can live and hide, you are always on the look out to spot a nice big bunny. But it’s not as simple as walking straight towards the rabbit. It’s always best when stalking to take cover so that you out of sight from the rabbit and his mates sitting by. Good camo is a must to break up you outline so you don’t look so human like.
When hunting rabbits there is a wide range of arrow head to use, the most effective being a rabbit blunt. There are many brands of rabbit blunts on the market and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage to using a rabbit blunt is that it doesn’t have to be sharp plus they are designed to skip across the ground so you don’t loose your best arrow. The rabbit blunts hit very hard when matched up with a heavy arrow and has a lot of knock down power. If you are hunting rabbits for the table it is best to go for a ethical head shot which can be achieve with a bit of practice and skill involved.
I love getting out into the bush as much as I can, but what tops it off is to have the bow in hand hunting around and keeping your sense aware. It’s not just a matter of going out and killing an animal, sometimes you will hunt hard all day and not see anything but that’s just part of it all its just great to be out and amongst it.