Day I

An opportunity came up to get a couple of short hunts in while away on a business trip out west, my problem would be a shortage of space as I had to carry a lot of clothes and a lot of equipment to fulfill my work obligations. But this is exactly what I had Dennis Quackenbush build my Outlaw .25 for, so the choice of guns was clear. I decided to take the Hill pump rather than the little pony bottle that I had recently purchased from Airhog, only because I had so little time that I could not afford even an hour to search for a place to have the tank filled when my flight arrived.

My flight landed at 4:15 on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and my plan was to grab my bags, pick up the rental car (I’d reserved a SUV), and be out in the desert for a late afternoon jackrabbit shoot before evening fell. I knew the area well and was pretty sure I could pick up a couple of jacks quickly. That was my plan, but things headed south quickly…. my bags took forever to roll down the baggage claim. When they finally arrived I grabbed them and jumped on the shuttle Â… to the wrong rental company! After I begged a ride back to the correct one I found out they had lost my reservation, and when I went to get my confirmation number off my palm pilot found the batteries dead. However, after some searching they found a suitable car for me, so things were starting to look up. I got to the field at 6:00 with daylight starting to dwindle, and unpacked my rifle and my dismantled pump, only to find that TSA (airport security) had scattered parts all over my bag when they did their obligatory search. So after a few more minutes of frantic activity I located the parts and got everything put together, charged up the gun, slipped into a camo shirt and was off.

After driving a few minutes I spotted a rabbit about 50 yards off the road that spooked at my approach, but stopped behind a bush. I parked the car and quietly climbed out, picking a path towards his hiding place. The foliage was fairly thick (for the desert) after recent spring rains, and offered good cover. About fifteen yards into my stalk he sat bolt upright with ears erect, looking straight at me. Bringing the gun to shoulder I lined up the shot and stoked the trigger. The pellet took him right between the eyes with a crack, and the bunny crumpled. I hiked over and picked him up, noting that the pellet had done substantial damage. As I was returning to the car I saw a second rabbit on the other side of the road and started off, but was loosing daylight rapidly. After a few minutes of cat and mouse I finally got a chance for a clear shot. Again the gun came to my shoulder, but just as I was about to squeeze the trigger, he took off. The last bit of daylight had sunk away and was replaced by the light of a full moon. Driving back to check into the hotel, I saw several rabbits which portended a good morning hunt. I had a good steak dinner, wrote out my entry into my hunting journal, and prepared for an early morning.

Day II

On the second day I had a few hours in the early morning to hunt before I had to shower and head over to the conference I was attending. I pulled myself out of bed at 5:00, grabbed a cup of coffee to go, and commenced the hour long drive back to my spot. I had to be back at 10:00 and wanted to make the most of my time in the field, so had recharged my gun the evening before and was ready to go. As my rented jeep bounced over the washboard dirt road I spotted my first rabbit moving at a stop and go run, trying to cut behind the car about sixty five yards out. I backed up fifty or so yards and climbed out of the car, selecting a path along the side of a wash that I thought might let me intersect the path he was following when I’d last seen him. But after a quarter hour of searching and finding no sign of him, I started back to the car. I dropped down about fifty yards further to the bank of another wash and trekked in the general direction of the road. After a few yards of quiet hiking I spotted the telltale amber glow of the sun striking the ears of a jackrabbit tucked under a clump of brush about thirty yards away, on the edge of the opposite bank of the wash. I was able to kneel and still see him, bringing the crosshairs to rest right between his eyes. On impact he jumped way up in the air and crashed down dead. Picking my quarry up and quickly moving back to the jeep I placed the rabbit in a plastic bag, I”ve found from experience rental companies freak out when there”s a pool of blood on the floor when the car is returned, and headed off.

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