Go Back   Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum > Main Category > Archery Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-13-2011, 12:41 PM
the-eco-hunter the-eco-hunter is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Default Rabbit hunting

Just ordered myself an Excalibur Axiom Crossbow. My girlfriend is going to get one as well. She doesn't eat farmed meat and I always wanted a crossbow so we're going to attempt some small game hunting this summer. We're thinking rabbits and possibly some birds. Don't think we're up to dealing with any large game carcasses as of yet I've been talking to everyone I know who hunts, however they are all people who hunt with guns and usually larger game. If anyone has any advice as far as hunting techniques or good places to hunt near Edmonton or even in the rest of the province as we intend to do some touring this summer (mostly in the direction of B. C) it would be very much appreciated. The only strategy I've heard for rabbits is for people to line up strategically near thickets and such where lots of tracks are seen while one person goes around and scares the rabbits all towards the rifle-ready hunters. This however doesn't sound like a good system for two people with crossbows. Should I get some cheap tree stands? Or just creep through the trees and try and find something? What should I do and where can I go? I would like to do this the right way. Any help you can give would be much appreciated. Cheers
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-13-2011, 02:50 PM
Pudelpointer Pudelpointer is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,811
Default

A couple observations:

When you say "in the direction of BC" do you mean you will be IN BC, or just West of Edmonton? In AB hares and rabbits can be hunted without a license (by a resident) but in BC they are all considered "small game" and require a general hunting license.

You mention "birds". Need to stop you there. All birds (that you would want to eat) are either protected or "game birds" which require a hunting certificate and game bird license(s). The only birds you can shoot without a license are mourning doves (AKA rock doves, city pigeons, barn pigeons) which can be good table fare, and crows, starlings, magpies, and a few others.

As for the crossbows... why? Not to rain on your parade, in case you are not aware, but you can only use crossbows for hunting big game during the rifle seasons and in a few areas where they have shotgun-muzzle loader-archery-crossbow seasons. Not sure about Strathcona.

As for snowshoe hares specifically, you need to hunt slowly, quietly, and carefully. You need to spot them before they run (once they start it is usually counterproductive to try and follow them or find them again). Watch for them tucked in around deciduous brush piles and under low hanging spruce boughs.

If you are licenced to buy a firearm, get yourself a shotgun. If you are not licensed, then get yourself licensed. Also, go take the hunters education course.

Last edited by Pudelpointer; 04-13-2011 at 02:55 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-13-2011, 03:04 PM
jim-bo's Avatar
jim-bo jim-bo is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 611
Default

Its been said pretty well above. Apart from some wasc-awie wabbits you can't really shot much with a x-bow in the way of birds.

Further I believe that in AB you can not hunt any game birds or migratory birds with a x-bow, in fact I can almost guarantee that. Pigeons, crows, and other vermin are acceptable.

Please keep in mind the amount of KE you are thrusting into the ground, this will have significant wear and tear on your bolts.

Finally depending on where you go "touring" you may not be allowed to discharge weapons, or disturb wildlife...

Unfortunately your choices are very slim at the moment, stick to targets.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-13-2011, 07:23 PM
the-eco-hunter the-eco-hunter is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Default

I'm getting a crossbow because I much prefer the idea of hunting with a bow, compound bows are probably more ideal perhaps or even a gun I guess. Might upgrade to a compound eventually but not overly enthusiastic about getting a gun (how to make friends on a hunting forum eh). Probably be touring down Hwy 2 towards Banff this summer (I'm well aware there's no hunting in a national park.) As for birds yes I didn't really look into what the regulations are there, I just know that you can hunt rabbits with a crossbow year round. Obviously I'm expecting to be doing a lot more target practice than anything this year, but I wouldn't mind bagging a rabbit or two if I can manage it.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-13-2011, 07:47 PM
the-eco-hunter the-eco-hunter is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Default

"Finally depending on where you go "touring" you may not be allowed to discharge weapons, or disturb wildlife... "

This would be the reason I am here on this forum, asking about good locations. Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-13-2011, 08:17 PM
Pudelpointer Pudelpointer is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,811
Default

Okay.

Again, I would suggest two things: first, take the hunters education course, and second, pick something besides a crossbow.

As was alluded earlier, not only will shooting at bunnies be hard on bolts (short arrows) you will likely never find them after launching them towards the ground. That will get expensive fast. Arrows are slightly easier to find (only slightly) so make sure you get 1) carbon arrows and 2) brightly painted/fletched arrows.

I will not criticize you on your desire to not buy a firearm. Hunting with a bow is very challenging and very rewarding. However, be aware that many hunters (hunters with many years of experience hunting with firearms) have a hard time hunting successfully with a bow (or x-bow). If you are brand new at this, it will likely be even tougher.

