Hunting snowshoe hares can be an exhilarating and fun-filled experience that keeps you busy through an entire hunting session. However, if you’re not properly prepared and don’t know what to bring or look for, you might find yourself heading home disappointed by a lack of action and results. Fortunately, many other hunters have gone before you, so figuring out the best snowshoe hunting methods won’t be like blazing a trail into the unknown. With a bit of research, the 5 tips below, and a few snowshoe hunting trips under your belt, you’ll be out there racking up hare’s like a pro in no time.
1. Use an AR-15
You might be thinking: “Isn’t an AR-15 overkill for a hare?” Well, it can be if you’re using larger caliber bullets or an extended barrel, but standard .223 ammo is powerful enough to almost guarantee a kill with most shots, yet not so big that it will blow the animal to shreds completely. Some hunters prefer shotguns for sheer power and the ability to spray an area before the hare hops and dodges, while others swear by the quiet, low-recoil accuracy of .22 caliber rifles. An AR-15 provides an ideal balance of power, accuracy, and speed, making it possible to land clean and effective shots consistently. Plus, you can even customize an AR to shoot .22LR or any other caliber using accessories found at Max Blagg.
2. Wait Until the Sun Comes Out
Although rabbit hunting is typically started during predawn, most hunters tend to wait until the sun has come out when snowshoe hunting in the winter. This type of hare tends to wait until the warmth has had a chance to soften the snow before they really start moving around. Since they’re easy to spot when they’re moving, just after dawn is the best time to hunt for them.
3. Wear Snowshoes
As you probably know, snowshoe hares get their name from their huge snowshoe-like feet that let them pounce around in the snow with ease. Therefore, it would be downright foolish to get out there chasing that animal around in the snow with regular boots on your feet. Although “still hunting” – waiting in a single spot until you spot an animal – is a good technique for snowshoe hunting, you’ll inevitably have to move from spot to spot, so to keep yourself from wasting time and sliding around like a big dummy, it’s best to bring snowshoes.
4. Bring a Hunting Dog
Snowshoe hares are small and fast with coats that camouflage into the snow, so not only are they difficult to track down and kill, but after that it can be tough to find and retrieve them without a hunting dog. Traditionally beagles are considered the best kind of hunting dog for any kind of hare hunting.
5. Move Slowly and Look for the Eyes
Finally, one of the best ways to spot snowshoe hares is to take very slow and gentle steps to avoid alarming the animals while searching for their eyes. Why the eyes you ask? Well, because their beady black eyeballs contrast against their fur and look like shiny marbles in the distance. Thus, finding their eyes first is the most popular technique for defeating their natural camo.
Finding the Right Spots
In closing, if you’re looking for the snowshoe hare in the wrong places then it won’t matter what tips you’re following or what gun you’re using. Do your research to find the best hare hunting spots in your region before heading out for the hunt and you’ll be glad you did.