You Can Have Your Fancy Gunning -111 Take Cottontail Hunting C ome along. Bring the boy and the dog. Put a sandwich The young cottontails' in your pocket better make it two. week old. At two weeks es open when they are one week old. At two weeks of age they are old enough to venture out of the nest. They live a precarious existance, these tiny bunnies. Thousands of them are killed by cats and dogs and a host of wild predators, among^ them the pro- take Well skirt the cornfield down to the ravine, and then well hunt the pasture by the brushpiles and the old pine stumps. There's bound to be rabbits, and excitement to spill from the eye, of the boy .nd the dog m d wash over .he res, J-g" ££JJ ^"^ ^gs£"ffi b=7£d£d VW0 be par, of the greatest collect, of hun,er, a sport •»» »"" '"" ^ ta » < ^ dbo " d b " * *" house ' He has ever known. He's a fantastic creature, this rabbit that we pursue. He lives a gentle life in a world that lashes violently at him from all directions. His survival kit includes keen hearing and eyesight and the ability to make fifteen foot leaps, but its most important item is tne rabbit's tremendous birthrate. The cottontail doe begins breeding at the age of six months. She rears several litters of from one to eight each year until she dies. The newborn rabbit is naked and pink. It is bora blind, deaf and helpless, and is about the size of a young hunter's big toe. The young are born in nests which the doe digs in the earth to a depth of about five inches. The nest is . should be left But the supply of young is great, and even with all of these factors against him, the rabbit will prevail if habitat conditions are favorable. e rabbit demands very little in the way of a home but it must have cover to protect it from predators. The ideal cover, as any rabbit hunter knows, is a Ibrushpile — a big one — in an area where there is food available. by Joe Farr And the rabbit will eat almost anything, preferring tender grasses and shrubs. The trend to "clean" farming with its sterile fencing and maximum land use has been the greatest factor in the decline of rabbits where it has occurred. _ _ _ "Find a lazy farmer," someone once said, "and you will lined first with drietf grass and then with fur which the find good cottontail hunting." This, of course, is not the doe plucks from her breast. It is covered then with grass universal truth, for there are many ambitious farmers who and leaves to make it all but invisible. have a shotgun in the corner of tne closet, and they know The doe does not dome near her family during the day, that they can provide themselves with top sport by leaving spending her time nearby feeding and resting. When night a shaggy fencerow heie and there and a few brushpiles in comes, she moves to the nest, removes the cover and thepasture. crouches over her young so that they can reach up to feed. This all brings us back to our rabbit hunt. For the best To all appearances she is simply resting. Once the feeding hunting we should pick a day that isn't too cold. Sub zero is over, the nest cover is replaced and the doe moves away, weather will drive the bunnies into cover — woodchuck holes and stumps — where they'll sit tight until it warms UFve been doing all right with my old pump gun for over 20 years. Show me why I should get a new one!W O.K. Well show you the Remington Model 870. Sure your old pump is still knocking 'em down. (And probably will for a lot more years.) It's just that with a modem Remington Model 870 you could be doing even better. And for very good reasons: p An 870 is faster. Chances are your gun doesn't have the 870's double action bars. (Very few do.) Double action bars give you a lightning-fast shucking action ordinary pumps can't match. Makes your second shot almost as fast as your first. D An 870 is stronger. It has a receiver that's machined from a solid block of proof steel. And a breech block that locks solidly into the barrel. (Perhaps that's why one Remington 870 has fired 226,000 rounds without repair.) And it handles, points, feels right... as only a modern gun can. D Looks? Stock is rich American walnut. Checkering is Remington's new custom type with fleur-de-lis design. The Du Font-developed RKW stock finish is the toughest ever put on a gun. And with over fifty parrel, choke and gauge combinations to choose from, there's sure to be a Model 870 that's just right for you. D Prices start at a very reasonable $99.95*. But your Remington dealer will be glad to give you a look-see absolutely free. up, *«M«(IIW Al» IK., ftMppon, Com. 9*W. to Cinwta: »«i<»|lc»i Amu oT CiMfe UnMcd. J» Q»cc» EllMbclli Bl.d , Tocuslo.Om. 'fti, tni, rtuil p/in, in iuw> h.,i», J-,1, T /j*c U... p/ira utjccl K> cluitp willwul notice. Let's pick a day when die pick i shinim sun is shining and when you can stand on a log for half an hour without freezing solid. If that ravine doesn't produce for us — and surely it will — we had better check along the grassy roadsides, briar patches, railroad right- of-ways, log piles and the neighbor's woodlot. We'll also be wise to stomp the willow thickets and the alder creek bottoms. What's that yapping? It's the dog, of course. There isn't a dog alive that can't hunt rabbits in one form or another. Beagles and bassets are the classic breeds for bunny chasing, but a shorthaired city mutt or a shaggy cow-dog can lend a lot to a hunt. They may not trail as faithfully as the genuine rabbit dogs, but they'll roust a rabbit out of a brushpile with business like dispatch, and they'll bark like crazy if there's one "frozen" in the roots of an oak stump. Weapon choice is no problem for the rabbit hunter. He simply takes along whatever gun he happens to have. The .22 caliber rifle is popular,but not as effective as the shotgun. Number six shot is ideal for cottontails, large enough for clean lolls, but not so large that the meat is pulverizedT Every cottontail chaser knows that a flushed bunny will circle back to its home territory, so let's just wait here while the boy and the dog^ bring that one around. Let's put a match to our pipes, and agree that a rabbit should be field dressed immediately for best eating, and then lets get into an argument about how best to cook our game. There's no way to settle such a dispute because the rabbit is top table fare by a dozen different treatments. You take your rabbits and cook them your way and 111 do the same, and we'll both be ready and rearing to go out after more rabbit chasing tomorrow. You won't have to bring the boy tomorrow, chances are hell bring you.
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