From scouting to tracking, a step-by-step approach to hunting southern Canada’s wintertime snowshoes
HUNTING A THAW
The farmland regions I hunt often see a mid-winter thaw, with almost all the snow disappearing. If that happens in your area, take advantage. You’ll be hunting in a landscape of browns and greys, with the snow-white hares standing out like sore thumbs. Well aware that they’re exposed, they’ll seek out the densest cover available, narrowing down where you’ll have to search. This is the perfect time to hunt around abandoned farm junk that a nervous hare can hide beneath during the daylight hours.
On the flip side, an unseasonably early snowfall can also be very productive. In that case, the hares won’t be in their wintertime white coats yet, making their brown fur stand out in the snowy landscape. So, if a snowshoe moves from its hiding place, you’re almost certain to see it. No matter what the conditions this winter, just remember that snowshoe hares will be on the move, and they’ll closer to home than you think.