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Rabbits and Lawns
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Contributors to this thread:
NvaGvUp 28-Jul-18
Grey Ghost 28-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 28-Jul-18
Grey Ghost 28-Jul-18
Bowbender 28-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 28-Jul-18
JTV 28-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 28-Jul-18
Grey Ghost 28-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 28-Jul-18
Grey Ghost 28-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 28-Jul-18
Narly 28-Jul-18
Thunderflight 28-Jul-18
Grey Ghost 28-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 28-Jul-18
Narly 28-Jul-18
Tiger eye 28-Jul-18
spike78 28-Jul-18
Thumper 28-Jul-18
RK 28-Jul-18
Grey Ghost 28-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 28-Jul-18
Spike Bull 28-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 28-Jul-18
Solo 28-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 28-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 28-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 28-Jul-18
Solo 28-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 28-Jul-18
Woods Walker 28-Jul-18
Rhody 29-Jul-18
Dirk Diggler 29-Jul-18
Owl 29-Jul-18
Woods Walker 29-Jul-18
Shuteye 29-Jul-18
Woods Walker 29-Jul-18
Grey Ghost 29-Jul-18
HA/KS 29-Jul-18
Shuteye 29-Jul-18
Rhody 29-Jul-18
spike78 29-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 29-Jul-18
Rhody 30-Jul-18
Grey Ghost 30-Jul-18
Huntcell 30-Jul-18
Shuteye 30-Jul-18
Mint 30-Jul-18
NvaGvUp 06-Aug-18
Thumper 06-Aug-18
NvaGvUp 06-Aug-18
MK111 06-Aug-18
spike78 06-Aug-18
NvaGvUp 06-Aug-18
slade 06-Aug-18
LINK 07-Aug-18
From: NvaGvUp
28-Jul-18
Reno must be the rabbit capitol of the world, because the little buggers are everywhere.

If you have rabbits in your neighborhood, no doubt you are all too aware of the damage they can do to your yard.

So, how to solve the problem?

Owl or coyote decoys?

Granular repellant (pet safe, of course)?

Something else?

From: Grey Ghost
28-Jul-18
Kyle,

A .22 long rifle works well. Cottontail in a creamy mushroom sauce is delicious. ;-)

Have you noticed the rabbits seem to go in cycles? At least around here they do. Some years they are everywhere, like this year, other years you rarely see one.

Matt

From: NvaGvUp
28-Jul-18
It's illegal to discharge a firearm for that purpose in this part of the county. Too residential. (Discharging a firearm for self defense, OTOH, is OK!)

I have, OTOH, smoked a couple of them with field points when I was in the back yard shooting my bow.

From: Grey Ghost
28-Jul-18
That's right, I forgot you're a city-slicker. ;-)

I've got a couple of barn cats that are hell on the rabbits.

Matt

From: Bowbender
28-Jul-18
Killed a couple of dozen one year with my bow and used broadheads. They were playing hell on the wife's flowers.

From: NvaGvUp
28-Jul-18
GG,

Actually, we are not in Reno, proper. We live on the outskirts of town so it's Washoe County.

From: JTV
28-Jul-18
Bow or Pellet gun.. an ornery dog

From: NvaGvUp
28-Jul-18
Much of the rabbit damage is incurred during the night, so bows and pellet guns are not an option.

Doggie sleeps in the house and she's the furthest thing from 'ornery' you'll ever see.

From: Grey Ghost
28-Jul-18
What kind of damage are you getting, Kyle?

Our rabbits just munch on the lawn a little, but they really don't do any damage. And nothing makes better fertilizer than rabbit pellets.

Matt

From: NvaGvUp
28-Jul-18
GG,

They munch on the lawn and in many places, what's left is nothing but dirt.

Then, when they're doing their munching, they pee and poop at the same time.

"Where bunnies 'go,' no grass grows!"

