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Discussion Starter #1
Evidently I overspent my pic allowance in the first post. These last 4 won't post in that thread.

Wanted to add or remark or whatever that during the time I was taking these pics I walked through a good bit of snowcovered area. Not one rabbit track did I cross.

One thing that is missing from these pics as well are the 8000-10000 Christmas trees from 2'-8' that lie in between and everywhere. Should be a rabbit paradise as well as pheasant.

And the slope dropping off the end of the last two field pics. Total acreage in the last 3 sets of pics (the 3-tiered field is approx. 20 acres.







 

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You have one beautiful farm there! It's great that your doing all that habitat work! Keep it up and plant bigger areas! I am a firm believer in habitat..build it and they will come! Thanks for the pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the kind words !!

These pics are actually only of about 1/3 of the family property. Time constraints kept me from photographing the rest.
 

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If I could find an area like that again I would start rabbit hunting again. That looks like it should be loaded with rabbitts. Nice Job
 

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Discussion Starter #6
gary3414 said:
That looks like it should be loaded with rabbitts.
That's actually the whole point of the posting. It's not loaded with rabbits. You may find one or two if you covered the whole area I've pictured with a pair of good beagles.

My dad lives there and is retired. He is a long time hound guy.....rabbit, coon, fox..... He got rid of his beagles years ago for the lack of anything to hunt with them.
 

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Strut10 that looks like great habitat,you did a good job no doubt. An area like that 40 or more years ago would have held much smallgame. If an area like this would have netting over top it would probably be loaded with smallgame. Your father may remember the good old days, ask him what the differences are between now and then with a property like this. Many times with age, comes wisdom. See what he thinks would bring back rabbit numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
bpottorff said:
Your father may remember the good old days, ask him what the differences are between now and then with a property like this. Many times with age, comes wisdom. See what he thinks would bring back rabbit numbers.
Actually, I'm old enough to remember when you could find rabbits there. And old enough to remember going "down east" to my uncle's place near Carlisle to hunt pheasant. To hunt pheasant where when you started in one end of a field that looked like any number of the ones on our property, 20 or 30 or 40 birds would go out the other end.

Dad (in his 70's) and I talk about this often......as well as my wife's uncle (in his 60's) who owns an adjoining tract. It's not much of a mystery to anyone who has a memory as to what the major contributing factors are for the lack of game. There are very few variables across the property we own in regards to habitat over the last 40-50 years. The habitat itself is actually markedly better now through our efforts than it has been in decades. The small game is scarcer than it's EVER been. The math on that is pretty simple and both Dad & Uncle will tell you it's avian predation.
 

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I believe your dad and uncle are correct. Two wise men. Its hard to argue with experiance, and those two men lived thru the good days and the bad and know their land. Maybe we should get more input from more people that lived in the days of abundant smallgame numbers and see what others have to offer.
 

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Common sense says a big part of todays decrease in small game is avain predatation. There are other predators but we can legally control them yet it hands off when it comes to avain.

I had an area about eight years ago that was a reclaimed strip mine. This area has always held plenty of rabbits. The cover on this ground was fairly thick and had several holes that the rabbits used. I could take the dogs there any evening and jump several. Never shot any only worked the young dogs. I went there late in February after a long period of snow with a young dog. She found 21 dead rabbits. More than half had only their heads eaten off and a couple almost nothing. The problem is after you do manage to establish a population the dam great horned owl is going to set up shop and take care of that.

A freind of mine is a wildlife biologist with the state of ohio. He keeps saying more habitat more habitat. I don't disagree with him but a pheasant doesn't need habitat to live. If it has food and water it can live in a fully fenced in pen with no cover. It needs habitat to survive predation. Problem is we don't have large enough areas for some small game to survive in numbers. Sulution is to trim back the predators including avain to the numbers that they can survive in the habitat that we have. Looking at the pics Strut10 posted its a dam shame he isn't overrun with small game. You can thank that to the LIBERAL world we now live in. My dictionary defines liberal as " someone with no common sense"
 

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Well said Penndraght, Some predators kill just because they can, as much as they can, whenever they can, sometimes much more than they could eat. Kind of like a dog that gets loose and kills 10 or 15 of a farmers chickens leaves them lay then goes home. A dog doing this is allowed to be shot. If an owl does this then too bad for the farmer. Politics controlling game or predators does not work. Uncontrolled hunting of hawks and owls was done for many years, it resulted in controlloled numbers of these predators. Then DDT came along and reduced their numbers. So they banned DDT and stopped the legal hunting. Then these avain predators came back, but the hunting control did not. Even if they would allow uncontrolled hunting like in the past it would take years to see a reduction in numbers because most people wouldn't be out there hunting them. Even back then they had to put bounties on them to help reduce numbers.
 

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Some biology student should try that net idea. There is a lot of money around for the yellow winged warbler. Maybe they can find some for a rabbit study.
 

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I went 7 miles out the road and saw 7 different hawks. This is not out and back. This is just outalong the road.Now if theres that msny just along the road how many more are there in this valley? The valley is approximately 10 miles by 6 miles and i drove just 7 miles and u xan only see a maximum of 300 yds mostly. If i recall correctly all 7 were within 100 yds of road. Thats a density well over any game in the valley except maybe turkeys. Time to open season on them if u ask me.
 

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Pretty sure most Hawk and Owl specices are recovered now to the point that a very modest harvest could be obtained by permit allocation. I would love to have some aforementioned mounted and displayed in my mancave/"wild" gameroom.
 

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All of you guys just need to get together and start a lobby to kill Raptors. Complaining on the internet about them is not going to get you your wish.

Only by petitioning and lobbying the federal gov't will you have any chance at this. PGC and PA cannot do anything about it.
 
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