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Has anyone ever attempted to make rabbit habitat? After spending some time searching for rabbits, I’ve noticed the only place rabbits are surviving in my part of Kansas are in junkyards. I think the reason is because they can get away from coyotes in that type of cover. So I’m was trying to figure out how to duplicate that kind of cover, without junking up the timber. Maybe stack a couple wood pallets and cover with brush?? Any other ideas?
I've never done the pallet under a brush pile thing but I've read it works. I do however make brushpiles and oftentimes plant some wheat or clover next to them specifically for rabbits. It works... they are just like anything else, they need food and cover in close relationship to each other.
I use to be big into field trial beagles. I still have a 6 acre ,rabbit escape proof enclosure with 1x2 welded wire fence. I also was a member of a club where we maintained over 100 acres enclosed.
One thing I did was take the larger plastic ,black field tile and lay on ground . On top of them I would pile brush. I would also lay down logs ,with space between them and pile brush on top. I would have to trap rabbits out each year,as I would have too many.
I would be very cautious of using too small of black tile ,as I know one guy who left his beagles out in the enclosure and one got hung up in a tile.
Rabbits definitely need cover as with so many coyote ,they won't have a chance. I use to hunt an overgrown Christmas tree farm . Lots of rabbits even with all the coyote issues.
I completely forgot about pipe. One of the best rabbit spots I've ever hunted was where a farmer left a bunch of irrigation pipe along a tree row (next to a mile field).
I've got an old buick that seems to be great. So far they've chewed wires off twice and it's not running again. A piece of 4" x 20' irrigation pipe has some living in it like Catscratch said.
Briars, log piles, brush piles and more briars and tall grass, and more briars, Multi flora or brambles and dont kill any woodchucks/ground hogs as the bunnies use the holes for protection, esp. in the winter ....BTW, did I say briars/multi-flora and brambles and tall waist high grass.....
It was strictly a by-product for me, but I left a lot of small brushpiles after a timber operation that I imagine will be rabbit habitat. It was an elective requirement (among several) to keep my property on the wildlife exempt tax rolls. My foodplots are not far from the brushpiles so that should work out well for rabbits. We have so many coyotes around here that the rabbits need a place to hide.
Best thing to help bunnies is planting heavy hard to get into cover. Wildrose is about the best. Cutting and stacking brush works well but it must be stuff the bunnies eat as well. Kansas is way different than where I hunt in NY. We have great Rabbitat in the spots I hunt. Shawn
Rabbitat is good stuff. Pallets with limbs n such on top is great, i like to throw my Christmas trees out amongst the brush piles as well. Not a much better sound than a pack of beagles singin the tune of “get your release on the string, he’s acomin’”.....;^)
I've read about making safe places for rabbits with the pipes. Place 4 pipes in an X , no need to connect them, so when it runs into one, it has 4 ways to escape. Cover with brush, and grow briar bushes. Make piles close enough so rabbits can move from one to another, but not so close you can't get a shot if hunting is your plan. Look at overgrown/ abandoned cattle pastures. They grow up nicely with thick briars surrounded by nice green grass.
The bad thing about pallets is the nails. Unless you plan to replace every few years they can be a source of nail trash.
I used 4 (around) 6" logs in square configuration 2 over top 2 on the ends in the 2 of the 4 bush piles I have going, but yeah I like the 4 pipe thing and will do if I ever make another... Thanks for sharing... Think I'll leave a little space, like a foot opening in the center of the pipes... Not only will it give 4 directions to run, will be bare ground they might like better sitting...
IT isn't coyotes killing them them the most outside of junks yards. It's hawks. Increase timber stems of young succession in your forest to create a think canopy that prevents the hawks from diving down through to get them. And, you will have rabbits again. More turkeys too.
Its also worth mentioning that rabbit populations cycle every 7 years
I guess the best rabbit habitat I had was on the place I just sold. I had a 14 acre clearcut in a creek bottom that grew up so thick the deer nearly quit using it and the hogs had tunnels in it. Every time we went down the perimeter we would see swamp rabbits on either side of it. One or two hops and they were safe from anything.
They are opportunistic. I have 75 big round alfalfa bales on a field about 400 yards from the house. Foot of snow and every junction has rabbit tracks and droppings. Watched a weasel chase a bunny the other day. I get to see that right in front of the house once in a while and most of the time the bunny wins.
LKH - You bring up a good point, have jumped rabbits huddled up against round bails... Never really thought about hunting for them there, just happened a couple times or two while walking close to one, usually to or from deer stand...
I placed huge brush piles around narrow clover winding strips. Rabbits every where, no rabbits any where else. It’s been a magnet for about 7 years. Bonus grouse love it too.
I add to a brush pile every year, even other people's brush. It's about a hundred feet long term feet deep and five feet high or higher. Holds rabbits well. My beagle spends hours digging around there as well as coyote. Had some pipes down but noticed box turtles would get in them and freeze to death. Would be ok I think if you covered pipes with leaves or grass. I leave grass tag ends where I turn the bruch hog around also.
If possible I would consider doing a feathered edge of your south facing timber if possible . Doing so will open it up allowing more sun ,generating new growth of grass ,forbs ,briars etc. Droping tops in randow will profide cover. This is not only great for rabbit cover but quail and pheasant also ,if you have any around. Deer will also benifit
I believe that is called "Rabbitat"......8^P Besides brushpiles, I have had some of my best rabbit hunting in thickets of nasty pricker brush and sapplings.
Hinge-cutting along the edges of clover and other greenfields helps. If you make piles, don’t make them too tight. Old junk can be great.
I read somewhere about rabbit breeding success being much better if salt was available at nesting areas. Tried it a couple years at my B-I-L's place just tossing small chunks of salt blocks onto some existing brush piles we knew had produced rabbits in the past. Seemed to pay off as observed rabbits increased noticeably the next couple years.
Kansas is pretty short on rabbits in most places due to predation. Like you said, junk piles and old farms seem to offer them the best protection. I have made brushpiles all over my farm in an effort to provide more habitat but the packrats seem to take them over. As a kid, I remember seeing s lot more rabbits. They make good fried table fare and are easy to clean using the gutless method. Die guys just shoot them for target practice and never eat them and it's such a waste
Most people burn their brush piles. Great habitat for rabbits and quail don't burn them.
Cover the pallets with roofing felt or roll roofing and they can last a longtime. It also keeps the weeds from choking out the spaces under the pallet.
Rooster, I like that idea!