From: Grey Ghost
28-Jul-18
Kyle,

My father raised rabbits to eat. He used their droppings for fertilizer for his large garden. It's very "hot" though, so you have to use it sparingly. Tomatoes seemed to especially like it. My father's gardens were second to none.

How many rabbits are we talking about here? A handful? Dozens? Hundreds? Have you considered traps?

Matt

From: NvaGvUp
28-Jul-18
GG,

Traps are out. They'll just come back or other bunnies will magically show up to replace them.

There are hundreds and hundreds on Cottontails in the immediate area, along with a few Jacks. In my case, we're likely talking a dozen or so.

Yet if I can get rid of those, without question other rabbits will soon line up to fill the void.

From: Narly
28-Jul-18
Put a tac light on your pellet gun. Doesn't need to be permanently attached. A little spacer and duct tape does the job.

28-Jul-18
Pellet gun with a red light.

The light should scare them and ur neighbors probably wont notice it.

From: Grey Ghost
28-Jul-18
It sounds like killing them would be a futile never-ending effort, if they are that thick in the area. It could be some fun sport with a lighted pellet gun, a few buddies, and some beer, though. ;-)

I was serious about eating them. It's some of the healthiest meat you can eat, and it's delicious. Wild cottontails will be a little chewier than domestic, so slow cooking in some kind of sauce works best. Rabbit stew is one of our traditional meals at elk camp every year.

There has to be some sort of spray repellant you can put on your lawn, but I've never looked into it. I bet the greens keeper at your local course would know.

Matt

From: NvaGvUp
28-Jul-18
I don't have a pellet gun, nor the time to sit i the yard waiting for these cute little buggers to show up.

They often show up at the crack of dawn. As I get up early, if I see a bunny or two on the lawn as it gets light, I'll call my sweet doggie "go get the bunnies." She comes running, then I open the door and once she sees them she goes running after them.

I think that scares the bejabbers out of them, but only for the rest of the day. Then they come back again the next day.

From: Narly
28-Jul-18
Catahoula's. They love em too. At least mine do. Every few days I see one of mine eating one.

From: Tiger eye
28-Jul-18
1 or 2 feral cats will solve your problem. Pick up two from the animal shelter and let em run. Spay them first or you will substitute one problem for another

From: spike78
28-Jul-18
I love the rabbits cuz they eat a ton of weeds. I can’t see any damage done to the lawn. Only problem is I have a hunting dog and she won’t poop until she’s done harassing the rabbits. I notice their are a ton all over this year but here in MA the woods is not thick so they are all around the houses so the hunting sucks.

From: Thumper
28-Jul-18
Rattlesnakes are very good at controlling the rabbit population and LWL's, kill to birds with one stone....lol

I'd bring in some rat snakes, they'll eat the rabbits.

From: RK
28-Jul-18
RABBIT MACE Kyle google it. Read reviews and make your own decision

From: Grey Ghost
28-Jul-18
Guys,

Kyle lives in one of those "hoity-toity" neighborhoods. You know, McMansions with perfectly manicured landscapes, and rich blue-hairs walking their poodles. I don't think snakes, feral cats, or hunting dogs would go over too well. ;-)

Kyle, talk to the grounds keeper at your golf course. I bet he'll have a few ideas.

Matt

From: NvaGvUp
28-Jul-18
There are plenty of rattlers in the area, but better yet, tons of coyotes.

Earlier this year I was getting lots of coyotes on my trail cameras. During that time, we had little or no rabbit issues.

Since then, no coyotes and lots of bad bunnies!

28-Jul-18

Spike Bull 's embedded Photo
Spike Bull 's embedded Photo
This one just lays around eating my weeds all day long. He goes right into my garden but doesn't seem to like what I planted this year.

From: NvaGvUp
28-Jul-18
No 'blue hairs' nor hoity-toity folks anywhere nearby that I know of!

From: Solo
28-Jul-18
lol..... Snakes... hehehe ..

