Disclosure: We may earn commissions if you purchase products after clicking on a link from our site.

Do you want to hunt snowshoe hares? Would you like to know how to hunt snowshoe hares? There is no better winter small game to hunt than snowshoe hares. Hunting them is not easy as many predators are trying to get these animals for their next meal. In this article, we discuss how to hunt snowshoe hares.

How To Hunt Snowshoe Hares
How To Hunt Snowshoe Hares

How To Hunt Snowshoe Hares

1. Scouting the Snowshoe Hares

Scouting for snowshoe hares involves exploring their preferred habitats and recognizing the signs they leave behind. Snowshoe hares are typically found in dense coniferous forests, especially those with a mixture of young trees, shrubs, and low vegetation.

During scouting, hunters should look for tracks, droppings, and evidence of feeding, such as chewed twigs and bark. Hares often leave distinct tracks in the snow, which can lead hunters to their hiding spots. Since snowshoe hares are most active during dawn and dusk, scouting during these times may increase the chances of spotting them.

Understanding the behavior and preferred habitats of snowshoe hares is crucial for successful scouting and ultimately a successful hunt. You can e-scout using Google Earth or hunting apps like onX or HuntWise.

2. Carry Out Drives

Carrying out drives is a popular hunting strategy for pursuing snowshoe hares, particularly in areas with a dense cover or thick vegetation. In this method, a group of hunters forms a line and slowly advances through the terrain, flushing out hares from their hiding spots.

Hunters strategically position themselves to intercept the fleeing hares, either with firearms or by using trained dogs to pursue and flush them toward waiting hunters. This approach can be effective for covering a large area and increasing the chances of encountering hares, especially in habitats with limited visibility.

However, it requires careful coordination among hunters to ensure safety and maximize success. Additionally, hunters must be mindful of their surroundings and maintain proper communication to avoid accidents or inadvertently driving hares out of the hunting area. Overall, conducting drives can be an exciting and rewarding method for hunting snowshoe hares, offering opportunities for both individual skill and collaborative teamwork.

One strategy to hunt snowshoe hares is to execute drives. If you spot areas that can be a potential cover for snowshoe hares, one hunter, who is the “driver”, can walk slowly in the area where there is a cover. Walk slowly and stop. They continue to walk slowly and stop again. Repeat this and it will make the snowshoe hares uneasy with your movements. It will cause them to leave their cover. The”watcher” should be positioned where they expect the “drivers” to push the snowshoe hares out of cover and into the open.

Snowshoe Hare Hunting Tips
Snowshoe Hare Hunting Tips

3. Kick the Vegetation

One effective hunting strategy for snowshoe hares involves kicking the vegetation to flush them out of hiding. This technique is particularly useful when the hares are concealed in thick underbrush or dense vegetation.

Hunters slowly approach areas where hares are likely to be hiding, such as brush piles, fallen logs, or dense shrubbery, and then gently kick or disturb the vegetation with their feet. The sudden movement and noise startle the hares, causing them to bolt from cover in an attempt to escape.

As the hares dash out into the open, hunters have a brief window of opportunity to take a shot. This method requires patience, stealth, and quick reflexes, but it can be highly effective for hunters targeting snowshoe hares in dense cover.

4. Hunting Snowshoe Hares With Dogs

Hunting snowshoe hares with dogs is a popular and effective method that leverages the keen senses and tracking abilities of hunting dogs, such as beagles or hounds. These dogs are trained to detect the scent of hares and follow their trails through the snow-covered terrain.

Hunters typically release the dogs in areas known to harbor snowshoe hares, and the dogs eagerly set off to sniff out their quarry. As the dogs pick up the scent and begin to track the hares, hunters follow closely behind, ready to take a shot when the opportunity arises.

The dogs’ enthusiasm and determination help flush out hares from their hiding spots, making them visible targets for the hunters. This collaborative approach between hunters and dogs enhances the chances of success in pursuing snowshoe hares, making it a thrilling and rewarding hunting experience.

