When you find a pocket of rabbits, you should be in for a good shoot. Cottontails are found across Utah. The terrain in which they live is fairly easy to hunt.
Unlike jackrabbits, which can elude predators by outrunning them, cottontails need the help of broken terrain to stay hidden. That’s why you’ll usually find cottontails in hilly areas rather than on flatlands.
Cottontails feed early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Between those times, you’ll usually find them resting and sunning themselves near or under brush that isn’t far from their burrow. If they’re using a rock to burrow under, they’ll often sun themselves on a flat piece of rock.
Best times to hunt
Robinson says early morning and late afternoon are the best times to hunt cottontails. “That’s usually when the rabbits feed,” he says. “In order to feed, rabbits move away from their burrows and into areas where it’s easier for you to see and pursue them.”
One of the best ways to hunt cottontails is to space the hunters you’re with several yards apart and then walk in a straight line through the area you’re hunting.
Cottontail rabbits have excellent hearing, so make sure you move slowly and quietly. As you walk, pay close attention to areas where rabbits might be feeding or resting, such as near sagebrush plants and rocky outcroppings.
Robinson encourages you to wear hunter orange. “Orange won’t scare the rabbits away,” he says, “and wearing hunter orange makes it easier for other hunters to see you.”