Kyle, funny you bring this up. The cottontails are making a major appearance up here this year, too. I've even been watching a number of youngun's grow up. Been tossing them a few fresh almonds every morning, and they actually come within a few feet and eat them right in front of me.... 'course, I ain't threatened with yard destruction like desert folk... ;^)

From: NvaGvUp
28-Jul-18

NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
My backyard.

Danged Bunnies!

From: NvaGvUp
28-Jul-18

NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo

From: NvaGvUp
28-Jul-18

NvaGvUp's embedded Photo
NvaGvUp's embedded Photo

From: Solo
28-Jul-18
That's carpet bombing....... lol

From: NvaGvUp
28-Jul-18
Yup!

All I need now is a couple of Anti-Bunny guns!

From: Woods Walker
28-Jul-18

Woods Walker's embedded Photo
Woods Walker's embedded Photo
Just get yourself one (or two) of these guys Kyle.............

But a word of caution: There won't be ANYTHING left alive within 100 yards of your house!!!

From: Rhody
29-Jul-18
Ye ol' Jack Russel...

Go to TSC (ag supply) and see if they have any pepper spray (gallons) as a pest control to spray on the ground.

One of the things that might work is see if you can get wolf or canine pee to apply on the "rabbit trails". Another trick for snakes is to pee around the edge of the yard to keep the snakes out....

From: Dirk Diggler
29-Jul-18
Three live traps. Take them in the garage every morning and dispatch the rabbits. As others have said, rabbits eat good. Going to take a while but the solution is final.

From: Owl
29-Jul-18
WW x2...

With a fenced yard, the JRT is not a bad solution, he'll catch and kill or offer no peace to trespassing critters. And with such a target rich environment, he won't be bored enough to dig, which is one of only 2 cons to me about owning one. My BMC has the same mentality, nothing is allowed to live in his domain. If we had a rabbit problem, well, we wouldn't have a rabbit problem.

From: Woods Walker
29-Jul-18
"Another trick for snakes is to pee around the edge of the yard to keep the snakes out...."

Really?? I live on 5 acres surrounded by woods. In the summer you cannot see the nearest neighbor's house, and we rarely...if ever...see a snake. When my dog needs to "go out", I go out with her. I think you just gave me the reason why!

From: Shuteye
29-Jul-18
Rabbits don't bother my yard, just the garden. Rabbits and squirrels go in my crock pot. I have 40 acres so the rabbits, squirrels and groundhogs keep coming and I keep shooting. I also use a havaheart trap that works great for any of those animals. Catches coons and possums too. I use apple for bait.

From: Woods Walker
29-Jul-18
Crock pots.....best idea since indoor plumbing!

From: Grey Ghost
29-Jul-18
Shuteye,

A trick I learned from my father was to spray your traps with apple cider after setting them. Not only does it attract the critters, it knocks down any human scent.

Based on Kyle's pics, he's got some mighty hungry bunnies. I suspect that's because the watered lawns and landscapes are about the only greenery they can find in his neck of the woods.

It's interesting that others have noticed that rabbit populations run in cycles, as I have. I wonder what variables affect that? I've noticed no correlation between weather/precipitation/vegetation. We've had big rabbit numbers in dry and wet years both. In my area, I have noticed that when coyote numbers are down, rabbit numbers are way up, which makes sense, but what causes coyote numbers to change year to year? Apparently, they naturally migrate around so no one particular area gets over harvested. Kinda like the bison used to do with grasslands on the American plains.

Matt

From: HA/KS
29-Jul-18
I had a problem with rabbits eating my garden in a previous home. Other houses were too close for a .22, but a bow is quiet enough - particularly at first light when the neighbors are still asleep. Using a judo, I took out 12 with 12 shots in one month and suddenly my garden prospered.

From: Shuteye
29-Jul-18
I am lucky since I own 40 acres and have no close neighbors, only a farm across the road. I can shoot any time I want including high power rifles. The neighbor that owns the farm across the road expects me to shoot the groundhogs that eat his soy beans.

