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22 or shotgun for rabbit?

Dcdr

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Gonna try rabbit hunting (first time) and was wondering if you guys prefer using a 22 or shotty? I have a 12ga 500, a 10/22, and a (Norinco/Kengs?) NS-522 bolt action 22. At first I was planning on taking the shotgun but afraid I might turn the wife off if she bites down on a pellet. The 10/22 would be easier to carry around but I’m sure harder to hit with. My buddy uses a .410 single shot for rabbit, but like I said I’m limited to a 12ga or 22. What do you guys prefer?
 

CrossFaced

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I’m in the same boat. I think I’m going to use a 22 and go for a headshot. Curious to see what others think.
 

whacko

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Gonna try rabbit hunting (first time) and was wondering if you guys prefer using a 22 or shotty? I have a 12ga 500, a 10/22, and a (Norinco/Kengs?) NS-522 bolt action 22. At first I was planning on taking the shotgun but afraid I might turn the wife off if she bites down on a pellet. The 10/22 would be easier to carry around but I’m sure harder to hit with. My buddy uses a .410 single shot for rabbit, but like I said I’m limited to a 12ga or 22. What do you guys prefer?
Depends on how your hunting them.

If your going to sit out on a field edge or rabbit habitat at sunup take the 22. They do stay out and feed for an hour or two after sunrise and you can snipe them as they move around. Just sit still and quiet with your rifle.

If your going to push through thickets and flush them the rifle is useless. Take the 12 gauge. Ic choke and high brass 4 or 5 shot. They are f***ing fast when you bust one out of cover......have the gun ready all the time.....and for God sake.....SHOOT. I've taken many guys out for rabbit that literally watch them run away or "wait for it to get into an opening"....if the rabbit runs into cover keep shooting where they went into. High brass loads will get through brush surprisingly well. Basically if he's still moving your still shooting.

I hunt thickets with a shotgun as my preferred method. Got a few of them the last couple weekends. Even got my brother his first game hunting 2 Sunday's ago.....a nice cottontail that we flushed out for him.

As far as your "bite down on a pellet" concern.....I've been hunting and eating snow shoe hare and rabbit for many years......never bit down on a pellet. Rabbits are very thin skinned and lightly built creatures. The pellets don't tend to stay in the meat. When you clean the meat feel around any pellet holes for the rare occurrence one is still in there and dig it out. This is rare to find them anyway.

this was my brother's first hunting success couple weekends ago.
20210103_083157.jpg
 
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CrossFaced

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@whacko great info...

I was out yesterday following some game trails scouting for turkey. I rustled up many rabbits out of thickets. They would bound away for about 30-50 feet and hide again. I could easily pop em. Definitely gonna go armed with a 22 next time. Maybe even my scoped MKIV.
 
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Depends on how your hunting them.

If your going to sit out on a field edge or rabbit habitat at sunup take the 22. They do stay out and feed for an hour or two after sunrise and you can snipe them as they move around. Just sit still and quiet with your rifle.

If your going to push through thickets and flush them the rifle is useless. Take the 12 gauge. Ic or mod choke and high brass 4 or 5 shot.

I hunt thickets with a shotgun as my preferred method. Got a few of them the last couple weekends.

As far as your "bute down on a pellet" concern.....I've been hunting and eating snow shoe hare and rabbit for many years......never bit down on a pellet. Rabbits are very thin skinned and lightly built creatures. The pellets don't tend to stay in the meat. When you clean the meat feel around any pellet holes for the rare occurrence one is still in there and dig it out. This is rare to find them anyway.
thank you 4 the tips. some time small games got worms in their gut.... how do you id which one safe to eat and which one will send people to the emmergencyroom lol.
 

whacko

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thank you 4 the tips. some time small games got worms in their gut.... how do you id which one safe to eat and which one will send people to the emmergencyroom lol.
Cook it well. Stew is best. I've eaten them for a long time never got sick.

Only thing I check is the liver.....if its dark and even colored its fine. If it has white patches or spots toss it. I got one in October that had a patchy white liver that I threw out.
 

