Rabbit season’s almost over

February always seems like a long, boring month, until I realize the rabbit season’s coming to a close. Then it goes way too fast.

Maybe I’m overly sentimental, but I love rabbit hunting. When the last few weeks of February roll around, I start wishing the season would last a few months longer. I hate to see rabbit season end.

Part of that’s because I spent a lot of my youth hunting rabbits. It was how I got introduced to hunting, and I have thousands of memories of good times out rabbit hunting with my dad, my best friends Josh and Blaine Curtis, and even by myself.

That’s another nice thing about rabbit hunting. You don’t have to wait until your hunting buddy can get the time off to go with you. A rabbit hunt on your own can be just as enjoyable as one with a good friend.

In a good rabbit year, you don’t have to go far to find your quarry. You might have to walk a little farther when the populations aren’t at their peak, but it’s still a pretty low-impact activity.

And for the kid in all of us, there’s shootin’ to be done. When you do see a rabbit, you don’t usually have to worry about taking a long shot. The rabbit’s often close enough to allow you to take a standing shot, so you can work on your stance, your form, and your shot placement every time you bring your rifle up.

I used to have a Ruger 10/22, but it just wasn’t what I wanted for rabbit hunting. I traded it for a Marlin Model 39A, which is a new version of the rifle I grew up with. I miss about as often as I hit with my Marlin, but I don’t recall missing more than a handful of shots when I was carrying Dad’s old lever-action. Hopefully I can get out often enough to get as good with mine as I used to be with Dad’s old antique.

No matter what gun I’m using, I still enjoy rabbit hunting. And even though I start getting tired of February by Groundhog Day, I always hate to see it end.