Women: Celebrate nature and Valentine’s Day with MDC’s rabbit hunting clinic

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PUXICO, Mo. – 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). MDC announces the annual Women’s Rabbit Hunting Clinic is scheduled for Feb. 14, beginning at 8 a.m., at 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 Conservation Agent Mic Plunkett.

The clinic begins with an introduction to rabbit hunting, where the women learn rabbit species identification, hunting techniques, safety and regulations. They then learn how beagles assist in hunting rabbits before testing 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, to get a 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, there’s instruction on cleaning and cooking the harvest, before the new hunters share their stories around a dinner table.

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.

“This rabbit hunting clinic is part of the Conservation Department’s mission to help people discover nature and improve their quality of life by spending time outdoors,” Plunkett said.

For more information and to sign up for the 2015 Women’s Rabbit Hunting Clinic, call the MDC’s Southeast Regional Office at (573) 290-5730. For more information about rabbit hunting in Missouri, go online to mdc.mo.gov.