I am not trying to discourage you from hunting with archery equipment, far from it, I just want you to be aware of the challenges you are setting yourself up for.

Even if you decide you are only going to hunt for rabbits for a while, please go to your local hunting store (or canadian tire) and get a copy of the hunting regulation synopsis. Read it, then re-read it, and then a couple dozen more times.... THEN ask questions about the parts that don't make sense to you, and we will be happy to try and help you with the answers.

BTW, if you do enter a National or Provincial park (read the regs) the bow/crossbow must be encased or disassembled.

Cheers.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-13-2011, 08:25 PM
ishootbambi's Avatar
ishootbambi ishootbambi is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: medicine hat
Posts: 8,764
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pudelpointer View Post
Okay.

As was alluded earlier, not only will shooting at bunnies be hard on bolts (short arrows) you will likely never find them after launching them towards the ground. That will get expensive fast. Arrows are slightly easier to find (only slightly) so make sure you get 1) carbon arrows and 2) brightly painted/fletched arrows.

Cheers.
im going to have to disagree here. i could list a hundred reasons to buy carbon arrows...or bolts....but not when you are going to be shooting into the ground on a regular basis. they need to be inspected EVERY shot for safety. we all know what can happen if a crack in a carbon arrow goes unnoticed. in this situation, aluminium is a safer option. the good news is they are cheaper too.

https://forums.cabelas.com/showthread.php?t=3246
__________________
someday ill get a big deer

the views expressed by isb are solely the views of dale allen, and probably shouldnt be taken too seriously. lighten up people....its the interweb for pete sake.

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-14-2011, 09:10 AM
Pudelpointer Pudelpointer is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,811
Default

Good point ISB, and I agree with the safety issue. My reason for recommending them was simply from a durability standpoint. I shot aluminum arrows for decades and recently switched to carbon. I find with carbon they are either straight - or broken - that's it. With Aluminum they were always getting bent, dented, or otherwise made useless, very easily.

I personally prefer carbon arrows out of my compound, now.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-14-2011, 09:29 AM
jimbo1 jimbo1 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 855
Default

if you really really dont want to buy a gun and want to hunt rabbits then surely a slingshot would be much better than a crossbow
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-14-2011, 10:24 AM
the-eco-hunter the-eco-hunter is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Default

Alright, going to take the hunters education course, as well as international bowhunting education program from same place, and I'll get the book. Thanks for the advice and constructive criticism, except jimbo who is kind of a dink, but no hard feelings.
Cheers
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-14-2011, 11:09 AM
jim-bo's Avatar
jim-bo jim-bo is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 611
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by the-eco-hunter View Post
Alright, going to take the hunters education course, as well as international bowhunting education program from same place, and I'll get the book. Thanks for the advice and constructive criticism, except jimbo who is kind of a dink, but no hard feelings.
Cheers
LOL... Dink

I am sorry that you think I am a dink. I hope you find these courses useful in your future.

Here is a link to the online copies of the Fishing, Hunting, Trapping regulations as well as the Draw Booklet: http://www.srd.alberta.ca/FishingHun...s/Default.aspx

In the Hunting regulations booklet information about Crossbow hunting and species is covered in depth. Since crossbows are not archery tackle in AB, they are subject to several restrictions not applied to regular archery tackle. They are covered on Pages 59-60 about what is not big-game species, when you can hunt them and any seasons (if applicable).

I was right, no migratory birds may be hunted with a crossbow, with no specific mention upland species, although shooting these birds on the wing with a crossbow may be subject to an "ethical" debate.

So in regard to the regulations, bowhunting does not include the use of crossbows, so keep that in mind. Further depending on where you are you will need permission from landowners, or if on public land you need to be aware of surrounding landownership (those around you where you may not have legal access) or lease ownership (Maps are available from the Municipal District offices), as hunting on privately owned land requires permission (written or oral).

You can acquire maps of crown land, and use them to determine suitable places to hunt and camp, this land is public and more or less open to all to use (later in the year, Ranchers may put cattle into grazing leases on crownland).

There is absolutely no hunting in national parks, no discharging of weapons, etc... Keep that in mind.

Doing things the "right way" merely entails following the regulations in regard to the activity you are participating in while in Alberta. Anecdotal suggestions from this forum are not a defence when a conservation officer catches you doing something you shouldn't.

What you should have done was ask your friends about hunting regulations in Alberta, get a copy of the regs (which I gave you a link), read through, familiarize yourself with them even though they are for 2010 (2011's will be released in the near future). If you had questions about the regs from there, you can post on the forum for clarification (which you now have).

Have one of your hunter friends take you out for rabbits, and learn some techniques, and practice, they are all over AB, just make sure your hunting is some where your allowed to be.

