Rabbit hunting with Son and Grand-son. Well...more like 2 and a half hours of chasing rabbits around. You know how it is. You walk around as quiet as you can...two feet ahead of you a rabbit suddenly appears and then runs off before you can say "Bugs".
The ranch has quite a large cotton tail population. Not to mention an abundant assortment of other rodents, mice, rats, and other ground dwelling critters. The hawks and Owls are very healthy.
I've never seen any coyotes but I've discovered their scat and seen their prints in the mud on occasion by the pond.
Eric and Zep wanted to go rabbit hunting. Eric had discovered a rather appetizing recipe for rabbit and was anxious to try it out. I needed to recover a ladder that I had left at the shed because I needed to clear out my gutters before winter rain hits and I promised the dear wife that I would hang Christmas lights up this year at the house.
So...we got a bright early start on Saturday afternoon around 2pm. That put us at the ranch around 3pm. By my reckoning that gives us about 2.5 hours of daylight left.
We had lots of fun. At dusk, I decided to grab my ladder and take it to the truck. Now, you need to understand that the distance from the shed to where I parked my truck is about one quarter of a mile. Later on that fact will become more clear.
Once I had stowed my ladder securely in the bed of my truck and tied it down, I decided to go look for Eric and Zep. My now it was getting pretty dark. I found them about 800 feet away, still hunting.
Eric had just taken a shot and asked me to go to the truck and get his LED flashlight so he could track the blood trail. So...off I went to the truck to retrieve the light.
Back in the brush, there was no sign of a blood trail so we began our walk back to the truck. Along the way, Eric heard a rustle in the brush, shined his light on it and saw a single glowing eye. He handed me the light and asked me to keep in on that spot and he took another shot. We saw the rabbit hop about 3 feet and stop.
(Now, I'm going to pause here and mention that Eric was using a .177 pellet gun that he had just bought at Wal-Mart. We had zeroed in the scope previously and he was really chomping at the bit to use it to get a rabbit.)
Okay, back to the story. I kept the light on it while Eric took another shot. Down went the rabbit right at the spot. Upon further inspection, we learned that the first shot had gone through it's ear. The second shot in the head. It was a fully grown rabbit about a year old based on what it's ears and teeth looked like.
We walked back to the truck, there was a small table nearby that would be perfect for quartering the bunny.
Eric started skinning it and then asked me if I had any water. I answered, "I have some water back in the shed. Do you want me to go get it?" He replied in the affirmative. So...I headed back to the shed. Remember how far I said it was? By now it was pitch black outside. The sky was clear and there were so many stars visible that I couldn't identify anything. The milkyway was visible and I was looking heavenward as I walked.
When I was about 800 feet from the truck, I heard a pack of coyotes going wild, the howls and barking was awesome. I can't help it, I love that sound. I thought to myself, "They must be feasting on rabbit or something. They sounds like they are quite happy." As I turned a curve, it got suddenly very quiet. My mind immediately raced and I realized that the coyotes were much closer than I must have thought. Then after a moment, I told myself that the sudden silence at my approach means that I'm the predator here. So, I turned on my flashlight and shined it around the woods and kept walking to the shed to retrieve the water. On my return trip, I saw a huge owl swoop down from overhead to retrieve something on the path and vanish into the trees. To be honest, at that moment, I was having the time of my life.
When I got back to Eric and Zep, He was almost done with the process and needed the water to rinse off the meat and his knife. He packed it in ice and went were on our way back to the city.
All in all, I got a pretty good amount of walking done. It was a very nice night.
I hope you enjoy the pictures that I took.