John's Journal...

Guide to Overlooked February Hunting

Day 2: Chasing Rabbits and a Recipe for Honeyed Rabbit

Editor’s Note: No, hunting season isn’t over in many states, and real hunting may have just begun. Although deer is the glamour species of the fall and the winter, there are many-more game animals and birds that may deserve your attention this month. More states are having small-game seasons during the month of February, because small-game animals have taken a backseat to deer, turkey and waterfowl. However, before this country saw the rebuilding of deer herds, turkey flocks and elk herds, small-game hunting was the most popular of all hunting sports, with rabbits and squirrels not only drawing the most attention, but also taking-up the most space on the dinner plate. So, let’s take a look at the overlooked hunting in February.

Click for Larger ViewThe killing rains and the blowing winds have knocked-down a lot of high brush and thorny briars, which means rabbit hunting is at its very best in February. One of my favorite places to find tons of rabbits is the windrows that divide large fields. Rabbits make their living all year by stealing the leaves and the stems of plants from the farmers. However, after the produce is cut or gathered, the only food and cover that remain are the windrows and the surrounding woodlands. In these areas, a hunter on foot may take a limit of rabbits in only a few hours. Click for Larger ViewFor the dog hunter, the time to take a limit will be even shorter.

I’ve seen hunters line-up on either side of a windrow, turn beagles loose and shoot out of shells without moving from one spot, because of the abundance of rabbits that has kept-on pouring-out. However, rabbit dogs aren’t essential for good rabbit hunting. Jump-shooting rabbits are a traditional way of hunting rabbit. My favorite places to jump-shoot rabbits are briar fields and cane thickets. Big swamp rabbits are relatively easy to find, hard to miss and provide a bigger prize than the smaller cottontails.

Click for Larger ViewHoneyed Rabbit
1 rabbit
1 medium onion, fine-chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons cooking oil
3-1/2-cups tomato juice and pulp
1/2-teaspoon salt
1/4-cup milk
1/4-cup honey
1 cup sifted flour
1/4-teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cooking oil


Click for Larger ViewSauté onion, garlic and parsley in 1 tablespoon oil until onion is golden brown. Strain tomato pulp from juice, and add pulp and 1/2-teaspoon salt to pan. Simmer 10 minutes. Mix-in milk and honey. Dip rabbit in that mixture and then roll in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Brown in 5 tablespoons of oil. Cover with sauce and tomato juice and simmer about 1-1/2-hours.

Tomorrow: February’s Woodcock and Quail Hunting and Recipes for Both

Check back each day this week for more about "Guide to Overlooked February Hunting "

Day 1: February Snipe Hunting and Recipe for Snipes Country Style
Day 2: Chasing Rabbits and a Recipe for Honeyed Rabbit
Day 3: February’s Woodcock and Quail Hunting and Recipes for Both
Day 4: Hunting Raccoons and Opossums and Recipes for Roasted Raccoon and Possum and Sweet Potatoes
Day 5: Wild Hog Hunting and a Recipe for Wild Pig Parmesan


Entry 599, Day 2