Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Grouse and Rabbit numbers seem to be building this year in 14 A

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Outta Big Lake
    Posts
    1,633

    Default Grouse and Rabbit numbers seem to be building this year in 14 A

    I've been scouting quite a bit when I go bear hunting and (going from the past 2 years or so) it seems like the grouse and rabbits are really making a come back. last couple years, it was rare I saw a grouse with babies, this year I have seen over 12 (My shoes have holes in them and my toes stick out so I can count more than just on my fingers!) all with 7 or more, one had 18 that I counted! Just today I saw 2 separate "sets" of them. one of them seemed almost as big as they are in the fall, some of them look brand spankin new, I love how the mom acts like she has a broken wing and what not and lures you away from her babies

    As for rabbits, I see em on my way to work, I see em at the gas station, I see em on the side of the road, I see em where I hunt them in the fall, I see them at work (Heck I even litterally stepped on one) Me and Granpaa always take our hand made bows and arrows out once in the early summer and get some nice young tender ones (save the rest for fall/winter) I went scouting last wednesday after work/before Bible study and they are all lookin pretty much grown up. and rollin in fat (no joke, last year the ones I shot had prolly 1/4 inch of fat over thier whole body/s)

    Anyway, Just thought I'd give a report on my findings, compared to previous years.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  2. #2
    Member PG13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    342

    Default

    You weren't ignored based on the views but I thought I would give a public "woo-hoo!" Going back to the sharp-tailed discussion this winter, it seems recruitment (often the most important factor in boosting numbers) is going well. Here's to hoping the all the beasts of the field eat well and leave some for my ugly mug.
    Go Big Red!

  3. #3
    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    20B
    Posts
    1,379

    Default

    How early in the year do the hares begin dropping litters? It seems like I've been seeing a lot of them in places where I never kicked up a single one in winter. Do you think the high numbers are a result of seeing a bunch of little ones that are most likely going to end up coyote food before hunting season? I must have seen two dozen between Nenana and Denali along the road last week. Just sitting there - laughing that I'd have to posthole my way through feet of snow to find them later.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Outta Big Lake
    Posts
    1,633

    Default

    The first litter that I saw was around mid april the 2nd (or maybe just they were late) was around mid/late may. or so.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  5. #5
    Member PG13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    342

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    Do you think the high numbers are a result of seeing a bunch of little ones that are most likely going to end up coyote food before hunting season?
    Certainly more young ones on the landscape than veterans. Also, if you would put some meat on those toothpicks you would have more surface area and maybe you could float on some of that snow instead of punching through...
    Go Big Red!

  6. #6
    Member ironartist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Meadow Lakes
    Posts
    1,182

    Default

    grouse numbers looked rather well at the end of my drive this a.m. maybe in mmmm a month they will still be near
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
    "Rebellion is in my blood, I was born an American"
    Μολών λαβέ

  7. #7
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    The hare will keep dropping litters every few weeks for at least another month. I have mentioned this a few times but they have two uteri and the ability to carry two broods of leveretts at a time with significantly different due dates. Cool little beasts they are (and tasty)!

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Outta Big Lake
    Posts
    1,633

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    The hare will keep dropping litters every few weeks for at least another month. I have mentioned this a few times but they have two uteri and the ability to carry two broods of leveretts at a time with significantly different due dates. Cool little beasts they are (and tasty)!
    There the best right about now if'n you can find a nice young tender one. I found one of them last night when I went to help put out a forest fire (800 yards from my house, I got there before the fire dept)
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  9. #9
    Member ironartist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Meadow Lakes
    Posts
    1,182

    Default

    ffg points inbound for playing firefighter,,,,, now on the other hand I wonder what the cause,,,,,,,, could it have been ILLEGAL FIREWORKS?
    And when it comes to bunnies numbers were horrible last year I think the numbers are on their down swing on the cycle, 2 winters ago there were lots around my place last year there were none. Whats a hares cycle 7 years?
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
    "Rebellion is in my blood, I was born an American"
    Μολών λαβέ

  10. #10
    Member PG13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    342

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ironartist View Post
    Whats a hares cycle 7 years?
    Gestation is 36-40 days. Oh, not THAT cycle! 7 sounds appropriate but I can't help on that number as this is my first year living in a landscape with the little buggers.
    Go Big Red!

