Tips and location for cotton tails

I'm new to hunting. Going to try for rabbits this season. Just got my first PCP rifle. Getting my hunting license soon. Just have no clue where to go. I know hunting is allowed at most BLM lands. I'm located in the central valley (Visalia/Fresno area). Any help will be appreciated.
Juan
 

OPAH

Well-known member
OK find a open field away from the houses but to far, just enough not to be seen or heard and at least a 200 yards from a dwellings, get there before sun up, take a chair, set with you back to the sun rise, and wait. the cotton tail will start coming out to nibble on the wet grass and foliage just as all starts to warm up. note: cotton tail are out of season here in California but Jack rabbits are good all year round, but the are a totally different rabbit to hunt
 

OPAH

Well-known member
Anywhere large open areas run up to houses, will have a healthy harvest of Cottontails.
Catch them coming and going from the houses back into the fields.
 

THE ROMAN ARCHER

Well-known member
Jacks are definitely fun to hunt, their like giant rack mule deer of the hares with those super long pointy ears sticking up they get me excited, I seen some huge ones in NorCal when I lived there, use to hunt them with a bow but never connected with one.
there’s a lot good land to hunt rabbits in Visalia area I would think, just need to start networking, jho is one way and when u can try to meet some land owners that maybe in exchange for some work on their property or ranch they would let u do some rabbit hunting and if that works out for u and u develop a great relationship eventually they might let u hunt other game and non game animals and u would b all set, just some food for thought. And always be respectful, kind and understanding when dealing with landowners when it comes to talking about hunting their land, u might get some rejections but eventually u will get the permission, who knows u might score a ranch with thousands of acres and u will be all set....tra
 

OPAH

Well-known member
Talk about splitting Hairs ! You the Man TRA !
But he is 100% correct being allowed to hunt on some ones property is a great privilege and most be care taken.
It is a rare opportunity, Most property owners have been screwed or their land poached, which leaves them very unwilling.
Sad but true, maybe check the coffee shops in the local areas, no better way to make acquaintances and gain some info than over breakfast and a strong cup of Java.
 
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Stevehazard

Well-known member
http://caltopo.com
http://publiclands.org

On these maps make sure to enable the land management or land status layers. Most of National Forests and BLM is good for hunting. Some of the state managed lands are can be hunted, usually with more regulations, and then others cannot. There may also be smaller public lands that do not appear on those layers ok for hunting. These are going to be more local agencies, etc, and are going to take more investigation to find and if there are OK to hunt and may be a mix of private as well. Typically I've found these smaller spots around or near utility infrastructure like canals, power routes, etc.

You can also get the onX map app that is more extensive but a paid map app.

As mentioned above you can try to network and get permission on somebody private land.

There is also this.
It is unlawful to enter land for the purpose of discharging a firearm or taking or destroying a mammal or bird, including waterfowl, on that land, without having first obtained written permission from the owner, the owner’s agent, or the person in lawful possession of that land, if either of the following is true:
(a) The land belongs to or is occupied by another person and is either under cultivation or enclosed by a fence.
(b) There are signs of any size and wording forbidding trespass or hunting or both displayed along all exterior boundaries of the land, at intervals not less than three to the mile, and at all roads and trails entering the land, including land temporarily inundated by water flowing outside the established banks of a river, stream, slough, or other waterway, which fairly advise a person about to enter the land that the use of the land is so restricted.
(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 154, Sec. 49. (AB 1527) Effective January 1, 2016.)


So technically there are some areas that are private but OK to hunt on because they don't meet the criteria of A or B. And of course hunting, discharge laws, distance from occupied structures, etc for the area also need to be meet. These areas range from some abandoned parcel deep in a National Forest land that has had vehicle access long since washed away to small pockets that can be relatively close to developments, homes, areas that are under use. Use good judgement if and when you find these spots. And if you do find and hunt these areas be helpful and respectful by taking some time to clean up if it is a spot some scum dumpers have taken to.

You said you'll be using and air rifle. If you got one with a suppressor that'll definitely help in keeping a lower profile, etc.
There should be plenty of areas near you to get some bunnies you'll just have to find them. But you've got to get your license and cottontails don't start until July I think so you've got time to scout some potential areas.
 

OPAH

Well-known member
Gamo 177 whisper cat, got it for my grandson he takes cotton tail all the time with it.

 
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TheGDog

Well-known member
Also.... know that there is a Season with dates for Cottontails! It starts mid July. Do not get yourself in trouble by being caught taking one at the wrong time of the year.

Jack Rabbits however, if I remember correctly... do not have a season and can be legally taken all year long. Make sure you check the Regulations!!
 

julian999

Well-known member
No wonder you can’t get your limit on your opening day. your half month late. Lol
 
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OPAH

Well-known member
OK since the regs have been thrown out there also becareful there are areas the a shot only can be use to hunt Rabbit. I beleave it is in the desert protection areas of California. can't say for anywhere else.
Getting My Grandson his junior trappers license he can trap 4 or 5 a day on the edge of his neighborhood and the Flood control
 

TheGDog

Well-known member
Oh yeah... now that I think about it... I believe LA county no pistols or rifles for Rabbits. Thankfully I'm usually out in Riverside for that.
 

TheGDog

Well-known member
No wonder you can’t get your limit on your opening day. your half month late. Lol
You're probably right, probably the 1st of July. I'm probably just remembering when I first had availability to go or something.

I just remember that they were all over the place before the season started, then after it started they got real careful about stayin' out of sight, HA!
 

garlicsalt

Well-known member
Simple find ALFALFA find rabbits. they are very good eating so are jacks. you kill it you eat it!!!

Get some!
 

Stevehazard

Well-known member
Oh yeah... now that I think about it... I believe LA county no pistols or rifles for Rabbits. Thankfully I'm usually out in Riverside for that.
I don't even think counties have the authority to make or enact their own specific fish and game regulations like that.
Your probably confusing the fact that LA county has shoot zones: No discharge. Shotgun only. And then rifle/pistol zones.
 

THE ROMAN ARCHER

Well-known member
I guess navykayakguy is out to sea right now, u know it always rubs me wrong when people ask for help u give them all this info and then u don’t get no feedback or thanx or hear from them, this is why I don’t like to warm up to new members till they prove to me that they r serious about being part of the jho family have been a member for awhile contributing in a positive way, u always get theses one or two post from these guys and they disappear, we always give give give and trolls and lurkers just want to take take take. Same old chit just a different day....tra
 

OPAH

Well-known member
A 20 gage works very nicely for cottontails, My Grandsons first with the 20

20171111_152529.jpg

He loves that 20 gage!!
 


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