What is up with our rabbit population????? - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Default What is up with our rabbit population?????

:-\ This morning while checking email, I had a note from a Tx. outfitter who commented that rabbits seem to be down all across the country..he got this info. from the various hunters that came to his deer camps this fall..it was pretty amazing to me, he felt rabbits were down in even in Tx which I always thought was the rabbit capital of our nation..but I hear this comment quite abit as I travel, or visit with hunters from other areas..he felt it is a wide spread condition in our country...I know the areas I hunt frequently rabbits are pretty scarce...here in Wy. both Jacks and bunnies have been down for many years...I think the last excellent year I had for bunnies was in the late 80's..I see a few, but nothing like I did years ago..BUT the number of eagles, coyotes, hawks, and ravens is tremendous right now...he also commented on the lack of quail.. they have failed to return even though conditions have been excellent for nesting...I know our game birds have never reached the numbers in the 80's..Could just be a cycle, but it seems like a long down ward cycle and slow upward cycle.. I sometimes wonder if these small animals might not be the indicators of the quality of our natural enviornment..just a thought...
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

I don't know if its true or not. But I always remember my grandfather telling me that rabbit populations went in cycles, more and more until a spike in population then next to none the following year until it builds too many again then repeats... IIRC it was 8 years..

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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

> cw, I have heard the same thing...that is my point..rabbits aren't coming back...I hunt the same country I did in the 80's..the bunnies aren't there nor are the jacks..when I deer hunted this fall in Pa. there were only a very, very few spots with any rabbit tracks..in areas where they were abundant..I have been making trips to this country for the last 12 yrs. or so..the cycles aren't happening..In Wy. were I live, jacks are seldom seen..in the 80's hundreds could be found dead on the local highways..now it is kind of an event to see one..hunters in other places tell me the same story..
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

I've lived in NW Colorado for over 30 years and I have the same question as WYO. Rabbit populations do cycle up and down but in the last 10 or 15 years I've not seen any increase as compared to what I had seen in '80s. It's gotten to where I hesitate to shoot a rabbit because there seem to be so few.

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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

Wyo. Coyote Hunter, I think your name speaks volumes here. A dramatic increase in coyotes locally, and less and less farming.

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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 12:23 PM
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

I agree; in the 80's there were rabbits all over Wyo and now I hardly see any at all. Same with Jackrabbits and prairie dogs. Something is going on??? In the area of Wyo that I frequent, I wonder if it has anything to do with land reclaimation after the area has been strip mined, or just strip mining itself? Once you tear up the upper 50 feet of the earth for miles and miles, even though you can put it back and make it LOOK natural, one can only imagine that the underground dwelling critters have to pay the price. ??? Who knows, maybe they have a hard time burrowing into the stuff afterward?? So, if those areas are trashed for the ground critters, that leaves the predators only the unmined areas in which to hunt. With LOTS of predators and pockets of natural unmined areas, maybe the populations of ground critters in unmined areas become overhunted?
....if any of that made sense...

I don't know how to explain any decreases in other areas that are not strip mined, however.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

I've always had the crazy thought of breeding tons of prairie dogs and releasing them back to WYO so there is something to hunt. Maybe a rabbit program is needed? Heck, they did it for the ferrets.
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

have to agree with mechanic the yotes are eating good in sw pa lots of fox n yote tracks following the rabbit tracks going to start trapping next season the pheasents are on the decline also was out pheasent hunting in my fav spot i get 1 or 2 every time almost but not this year but sure is lots of the yote n fox tracks everywhere heres a pic of my buddy he got nice grey yesterday in our rabbit spot its the 5th one out of that spot and my other buddy got 2 yotes same spot and plenty more there im sure
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 02:11 PM
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

In the past every raptor was killed as soon as possible and the same for coyotes. Sadly there are so many birds of prey now (and other predators) that we have no rabbits, quail, or much of anything in the way of small game.

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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: What is up with our rabbit population?????

Everything wants to eat a wascally wabbit.
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