February's knocking at the door and in my neck of the woods in Northern Minnesota that means cold and not a lot of hunting opportunities. Now when I say cold, I mean air temps of -20 to -30 below with the added kick of North winds blasting it as cold as -40 to -50 below. I mention this for the simple fact of drumming up some pitty for myself when trying to get motivated to get out and enjoy Mother Nature. I'll be honest. I had none.
This past week of frigid temps had me spending more time working on my woodstove and furnace then anything else. So when we caught a break from the Minnesota winter temps on Sunday I jumped at the opportunity to grab the Recluse and hit the woods. Now you ask, what kind of game could I be possibly hunting in Minnesota in January. What could be worth stomping around in knee high freezing snow, through the dense under brush of Balsam forests, having shovel fulls of snow dropped down your back with each push through low branches. Well, non other then the cute and fuzzy (Lepus americanus) Snowshoe Hare.
I'll be honest I've never atempted to take a Snowshoe with a bow before. However, having a dismal Deer hunting season and having the new Recluse from Athens I just had to give it a try. I headed upnorth to George Washington State Forest the very place I grew up and Dad still lives. Knowing Dad has a crazy high population of Snowshoes on his property I felt my chances were pretty good to at least get some shots fired thru the Recluse.
Man was I right about that. Dad and I didn't get 20 yards into the woods before we had our first kill. A nice 20 yard shot thru some small Jackpine. Score! I was hooked already. Walking further into the forest we were jumping bunnys every 20 yards it seemed. Some I could get a clear shot at others were just impossible to thread a needle to. Almost always they spotted us first and with thier perfect white camo you can imagine why. Most times a quick whistle would stop them in thier tracks long enough to get a clean shot. I'll admit losing an arrow or two and missing a couple times, these critters are no easy target! However we ended the day with two solid kills, some great exercise and some great memories. Nothing like hitting the woods with the ol'man. I'm hooked and will be going again real soon, however I bet Dad beats me to it. He'll havta try show me up. Until then, I am the standing Bunny Slayer 2013!
PS. The Bunnys were kinda like this: