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Hunting rabbits in an orchard.............

BazzalooBazzaloo Posts: 67 Member

There was an old abandoned olive orchard up in the San Joaquin Valley of Ca. and it was an ideal jack rabbit nursery. It always seemed to hold a lot of young jacks. Mainly, I suppose because it was difficult to shoot them. They always seem to run across the rows of trees rather than down the rows. At any time it was difficult to hunt rabbits there even though there were lots living in that old orchard. It was quite challenging hunting with a .22 cal. rifle.

On one occasion I shot a jack rabbit from the driver's seat of my Ford van when my brother was with me. I was idling along a bordering road in low gear looking down the rows of trees as we passed them when I saw a jack peering at us from over a brush that was growing in the space between the trees. On that occasion I turned off the ignition and using my Anschutz .22 mag. rifle I shot him in the head. My brother ran out to collect him and paced back the distance which turned out to be about 160 yards. I was quite pleased with that shot.

However, a couple of months prior to this incident I had figured out another way to get a rabbit from that orchard. I decided I'd take up a folding card table and set it up at the end of one of the less overgrown rows between the trees. On the table I put my scoped Anschutz .22 mag. rifle with a bi-pod attached.

I then drove my van down about 6 rows where I turned into a row and parked so as to be out of sight of the county road. Then I walked back and sat down on my folding chair at the table to wait for a "victim" to appear.

It was about 20 minutes before I got a shot. Meanwhile, several jacks had run across the rows but none gave me a shot as they didn't stop. The one that did stop was nibbling some tender young leaves of an olive tree. At first I thought it was too far for the rifle I had but then I thought: "Well it's the only shot that has presented itself so why not?"

I didn't own a rangefinder then so it was just plain guesswork as to the range. My rifle was zeroed in at exactly 100 yds. but this guy was further out. In the end I held over his head about 1 1/2” and at the shot he dropped. When I went to collect him I saw that I had drilled him clean through the head. Pacing off the distance produced 175 good paces, close to probably 160-165 yards I'd say. That had to be one good fluke but either way it made my day.


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