Snowshoe Hare Hunting Ideas
Snowshoe Hare Hunting Ideas

5. Late Season Hunt

When there is a warm period during the late season, the snow usually melts and the forest turns brown, making the snowshoe hare’s white coat stand out in a field of brown leaves. This makes it an easy target.

6. Black Marble-like Eyes

It is an old hunter’s saying that you should look for the black marble-like eyes in the white surroundings of the winter woods. By just searching for the eyes, you will be amazed at how many times you will spot them. This targeting makes it easier to find the hares as you are not trying to spot the snow white hare in the snow. You are just looking for the black marble eyes.

Additionally, you can also look for their black ear tips. By just searching for the black ear tips, you will be amazed at how many times you will spot hares.

Hunting Snowshoe Hares
Hunting Snowshoe Hares

7. Fresh Snow

Hunting snowshoe hares after a fresh snowfall can be an advantageous time for hunters. The newly fallen snow makes it easier to track these elusive creatures as they leave distinct tracks in the snow with their large, distinctive hind feet, hence the name “snowshoe hare.”

Following these tracks can lead hunters to areas where hares are likely to feed or take covers, such as dense thickets, coniferous forests, or shrubby areas. The contrast of the white snow against the hare’s dark fur also improves visibility, making it easier to spot them against the wintry backdrop.

Additionally, snow can dampen sound, allowing hunters to move more quietly through the woods, and reducing the chances of spooking their quarry. Hunting snowshoe hares after a snowfall requires patience, careful observation, and the ability to navigate snowy terrain, but it can greatly enhance the chances of a successful hunt.

8. Weapon of Choice

When hunting snowshoe hares, hunters often prefer lightweight and maneuverable firearms that are well-suited for shooting in dense vegetation and snowy conditions. Popular choices include small-caliber rifles such as .22 LR or .17 HMR, which offer precision and accuracy for targeting small game like hares.

These rifles provide hunters with the versatility to take precise shots at varying distances while minimizing the risk of over-penetration in close-range encounters. Additionally, some hunters opt for shotguns loaded with small shot sizes, like #6 or #7.5 birdshot, which can effectively dispatch hares within range without causing excessive damage to the meat.

Ultimately, the choice of weapon depends on personal preference, hunting regulations, and the specific terrain where the hunt takes place.

Hunting Snowshoe Hare Tricks
Hunting Snowshoe Hare Tricks

9. Bonus Hunts

Don’t be surprised as you hunt snowshoe hares that you come across woodcocks and ruffed grouse. They can be found in the same areas where you will find hares and they will be like bonus finds on your snowshoe hare hunts.

Hunting Hare Tips
Hunting Hare Tips
What do you hunt snowshoe hares with?
You can hunt snowshoe hares with shotguns and rifles although many hunters preferred weapon is the shotgun.
Is snowshoe hare good to eat?
Snowshoe hares are good to eat if you cook them.
Where can you find snowshoe hares?
Snowshoe hares can be found in conifer stands with dense undergrowth, forests with brushy ground cover, willow thickets, alder bottoms, cedar swamps, spruce-fir bigs, and areas with young, dense stands of mixed softwoods and hardwoods.
How do you hunt for hares?
You can hunt hares with a shotgun or a small-bore rifle. You can also use dogs to hunt hares.
How do you bait snowshoe hare?
You can use corn on the cob or dried apples as bait for hares.
What does a hare taste like?
Snowshoe hares taste more like chicken than red meat even though it has a gamey flavor.

The Bottom Line

Hunting snowshoe hares is challenging as you will cover a lot of ground. They blend perfectly with their environment and you will have to work to spot them in their habitats. In this article, we discussed how to hunt snowshoe hares to help you be more successful in hunting hares. If you want to also learn how to hunt jackrabbits, then read this article.

You can also read how to hunt cottontail rabbits, how to hunt snowshoe hares, how to hunt jackrabbits, and how to hunt javelinas.