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providing rabbit habitat?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Owen, Jul 5, 2013.

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  1. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    I've got 12 acres of mostly woods in Southern Indiana. Any suggestions on providing habitat for the bunnies?

    Brush Piles? How big, and how far apart?
     
  2. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Really? They are like a plague of locusts here!
     
  3. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    I usually have them pretty well gone a month into the small game season.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Brush piles.

    Doesn't matter how far apart or how big, as long as they are not too big to get them out of it.

    rc
     
  5. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    I was asking about distance because I've been reading up on domestic small stock, and ive seen a few places that the does are somewhat territorial.
     
  6. Dframe

    Dframe Member

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    Just keep my Beagle out of the area and you should be fine!
     
  7. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Brush piles are the answer. Tall grass and short brush help too. If you want to plant a small game plot: Rabbits favorite summer food are iron clay peas and soybeans.
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    When I was a kid on the farm, we had individual brush piles where we trimmed out hedge trees and volunteer pines and such that cropped up in the pastures.

    Every one had rabbits.

    We also had a couple of 1/4 - 1/3 mile long, almost continuous brush piles where we trimmed the lower limbs out of hedge rows (Osage Orange) to get under it to keep the barb wire fences in repair.

    They were always teaming with rabbits & quail from one end to the other.

    There was another couple of huge Osage Orange piles on the south 80 were the neighbor cut down a whole fence line of Osage Orange and piled it all in two big piles.

    It was teaming with rabbits too, but there was no way to hunt them.
    If you saw one under it and shot it, there was no way to get it out.

    He finally burned it and cleared up to the fence.
    And that was the end of hunting anything there.

    Here is a good read that pretty much agrees with my experience on the farm years ago.
    http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/uh141.pdf

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  9. flipajig

    flipajig Member

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    Bunnies are a plague have you seen the devistation they cause.
    Almost as bad a pigs.
    Flip
     
  10. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    well flipajig, theyh were pretty rough on the garden until I put up fencing, but other than that, I have not noticed the devastation they cause. I always blamed the damage to my apple and pear trees on the deer I have around, but maybe I should blame the rabbits?

    BTW, I watched a red tail hawk snag a baby bunny this morning. It was pretty flipping cool.
     
  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Brush piles provide protection for rabbits. They also are a lot of fun to put the beagles scrambling and rooting around it them trying to push a rabbit out. I suspect "planting" 6" PVC pipes under the brush piles would provide a perfect "burrow" to avoid predators as well. Food or proximity to food and cover is what attracts rabbits.

    You might consider opening up a few areas inside the wooded portion on your property. Planting a food crop for deer would also favor the rabbits.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  12. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Grew up in WV. Rabbit hunting was our favorite winter thing. There were brush piles on all the farms we hunted. We tracked rabbits to he brushpiles, jumped on the pile and watched the rabbit run. Sometimes the rabbit did not run: It was in the woodchuck hole under the brush pile. Our dog chased rabbits too fast: He sometimes caught them.

    Armadillos often locate their holes under brush piles too.
     
  13. Chevelle SS

    Chevelle SS Member

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    Brush piles
     
  14. flipajig

    flipajig Member

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    In the early 80's we had a very bad jack rabbit problem we shot them by the thousands there would be rabbit drives every one would carry a baseball bat or a 2X4 and as they would try to run between the people you would dispatch them the best you could. Very distructive to Hay,Grain and other crops.
    Flip
     
  15. Bull Nutria

    Bull Nutria Member

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    cottontails are creatures of the edge, so the more edge you have the more bunnies you will have they forage on tender shoots and grasses, they need cover to escape predators that is why brushpiles are very impt. fence rows with lots of briers and thickets are good too. if you make a few quarter acre openings in your wood lot and let a few brier patches grow up around these openings you will attract and raise rabbits. if you keep the openings mowed about twice per year that will keep the tree saplings from reclaiming the openings back to woods.

    these opening create edge used by most all wildlife,deer,quail, turkeys, rabbits even squirrels. you don't want the wood lot to look like a manicured city park, you want clusters of bushes, briers, grown up fence rows, little brushpiles and little mowed areas for the greens to grow.

    like was mentioned earlier peas and beans planted for deer will hold rabbits. I suspect you could have plenty of rabbits just doing as i mentioned above with out plantings.

    Good luck in a couple of years you should have lots of bunnies on 12 acres.

    i am jealous wish i had 12 acres to grow bunnies on!!

    Bull
     
  16. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    flipajig, we don't have jackrabbits here, and you have to ask how they population got so unbalanced. Predator eradication maybe?
     
  17. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    They seem attracted to well maintained lawns for some reason. Ug. They dig holes and chew stuff up.
     
  18. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    From about a foot above the snow line to the ground, it's cottontails. They finally killed my dwarf cherries; ate them to the ground every winter, even with wire cage around them (they probably went over the top when the snow was deep) The apple tree is big enough they don't bother it except for suckers that I don't want anyway, but when I prune it in early spring they strip the bark off the limbs on the ground.

    Any damage up higher is probably deer. Or goats. ;)
     
  19. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I happen to enjoy seeing our yard bunnies, they're welcome to all the grass they want, they don't hurt anything. But if I were ever fortunate enough to own several acres where I could hunt them, I probably would. But the yard bunnies would probably still be safe, I like seeing wild critters around.
     
  20. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    That's too bad. I was really hoping to get video of rabbits jumping 4 feet in the air to nibble on my trees.
     
  21. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Look at tree wrap to protect young trees from rabbits, and weed eaters.

    There are many different kinds.
    Here is one.

    http://www.mytreearmor.com/

    rc
     
  22. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    feed plots and brush piles for them to make warrens

    As for why...
    a few rabbits nice
    alot of rabbits, you'll break your leg, they dig under everything
    attract in predator and yeah, are pests
    and I'm a rabbit breeder and local ARBA club officer, and one of the things I HATE
    is when someone releases domestic rabbits (European Rabbit, NOT new world and extremely invasive) because they think bunnies are cute.

    I ask you, would you release rats into your home? Then why would you release an ecological pest? Honestly if you have the acreage, and nothing is wrong with it, you probably already have rabbits. Want to increase their numbers, brush piles and feed plots.
     
  23. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    Shadow, I wasn't going to release domestic rabbits, just encourage the ones I have, so I can shoot more than 10-15 a year.
     
  24. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I never saw a rabbit on my 60 acres for over 3 years but when I planted cowpeas thick, they appeared like magic.
    Pea-patchrabbit8aWEB.jpg
     
  25. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    Protected, dependable water supplies. Food grasses, grains and legumes. Planting soybeans or lima beans will attract them if the area is easily watched for predators. Brush piles need only be big enough that predators are hindered from digging out their dens enough they can make their escape.
     
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