From: Rhody
29-Jul-18
I did say "yard", not lot/acreage. Snakes, in particularly, rattlers, do not like human scent. I use to live in a high desert area where there were lots of rattlers. An ol' local told us to pee out to the edge of the yard and the human pee was a deterrent in keeping rattlers from seeking refuge around the house. Never had a rattler trespass in the yard after that.

From: spike78
29-Jul-18
Kyle are you sure that is rabbit damage? Never saw any of that in my yard and I have three rabbits there all day everyday. Thinking skunks.

29-Jul-18
Any body else reminded of Caddyshack?

Explosives are what is needed.

From: NvaGvUp
29-Jul-18
Matt,

The reason rabbit populations run in cycles is coyotes. The coyote population follows the rabbit population but is a year or two behind the rabbit cycle.

When rabbits are abundant, coyotes have plenty to eat and the population grows. But as it grows, they eat more bunnies so the rabbit population declines, with a decline in the coyote population to follow.

Supply and demand!

From: Rhody
30-Jul-18

Rhody's Link
Kyle, do one more check ag wise, one of the things that make patches on lawns is June bug damage. The grub/larva causes patches on lawns.

From: Grey Ghost
30-Jul-18
"Kyle are you sure that is rabbit damage? Never saw any of that in my yard and I have three rabbits there all day everyday. Thinking skunks."

I agree, I've never seen rabbits do that kind of damage, either. I think Kyle has something else going on with his lawn.

Matt

From: Huntcell
30-Jul-18
It’s the neighbor lady. Go figure!!!

From: Shuteye
30-Jul-18
Spike 78 has a point about skunks. If you have Japanese beetles, June bugs or ground bees skunks will dig them up. They love that kind of stuff and my skunk will dig up yellow jacket nests and eat the yellow jackets and larva. They are like bears when it comes to getting stung. They just munch on the bees. They do dig very well. I say my skunk because one visits my yard frequently and I don't bother it since I hate yellow jackets.

30-Jul-18
Call Bill Murry.

From: Mint
30-Jul-18
My friend is loaded with rabbits and he doesn't have damage like that. I'm thinking something else is causing that kind of damage. Rabbits are browsers and don't just stay in one spot but move around. At least the ones I see feeding at my archery club.

I'm lucky I have a 37lb pit mix that kills anything that enters the yard. My fig trees haven't been touched in years since she got a few opossums and raccoons.

From: NvaGvUp
06-Aug-18
Every single part of the yard that's damaged is littered with rabbit droppings. I see them sitting in one spot until I send my pup out after them.

They pee and poop, then poop and pee in that spot. I can actually take a trowel and scoop up dozens of pellets at a time.

In the bare spots, I get my blower out and 'whoosh away' lots of droppings which then end up off of the grass.

My neighbor has an owl decoy in his back yard and it seems to work as his yard has very little damage.

From: Thumper
06-Aug-18
Get an owl, but one that moves and screeches. They'll move back over to your neighbors owl.

From: NvaGvUp
06-Aug-18
Thumper,

I ordered TWO owls. They have rotating heads which are motion sensitive.

If they work, I'll get another one for the front yard.

It appears the ones which screech and hoot can be annoying to the neighbors, so I passed on that option.

From: MK111
06-Aug-18
The heck with the neighbors and just save the grass.

From: spike78
06-Aug-18
No get a real owl lol. Wow now that I know skunks eat yellow jackets I have more love for them I hate yellow jackets.

From: NvaGvUp
06-Aug-18
There are lots of owls, coyotes, and hawks around here.

Just not enough to eliminate the rabbits.

From: slade
06-Aug-18
Shuteye, your skunk is like my Possum who visits and spends the winter in the woodshed.

Since they started visiting after my lab passed away, we rarely ever see a slug ....

From: LINK
07-Aug-18
Grey ghost has it. My barn cats don’t tolerate rabbits.

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