Snowshoe Hare Hunting Tips
Perhaps it's not the biggest nor the most dangerous trophy but certainly snowshoe hares are a challenge to go for during winter.
These small, white rabbits are lightning fast and very elusive, making its pursuit a total challenge for both, newbies and expert hunters, however following a few tips could render thing a little bit easier, increasing your success chances.
First thing it's to know snowshoe hare habits. Usually the bedding areas are near conifers, hares sleep during day and feed by night, especially from conifers needles but also from small branches of birch, aspen, maple and blueberry, then if you are able to locate bedding areas or feeding lands, characterized by a mix of the above mentioned trees, your success rates will increase dramatically.
Once you have found a proper area, it's time to search for activity signs. Don't try to find a white, small hare on a white, snowy background; it's practically impossible, but if a trail of recent activity from the night before is found, following it will lead you straight to a resting snowshoe hare. These rabbits usually use the same pathways day after day to move on their territory, hence finding a trail is almost the same than finding the hare itself; you only have to follow the trace to reach the rabbit but it's easier to say it than doing it.
The main problem is to follow the trail on the wrong direction away from the rabbit, to solve such issue it's very helpful to count with canine help such as beagles. The dogs will easily follow hare trace once a trail has been located, then you may be sure to be moving on the right direction.
Remember to move quietly! Snowshoe hares hearing is so sensitive that they will hear even a tiny noise, running away from your sight almost immediately, thus it's mandatory to move quiet and slowly, always prepared to aim and shoot in case a hare appears suddenly.
To keep your presence as much silent as possible, avoid synthetic fabrics clothes because it squeaks with movements, alerting hare about your presence. To avoid such issue, wool clothing is the best option since it's very warm and still silent.
Finally, be sure to choose the proper firearm. A 20 gauge shotgun is a good weapon because you will have just a fraction of second to shoot and even when many hunters choose a .21 rifle, using a shotgun will increase your odds due to the extended action ratio.
Now you know the basic about snowshoe hare hunting, however there's something else you will learn only with practice and perhaps is the key for success: Patience. Snowshoe hare hunting requires a lot of patience, otherwise you will be detected and your target will vanish on the white background.