Bunches of Small Game Questions

Ethan G.

I do science.. on fish..
OK, so I'm not a hunter at the moment, but I plan to make the transformation this September. I plan to be mostly looking for rabbits and grouse, since both are readily taken with my weapon of choice, a 1000 fps Gamo air rifle. Before people go saying that it doesn't have the proper amount of force to do the job, with hollow-point rounds I've calculated it at 12 ft.-lbs.; plenty enough to take small game up to 6-7 lbs.

Anyway, on to the questions! First, I would like to know IS IT LEGAL? I have found nothing in the regs that would prohibit the use of air rifles to hunt for forest grouse or rabbits, but if someone could double check facts, that'd be great.

Number 2. Does anyone have any experience hunting grouse without a shotgun? If so, is it worth it? By that I mean, does it have a high enough success rate to warrant $3.50+/gal. gas to go?

Number 3. Rabbits. I've never seen them in big numbers anywhere in Western Washington. Where would be good general areas to look for them? Clearcuts? Open areas with thick cover?:confused:

Any help on these would be great. I just want to know some of this stuff before I go making any more investments.


Active Member
1. Go through hunters safety class and all those questions will be answered. I have killed ducks with BB guns so i dont doubt that you could kill grouse and rabbit, but it certainly wouldnt be an optimal weapon.
2. For me, Yes it is worth it. but is it worth it for you, with no experience to spend that much trying to find them? probably not.
3. I have no idea. last rabbit i shot was the neighbors that wouldnt leave the garden alone.

Ethan G.

I do science.. on fish..
Thanks for the input. Yeah, finding them is definately going to be the biggest issue. I've seen plenty around when I go hiking or mountain biking in the area, though, so I don't imagine it would be way too hard to find a few. But then again, I am very new to the sport, so I may be grossly underestimating the birds.
I second on "Hunters safety" if you haven't taken it already.
Snowshoe rabbits are tough little critters to hunt. You must be very, very quiet to hunt rabbits.
Don't shoot grouse with the air rifle.
Break down and get yourself a good 12 gage.
Just my .02, but you will figure it out after loosing birds and rabbits you have shot.

Ethan G.

I do science.. on fish..
Cool. I might try to get mi padre to lend me his old 12ga for grouse. I'll see how he feels about that, but I doubt it. But with regards to the air rifle, I would rather not take a shot than not get a head shot. I may break down and get a .22
Well you obviously dont know the regs if you have to ask. :confused:

You dont need to spend much to get a decent gun. Find a used pump gun for 150-200 bucks and become familiar with it. I'd personally get a 20 gauge 870 remington as it is an inexpensive gun that will last you for years.

Ethan G.

I do science.. on fish..
Anyway, on to the questions! First, I would like to know IS IT LEGAL? I have found nothing in the regs that would prohibit the use of air rifles to hunt for forest grouse or rabbits, but if someone could double check facts, that'd be great.

Hooker- I said I wanted someone to double check; someone who knows the regs better than me. I wanted to be absolutely sure that I wasn't going to break the law. So far it seems perfectly legal, but is starting to sound a little bit unethical to me, too. I never thought of buying a used gun, I'll look around. Thanks.
be aware that their habits will change quite a bit during different times of the year. Where you find them in the summer is quite different than in the fall.
Best bet would be to find someone with a dog to take out and look around. You'll find a lot more with a good nose helping you than just walking along. These birds out here are so dumb you can usually just walk right by and they hardly move.
I never hunt them, but have shot a bunch off the road.

Itchy Dog

Some call me Kirk Werner
You can come shoot rabbits on my property- I've got 4 of them running around right now and there'll be more soon, because you know what they say about rabbits- they breed like, well, rabbits.

I wouldn't hesitate to shoot ground quarry with a .22, but consider that if you see a grouse on a tree limb a few yards from you, which isn't all that uncommon to see when hunting grouse, even if you hit it, your bullet's trajectory will likely carry the lead for a good long ways, and you need to make sure that you "know your target and beyond". Plus, if you get a shot at one on the wing, you're not going to hit it without a shotgun.
O'ya Talk about a kick in the ass time.
I have hunted grouse and rabbits with my bow. (recurve and compound)
Haven't gotten a shot yet, but what a good time. I wasn't quiet enough to get close enough.
Be very, very quiet when hunting rabbits.

Ethan G.

I do science.. on fish..
Itchy- Yeah, that's kind of what I was hoping to do. I was gonna walk along logging roads with my brother (he has a shotgun), and I would take ones in the trees and on the ground with my rifle and I would help him flush some birds.

Bowhunting would be pretty awesome. I'll take a look at that, too. Thanks for the help, guys.