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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Me and another fellow hunted a few days last week. First days hunt, a thick area that starts as a few cattails, consists of a hill and creek bottom, then goes into trees and briars and honey suckle. Perfect habitat, with two sets of fox tracks leading into the area. We hunt this area and rabbits are scarce, no tracks in the snow, except the fox tracks. Finally we jump a rabbit, and after a few circles I get a good shot, dogs retrieves the rabbit, I gut it and put one in my coat. We keep hunting and I tell the other fellow that rabbits are scarce, must be a lot of hawks and owls, we did see an eagle when parking. About 45 minutes later we jump a second rabbit, small circle then took off and ran about 175 yards on the gps, and started back I got him after he went by and again turned back again, another retrieval, and gutted and in the coat. We jumped one more rabbit that was either lost or holed. We hunted to the end of the cover and a fox came out, to far to shoot. I took the hides off and feet and head, and stopped by the landowner to drop the rabbits off. Told him that the rabbits were scarce, told him there may be a predator problem, he mentioned the owls he hears at night. Next hunt we hunted two areas one a small corner woodlot with just enough honey suckle and briars two hold two or three rabbits each year. A fox goes out as we get there, dogs hunt the small area, no rabbits. We get in the truck and go to the next area, just over the hill. This place has been a good rabbit producing spot, we hunt it once a year as to leave some for seed. Creek bottom, corn field on the left, orchard on the right, ends in a hard woods. We hunt all the way to the end without jumping a rabbit, finally at the end the dogs jump a rabbit. Rabbit ran a big circle in the hard woods, comes down thru the thick bottom, to the end and starts back. Got by both of us with out being seen. Back to the edge of the hard woods and back he comes, my hunting partner got a shot, and got him Only rabbit of the day. Good habitat few rabbits, and us being the only ones hunting that property, predator problem. Next hunt next day, first place a wooded hill side, not real thick, Briars and a few honeysuckle on the edges, and few thick spots in the middle. Dogs jump a rabbit right away he goes out the hill side come part way back, goes out again and come back, pops out of cover, coming right at me 8 yards too close to shoot, without blowing him up. He sees me and turns quickly, and leaves. Dogs come by and go about 70 yards before losing him, or holing up. Next rabbit jumped ran small circles coming about 50 yards on the inside of the circle, saw him three times, but to far for the improved cylinder choke. They lost this one. Next rabbit was quickly jumped, after a few circles he gave me a shot and dog retrieved him. Next rabbit came quick again and a few circles later I got him. Next rabbit ran out almost 200 yards, came back, a few small circles and my partner made a good shot. Next rabbit dogs jumped small circle came out to the path I was on and ran straight at me, seemed not to see me until he was within 7 feet, he put it in high gear and ran right by my feet, dogs come past and the rabbit goes to the outside edge and run straight at my hunting partner, sees him and goes back in the cover and quickly holes. We jump one more and again my partner kills this one in two shots. Back to the truck, we go just down the road to a hill side about 300 yards long with just patches of cover. Very open.
Vehicle Dog Car Wood Tire

This is poor habitat at best, but we usually jump 8 to 10 rabbits on this hill side. On this day we jumped 8, and killed 4 at this spot. A good day for both of us to get a limit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Rabbits are down in numbers, overall. They increase in the spring and summer months and are greatly reduced by predation in the fall and winter by predators. I have no problem killing 4 rabbits a piece if they are there. When I hunt an area it is usually once a season, The predators on the other hand kill game all year long. If anyone has any concerns about small game numbers, complain to someone about the total protection of some predators. I see to many areas of good habitat and no small game, hard to believe that predators are not a problem. Both me and my hunting partner were lucky to get our limit.
 

