Crossbow Pistol Small Game Hunting – Rabbits

Rabbit Hunting* Always check with local game and law enforcement to verify legal weapons, bag limits, and hunting dates for your location.

Target practice with your crossbow pistol is a lot of fun but what other things can you do with your mini bow?  How about small game hunting and in particular cottontail rabbit hunting.  Today we will cover the rabbits favorite habits, any special equipment for small game hunting with a pistol crossbow and finally throw in a recipe.

Where can I find that rabbit?

In order to find rabbits it’s important to understand what they eat and where they live.  Cottontails enjoy clover, alfalfa, garden crops, soybeans, broad-leaf weeds and grasses.  They also will eat the bark and buds of small saplings and bushes.

Also cottontail rabbits dig a shallow nest in the ground called a form to live in unlike European rabbits which have holes.  They tend to have these in places with cover like brush patches, old farm equipment, fence rows, and hedge rows.

Find an area with both of these traits and you should find your rabbit.  Areas with good cover adjacent to fields offer some of the best places to small game hunt with your crossbow pistol.  Finally, the more secluded the area the better.

When to hunt?

Rabbits like most animals are the most active during low light hours.  This means that the early morning hours around dawn and again late in day at dusk are the best times of the day to hunt for rabbits.

Also rabbits rely heavily on their hearing to alert them of danger.  Therefore when it’s really windy rabbits don’t like to venture out and will instead remain in cover.  Avoid excessively windy days because of this.  Likewise use a gentle breeze to your advantage by hunting into the wind.

What equipment?

Your crossbow pistol equipped with standard field point tips is more than enough to take down a rabbit.  However, some people prefer to use tips especially designed for small game like these.  The springs are designed to snag grass to help minimize losing an arrow on missed shots.  Another option is a bludgeon tip.  This tip helps to transfer energy and eliminate broken shafts.  Just keep in mind in order to use either of these tips, you will have to have crossbow bolts designed to allow interchangeable tips.

I’d also suggest thick clothing to help protect yourself when walking through thick brush and cover.  Canvas pants and a canvas coat work great for this.  Also safety glasses help insure you don’t run a branch into your eye.

Rabbit Hunting Tips.

Stop and go.  Walk for 10 – 15 seconds and then stop and pause for 30 seconds or more.  Carefully scan the area during the pause.  It’s often during these pauses that rabbits will move as they are convinced that they have been spotted.  Also keep in mind that cottontails will make a loop and double back to their original home when pushed from their forms.

Practice, practice, practice.  It’s important that you are proficient with your pistol crossbow before heading out for the hunt.  Most of the time you will have to make a quick shot so it’s nice if you can quickly determine distance and make an accurate shot.  The extra time that you put in target practicing will pay off during the hunt.

A successful hunt.

So you found your rabbit and made a great shot.  Now what?  Rabbit meat is one of the best wild game there is to eat.  It’s a white delicate meat can be substituted in any recipe calling for chicken.  It’s delicious fried, baked, roasted or in soups and stews.  But my favorite way to eat rabbit is breakfast sausage.  Here is my favorite recipe:Fresh rabbit burgers with lettuce on white plate

Rabbit Breakfast Sausage

1 rabbit

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of white pepper

1 teaspoon of thyme

1 teaspoon of sage

1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Debone and grind the rabbit.  In a large metal bowl mix all the ingredients well with your hands.  Refrigerate for several hours or over night to help meld all the flavors.  Form into patties and fry in a heavy skillet.  You will need to fry these sausages in a little bit of oil as rabbit is too lean to fry in it’s own fat.  Make sure to cook the rabbit sausage until it’s no longer pink and is well done.

Optional – Add some cayenne pepper or pepper flakes if you like your sausage with a little kick.  You can also add 3/4″ teaspoon of brown sugar if you like a little sweetness in your sausage.  Finally, you can add some ground pork or bacon to this recipe to give it more fat and flavor.

Enjoy the goodness!

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