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  #1  
Old 07-10-2011, 6:44 PM
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Default My Version of the #&@#*! Rabbits Hunt in the Owens Valley *graphic*

Day One:

Yep, we all had a blast (those who showed up, of course ). When Toby, Monster and I finally met up Friday afternoon, the wind had picked-up and there were some thunderstorms in the area. I thought for sure that the afternoon/evening hunt was going to get blown out, but it turned out to be pretty darn good!

First off we went and sighted-in our various rifles. Once we did that, the heat had dropped enough for us to begin our hunt. At the first area, we split up and went in opposite directions. Unfortunately for me, the mosquitoes attacked and drove me back into my truck, where I locked the doors and killed about 10 invaders that got in! At that moment I remembered what I had forgotten at home, my damn insect repellant!! Needless to say, I was pretty relieved that Toby had some, so we all doused ourselves and it kept them at bay (until you sweated the repellant off).

While I sat in the truck, I watched as rabbits were crossing back and forth on the road behind us (DWP road). Monster and I decided to go for a short walk and did not get more than about 10 yards when he spied a Jack Rabbit in one of the fields munching on dinner. He wasn't that far off, but I offered him my 5mm Rimfire instead of his .410 Shotgun. He said okay, but as we all know, it is really hard hitting something with someone else's gun. Not to mention the fact that the trigger pull is about 18 pounds! (I should have not said anything and the rabbit would have been dead from his .410)! All was not lost, as the Jack ran only about 20 yards and stopped again. I was able to drop him with a head-shot, so rabbit #1 was on the ground.

My Jackrabbit was a young one:


He had a surprise for us as well:


YUM!!

We walked up the way about 100 yards, then headed back. When we got back to the trucks, Monster went off into the brush to go after a Cottontail we saw earlier. Even with the mosquitoes swarming him, he was able to connect on the Cottontail with the .410 Shotgun!! Rabbit #2 was on the ground!



Afterwards, we headed over to another spot and watched as the place became alive with Jacks and Cottontail. Because we were expecting to take a bunch of guys out, we didn't really shoot that many the first evening. It was more of a scouting expedition. We headed to another area to scout and saw some good numbers, so being that it was getting late, we headed back in for the night. On the drive back into town, a Bull Tule Elk that was running away from something, at full speed, almost plowed into my Tacoma! It was in velvet and looked to be a 4/5 x 3 ? I was not sure because it shocked the hell out of me!!

to be continued...

Eric

Last edited by Eric Mayer; 07-11-2011 at 4:17 PM..
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Old 07-10-2011, 6:55 PM
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Elk Hunting out of season..tsk..tsk...LOL...blast them rabbits.
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Old 07-10-2011, 7:23 PM
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Day Two:

The morning of day two came really early. I met up with Toby and Monster at the campground around 5:15AM. It was already t-shirt weather, so we knew it was going to heat up quickly. We made sure to prep ourselves for the coming mosquito invasion, then hit the road.

We headed back to the same area and split up again. I went down towards the river, pulled out my Remington 5mm Rimfire and blew a couple of shots on a Cottontail and a Jack. I think it was the rush of seeing 3 rabbits hanging out together in one spot and trying to figure out which one I should shoot!! #&@#*!

I tried to shake the misses off and headed to another area. On the way, I encountered tons of rabbits crossing the roads, or hanging out on the edges. By the time I met up with Toby and Monster, the 5mm had barked a couple of times and thinned the Cottontail and Jack population by two!



Remington 5mm Rimfire damage:


We hung out in one area and watched as the rabbits moved back and forth between cover and their sunning/feeding areas. This gave us a great opportunity for some long-range rimfire shooting, so we had a blast trying to dial-in some 200+ yard shots. I put away the 5mm and pulled out my Ruger 17HMR. There was a Jack that was not happy about that!



Toby with a Cottontail:


At one point, as we were leaving, Monster pulled out his 12 Gauge shotgun and completely patterned a Jackrabbit that was sunning itself. You'll be able to watch the video in the next post...

That evening, we took gl0ckc0ma, his son and his buddy out to the same area we had been hunting. We split up, with me taking his buddy and his 12 gauge and gl0ckc0ma and his son went with Toby and Monster. Gl0ckc0ma's buddy and I drove down to the spot next to the river where I saw, *ahem*, missed the shots before. As we started into the sage, a Cottontail popped out about 15 yards away. It hopped a few feet, then stopped. He was obviously hoping his built-in defense mechanism of staying perfectly still would help him avoid the BBQ. Well, unfortunately for the rabbit, the 12 Gauge roared and knocked him out!! Gl0ckc0ma's buddy was AMPED!! We did a quick "high-five" and went to check-out his first ever kill!! We didn't spend alot of time talking about it, because I could tell that he wanted to shoot more! Well, we spent the next hour or so, in 95+ degree heat, chasing tons of Cottontails and Jackrabbits all over the desert. It would have been perfect had he been carrying a rifle, because the rabbits knew to stay just out of range of that shotgun. After pushing around these guys, we decided to head back to meet the other guys and see how they did.

First kill:


When we got back, everyone was talking about all the rabbits they saw and the missed opportunities. It was great having the comraderie and seeing the excitement of the new hunters talking about their experiences.

to be continued...

