I headed out to a spot I have been to over the years that always seems to yield a hare or two. I got there late afternoon, and headed down my favorites spot. It is an old ditch with mounds on both sides. The cover is a mix of early growth spruce, alder, willow and the occasional birch.
Roca and I found lots of track, scat, and chews, but no "hair".
We did our normal loop which carried us away from the ditch and across a mix of blueberry, willow, black spruce, and alder. Still nothing. Ok, wrong time of day?
We caught the back trail, crossed through more cover, and ended up at the truck with not a bunny in site. Still lots of time before dusk, so we headed out again.
This time we found the mother lode. Somebody had been cutting birch for firewood, and knocked down the occasional aspen. The rabbit sign was THICK! So thick Roca could walk on their tracks and not sink in. We walked through the knock down trees. Nothing. We walked the edges. Nothing. We did figure 8s, squares, contracting circles, and parallel lines and still could not find a "hair". We went as far away from the cuttings as 300 to 400 yards and then back again. We moved slow, crawled, squatted, listened, and looked and still nothing.
The amount of wood chewed by the hares, scat left, and snow packed was beyond anything I had ever seen. There was even scat several feet up on logs the bunnies had crawled up. But we saw zilch. We started at about 3:30 and hunted till dusk.
Any ideas? What did I do wrong? Where the heck can rabbits hide in the winter. There were no other tracks through the area that looked like human or fresh, so don't think they are overhunted. I did find a fox den though, but that was over 500 yards away and the hare tracks were fresh. There were bunny tracks right next to the den too.
Oh well, gives me a reason to head back out.