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Thread: Low Rabbit Numbers

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    Member AK A's Fan's Avatar
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    Default Low Rabbit Numbers

    Took a drive up the Glenn today, and from Sheep Mountain to Lake Louise, we were only able to manage four of them between four of us! Unbelievable compared to last year, when over that same distance we were able to get twenty. Very little sign, if any at all in most places we stopped. I'm thinking last winter really took a toll on these little guys, or maybe we're just on the end of one of their cycles. Either way, a real bummer for sure
    Ryan from Wasilla

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Based on the numbers we've seen over the past four years, we're due for a major crash in those areas. I'm wondering if that'll make predators a bit easier to call this winter, as they'll be a bit hungrier than usual...if they're still around in decent numbers.

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    I haven't seen a bunny all summer.

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    I have seen a few this summer in my back yard. Usually in the summer with all the tall grass and fireweed I usually never see them. How ever when we were out moose hunting we only seen a few out too.

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    http://redoubtreporter.wordpress.com...other-animals/

    Interesting read by our own Steve Meyer.

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    Havent seen any bunnies either in decent numbers but it seems this year the grouse numbers are huge at least around here so hopefully it gives the predators some food. Last year we had huge hare and lynx numbers so maybe like Brian said a crash is due.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK A's Fan View Post
    Took a drive up the Glenn today, and from Sheep Mountain to Lake Louise, we were only able to manage four of them between four of us! Unbelievable compared to last year, when over that same distance we were able to get twenty. Very little sign, if any at all in most places we stopped. I'm thinking last winter really took a toll on these little guys, or maybe we're just on the end of one of their cycles. Either way, a real bummer for sure

    Hi Ryan,

    Low hare numbers have been on my mind for a good while now. I hunt hares with a hawk. I had a very nice Redtailed Hawk that was a # 1 Game hawk but is deceased now. I was traveling to Delta and hunting along Donnelly Dome. About 4 years ago , my wife and I counted 101 hares , alive, on the road system between Bear Creek and Donnelly dome, but the past two years we haven't counted but just one.

    My cousins just came up from Ga and we ran the roads of Alaska. I missed just two stretches of road, the one between Paxon and GlennAllen and the one between the Denali Hiway and Denali park. We traveled all of the main roads left. We didn't see but one hare on the trip!! Sic

    I hear of pockets of hares, here and there, I long for the days of Fairbanks in 1972 when there was a hare high that took the nice cake !! We came up in 73 and hares were every where plus the predators had followed.

    good hunting,

    Gary,

    Fairbanks

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Low Rabbit Numbers

    I am really curious about the relationship between high hare numbers and moose browse quality and vice versa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I am really curious about the relationship between high hare numbers and moose browse quality and vice versa.
    I have wondered that too. If I had to make a guess, I would think that because the moose eat up higher on the willows than the hare, they wouldn't much interfere with each other. On the other hand, I have seen hares do quite a lot of damage to the willows when they girdle the trees. So I suppose during population explosions it is possible that the hare density could have an effect on moose browse.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Low Rabbit Numbers

    The hare cycle has been attributed to the willow producing large amounts of tannins when over browsed by rabbits. This makes causes the hares to not be able to eat (or not digest) the willow and ends up in a major die off. I don't know if a high moose population could trigger the same response and keep hares from rebounding. I also don't know if this defense mechanism for the willows has any affect on the moose. Interesting stuff though.

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    Well went up to Gun Sight today saw very few tracks and one rabbit that we could not get shot at . however my lab found a porcupine down a culvert that was blocked at the other end. took about a hour to get her to come out she got five quills in the nose dumb dog . however all of her barking called in a coyote all I had was my 410 suck. But it was a sunny day and good view, rabbit numbers are down a lot . Might scratch rabbit hunting for the year and go for fox or coyotes instead.

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    I found more rabbit tracks than I expected on a walk last thursday, interesting to me that they were predominately very small, not sure why that is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redneckalaskan View Post
    Well went up to Gun Sight today saw very few tracks and one rabbit that we could not get shot at . however my lab found a porcupine down a culvert that was blocked at the other end. took about a hour to get her to come out she got five quills in the nose dumb dog . however all of her barking called in a coyote all I had was my 410 suck. But it was a sunny day and good view, rabbit numbers are down a lot . Might scratch rabbit hunting for the year and go for fox or coyotes instead.
    Did you happen to jump any ptarmigan or grouse in your search. That place use to be good for both bunnies and birds. I was out this year much much earlier and noted the same thing about bunnies but we also did not jump one bird in our treks across the mountains

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    Quote Originally Posted by NDH View Post
    Did you happen to jump any ptarmigan or grouse in your search. That place use to be good for both bunnies and birds. I was out this year much much earlier and noted the same thing about bunnies but we also did not jump one bird in our treks across the mountains
    No birds just the coyote. Im going back with a friend and try to get a fox or coyote in the next few weeks.

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    while I think the hare numbers are down slighly, they are still their in good numbers,, Took a friend and my kid out a couple weekends ago and we managed 30 in short order. We Missed another couple dozen with the .17 hmr and .223 through the brush.. and walked by a few dozen more im sure.

    their out their, lots of go pro footage..

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    http://redoubtreporter.wordpress.com...other-animals/

    Interesting read by our own Steve Meyer.
    Very good article ! Natives used to say, during those high years of the hare's seven-year cycle, that "the rabbits are on the hop".

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    Default Low Rabbit Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoytguy View Post
    while I think the hare numbers are down slighly, they are still their in good numbers,, Took a friend and my kid out a couple weekends ago and we managed 30 in short order. We Missed another couple dozen with the .17 hmr and .223 through the brush.. and walked by a few dozen more im sure.

    their out their, lots of go pro footage..
    I hear muzzle blast is an approved method on hare. Scares them to death.

    Just gotta get out and explore.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member AK A's Fan's Avatar
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    It's seeming that although the Glenn Highway populations seem to be down, the valley numbers are still faring quite well. We've managed quite a few of them from several spots pretty close to town. In fact, this has been one of the better years for us close to town. Definitely a strange year!
    Ryan from Wasilla

  19. #19

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    this is definatly the best year by far in my area still isnt a ton of them but i think some areas are actualy on the return not the decline. pt. mc sucked they are on the decline in the area i go out there wasnt a single track!

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    Last few times I have gone out in Houston we only saw a few rabbits each time. Definitly not as many as there were Last year, far less tracks even. That said, there were still enough to see a few out so they are not hurting to bad in my hunting area, just a little harder to work for em.

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