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When are you going back with enough gun to kill some of those foxes running around in broad daylight? The laws against killing Eagles, Hawks, and Owls are never going to change, so how about doing something about those land based predators?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When are you going back with enough gun to kill some of those foxes running around in broad daylight? The laws against killing Eagles, Hawks, and Owls are never going to change, so how about doing something about those land based predators?
Most but not all of the areas we hunt are orchard property, private owned, and thanks to the fellow I am hunting with, as he deals with these landowners on a daily basis, that is how I got these areas to hunt. However most of these orchard owners know that these fox are a predator, and that they eat mice and rabbits in the orchards. So many of these orchards do not allow hunting or trapping of predators, so no fox or coyote can be shot. However the last spot I mentioned is hunted and trapped for coyotes and fox by one of the orchard managers. The first spot where I saw the fox, the man that owns part of the land does care if we shoot one while rabbit hunting, he likes to eat a rabbit every so often but no trapping, I never really asked about going in and calling. I do not push my boundaries with land owners, in these places rabbits, deer and mice are considered a problem, and predators a management tool. They see firsthand that healthy predator numbers reduce their problems. The last place we saw the fox they are protected there. I do believe that hawks and owls limit small game numbers more so than furred predators, this is only an opinion based on my own lifetime experiences. Could just be, because they are allowed to expand in uncontrolled numbers. Good game management is based on numbers, not anti hunters emotions and politicians redtape and treaties.
 

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You have the opportunity but don't shoot land based predators. Why should we think that it wouldn't play out exactly the same if avian predators were legal to blast away at, what makes you think you'd get permission from land owners who are refusing to give you permission now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do shoot land predators, and trap and snare them. However, I do follow the landowners rules when hunting their properties. These orchard owners would not allow you to kill anything that eats a deer, rabbit, or mouse. So if shooting raptors were made legal, these landowners would not let you control their numbers. As I have said these landowners want the rabbits and mice reduced and know that the more predators they have killing the rabbits and mice, the less mice and rabbits they will have. Kind of a common sense thing. On my local farm where I train my dogs, I have snares set, and traps, and have not even seen a track of a fox or coyote since it snowed. This land owner likes small game, and does not protect coyotes and fox. I take the land owner and sometimes a family member of his, out with the dogs when they want. I do not rabbit hunt it myself. Also do habitat work there and help with other tasks. If you enjoy hunting land, you do not own, respect the land owner and follow their rules.
 

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Shooting raptors isn't gonna happen. You'll never convince wildlife biologists that it would be a viable management practice. There's also the treaty situation which isn't gonna change. There's another factor that adversely affected raptor populations in the past that you never mention in your posts. It has to do with a certain agricultural practice but we're not going to go there because I'm not about to let HPA become a target for every anti in the country.
 

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QUOTE :We hunt this area and rabbits are scarce, no tracks in the snow, except the fox tracks. Finally we jump a rabbit, and after a few circles I get a good shot, dogs retrieves the rabbit, I gut it and put one in my coat.

you cant fix stupid..........
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is how it happened, never saw this rabbits tracks. I do not know you from the next person, but I wonder if you ever hunted rabbits over dogs. I am not in the thick cover looking for tracks, that is the dogs job to find a rabbit. And yes that day rabbits were scarce, this was good habitat at this spot. As for stupid, we did pretty good last week, ended with a really good day later in the week. maybe you did better. I guess even this stupid guy kills a few rabbits every so often. Looking forward to pictures, a story, and some helpful advice. If you happen to have a good area, where rabbits are plentiful and not scarce, and are not too far away I have a few average dogs looking for a hunt. My offer to hunt rabbits stands for anyone, if you want to hunt over a few average dogs, let me know. Hunting with two or three dogs this year, for two, this is their first year being gunned over, some days they leave alot to be desired, but are improving. That redtick male improved alot since last season, and likes to retrieve.
 

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I have not hunted rabbits for the last few years. when my friends & I hunted an area with little rabbit sign, we would enjoy the chase if there was one & not reduce the population in that area.
I dont know you either but your constant crying about predators & lack of small game is famous here.
then you post about no rabbits in an area , cry about predators & then add predators (yourself & friend) to that area , is just plain stupid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I am not sorry for being a hunter, if you want to let the predators get all the game that is your choice. Human predators are controlled in their taking of small game, by having to get a license, bag limits and seasons, and hours you can hunt. Predators hunt whenever they feel like killing something. As many people know who are in the outdoors, rabbits are usually plentiful in the spring and summer, then the numbers are reduced by predation. Quite possible that many of these rabbits would have been killed by predators. So if you are so worried about small game numbers, complain about some of the uncontrolled predation. Also you may not want to look at pictures on this site, as it may show game taken by hunters. Not ashamed to be successful every once in a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have not hunted rabbits for the last few years. when my friends & I hunted an area with little rabbit sign, we would enjoy the chase if there was one & not reduce the population in that area.
I dont know you either but your constant crying about predators & lack of small game is famous here.
then you post about no rabbits in an area , cry about predators & then add predators (yourself & friend) to that area , is just plain stupid.
The orchard owners complained of all the rabbits there this summer, now when me and my friend get there to hunt, for the first time this year, and there is little sign, that just means we are late and the predators got them first. I do not consider lawful hunting a renewable species, like rabbits to be stupid, other game like grouse, quail and pheasant are in trouble, mostly because they roost at night and are vulnerable to the large owl numbers.
 

