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Ufatz

Jackrabbit Mystery

28 posts in this topic

When was the last time anybody you know saw a jack rabbit?  When I was a young tiger we would see them all the time while fox huntin or chasing cotton tails and while I have been gone from MN for many decades I am now in an area where there SHOULD be some of those big long eared speed hoppers.

Don't know whether they are edible-don't recall ever hearing of anybody eating one,  but something has killed them off,  but what is it?

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For my job, I spend a lot of time driving around in fields on a four wheeler. So far this year, I have seen 5 Jackrabbits. One in southern Renville county and 4 in southeastern Chippewa county. Very cool animals and I wish there were more around.

 

If you ask me my opinion as to why the population has dwindled, I would say it has to do with fence lines between fields disappearing, especially the ones with large amounts of brush, and the lack of weeds and grass within fields. 

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If I am lucky I may see one or 2 during the pheasant season while out hunting here in SD. They are hard to come by but I always enjoy seeing them when I do.

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Fair amount of them out here in Western ND.  We were hunting late season pheasants last December and kicked up around 15 out of one smaller area.  They seemed to yard up like whitetails, kind of weird.

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I see one or two a year around Princeton 

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Posted (edited)

25 minutes ago, lungdeflator said:

They seemed to yard up like whitetails, kind of weird.

Adapt or die.

 

 

 

Not to hijack but I was thinking last night about how I don't see fireflies like I used to.   When I was a kid in the 80s seemed like it was easy to catch a bunch and put them in a jar or go town with a wiffle ball bat.  Now it's just a handful here and there.  Saw a ton of them coming out of a small patch of recently mowed down tall weeds and grass at the boat launch last night and realized I havent seem them thick like that for a long long time. 

 

I bet the jackrabbits suffer from habitat loss and monoculture ag.

 

 

Edited by bobbymalone

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20 hours ago, bobbymalone said:

Adapt or die.

 

 

 

Not to hijack but I was thinking last night about how I don't see fireflies like I used to.   When I was a kid in the 80s seemed like it was easy to catch a bunch and put them in a jar or go town with a wiffle ball bat.  Now it's just a handful here and there.  Saw a ton of them coming out of a small patch of recently mowed down tall weeds and grass at the boat launch last night and realized I havent seem them thick like that for a long long time. 

 

I bet the jackrabbits suffer from habitat loss and monoculture ag.

 

 

Too many wiffle ball bats!  haha

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Posted (edited)

Well, I'm happy to hear  you fellas are seeing a few of them. My guess is agricultural practices have much to do with the lack of population, driving them to  more uncultivated parts of the country side. As I said,  don't recall ever talking to a person who ATE one ,  but there would surely be plenty of meat .  But it might be a little tough!

Edited by Ufatz
tighter writing

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Used to see them all the time in NW Iowa when I was a kid (50s and 60s) - they seemed so big when all white in winter pelts.  Also burrowing owls were around then, too, but the owls are gone for sure and the jacks are rarely if ever seen.  No more fence lines or permanent pastures much any more are what I guess.  Loss of habitat for sure.  Lots fewer pheasants now too for the same reason.

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Fox, Yotes, birds of prey. To many eaters now a days.  I contacted the DNR one time to ask about Snowshoe rabbits and what was happening to them? They just said we really do not manage rabbit's in MN. :(

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1 hour ago, leech~~ said:

Fox, Yotes, birds of prey. To many eaters now a days.  I contacted the DNR one time to ask about Snowshoe rabbits and what was happening to them? They just said we really do not manage rabbit's in MN. :(

Aren't snowshoes known for their large population fluctuations? 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, delcecchi said:

Aren't snowshoes known for their large population fluctuations? 

 

They do fluctuate greatly, or so we are told, but it seems they haven't had an upswing in my neck of the woods going on 20 years now... I used to be an avid Snowshoe Hunter. Would be nothing at all to see 20-25 per trip with minimal effort in 3-4 hours. Now the same amount of time, and relentless brush pounding might result in seeing 4-5 hares at best. I hear of 7 year cycles, 10 year cycles, etc., but I see no evidence of that where I live and hunt.

