Spaniel Journal Home Page

Trixie's Cottontail

When rabbit hunting, we will use size six shot - a one-ounce load in a 12 gauge and a 7/8-ounce load for 20 gauge shotguns. The size six shot carries through the thick cover, whereas 7 1/2s won't.

Generally, we will hunt rabbits using one of two methods. If you are hunting solo with your dog, locate cover that permits for shooting lanes - such as may be found in a briar thicket. When hunting with a partner or two, you can drive the rabbits towards them, providing an opportunity for a shot as the rabbit runs past. Some rabbits may run back towards the handler. If these are shot, send the dog for the retrieve. For any rabbits that are shot ahead of the drive, wait until after the area leading up to them has been worked before making the retrieves. This allows the dog to gain experience in completing blinds and hunt deads.

When hunting with your young dog, try to position the gun on the up wind side of the briar thicket or fencerow. Working the wind helps the young dog learn to push game to the guns. Hunting rabbits will help your young dog learn to scent, head up, using the wind - and to track, bringing its head down. Having a spaniel that knows to bring its head down to track game will result in fewer wounded, lost game. It can also improve the dog's flush. You can put a lot of drive into a pup - or back into a dog - when working them on rabbits.

Besides extending the hunting season, rabbit hunting your spaniel is beneficial in developing your dog's skills and his confidence.

Steve and Trixie

Steve Baughan is an avid hunter. He's owned, trained, and hunted with hunting dogs for most of his life. Steve and his wife, Loretta, reside near Merrill, Wisconsin, where they raise Autumnskye English Springer Spaniels. He is a member of the Tilden Valley English Springer Spaniel club.

Page 2

| Spaniel Journal | Previous Page |

| Our Sponsors | The Bookshelf | Spaniel Resources | Letters | National Open | Photo Contest | Archives | Spaniel Journal |
John DeMott | Pamela O. Kadlec | Steve Baughan | Tim Baker | Martin Deeley | Loretta Baughan |

Copyright © Spaniel Journal 2002, all rights reserved worldwide