Mississippi’s 4-month rabbit season opens this weekend

Published 10:58 am Friday, October 14, 2022

BROOKHAVEN — Rabbit season opens this weekend on October 15, 2022 in the state of Mississippi. The daily bag limit of rabbits is eight and the season will not close until February 28. 

Cottontails are the more widespread species of rabbit which can be hunted in Mississippi and swamp rabbits are the other time of rabbit found in the state. According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, cottontails prefer brushy cover for protection in upland agricultural settings.  

On the other hand, swamp rabbits prefer moist lowlands and brushy cover along streams or creeks. Briar pants are needed because rabbits enjoy hiding in thick thorny covers. Wearing hunter orange is also a must when hunting rabbits to prevent hunting accidents. It is recommended to wear a hunter’s orange vest and even a hat. 

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There are many ways hunters can pursue rabbits. One way is to sit along a fence row and wait for rabbits to feed during the early morning and late afternoon hours. Another way is to walk these fence rows or even fields of cover hoping to jump up rabbits. 

They are huntable with dogs but you do not have to use a dog to hunt rabbits. Other places to try and jump up a rabbit are in old brush piles, strategically placed to provide cover, and the woods can be a place to look for them. 

MDWFP’s tips for hunting rabbits includes a tip to scout areas rabbits like to hang out. By watching when and where they go and how they escape areas can be useful. 

Pay special attention to where and how the rabbits flee because these escape routes are used repeatedly and may be useful in the future,” the MDWFP article states. 

Shotguns using No.6 or 7 shot are recommended for hunting rabbits in brush while .22 rifles can be used in hunting rabbits from a distance in a field or open setting. 

Cold and damp mornings can be a great time to hunt rabbits as can the first warm day after a cold snap. Hunters should try to keep their scent downwind from a rabbit or where they think they are. 

It is important to remember when you hunt rabbits to slow down. 

Moving more slowly and performing a more thorough search of the area would likely flush a rabbit and provide a shot,” MDWFP states in an article. “A couple of rabbit hunting tricks may be helpful. When rabbits flee, watch them into the distance where they often stop and look back to see if danger is out of range. This may provide the perfect time for bagging the rabbit. Another trick is to whistle or click your tongue when the rabbit takes off. This will often cause a rabbit to stop and try to decipher what and where the sound is.”