It's been a busy fall and early winter so far.
Deer hunting has been the major occupation with one season following another, archery, gun, muzzleloader and back to archery. Some hunters managed to sandwich in some squirrel or rabbit hunting, but both have been tough this year with too many days of really rotten weather, not good for hunters and small game alike. Rabbit season started warm, and that made excellent action for gunners who found them out in grass fields, in light cover, in little fencerows, and other easy to hunt places.
Then when the days went frigid, most were down woodchuck holes, under really dense brushpiles, or in very heavy cover where they could stay warm. Hard to bag any under such circumstances. But cottontails don't like chuck holes and other places much, though they'll stack up in them to the tune of multiple animals when necessary. So, when the days turn warmer, many are out and about again. They're night travelers and feeders, and when the nights are in the high 20s or low 30s, even warmer they burrow in for the day wherever it's convenient. And that means (once again) light cover, rolled over grass, and other places where they can breathe easy and still see predators coming. The rabbit seasons runs until Feb. 28, and that means any night of moderate weather should see you out hunting the next morning. Many will be waiting.
There's another worthwhile tactic for this late season, or any season, hunting, and that's to go slow. When I was a kid, I was so impatient and in such a hurry to find game that I did my hunting sometimes in a near trot. And walked over far more than I ever jumped. Late season rabbits are cold and stiff, particularly in the morning, and if you hurry past, they'll let you. Walk slowly, stop here and there, nudge a toe under old tires and farm machinery, and you'll break their nerve. Out they go. Another tactic that really pays off now is to hunt with a friend or even two. Hunting with partners will increase your bag by a factor of four sometimes, and it's worth the effort, even if you have to wait while they pull on boots and find shells. Pick one of those spots, a little swale with farm machinery again, and stop a minute.