Shhh! Be vewy quiet! They’re hunting wabbit!
A longtime all-women’s hunting competition will enter its 41st year on Saturday as teams take part in the Wyoming Women’s 5-Shot Rabbit Hunt near Shoshoni.
The hunt has been around since the late 1970s and was created in direct response to Lander’s famous One-Shot Antelope Hunt, said Joan Eisemann, who has been involved with the event’s organization for many years.
“The Shoshoni Chamber of Commerce started it back when (Lander) had the One-Shot contest and wouldn’t let women hunt,” she said. “So they started the Shoshoni Chamber Bunny Hunt. It was for women only.”
Over the years, the hunt became known as the Wyoming Women’s 5-Shot Rabbit Hunt and Eisemann said she has been involved in one way or another for more than 30 years.
“I lived here,” she said. “I grew up with it.”
In the antelope hunt, hunters equipped with one bullet each are sent in 3-person teams to see how many antelope the team can bring in.
In the rabbit hunt, each hunter is given five bullets and sent in 2-person teams to collect 10 rabbits. The teams are accompanied by a judge.
The object is to shoot the highest number of rabbits in the least amount of time with the best shot, Eisemann said.
“If you’re fast and you’ve done your homework and found your bunny holes, you can maybe get three to six rabbits in less than a minute,” she said. “We’ve had some teams come in at 17 minutes for 10 rabbits. These girls can shoot.”
So far this year, six teams have signed up to take part, but teams can register at the Shoshoni Fire Hall as late as Friday evening, when those attending a dance and auction prior to the hunt can place their bids on which team they think will have the best score at the end of the weekend. The dance and auction are open to the public.
The actual hunt begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday and Eisemann said the teams can go anywhere around Shoshoni as long as they stay at least 1 mile away from any communities.
The teams must also return to the Fire Hall by 4 p.m. and the winning teams will be announced during a banquet Saturday evening.
For more information, visit the 5-Shot Rabbit Hunt’s Facebook page.