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Me and another fellow hunted a few days last week. First days hunt, a thick area that starts as a few cattails, consists of a hill and creek bottom, then goes into trees and briars and honey suckle. Perfect habitat, with two sets of fox tracks leading into the area. We hunt this area and rabbits are scarce, no tracks in the snow, except the fox tracks. Finally we jump a rabbit, and after a few circles I get a good shot, dogs retrieves the rabbit, I gut it and put one in my coat. We keep hunting and I tell the other fellow that rabbits are scarce, must be a lot of hawks and owls, we did see an eagle when parking. About 45 minutes later we jump a second rabbit, small circle then took off and ran about 175 yards on the gps, and started back I got him after he went by and again turned back again, another retrieval, and gutted and in the coat. We jumped one more rabbit that was either lost or holed. We hunted to the end of the cover and a fox came out, to far to shoot. I took the hides off and feet and head, and stopped by the landowner to drop the rabbits off. Told him that the rabbits were scarce, told him there may be a predator problem, he mentioned the owls he hears at night. Next hunt we hunted two areas one a small corner woodlot with just enough honey suckle and briars two hold two or three rabbits each year. A fox goes out as we get there, dogs hunt the small area, no rabbits. We get in the truck and go to the next area, just over the hill. This place has been a good rabbit producing spot, we hunt it once a year as to leave some for seed. Creek bottom, corn field on the left, orchard on the right, ends in a hard woods. We hunt all the way to the end without jumping a rabbit, finally at the end the dogs jump a rabbit. Rabbit ran a big circle in the hard woods, comes down thru the thick bottom, to the end and starts back. Got by both of us with out being seen. Back to the edge of the hard woods and back he comes, my hunting partner got a shot, and got him Only rabbit of the day. Good habitat few rabbits, and us being the only ones hunting that property, predator problem. Next hunt next day, first place a wooded hill side, not real thick, Briars and a few honeysuckle on the edges, and few thick spots in the middle. Dogs jump a rabbit right away he goes out the hill side come part way back, goes out again and come back, pops out of cover, coming right at me 8 yards too close to shoot, without blowing him up. He sees me and turns quickly, and leaves. Dogs come by and go about 70 yards before losing him, or holing up. Next rabbit jumped ran small circles coming about 50 yards on the inside of the circle, saw him three times, but to far for the improved cylinder choke. They lost this one. Next rabbit was quickly jumped, after a few circles he gave me a shot and dog retrieved him. Next rabbit came quick again and a few circles later I got him. Next rabbit ran out almost 200 yards, came back, a few small circles and my partner made a good shot. Next rabbit dogs jumped small circle came out to the path I was on and ran straight at me, seemed not to see me until he was within 7 feet, he put it in high gear and ran right by my feet, dogs come past and the rabbit goes to the outside edge and run straight at my hunting partner, sees him and goes back in the cover and quickly holes. We jump one more and again my partner kills this one in two shots. Back to the truck, we go just down the road to a hill side about 300 yards long with just patches of cover. Very open. View attachment 179546
This is poor habitat at best, but we usually jump 8 to 10 rabbits on this hill side. On this day we jumped 8, and killed 4 at this spot. A good day for both of us to get a limit.
you keep saying the rabbits are scarce but your story and pics say otherwise. id say u did pretty darn good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Rabbits are scarce in many areas, at this time of the year. Two hunters killing their limit on one day of the season does not represent a game population. At one time I could have shown you four hunters with their limit, and this could have been repeated many times in a season. Compared to small game numbers forty years ago or more, rabbits and other small game are scarce. Most of the younger guys have no idea how much small game use to be out there.
 

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Good habitat. I have Eagles, hawks, owls, fox, mink and cats here. We are loaded with rabbits every year. Most evenings this time of year I can take a 400 yard walk/circle and see 0 to 5 rabbits on that quick stroll. Good habitat will breed and hold good rabbit populations and also keeps out the predators.
 
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