Live chat by BoldChat
  0 Items

Loading Shopping Cart
Total Items: 0 ($0.00)

Filson Survey

Would you be willing to participate in a very brief visitor survey?

(This should take less than a minute)

Thank you...

8 Tips for Snowshoe Hare Hunting with Peter Patenaude

January 26, 2013
Filed in: Hunting, Shooting

8 Snowshoe Hare Hunting Tips

Peter Patenaude, a registered Maine guide, has been a Filson advocate for over six years. His blog Boot & Canoe, focuses on traditional skills and Maine’s outdoor heritage. Peter shares some tips for a successful snowshoe hare hunt with you.  Find them useful?  Make sure to leave a comment below!

At the end of a fresh snow, there is nothing more fun than to chase snowshoe hare through a stand of thick evergreens.  This is certainly a much easier and more productive activity with a set of trained dogs, but can also be done with a few willing people.

I never grow tired of snowshoeing out on top of a new white blanket and finding that first set of tracks to follow.  Not only is this a great way to get some much needed winter exercise, but it is a very exciting chase that will certainly bring camaraderie to a hunting party.  After the hunt, it is short and easy work to clean the snowshoe hare and get it into a pot.  I have always found it hard not to stew the meat as it becomes tender and sweet tasting after a long day of slow cooking.  Here are some tips that can be useful for a first time snowshoe hunter:

1. Wear a full brimmed hat.  You will be thankful when snow is not falling down the back of your neck while you are busting through the covered branches.

2. Wear eye protection.  As I have mentioned before, eye injuries are very common in the woods and spruce/fir trees are full of small dead branches.

3. Be the beagle.  Have one hunter act as the dog and push through the brush while the other waits and looks for the hare’s movement.

4. Carry a plastic bag.  It would not be pleasant if the hare released its bladder into the game pouch of your jacket on the walk out.

5. Watch the circle around you.  The hare will not leave familiar grounds and will work around a large circle of its territory.

6. Blow a whistle.  If the hare is running, blow a whistle and it may stop to see what the noise was.  I find the sound of my shotgun will stop him just the same.

7. No mess.  When cleaning the hare, I do not cut open its stomach. After skinning, I remove its legs and the meat running down its back.

8. Cook with fat.  It is a very lean meat, so stewing a hare with bacon or duck makes for a tasty meal.

8 Snowshoe Hare Hunting Tips


  • I must say that I’m thrilled to have stumbled across this entry (thank you, Twitter and Filson), and to have learned of the Boot & Canoe blog. Very well done, gentlemen.

    Here in Texas, we are not blessed with snowshoe hare hunts in the winter, although this sounds like one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a bluebird winter’s day.

    I have hunted small game a lot through the years, but I must admit I have never suffered a game bag full soiled by the departed’s bowels or bladder. Is this something unique to snowshoe hares, or have I just been lucky?

    Keep up the good work,
    A. Wolf

    Posted by Adam Wolf | January 26, 2013 at 3:34 am
  • Very nice photos, looked like an exciting hunt! Thank you for the tips Peter, something I’ll keep in mind for next winter.

    Posted by Emil Marchel | January 26, 2013 at 5:50 pm
  • Adam,
    Thank you for your kind words- it is always so nice to hear.

    You may not have the snowshoe hare in Texas, but you do have a nice variety of game that we do not have in Maine.

    I do not know if it is unique to the hare but it has certainly happened more than once- a very unpleasant surprise!

    Thank you again, and all the best.

    Posted by Peter Patenaude | January 28, 2013 at 2:38 am
  • Emil,
    Thank you- it is not always productive, but there is not a better way to spend an afternoon.
    Good Luck!
    Best, Peter

    Posted by Peter Patenaude | January 28, 2013 at 2:43 am
  • Great post. Is there any snowshoe hare hunting opportunities in Washington state that you know of?

    Posted by Joshua Curtis | January 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm
  • Thank you Joshua.
    I have never been over to that side of the country but maybe the people at Filson could give you a better idea of the hunting opportunities.

    Posted by Peter Patenaude | February 1, 2013 at 1:25 pm
  • There are snowshoe hares in Northeastern WA, I started hunting them this year, and while I haven’t got one yet, I see tracks and droppings often. Peter, is there a better time of day for hunting them? I’ve been going in the afternoon, but I’m going to try a morning hunt tomorrow to see if my luck improves any. Thanks for the post!

    Posted by Ben | February 2, 2013 at 5:43 am
  • My wife donna and I have been hunting hare for 20 and more years together. We hunt with 15″ beagles.
    We just got 2 more pups in june….2013. They r brothers, same litter and are now approx 7 mo.old. “ranger estarted driving when he was 3 months old…….chipping away. His brother biggie, started 2 months later. Both dogs drive like they are 4 yrs. Old. It’s a thrill to see the dogs youv’e trained doing a great job…..
    We love hare hunting and loved what you posted. We cook up our hare basically the same way…..
    I call it a one pot dinner. After a low slow cook for several hrs,, the meat falls off the bone……awesome

    Thanks again….we enjoyed it
    Wayne & donna ruszell

    Posted by wayne & donna russell | February 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm
  • Ben- if you are seeing tracks and droppings, you will come into one. Also, if you are hunting alone, be sure to stop often to look around as they will hold tight until you are almost stepping on them.

    I have always done well morning to afternoon.

    Thank you and good luck!

    Posted by Peter Patenaude | February 8, 2013 at 2:14 pm
  • Wayne & Donna,

    It is always such an exciting thing to hunt over dogs and watch them work- it is what man and dog were meant to do. I am glad that the both of you enjoyed the post. Good luck this season and give my best to the young beagles!

    Posted by Peter Patenaude | February 8, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Leave a Comment


Our Guarantee for Over 100 Years Has Never Changed

"We guarantee every item purchased from us. No more, no less. Your satisfaction is the sole purpose of our transaction." — Clinton C. Filson, 1897

© 2015 C.C. Filson Co. All Rights Reserved
Back to Top