Eric

Last edited by Eric Mayer; 07-10-2011 at 7:44 PM..
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Old 07-10-2011, 8:14 PM
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Day Three:

Once again, we met up early to caravan to the spot. I waited, parked in front of a park that was loaded with Cottontail rabbits. There were tons of targets, feet in front of me, that could not be taken...



We rolled into the spot and everyone went their separate ways. I decided to check an area that Gl0ckc0ma's buddy and I hit the evening before, but had poor luck due to a Navy Pilot that decided to buzz the area about 100 yards off the deck.

After pushing a dozen or so rabbits around the area, I decided to head back to the area where Gl0ckc0ma's buddy had shot his Cottontail. I pulled down a dirt road and parked about 50 yards from a bowl that held 4 Jackrabbits the day before. As I walked the rim, a Jack jumped out from behind a bush only a few feet away from me. Because I had my 5mm again and wanted a sporting chance, I urged him to move further away from me. Well, it didn't matter how many rocks, cowpies, etc I threw at him, he wasn't going to go further out. Why couldn't he have done this yesterday when we had the shotgun???

Oh well, I packed-up and decided to see what everyone else was up to. As I was driving back, I snapped a picture of the sunrise coming down the Eastern side of the Sierra Nevada:



When I got back, I noticed that Gl0ckc0ma's son was kicking back in the truck, so I asked him if he had gotten anything. He said "no", so I told him to hop-in, we were going to go try to kill one!

We headed back to an area that I knew held rabbits, but would probably be longer shots. He carried my Ruger 17HMR and a shooting stick, while I glassed for rabbits with my binoculars. We saw a couple move into cover and were watching some chipmunks while they were eating, but no rabbits wanted to give him a chance for a shot.

We were being very patient, knowing that eventually something would move into the sunshine and offer up a shot. Suddenly, about 125 yards away, a good-sized Jackrabbit hopped out and starting feeding along a dirt mound. I pointed him out and Gl0ckc0ma's son got ready for a shot. I told him to hold a bit high, but his first shot rang out and the rabbit barely reacted. He shook his head a couple of times then disappeared for a couple of minutes. A few minutes later he popped back out, offering a perfect shot. This time the shot rang out and the familiar "pop" matched the Jackrabbit's DRT reaction! I said, Damn Good Shot!! and gave him a "high-five". He thumped that rabbit, but good!!

We walked over to collect his kill and Gl0ckc0ma's kid had a huge smile on his face, he was excited! Turns out the first shot went through the top of both ears, making perfectly round .172 caliber holes.

We loaded everything up so he could tell his buddies about his shot. We spent some time checking out the other rabbits that were taken that morning and taking some pictures.






It was a great way to end the trip...

Eric
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Old 07-10-2011, 8:24 PM
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Here's a very short video (I do mean VERY SHORT):

Click Here For Youtube Video

Thanks to Toby for getting this thing set-up and for the guys who came out to hunt!! Let's do it again sometime!



Eric
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Old 07-10-2011, 8:46 PM
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Great report Eric! All the details were pretty much covered!
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Old 07-10-2011, 8:50 PM
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Did you see the pattern around that Jack? Crazy, huh?

Eric
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Old 07-10-2011, 8:53 PM
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Yea he might have a few pellets bugging him tonight but I think the bush knocked down a lot of those pellets but who knows
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Old 07-10-2011, 8:59 PM
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Nice. Thanks for sharing
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Old 07-10-2011, 9:16 PM
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Awesome hunt, congrats.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:11 AM
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Thanks guys!

It was a blast!! I just wish more folks came out!

Eric
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:44 AM
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I want to goooooooo!!!!!

So for rabbits its shotgun or rimfire only?

But for jacks anything goes?
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Old 07-11-2011, 1:27 PM
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what was the surprise your first rabbit gave you? "im new to wabbit hunting scene" im assuming its the large brown object sticking out of its face, well whats left of it!
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Old 07-11-2011, 1:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 21SF View Post
I want to goooooooo!!!!!

So for rabbits its shotgun or rimfire only?

But for jacks anything goes?
Anything goes for both, it's just preferance and the terrain that changes things...

Last edited by toby; 07-11-2011 at 6:57 PM..
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Old 07-11-2011, 9:56 PM
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nice pictures
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Old 07-12-2011, 5:29 PM
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Count me in next time.
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Old 07-12-2011, 7:14 PM
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Definitely!!

Eric
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:34 PM
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Great synopsis of the event Eric, you are the man. Thanks for helping my son get his first kill, he cant stop talking about it, He is telling anyone and everyone who is willing to listen.

I still have your daughters shooting stick, PM me with your address and when you would be available for me to drop it off. The stick is awesome, I wish I could find one just like it, I tried looking everywhere.
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Old 07-13-2011, 7:41 AM
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I'm glad you guys had a blast. It really was fun hanging out and going after the rabbits!! It was exciting standing next to your son when he shot the Jack. I watched it all through my binoculars and it was pretty cool!!

I'm heading up to Santa Clarita today, so I will check the Walmart there and see if they have any. I'll shoot you a PM on where we can meet up or have you come over later today.

Btw, here's the picture of the holes in the rabbit's ears when I told your son to hold high on his first shot:


Since I switched back to the lead ammo while up there, I had a heck of a time judging bullet drop with the 17HMR he used to shoot it. Once I got home and figured out the ballistics of the ammo I was using, it's now clear that it didn't need to be held so high. Glad he figured that out for the second shot!!

Eric
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