Must Know: 

  1. Hunters need to be in pretty good shape to do some walking. Rabbit hunting requires lots of walking unlike other hunting sports where you can sit still.
  2. Rabbit hunting season runs from November 7 –February 27. For a hunter to participate they must purchase a hunting license and must have a picture ID along with the DNR safety courses.
  3. Maryland’s limit is 4 rabbits per hunter per day which is very generous.
  4. Written permission is required when hunting on private property unless the owner or lessee is in the hunting party.  
  5. The state provides thousands of acres of public land that are located in all counties that can be used for hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor activities. Click here to learn more about Maryland’s public lands.

Safety: 

Like any hunting or fishing activity safety is first. It’s the most important thing when rabbit hunting. Hunters must wear blaze orange to maximize visibility to other hunters, pay attention to where the dogs are running, and most importantly know where other hunters are located. Never travel or cross roads with a loaded gun. What makes rabbit hunting such a fun sport is the fast almost non stop action of dogs chasing and rabbits running, but it can be all ruined with one careless or unsafe act. So have fun but most importantly be safe.

When and Where: 

While rabbit hunting can be an all day affair, Charles says “I would rather only hunt from about sunrise to 9 am about when the dew or frost burns off.” The reason being that the dogs can scent the rabbits better with the water making for a better chase. He says “Hedge rows or ditches that are covered with briars, grass, honeysuckle, cattails, fence rows and brush piles typically hold a mess of rabbits,but let not forget that cutovers or grassy fields hold large amounts of rabbits as well.”

Gear:

While you can wear pretty much whatever you choose Charles recommends, briar-proof pants, chaps and overalls. Waterproof insulated boots, hunting vest with blaze orange panel or jacket/ coat depending on weather with game pockets. Blaze orange cap, warm gloves, wool socks to wick moisture.

When choosing a weapon, it’s just like other shooting sports. You don’t take size BB shot to hunt doves, so you don’t need a high power gun to hunt rabbits. Most seasoned rabbit veterans hunt with a 20 gauge , 28 gauge and even 410’s. But 12 gauges with low brass field shot will do just fine. When using smaller gauge shotguns Charles recommends high brass size 6 or 7 shot works best.

The Hunt:

Jump Shooting

Rabbits can be hunted without dogs particularly where rabbits are plentiful and the hunt is made of multiple hunters.  

The Hunting Party

  1. 3-6 hunters should make up a hunting party.
  2. In addition, the use of 3-6 well trained beagles are a necessity. All should be the same speed at slow, medium or fast.