How to Shoot Rabbit Correctly

People often ask me, "Where's the best place to shoot rabbit? Do I aim for the head, body or what?" Although it might seem like a fairly obvious question, it’s a topic that a lot of hunters feel differently about and it often depends on the situation. So before you ask where's the best place to shoot a rabbit, let me ask you something;

What are you shooting them with?


Im shooting rabbit with a Shotgun


Im Shooting rabbit with an Air rifle


Im shooting tabbit with a high powered .22 Rifle


With A Shotgun

Well I have an easy answer for you. Aim for the front end. If you have been hunting with a shotgun before you should know that its very hard to only injure an animal at almost any range.

The spread of the shot will mean even if you aim for the head of the rabbit there's a chance you'll hit its back end anyway so there's little you can do. But it will almost always be a near instant death. Besides, most rabbit hunting with a shotgun is fast paced so it wont be an easy shot. Just be ready to kill the rabbit by hand if needs be.

With An Air Rifle

Most air rifles lack a whole load of punch so you'll have to make sure you are fairly close. Its important you understand your rifles range and that you know at what kind of range it can make a hole in a lump of wood. Then comes the old question; do you shot the head or heart?

Well in my opinion air rifles lack the power needed for me to be pleased with a shot to the body. There is a good chance that the pellet wont do enough damage and it will cause unnecessary pain, even if you do quickly run over and finish it off. I also think that at the affective range of an air rifle you should really be able to manage a good headshot!

The correct spot to shoot a rabbit

The Picture above shows the correct spot to shoot rabbit. Their brain is between the ears and just behind the eyes. The best shot shown above is the one from the side. If you have to shot head on there is a chance you will under shot and hit its face. Or even worse, the shot will go though into the body of the animal causing a lot of pain. But don’t let this put you off, like I said; at the range air rifles are good for its not a tricky shot.

Some people will say you can aim for the rabbits chest. I wouldn’t suggest it but the sweet spot is half way up the body in line with the frount legs. But as always, be ready to run out and finish the kill by hand.

With a .22

When hunting with a powerful .22 you have a lot of choice but you may also have the trickiest shot because of the long range. The .22 is well suited to both headshots and chest shots because of its high power and it will cause very little suffering. The picture above shows the best places for a head shot, between the ears and just behind the eyes. Land a shot here and it’s a instant death, so it’s the shot you should always go for when trying to shoot rabbit.

But if you are shooting from long range you might want to take an easier shot. Aiming for the lungs and heart is a simpler shot because when rabbits graze they will move their head a lot. This is much trickier to adjust for at range, not forgetting that the sweet spot on the head is a smaller target.

For a chest shot, you want to shot in the middle of the body, in line with the front legs. If you shoot rabbit here it’s a very clean and fast death normally within seconds and you have less chance of a none-lethal injury. Just keep in mind that the neck is not a clean kill and if you hit the back end of the animal there is a chance it will run away injured.

Final thoughts

As a hunter, you have a responsibly to all other hunters. If you cause an animal to die in a painful way it could reflect on all other hunters and possibly ruin our way of life! So please, aim well and good luck!


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