Sincerly,

The "Dink"
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-14-2011, 11:38 AM
jimbo1 jimbo1 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 855
Default

i belive the dink comment was directed at me for suggesting a slingshot as opposed to a to a bow, lol no hard feelings on my part hope the rabbits ive killed with a slingshot as lad dont mind either lol
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-14-2011, 04:33 PM
densa44 densa44 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East of Stettler
Posts: 3,723
Smile A dog helps a lot!

Before I owned a gun, I was allowed to bow hunt. A re-curve made of fiberglass. Probably can't buy one now. The beagle and I one day got 22 in a Xmas tree farm.
The rabbit will hear the dog bay and mine worked slow which is what you want. The rabbit would get ahead of the dog and stop and look back into the trees to see if he could see the dog. Shoot now. If the rabbit doesn't stop whistle and sometimes that works.
The cautions about losing bolts/arrows is true. You may spend most of the day looking for arrows. The arrows do not kill like a head shot with a 22. But that's what the dog is for.
Let us know how you do.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-14-2011, 08:28 PM
Erik's Avatar
Erik Erik is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 1,005
Default

X2 on the Beagle.

Got two and they're great! I would also vote for a recurve if you are hunting rabbit and dont want to use a gun. They are light compared to a crossbow. Even some of the youth bows are fine. You don't need big game draw weight to take out a little rabbit.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-14-2011, 09:15 PM
Okotokian's Avatar
Okotokian Okotokian is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Uh, guess? :)
Posts: 17,966
Default

Man, all I can say is good luck. If you can bag any amount of your intended prey with a x-bow you are some shot, at least in my uninformed opinion. I'd recommend a shotgun. Still, it's a worthy quest. Try it for a year, then come back and we will advise you on a suitable gun purchase
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-15-2011, 12:07 PM
Slash8's Avatar
Slash8 Slash8 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Tofield
Posts: 436
Default

ECO....
Now that most of legal stuff has been covered, you might find that hunting rabbits in the summer is or could be tougher then in the winter. Personally I have had my best luck in the winter when there is no leaves on the under brush. It just makes it a lot easier to find them. Try around sloughs and swamp areas, they generally like to hang out in that think willow stuff but can also be seen through out just about any wooded area. Find some tracks and you'll find rabbits sooner or later. Often, after they have been spooked they will take off but not excessive distances. Spring can be a great time as well when we don't get a lot of snow and we get a fast melt. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. Just look fo the little white balls on the forest floor. my best day with my bow was 19. If you do choose to go at it with a crossbow, good for you and good luck, if you choose another way, well good for you good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-15-2011, 09:44 PM
ishootbambi's Avatar
ishootbambi ishootbambi is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: medicine hat
Posts: 8,764
Default

hey eco.....are you looking for rabbits because you want to eat them, or just want to be able to hunt some small game? if its just some hunting you are after with no licenses, seasons or limits, id recommend gophers. they are way more plentiful, easier to find, and more cooperative to bowhunt. rabbits are okay too, but gophers shouldnt be overlooked. not only that....farmers will love you for it.
__________________
someday ill get a big deer

the views expressed by isb are solely the views of dale allen, and probably shouldnt be taken too seriously. lighten up people....its the interweb for pete sake.

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-18-2011, 11:45 AM
the-eco-hunter the-eco-hunter is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Default

Yeah I intend to hunt things I can cook and eat. My girlfriend doesn't eat farmed meat as I said but like most Albertans she craves a little dead flesh now and again so we'll probably be cookin' up some stew if I'm successful. That being said I still plan on going with the crossbow. I looked at a lot of crossbow vs compound articles and videos and I'm not convinced that a compound is going to be better for me. I'll throw some pictures up if I am successful, wouldn't miss the opportunity to gloat Thanks again for keeping the advice coming, and to Jimbo for the link. I'll check back periodically. Very glad to have found this site!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04-18-2011, 01:41 PM
big_e_walrus big_e_walrus is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Alberta
Posts: 10
Default

I agree with ishootbambi, and once you get permission from a few owners to shoot gophers on their land, you have a great opportunity to bulid a relationship and get permission to hunt other game on their land in the future.
__________________
If at first you don't succeed,
Skydiving's NOT for you
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 04-18-2011, 01:46 PM
ehntr's Avatar
ehntr ehntr is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: CYED
Posts: 4,107
Default

A xbow is not a good weapon for stalking anything. A cocked crossbow is too big/unwieldy to walk around in the bush. A xbow is more suited to stand hunting.......e.g. cock the bow in the stand and wait for game to come to you. If it's just an avoidance of firearms thing.....I would prefer a slingshot or a compound/trad bow over a crossbow for chickens and rabbits.
__________________
bring Your peace into our violence
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.