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What makes for good rabbit habitat?

Do you see many rabbits in your food plots or in grass fields?

I see a lot of rabbits in the small town neighborhood where I live. Even though the houses are pretty close together here, there are lots of rabbits in the yards.

But in grass CREP fields out in the nearby farm country, I don't see many rabbits. Which seems surprising.

I'd think they would be there. There are grasses, often clover, a variety of forbs. I often see deer in these fields, but rarely rabbits.
 

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Cover from day and night avian predators
 

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Coyote

Don't forget coyote, once they got plentiful rabbits, wood chucks all disappear in my area. House cats will hammer the new born rabbits also.
 

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I was cutting trees in a steep riparian buffer specifically for rabbit cover, truck was parked up on top. Saw ran out of gas so I went up to the truck, saw a redtailed hawk fly away from the ground about 50 yards in front of the truck. Filled the saw but it bugged me about the hawk, walked over and there was a fresh killed rabbit. I kicked the rabbit out and the hawk nailed it. Wasn't happy about it.
 

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one of the best is multiflora rose patches... Also autumn olive stands offer winter food from bark strippings


Rabbits like new growth... not old dead tough grass/hay/ straw that's why they frequent lawns where the grass is cut continually during the summer


This time of year I start cutting maple & aspen just let it lay during the snow time and watch the tracks and droppings build up
As the snow gets higher they are offered food from the higher branches. Then in spring when I take out the logs for firewood pile up the branches for brush piles.
 

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Evergreens.

Plant 'em in rows and grow them just like at a Christmas tree farm. Once the trees get about 3 feet high...……..no more herbicides...…..no more mowing between the rows. If your local hawk & owl population is low enough to allow rabbits to somewhat survive, they will survive in the evergreens.


For the fastest results, plant Norway spruce.
 

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had a farm above Meadville, old farm house. while remodeling the boys at 84 lumber would see what I was buying and sneak old pallets into the bed of my truck. i'd take them and pile them 3 high, then place 1 on either side to make a slanted side. built a brushpile on top of it. had probable 12 of them on 30 acres. rabbits galore(and pheasants).
 

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When I was a kid, before I ever owned beagles, we killed a lot of rabbits by hunting brushpiles. Someone would jump on the pile while the other fella watched with shotgun ready. Sometimes multiple rabbits came out.

Thinking about it now, would killing rabbits from brushpiles be considered disturbing wildlife in a den or place of refuge?
 

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No it would not.
 

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had a farm above Meadville, old farm house. while remodeling the boys at 84 lumber would see what I was buying and sneak old pallets into the bed of my truck. i'd take them and pile them 3 high, then place 1 on either side to make a slanted side. built a brushpile on top of it. had probable 12 of them on 30 acres. rabbits galore(and pheasants).
I'm with cooncrazy. I can tell you from my own personal experience that pallets are the best rabbit habitat creators I've ever used. Better than everything else hands down. Rabbits love them and can get in and out of them to avoid predators.
 

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To increase rabbit or any small game its all about keeping them from getting eaten by predators. Build the best habitat you can to help them avoid the predators. After raptors became protected rabbits, as well as most other small game numbers plummeted, even when you make great habitat, the prey can not spend their whole life hiding. I have seen great areas of brush, briars and honeysuckle, which is good rabbit cover. Then mow a path around the edge, with a brush hog and every rabbit will come out on the mowed path and get eaten by a hawk or owl. Cover only goes so far, rabbits are not the smartest creatures. Good habitat will work best when predator numbers are controlled. For now all we can do is give them all the heavy cover we can. You can also put out sulfur salt for the rabbits, the sulfur is suppose to help with fleas, and ticks, and the salt may give bigger and healthier litters.
 
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