Sought after by many, the hare is still today one of the most fascinating wild game for goddess Diana’s devotees. Thanks to its ability to hide within the ground in the blink of an eye and to be ready to flee (even reaching the remarkable speed of 70 km per hour), this prey puts a strain on the skills of enthusiasts and scent hounds, which, in any sense, run to the aid of their beloved owner. Hare hunters know this very well: any hunting day is characterized by a succession of unexpected obstacles. You may happen to find it static, immobile, conversely it may be focused on fleeing after hearing the dog coming up; again it might be slipping away far from the pointing hounds. A hunting technique whcih is not easy, yet it becomes an incentive for the hunters experiencing it.
Although in the recent years the capture of the hare is no longer a reason for celebration, as was the case of our forebears, who "bringing it to the table" aroused the emotions of the whole family along with their gratitude for the protein supply, it remains one of the most rejoicing and heart-felt types of hunting, since it involves both the ballistic skills of the hunter and the preparation of the dog, very often the real responsible for the outcome of the day.
When hunting with scent hounds, aware that the hare is a tough and resistant wild game, especially at the end of the hunting season, when the fur becomes really thick, you must use a not too lightweight shotgun in order to shoot with the maximum weight density. According to the table below a 12-, 20- and 28- gauge proves effective. The latter is ideal especially at the opening of the season, when due to the current hunting conditions medium range shooting within 25-30 metres is customary. As for 12-gauge shot shell loads of 36/42 grams are preferable, while a weight density up to 28/32 grams is more suited for 20- and 28-gauges.
|Hunting technique||Gauge||Barrel length||Self-loading shotgun||Over and under /|
|Shotshell G.||Lead shots Nr.|
|Scent hound||12||71||** / *||*** / *||36 / 42||4 / 3|
|Scent hound||20||71||** / *||*** / *||28 / 32||5 / 4|
|Scent hound||28||71||** / *||*** / *||24 / 28||5 / 4|
The constriction-sizes ideal for a medium length barrel, such as the 71 cm one allowing for the complete combustion of the powders, are the */**/*** sizes which you can also find on our online shop. Obviously small constriction-size adjustments have to be performed depending on the (expected) distance.
Don't worry if you “waste” a large number of cartridges! You may bump into the hare on the run or walking very slowly unaware of your presence. More is better than less, when it comes to avoid letting this kind of prey escape!
We recommend hare hunting to everyone, for the emotions you can feel but also for its tradition Our forefathers used to practice it showing a deep respect for such wild game, indeed the eldest and most experienced hare hunters were used to give up shooting at the end of the season, if they noticed a prey running with its legs wide apart, a clear pregnancy sign. So, to give the mother the chance to bear a new litter, they lowered the shotgun, thus sparing its life, knowing that the cubs would become the folowing year’s wild game. We also ought to learn those simple precautions so as to become better hunters, in particular as regards our spirit.
You have found our advice useful and are sure that you will put what you have learned into practice on your next hunting trip? Browse beyond this article! Learn how to properly use a choke and all the guides provided by Gemini , drawn up with the help of specialists, for hunting and shooting enthusiasts like you.
Our thanks go to Professor Simone Bertini and Diego Apostoli for their availability and the precious time they devoted to us for the drafting of these guides.