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How bout Snowshoe hares?

3178 Views 20 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  trapdoor
Does anyone know of a good area that's just crawling with snowshoe hares? I know that northern Michigan is a good place to go, but what areas? Would any of you guys be interested in doing a snowshoe hare hunt, maybe sometime in March?
Traditional bows only of course.
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I used to hunt snowshoes off snowshoes in both ALger and Schoolcraft Counties in the UP. Along the swamps the border both sides of the Laughing Whitefish River there used to be lots of hares. I also found them along the beaches back under the low-growing brush along Lake Michigan near Manistique.

I DO know the first two I ever tried to eat, I skinned, cut up, rolled in flour, and fried, like we always did cotton tails, turned out very interesting! I used the word 'tried' above, because that's all that happened. The bottom of my old combat boots coulen't have been more tough!

If you get one and it's a really big old boy, be sure to use a pressure cooker to soften him up for your plate!

These two areas are the only ones I've had experience with. And it's been a few years since I hunted there with my longbow.

Best of luck, Arch
Although there are still pockets of areas up here that have snowshoes, most of those in extreme northern Alpena, Presque Isle, Cheboygan and Emmet counties, I don't know of anywhere in the Lower that's "crawling" with hares-just too much loss of habitat and too many predators.

Bunnies, surprisingly, appear to be on the comeback throughout the north tho...and you'll find most of those right around houses.

Your best bet to really get into good numbers of hares is in the UP, although you need to be prepared for "pockets" there, too. Lots of martens, coyotes, owls, eagles, bobcats and other things that are always after them.
I hunt near Newberry once a year and see a good number of Hares. Beware! I was told this morning that the snow is chest deep WITH snowshoes on! I guess this cold hasn't let the snow pack. I love it when I hear "ah S****! for a miss instead of a shotgun blast. 8~)..
I've got a question for someone. Can anyone tell me why we dont have snowshoes in lower MI( say Mt Pleasant and south)? Do they need cedar in their diet to survive?
It would be great if the DNR would try to establish some in zone 3. I dont see why they couldnt make it except for predation when they were white and no snow maybe.
I think their white coats, makes them to vulnerable to predators in regions that have don't get a lot of snow cover.
We used to see a lot of them in the swamp up there by Luther but I think the coyotes have kind of taken over a little bit. Not sure, we just don't see as many as we used to.
If you've ever been up to northern Ontario, and seen the really really thick black spruce, tamarack, and hemlock swamps, you know what snowshoe habitat is. Except in the UP, there really isn't much of that left in Michigan anymore.

There's been an aborted effort to restore snowshoe hares from the UP to a couple of counties of extreme northeastern Ohio for the last five years or so, but that's done now, I remember reading something about it in MON last year.

It was ridiculous anyway, I've seen those poor hares in that part of Ohio, there's simply no habitat for them, and they're all sitting ducks for all the predators down there.

They've also tried to restore them to parts of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia, I would think that up in the mountains they'd be a little bit better off, but still...

I've seen them sitting in people's front yards in November in Ashtabula County in Ohio and around the edges of farm fields when they're already turned white, it's sad.
Its been a few years but I used to go with a group of guys to the Houghton Lake area and do real well. There used to be open season year round on Beaver Island and they used to have tons of snowshoe hares. I always wanted to spend a week there with my beagles but I never did.:)
Thanks for all the in-put. Linda, could you e-mail me ? I have a couple more questions for you, I know that you're familiar with the northern lower...thanks-
[email protected]
To answer your question, YesI would be interested in going... I have been told Beaver island has very good snowshoe hunting also
I went to Drumond Island a couple years ago with some friends snowshoe hunting. It was my first time. I wouldnt say that they were every where but we found plenty with a little leg work.
Drummond Island sounds pretty good, can we get over there in the winter time?
If we do plan a hare hunt for Northern Michigan this year, it would probably be late March before we could do any good. According to all the very helpful information I'm recieving, the snow is too deep to even attempt it right now. It is something to look into, for the future tho. If you northerners can keep us posted on snow depths, that'd be very helpful, maybe we could still squeeze in a hunt , in late March --thanks!
McTrapdoor, I have cousins that live in Rogers City and I will keep in touch with them and have them let me know when the snow is a huntable depth. I know they used to do a lot of snowshoe hare hunting in that area and there is lots of state land.:D
LOL--Thanks 2, Rogers city has good some gorgeous country! Maybe we'll get a hunt in yet! We might need some dogs too, 'your kin-folk have any of those?... we could rent em!--LOL
No they don't have any beagles. They used to but not any more. I'm sure we could come up with some. I know my cousin said that he and a few buddies used to spread out and hunt without beagles, and they usually did pretty good with their bows.;)

Linda is right. We have snowshoes galore up here. Wish I could talk a bunch into coming up. Long drive for Bunnies though and the weather could be iffy.

Would love to have a bunch up. Make it a trip and if you are snowmobiling enthusiasts make it a combination trip. Lots of groomed trails etc. Have to be careful not to go beyond this statement.
See all in June.
That sounds pretty tempting Gramps. How far past the St Saint Marie bridge are you? It might be something we could plan for next year.
Its about 4.5 Hrs to NorthBay on 17east and 2.5 Hrs north on 11 from North Bay. Look for Larder Lake Just north of New Liskeard.

Would be glad to have you. Accomadations available.

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