Could Jackrabbit Hunting be Making a Comeback?
One of my fondest moments of growing up in Western South Dakota was probably one of my most reckless. Hunting jackrabbits.
When I was finally old enough to drive, my friend Phil and I would head out. Usually in dad's old four wheel drive. I remember it well. It was a '63 Chevy four-wheeler. We beat the hell out of it chasing after jackrabbits.
Back in the day, you'd wait until there was a good covering of snow on the winter wheat fields. There seemed to always be a good supply of jackrabbits and we would run 'em down and either hang out the window or hang on for dear life in the back of the truck and shoot em that way. We were Rambo, before Rambo!
After a while, you figured out who has what skill. Phil was bad ass with a shotgun hanging out the window. Heck, he could get em with a .22. I was better in the back of the pickup. I recall eyelids freezing shut and being so cold you thought you would never warm up.
It was dangerous. We probably drove where we shouldn't have, but we did have fun. One night, 20 miles south of Kennebec, we spent hours digging out of a snowbank. Just us two and a shovel. No cell phone to call for help and miles from anyone's place. Oh, and probably 5 to 10 below zero. Good times.
Recently, I saw a post on Judd Huston's Facebook page. Judd brings in pheasant hunters from all over the country to the Kennebec, SD area (605-730-0001). Turns out there might be an angle to adding value to a commercial pheasant hunt.
Seems some hunters are as interested in jackrabbits and cottontails as they are pheasants. They are mostly interested in shooting a big male jack and then having a taxidermist horn it up so it looks like one of the famed Wall Drug jack-a-lopes.
The picture brought back fond memories and wishing we still had that old Chevy pickup. I long for the days of hammering after a jackrabbit while Phil rolled down the window looking for a shot. It was incredibly redneck, incredibly dangerous and incredibly fun! Not sure the method these gentlemen used, but I imagine it was similar to our 1976 ventures.
How about you? Do you have an outdoor hunting adventure you would like to share? If you do, let me know. Next time, coyote hunting!