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Thread: Evil Southern Hares?

  1. #1
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    Default Evil Southern Hares?

    Bird hunters will understand the term, "Evil Southern Grouse". It reflects the well-established fact that ruffed grouse in the southern part of our province behave differently and are much harder to hunt than ruffed grouse up north.

    I've now come to the conclusion that there is also such a thing as an "Evil Southern Snowshoe Hare".

    I thought I was quite good at hunting snowshoes, both with and without beagles, having hunted them successfully around North Bay and other parts north since I was a kid. I called them the "little big game", still-hunting them in the winter with a .22 as if I was sneaking up on deer, catching them sitting by spotting the black marble of their eye or the brown along their ears. If you flushed one there was no worry, as they would often stop after 4 or 5 lazy bounds or allow you to sneak up on them again.

    This winter I tried hunting snowshoes in the Barrie area and what I encountered were hares that behaved more like cottontails. Spotting a sitting one was rare as they stayed tight inside the cover, and when I did spot one it was off before the .22 got to my shoulder. When I bumped hares, they did not do me the courtesy of a few slow hops. Instead they were off like a white streak and kept going for easily 50 yards or more, well out of sight in the thickets.

    Yes, I'm now convinced there are "Evil Southern Hares". Or perhaps I was just a better rabbit hunter when I was teenager...
    "What calm deer hunter's heart has not skipped a beat when the stillness of a cold November morning is broken by the echoes of hounds tonguing yonder?"

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  3. #2
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    I Believe your 100% right! There Evil, just like the southern grouse LOL
    "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, Teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life"

  4. #3
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    I've noticed that if I frequent a certain bush or swamp and do more "running" than gunning, the hare have more get up and go. It seems the first couple of trips the hare runs 2 or 3 hundred yard circles, after a few more trips in the same spot they will go out a thousand yards before heading back and want to stay further out in front. I suppose its similar with deer after a bit of pressure they get more nocturnal.

  5. #4
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    Oh they're evil alright! The trick for the evil ones is a 20 gauge and #5s. Rarely do you see them sitting.

    -Nick
    Krete

    Bills n' Thrills.

  6. #5
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    There’s too much evil in the world.
    I’m suspicious of people who don't like dogs, but I trust a dog who doesn't like a person.

  7. #6
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    The trick is a good beagle that will run the hare right back to you. We had a hare run the dog 1400 yards in the swamp. At first we thought it was a jack, and when the dogs turned him back towards us it ended up being a big old male hare. His demise was a good dog and #4 to the head!

  8. #7
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    When it comes to snowshoe hares, I only ran my beagle when hunting vast Crown or private lands up north. In the southern part of snowshoe hare range, 1-2 km circles within a concession road network is a recipe for disaster.
    "What calm deer hunter's heart has not skipped a beat when the stillness of a cold November morning is broken by the echoes of hounds tonguing yonder?"

  9. #8
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    I run in the network of eastern Ontario's network of concession roads regularly, without incidence or complaint. Just like any hunting activity you have to choose your spots considering safety and respect for all parties. From my experience snowshoe hare will stick to the "greens" when running, they avoid open field, open snow covered swamp, hardwoods, and are reluctant to cross any type of opening more than 30 ft across. If you take a bit of time to look at the type of cover on the terrain you can have a pretty good idea where their running range is.

  10. #9
    Leads by example

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    I have hunted snowshoes in the south and have yet to see one stop after flushing, unless a load of sixes was involved.

  11. #10
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    I hunt them in thick cedar swamps around here. Cannot see too far, and they are usually gone way before you could get nearby; without fresh snow on the ground, I would never know they were there. But some would still stop, if they think they have good cover to hide. Got two like that this season.

    snow.jpg
    “Think safety first and then have a good hunt.”
    - Tom Knapp -

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