PUXICO, Mo. – The weekend before Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for Southeast Missouri women to relax and have fun hunting rabbits, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). The annual Women’s Rabbit Hunting Clinic is scheduled for Feb. 8, beginning at 8 a.m. near Duck Creek Conservation Area (CA).
“This is a very hands-on course and is an environment where anyone can learn, even if they’ve never fired a gun before,” said MDC Conservation Agent Mic Plunkett.
The clinic begins with an introduction to rabbit hunting at the conservation area headquarters where participants will learn rabbit species identification, hunting techniques, safety and regulations. They will also learn how beagles assist in hunting rabbits and they will test their shooting capabilities with expert instruction.
"We ensure each participant gets an opportunity to target shoot with one-on-one instruction before we take them to the field to hunt,” Plunkett said.
“This is an opportunity where someone who’s never hunted before, or had little opportunity to hunt, can get hands on experience and really become comfortable with heading to the field to hunt,” Plunkett said.
After target practice and classroom instruction the group is accompanied by guides while they try their hand at hunting rabbits. At the end of the day, guides will help to clean the harvest and discuss methods of cooking wild game. The day will conclude as the new hunters share their hunting stories around a dinner table. Because of the proximity to the Valentine’s holiday, there’s usually some chocolate involved in the dinner as well.
Plunkett said those who sign up should come prepared for camaraderie, shared adventures and excitement.
"Every part of the clinic is designed to take someone through the whole experience step by step to ensure safety, a fun time and an understanding of why hunting is important,” Plunkett said.
For more information and to sign up for the Women’s Rabbit Hunting Clinic, call the MDC Southeast Regional Office at (573) 290-5730. Registration deadline is Feb. 3. For more information about rabbit hunting in Missouri go online to mdc.mo.gov.