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Winter Hunting and Tracking Prey

January 11th, 2010

Winter Hunting and Tracking Prey

It’s been almost two months of hunting, waiting for a good amount of snow to cover the ground.  A good snow makes it easier to track rabbits and squirrels out in the woods.  It lets you know if they are around, where they hide out, and how active they are.  What’s more, is that when you move one in the woods, you can track them down easier through the snow after they flush. Unless of course if the tracks lead you to a hole, in that case you are out of  luck.

I’ve walked through a few of my hunting spots in the past week that looked good earlier in the fall. Earlier fall hunting turned out to be fruitless, but I was certain that there were rabbits inhabiting my favorite areas.  My suspicions were confirmed that they are good rabbit areas by hunting in the snow and being able to see the activity left behind by the residents.  Tracks, sign, and droppings were plentiful at my top sites.

So, as I trekked around the woods for the past two days, I watched closely for the signs, tracks, and other clues as to where rabbits and forest critters spent their time.  The snow also helps pick out movement, as brown / black bulky figures really pop out against a white background.  Tahoe easily saw a squirrel bolt down a tree towards the snow, and then she barreled after it.  The squirrel survived after dashing under a log and then disappearing down a trunk, or a hole, or some hideaway that I could not see. I did my best to track it through the snow, but the signs eluded me on this little guy.  It was a good chase for a minute, and Tahoe seemed excited about it after she took a high perch.  She may have been disappointed, but it wasn’t obvious, as she followed right along to the next tree and we walked deeper into the forest.  The remainder of the hike left my game bag empty and my legs tired from clomping through the deep snow.  The sunshine made it a bearable afternoon, although the wind picked up and chilled the cheeks a little bit.



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