Edited by pikestabber
leech~~ likes this

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I have a place near Lake of the Woods and we always have some running around.  They like to get in the headlights and run in the winter.

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59 minutes ago, pikestabber said:

 

They do fluctuate greatly, or so we are told, but it seems they haven't had an upswing in my neck of the woods going on 20 years now... I used to be an avid Snowshoe Hunter. Would be nothing at all to see 20-25 per trip with minimal effort in 3-4 hours. Now the same amount of time, and relentless brush pounding might result in seeing 4-5 hares at best. I hear of 7 year cycles, 10 year cycles, etc., but I see no evidence of that where I live and hunt.

Could be the habitat has changed, aspen grew up or whatever they like isn't there as much. 

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1 hour ago, delcecchi said:

Could be the habitat has changed, aspen grew up or whatever they like isn't there as much. 

 

That could certainly be a part of it, but jack pines, cedar swamps, and spruce swamps are the main haunts I frequent, and they don't change too much over time. That said, there is probably some link to food, etc., that has changed, or predation was too great for a time, etc. I'm sure you're on to something there... I've heard big swings can be the mark of lynx migration and owl migration, both of which do occur in this part of the state, sometimes prolifically (especially owls).

leech~~ likes this

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Keep in  mind that snowshoe rabbits, cottontail rabbits and hares (jack rabbits) are different species. At least that's what my poor weak old mind remembers from it's better, snappier days! Ha Ha!

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On 7/2/2017 at 11:46 AM, bobbymalone said:

 

Not to hijack but I was thinking last night about how I don't see fireflies like I used to.   When I was a kid in the 80s seemed like it was easy to catch a bunch and put them in a jar or go town with a wiffle ball bat.  Now it's just a handful here and there.  Saw a ton of them coming out of a small patch of recently mowed down tall weeds and grass at the boat launch last night and realized I havent seem them thick like that for a long long time. 

 

 

 

There is an area of my yard that I don't mow, about an acre or so. The fireflies are thick there, must be hundreds each summer night, maybe more. Before moving to this home 3 years ago I had never seen a firefly so it's quite the sight for me when I go and watch them. 

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21 minutes ago, jbell1981 said:

 

There is an area of my yard that I don't mow, about an acre or so. The fireflies are thick there, must be hundreds each summer night, maybe more. Before moving to this home 3 years ago I had never seen a firefly so it's quite the sight for me when I go and watch them. 

 

I ran into a a few more spots that are just thick with them over the past few weeks that might have had a couple flying around in years past.  I don't know.  Maybe I'm imagining that they are thicker than I've seen in a long time.

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Starting seeing the fireflies first week in June, which is the avg start time for them here. Lots of them since then, most I've seen since I did a study and report on them for a couple summers a few years back.

Haven't seen a hare around here in  loooong time. Can't blame wolves down here....maybe expansion of cities, and lack of  prairie/border woods? 

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Posted (edited)

Really, now it's a Firefly thread. What does lighted bug butts have to do with rabbits or lack there of? :angry:

Edited by leech~~

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Don't anyone tell him we're all lookin' for the fireflies...... :P   THE RABBITS.

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2 hours ago, leech~~ said:

Really, now it's a Firefly thread. What does lighted bug butts have to do with rabbits or lack there of? :angry:

 

Really, one of this sites biggest offenders of getting a thread offtrack is complaining about a thread going offtrack?

PurpleFloyd likes this

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The forum is dead and this thread is at the point it's about everything and nothing.   

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, jbell1981 said:

 

Really, one of this sites biggest offenders of getting a thread offtrack is complaining about a thread going offtrack?

 

ikr! bob. :whistle:

 

On 7/2/2017 at 11:46 AM, bobbymalone said:

 

 

Not to hijack but I was thinking last night about how I don't see fireflies like I used to.   When I was a kid in the 80s seemed like it was easy to catch a bunch and put them in a jar or go town with a wiffle ball bat.  Now it's just a handful here and there.  Saw a ton of them coming out of a small patch of recently mowed down tall weeds and grass at the boat launch last night and realized I havent seem them thick like that for a long long time. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by leech~~

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