Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 14

SNOWSHOE
PATTERNING HARES IN
T
WO FEET of snow and bitter cold
temperatures had just about buried
any hope of hunting rabbits.
The deep snow made it impossible to
run beagles, and it was just about as hard
to walk through the white stuff, much less
kick brushpiles or bust through briars.
But the hard winter wasn't preventing cottontails from going about their
business. In fact, a thick crust on top of
the snow made it easy for rabbits to get
around, and they were taking advantage
of it.
Elevated by the snowpack, rabbits
were able to reach succulent buds on lowhanging tree branches and devour the bark
around the thin trunks of sumac saplings.
The snow wasn't deterring rabbits at all,
and I was determined not to let it hold me
back from enjoying a late-season hunt.
All I had to do was adapt a technique
used by a cousin of the cottontail to get
around on deep snow.
Snowshoe hares traverse the powder
with ease thanks to their wide, elongated
hind feet, and I knew I could do the same
with a little help.
One of my favorite late-winter hobbies

is snowshoeing. As soon as snow
depths reach 10 inches or more, I
strap on my snowshoes and venture
out across the winter landscape.
Snowshoeing is a great way
to recreate in the winter, and a
way to take advantage of hunting
opportunities while everyone else
is trapped indoors battling cabin
fever.
And under a sunny January
sky, my snowshoes set out across
a barren field for a thicket I suspected held plenty of rabbits.
It did.
While the winter storms piled
up the snow, the rabbits had stayed
active in the tangled shelter of
briars and brush. Trails divided the
white surface and droppings scattered throughout indicated the bunnies
weren't spending their days holed up.
With temperatures hovering around 20
degrees, conditions seemed prime for
rabbit activity.

Hunting cottontails on snowshoes
does have its challenges.
One must master the technique of

PURSUING COTTONTAILS
14



Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 23
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 28
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 30
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Cover4
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