CrossFaced

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thank you 4 the tips. some time small games got worms in their gut.... how do you id which one safe to eat and which one will send people to the emmergencyroom lol.
Take a close look at the liver. White spots or blisters don’t eat it.

My limited experience with cleaning and eating rabbit... if you use a shotgun the pellets shouldn’t be an issue, but the shotgun may break some bones up a bit. You need to watch out for the sharp ends.
 

whacko

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@whacko great info...

I was out yesterday following some game trails scouting for turkey. I rustled up many rabbits out of thickets. They would bound away for about 30-50 feet and hide again. I could easily pop em. Definitely gonna go armed with a 22 next time. Maybe even my scoped MKIV.
I prefer the shotgun. Just my preference. They do cartwheels when you lead em just right on a full sprint. 🤣
 

Michael J. Spangler

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I got one last weekend. Instant pot for 15 minutes. Guaranteed to be cooked all the way through and tender as can be.
As far as parasites, yes check the liver for spots but either way treat it like you would a bear or boar. Cook it all the way through and kill the pathogens.
 

1776

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Air rifle or pump up air pistol when they stop to eat, and if you can move up to them. The ones in my yard don't want to move unless they have to when munching on my newly planted grass patches every year.
 

whacko

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I got an invite to go hare hunting with a buddy who has hounds. You needed a shotgun to have a chance. He was a good enough shot to hit the head, I just blew'em up.
When they are up close.....let em run a bit first lol

My brother in law obliterated his first snow shoe hare......blasted him at about 5 yards. You learn from experience. 🤣

Hare and rabbit hunting with beagles is a hell of alot of fun. We've been getting good at hunting them without dogs.....with 3 people we set up mini drives through the thickets and take turns on "who goes in". Its alot of work pushing through the regrows and thickets.
 

whacko

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Air rifle or pump up air pistol when they stop to eat, and if you can move up to them. The ones in my yard don't want to move unless they have to when munching on my newly planted grass patches every year.
The ones running around my yard will let you practically walk up to them. They are used to people being around. The ones in the the thickets we hunt......once they run they are gone.....and gone fast. If we miss sometimes you can see which patch of thickets they went into and you can send someone in to flush it again though.
 

BTSDOG

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Depends on how your hunting them.

If your going to sit out on a field edge or rabbit habitat at sunup take the 22. They do stay out and feed for an hour or two after sunrise and you can snipe them as they move around. Just sit still and quiet with your rifle.

If your going to push through thickets and flush them the rifle is useless. Take the 12 gauge. Ic choke and high brass 4 or 5 shot. They are f***ing fast when you bust one out of cover......have the gun ready all the time.....and for God sake.....SHOOT. I've taken many guys out for rabbit that literally watch them run away or "wait for it to get into an opening"....if the rabbit runs into cover keep shooting where they went into. High brass loads will get through brush surprisingly well. Basically if he's still moving your still shooting.

I hunt thickets with a shotgun as my preferred method. Got a few of them the last couple weekends. Even got my brother his first game hunting 2 Sunday's ago.....a nice cottontail that we flushed out for him.

As far as your "bite down on a pellet" concern.....I've been hunting and eating snow shoe hare and rabbit for many years......never bit down on a pellet. Rabbits are very thin skinned and lightly built creatures. The pellets don't tend to stay in the meat. When you clean the meat feel around any pellet holes for the rare occurrence one is still in there and dig it out. This is rare to find them anyway.

this was my brother's first hunting success couple weekends ago.
View attachment 434942

Now your sposed to gut it out and swallow the heart while its still beating....No balls. I did it. To show respect to the animals soul for letting you sustain life by eating it........
 

Fritz the Cat

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I can't improve on what @whacko said.
I almost always hunt rabbit with a 22. Growing up we would build brush piles on the thickets for wildlife to live in. Mostly it would be rabbit, sometimes grouse. I'd head out just before dawn and pop a bunny, dress it, rub it with spices, and grill it for dinner. It was an easy source of protein.
If I go hunting with a buddy that has dogs, I'll be bringing the Ithaca.
 
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