  11. #11
    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    20B
    Posts
    1,379

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    There the best right about now if'n you can find a nice young tender one. I found one of them last night when I went to help put out a forest fire (800 yards from my house, I got there before the fire dept)
    I see at least four brand new fire locations between Wasilla and Willow. Three have fireworks as the specific cause. Keep up the good work FFG.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Outta Big Lake
    Posts
    1,633

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ironartist View Post
    And when it comes to bunnies numbers were horrible last year I think the numbers are on their down swing on the cycle, 2 winters ago there were lots around my place last year there were none. Whats a hares cycle 7 years?
    I noticed the same, 2 and 3 years ago I coulda filled the freezer easy with all the rabbits runnin through our pastures, last year I saw 2 rabbit trails on my whole trap line where 2 years ago I had seen prolly 40 or 50 (no kidding, it was crazy) last summer/ fall rabbits were somewhat scarse. but now I'm wonderin about the 7 year thing? maybe its a small up-tick in the numbers? I don't see how that could be, cause in my best bunny hunting spot (I get hares there no matter what the year) there are a butt load of marten tracks and fox tracks. even on poor years, but expecially this spring the ammount of marten tracks was incredible. (it would almost make it worth the 20 minute 4 wheeler ride) and the bunnys are still on the rise........

    Or maybe I'm becoming a better hunter and getting better at spotting game?
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  13. #13
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    From what I have read predator prey relationships between hare and the various animals that eat the is a one way street. Another words the hare crash kills off the predators but the predators don't really kill off the hate. The hare killer is generally starvation due to the willow browse developing a chemical in their bark in response to over browsing. This chemical makes it so the hares can't eat (or at least not digest) the willow bark and they crash. The predators follow on with a decline of their own. It takes several years for the browse to recover which in turn leads to the roughly 7 year hare cycle.

  14. #14
    Member PG13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    342

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    The hare killer is generally starvation due to the willow browse developing a chemical in their bark in response to over browsing.
    I had always assumed it was simply overconsumption of forage, not that the chemical make-up had changed. I did a quick search that validated LuJon's statement.

    http://cwx.prenhall.com/bookbind/pub...e-content.html

    Take a look if you'd like but it explains the cyclic nature of the lynx/hare and how the hare/browse interaction muddies the water a little bit. I really had no idea that the younger shoots had these toxins but the literature reads that the buds especially have greater chemical defense capabilities (makes sense since the buds will lead to future plant growth and seed production). As probably everyone reading this knows, when you clip off some buds, often the resources that would have went to that part of the plant are now shifted and you end up with multiple buds lower on the branch now thinking they are the most important. The "clumping" of these buds with their associated high levels of chemical defense can be a deterrant to foraging, allowing the plant to rebound and become suitable browse in a couple years as the density of buds lessens.

    Neat stuff. There was a bunch of literature from the late 80s, early 90s if you anyone wants me to post links to at least the abstracts.
    Go Big Red!

  15. #15
    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    20B
    Posts
    1,379

    Default

    For those of you considering grad school, this is the type of information you will learn to use. If you can put up with the old hippie burnout professors and ranting, raving, raging liberal classmates, there is good knowledge to be gleaned from the experience. I'd wait and not be at a university during an election year though. Ugh, 2008 was hell in Boone, NC. I spent most of my time chasing brook trout in those days, but when I showed up on campus I made sure to not stay any longer than I had to.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


  16. #16
    Member fishnngrinn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    296

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    From what I have read predator prey relationships between hare and the various animals that eat the is a one way street. Another words the hare crash kills off the predators but the predators don't really kill off the hate. The hare killer is generally starvation due to the willow browse developing a chemical in their bark in response to over browsing. This chemical makes it so the hares can't eat (or at least not digest) the willow bark and they crash. The predators follow on with a decline of their own. It takes several years for the browse to recover which in turn leads to the roughly 7 year hare cycle.
    This reminded me of the McCandless story: Summary from Wiki: "On July 30, McCandless wrote a journal entry which reads, EXTREMLY WEAK. FAULT OF POT. SEED...[4][5] Krakauer hypothesized that McCandless had been eating the roots of Hedysarum alpinum, a historically edible plant commonly known as wild potato (also "Eskimo potato"), which are sweet and nourishing in the spring but later become too tough to eat. When this happened, McCandless may have attempted to eat the seeds instead. Krakauer suggests that the seeds contained a poisonous alkaloid, possibly swainsonine (the toxic chemical in locoweed) or something similar. In addition to neurological symptoms such as weakness and loss of coordination, the poison causes starvation by blocking nutrient metabolism in the body. However, he realized that Chris had not confused the two plants and instead a more likely scenario is that he was poisoned by mold growing on the local flora he had gathered. [6] The 2007 film adaptation by Sean Penn shows Chris confusing two different plants, and he chooses the wrong one.
    NRA Lifetime Member

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    There the best right about now if'n you can find a nice young tender one. I found one of them last night when I went to help put out a forest fire (800 yards from my house, I got there before the fire dept)
    Just be careful handling them. Hares can carry tularemia "hare fever" until after the first hard frost. I always wait until after moose season is over before I start hunting the hares. I am sure they are tender thought like you are saying.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •