Published February 10, 2012, 07:05 AM

Forever a rabbit hunter

It is called Como Bluff, and archaeologists dug up dinosaur bones there early in the 20th Century. Someone told me about the spot located northwest of Laramie, Wyo. and in the 1970s I drove the 100 miles from my modest house in Cheyenne and explored the site.

By: Bernie Kuntz, The Jamestown Sun

It is called Como Bluff, and archaeologists dug up dinosaur bones there early in the 20th Century. Someone told me about the spot located northwest of Laramie, Wyo. and in the 1970s I drove the 100 miles from my modest house in Cheyenne and explored the site.

Five miles off the pavement, you took a westerly turn onto a two-track, and there was Como Bluff. Evidence of digging was apparent — in fact, much of the north side of the unremarkable butte looked like a gravel pit.

In winter, I’d visit the Butte several times because it was a very good place to hunt white-tailed jackrabbits and cottontails. In those days, I owned a trio of beagle hounds, and had great fun bringing them to Como Bluff, turning them loose, and letting them run. Before long, they would flush a jackrabbit, maybe a cottontail, and would be in full cry. (If you never have heard beagles on the trail of a rabbit, you have missed one of life’s great experiences).

Their names were Buster, Bruno and Boogie, and all three had different voices. How do I describe it? One hound singing, “Ah-wo-o-o,” the next yodeling, the third yipping and singing … three voices blended into one, and it still makes me smile to remember it.

I usually carried my Belgian-made Browning semi-auto .22 rimfire, which I still own. Many years ago I had a 3X Weaver scope mounted on it specifically for shooting jackrabbits on the run. It is perfect for that task, and also perfectly acceptable for shooting sitting cottontail rabbits.

Of all the places I have lived, none has approached Wyoming as a haven for jackrabbits and cottontail rabbits. Several times I was invited onto a private ranch north of Big Timber, Mont. and enjoyed decent cottontail hunting. Over the last three decades I have hunted in Montana from one end of the state to another, but only one time have I seen any appreciable number of jackrabbits. That was about a decade ago when John Thorp and I were taking the “southern route” to his brother’s place in Glasgow. We were on Highway 24, east of the Dry Creek Arm on Fort Peck Reservoir, and still south of the Missouri River. For an hour or more, there were jackrabbits scampering across the highway, sitting in the road, and along the road side. In 26 years of living in Montana and traveling tens of thousands of miles in all seasons, I never have seen anything like it, and do not have an explanation for the number of jackrabbits we saw that night.

Rabbit hunting was one of my favorite pastimes when I was younger and could walk all day. I remember one time in the Sweetwater country of Wyoming, shooting five cottontail rabbits without stepping out of my tracks. This was with an old Browning BL-22 with 4x Redfield Sportster scope that I still own.

I spent many winter days tracking jackrabbits in snowy fields outside of Jamestown, walking many miles between shots but having a wonderful time. And in western Wyoming, I hunted the greasewood flats near Farson where jackrabbits seem to come out of the ground! Can you imagine flushing 50 jackrabbits from cover in an hour? It was an experience I never will forget.

I have hunted just about everything there is to hunt in North America, and have done a bit of hunting in Africa. But in my heart I always will be a rabbit hunter.

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