What is up with our rabbit population????? - Page 5 - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #41 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

Bush Hogs.

People used to have fence rows all full of briars and shrubs, huge black berry thickets etc. Since the bush hog and tractors available all over every hobby farmer wants his acerage to look like central park, all neatly groomed, and short, so in the spring grass will have a quicker start. Undisturbed brush and thickets are almost extinct, ergo- no habitat. Same thing here as when Fescue was introduced as the dominant pasture grass- no more winter wheat, rye, no clover or millet, no more quail.
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post #42 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

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Originally Posted by twoshooter
Bush Hogs.

People used to have fence rows all full of briars and shrubs, huge black berry thickets etc. Since the bush hog and tractors available all over every hobby farmer wants his acerage to look like central park, all neatly groomed, and short, so in the spring grass will have a quicker start. Undisturbed brush and thickets are almost extinct, ergo- no habitat. Same thing here as when Fescue was introduced as the dominant pasture grass- no more winter wheat, rye, no clover or millet, no more quail.
I have to agree. I had 5 acres with a good bit of habitat for rabbits near San Antonio......we had cotton tails everywhere.
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post #43 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

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Originally Posted by Wyo.
:-[ :-X Sad..People amaze me how they feel if a problem leaves their area, it is no longer a problem...ask him to save some gas and you take them for that final ride... ;D
We had a problem with cats in Norfolk, VA. College kids in the droms buy Kittens and are told they or the cats have to go. So they take the cats to the family neighborhoods near campus and let them go, thinking that a family will take them in. Since they are kittens they are not fixed and well they multiply. One night I heard my roomate rack the slide on his shot gun and charge out the front door. I grabbed a pistol and followed him to almost run over him as he was laying down point the gun under the house tryingto kill the two or more cats trying to reproduce. I talked him out of shooting and said we would take care of the cats the next day.
I took a piece of 3/4 inch plywood squares about 2 foot square and screwed them together at right angles. Put them in the back yard with a can of tuna with church key holes in it and a nail through the center to hold it down. The cats came and screamed as the tuna was no longer able to be eaten and we shot them with my 10/22 and threw them in the trash can. The rule was nothing with a collar. We ent through a box of ammo.
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post #44 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-04-2013, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

We have had a LONG, SLOW spring coming in here in SC WI, but the buds have opened in the last few days on many trees and the grass has really greened up. Ive seen a rabbit a day, in different places so likely different rabbits, for the has 4 days and a small Celulose Charles munchin' new green shoots yesterday.
There is hope yet!

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post #45 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

I was wondering if it was just locally but reading this thread I guess there decrease is wide spread.

A couple of seasons ago I was spring turkey hunting, just sitting under a tree and day dreaming when I had a cotton tail come hopping along. I thought it was a squirrel at first, it had been so long since the last one I saw in the forest I had almost forgot they even came into the woods They, along with a lot of upland birds and foxes, have been hit hard by the local coyote population bloom here in southeastern MA. I see them in yards nibbling at garden plants, but even those sightings are few and far between.

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post #46 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 01:05 AM
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I hunt on a farm in South East North Carolina that has wonderful habitat. Various crops, heavy woods, long leaf pine woods with light underbrush for quail, lots of pasture, plenty of water, no coyotes (no howling at night), no wild pigs, usual amount of birds of prey, lot of turkeys and deer. In 5 years, I've seen three rabbits and no wild quail. As a boy in Missouri, two guys without a dog could kick up half a dozen rabbits in a day and not think anything of it. Something is wrong, and I don't see it as predators. There have always been predators, and their numbers fluctuate with the available food like rabbits and quail. Little food, fewer predators. It's got to be something else. Pesticides? Certainly not too many hunters; unfortunately we are a vanishing breed. What is it?
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post #47 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 12:14 PM
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I live in a rural subdivision with 3 to 12 acres lots in Virginia. Lots of treelines, hedgerows and scrub.

For the past 10 years, their have been cottontail rabbits everywhere. I would step out on my back deck in the dark, shine a flashlight out in my back yard, and see 4 or 5 just out their eating clover.

It got to be crazy. One year I was on a ladder painting the back of my house in the middle of the day, and I looked down to see two full grown rabbits playing around the foot of my ladder, and another lying out in the middle of the yard sunning itself.


This remained true even though we seem to have alot of small raptors, falcons, plus an occasional red tail hawk, plus the occasional fox or coyote.

But, suddenly last spring, they all seemed to disappear in a matter of just 4 or 5 weeks. It was really really quick and they were gone. I couldn't figure it out.

But then, I saw a large bird perched on my neighbors chimney, just looking out over everything. I got my binoculars out, and saw that it was a huge owl. I remember reading years ago that owls are one of the raptors that will kill as many as 4 or 5 small animals a day, every day, especially when it has chicks in a nest.

So, that one big owl is all that it took. 120 acres of rabbits are gone.

We still have a few rabbits around, but they seem to be really big ones, that stay buried in the honeysuckle and thicket. My dog flushes them, and they run straight into another thicket.

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post #48 of 48 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 01:19 PM
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Seems we have two places that hold good populations of rabbits: inside city limits and reclaimed stripmines. Most everything else has been fence-row cleared and manicured with very little briars/weeds for cover and food.

Good running to be had on the reclamation ground!

Still living under the curse, but one of these days I will shed this body, be clothed with an immortal one, and everything will be good.
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