15 Ways to Bag More Late Season Small Game

15 Ways to Bag More Late Season Small Game

Author: Realtree
Published: January 25, 2023

A recent article from Realtree! Check it out.

“Hunting in the wintertime for upland critters like rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, and grouse is challenging, but these tips will have you on your way to a good wild game dinner

Hunting upland game animals like rabbits, squirrels, quail, and grouse can be really tough during wintertime, especially late in the season. Snow and ice have destroyed food supplies and cover, reducing wild game populations considerably from what they were earlier. Hunters and predators have taken a toll on the game, too. The surviving animals are canny and often elude casual hunters.

Still, hunting small game near the season’s end can still be productive and fun, especially when hunters have some tricks up their sleeves that give them advantages. You’ll find 15 to try in this round-up of practical advice.

1. Look Back for Rabbits

Rabbits jumped in isolated winter cover patches will try to sneak behind hunters rather than cross open ground. A cottontail may race away, vanishing from sight, then circle well behind its pursuers. Others remain motionless until the gunners pass, then shoot out behind. Make it a habit to look over your shoulder every few steps and you’ll glimpse some of these renegades before they escape. Snap shooting is a must, so carefully identify your target before pulling the trigger.

2. Push the Cattails

When snowflakes fall late in the season, many pheasant hunters call it quits. But nimrods willing to brave the elements are often rewarded with heavy game vests, especially when hunting big cattail marshes that provide the dense thermal cover ringnecks need to survive inclement weather. These wetland areas don’t hold many birds early in the season when water is present. But when the ice gets thick enough to walk on, pheasants gravitate to these hotspots, and hunters can move through the cattails easier to find their quarry. Go slowly and quietly. Roosters will run or take to the air as soon as they hear the hunters, and you want to get as close as possible before they flush. Slow movements are safer, too. It doesn’t take much ice to support a pheasant, but it takes a fair amount to support you and your dog. Err on the side of caution. Always.”

The full article can be found here.

Photo Credit: Original Author

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