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providing rabbit habitat?

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

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  1. flipajig

    flipajig Member

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    Owen.
    That might be some of it but the Jackrabbit runs in cycles about every 25 to 30 years they seem to just explode in population. I might be off in my timeing but I'm starting to see more and more of them around.
    Flip
     
  2. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Back around 1980 or 1981, there was an incredible explosion in the jackrabbit population in SW Idaho and across northern Nevada. In Idaho, farmers built long-leg vee-traps of chicken wire. Up to a hundred or more people would work the rabbits into the trap and use clubs to kill them. Save the crops.

    A buddy of mine and I went out west of Winnemucca with Mini-14s and set up above a spring and marshy area. Without moving the truck, we killed over a hundred in little more than an hour. We came back a week later and could not tell we'd had any impact on the numbers.
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    In the plant I last worked in for 21 years, we had a lay down yard. That's a lot where we put piping and exchangers and old pumps and such equipment used in chemical plants, It was a rabbit magnet and I'd drive by there at night when working graveyards in the company truck just to see a half dozen running around. Must have liked all the large diameter piping, I'm guessing.

    One thing, same habitat attracts rattlers around here. They cornered a bobcat in the shop one day, too, no doubt attracted by all the rabbits in the lay down yard behind and beside it. They had to call out the game warden to get it out of there. That was a big cat, too, probably 50 lbs. He got his pic in the local paper. :D
     
  4. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Brush pile is a good idea. I know we always have them around wild black berry vines. Any area that it looks like a snake would enjoy, they seem to like too.
     
  5. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    One thing I learned from my grqndfather was to let the brush grow along the fencerows. They all had a brushy strip along them some twenty feet wide or maybe more.

    Another trick was to partially cut a mesquite so it would lay down but still be alive. That kept cattle out of the grass within that brush, and helped both rabbits and quail.
     
  6. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Mowed today and while going around cedar trees scared up a few. Not the best looking tree but the wife will like them better than brush piles.
     
  7. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    If you want to have lots of rabbits you need to control your coyote population. If you don’t they’ll pick your rabbits clean. A coyote wants a meal 365 days of the year and venison is mighty tasty.

    Go out a dusk. 30 minutes before to 30 minutes after, and listen for the coyote groups calling to each other. If you hear them singing you’ll need to make plans to get busy predator hunting.
     
  8. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    Bull Nutria gives good info. Use a brush mower or hog to cut clearings and plant some clover, natural cover like honeysuckle will provide lots of cover if planted around the brush, if you can push some downed logs along with soil into a heap they will eventually use it for warrens.

    If you have any feral or uncontained cats in the area you can forget about rabbits, same with a heavy coyote population..
     
  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    No, this is wrong. Rabbits have a J growth pattern. That is, they have such a high natality rate that predation will not control their population. Their population goes straight up until they significantly pass carrying capacity of their habitat, then crash. It matters not the mortality rate from predation, simply cannot keep up. This is why you'll see them in abundance and then a year later you'll swear disease got 'em all. Just wait, they'll be back.:D Their population cycles like that. This is why they took over Australia once introduced there. All the dingo dogs on the continent could not control them. Another animal with such a growth pattern is the wild feral hog. And, the hog vigorously defends its young, something the rabbit does not do.

    Now, if you improve your habitat for rabbits, provide them cover and food, they will have a higher carrying capacity and, thus, higher peaks on their growth curve and the lows won't be as deep. Rabbits like the same things for cover as do quail, brush within easy reach of 'em to dart to, good food plants/grasses, etc. They like trees with roots to burrow under. It's hard NOT to have good rabbit habitat, though. Heck, the flourish in the friggin' desert to the swamps! :D

    Anyway, predation is not a factor on their ultimate growth potential. You simply cannot put enough coyotes in an area to control their growth. It will never be sigmoid.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  10. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    Oh, okay. Having watched the coyotes wipe-out the rabbit off our 240 acre farm must of never happened. I guess those bunnies all just caught a boat to Australia when I wasn't watching.

    The only rabbits we see are a few up around the house and barns were the coyotes don't go. Been that way for 30 years. Not just our farm, the whole county.

    Back in the '70's we had rabbits coming out of our ears. No coyotes to speak of. Never heard them calling. Then the fur market crashed, poeple quit huntiing and trapping coyotes, they moved back up from Missouri, and bye-bye rabbits ever since.

    Had mange put a hurt on the coyotes about 6 years ago. Hard winter nearly wiped them out again. Rabbit made a breif recovery, but within a couple of years the coyotes came back. Bye-bye rabbits, again.

    Your "J growth pattern" theory sounds great. I can see it with grasshoppers and mice, but with larger mamals in my upper-midwest ecosystem I'm not buying it.
     
  11. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    There are many factors that can affect a population. Predation is a small factor on rabbits, but combine predation with other factors like lack of cover, lack of food, etc, they can influence the population. If your habitat isn't lacking, the rabbits won't be, either, regardless of predator populations.
     
  12. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Right, and rabbits are "edge" and meadow/field dwellers, so a brush pile delivered to the middle of a large, heavily wooded area won't do the trick. You need an open area, with brush along the edge or in the middle. Plus you need a moderate to low fox population..., we have a pretty good fox population in our public hunting areas..., not too many bunnies there, but lots of bunnies around the townhomes.

    LD
     
  13. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Plant green beans -- the bush kind, not pole beans unless you let them sprawl -- and they'll come :(
     
  14. friendofthewild

    friendofthewild member

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    thats what raptors are for.
     
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