Art Lander’s Outdoors: Hunters can expect great year for rabbit hunting as populations increase statewide

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Hunters can expect great year for rabbit hunting as populations increase statewide

Rabbit quantities are up in the Central Kentucky and Bluegrass wildlife locations, primarily based on the Rural Mail Provider Study, which can help biologists keep an eye on rabbit populations across the point out.

Cody M. Rhoden, Compact Game System Coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), wrote in the 2020 Kentucky Rabbit Report that “recent yrs (due to the fact 2016) have observed a great increase in the selection of rabbits noticed. Hunters really should be expecting a fantastic yr for rabbit searching in the future season and possibly the up coming few seasons as our populace cycle carries on its uptick.”

An Eastern Cottontail Rabbit (KDFWR photograph)

He said the increase from 2020 to 2021 was 30 {2b63ca780747fd71e5e7e1abc600b24462415ced4ae6b883c2cb36d8675d08de} in Central Kentucky and 33 per cent in the Bluegrass wildlife areas. “The winter was moderate which favored substantial overwinter survivorship and excellent breeding disorders,” wrote Rhoden.

The Rural Mail Carrier Survey, the oldest in the tiny game application, has been executed for 61 a long time. Mail carriers document rabbit observations as they journey their rural supply routes during the last entire week of July (6 delivery times). Study playing cards provide area for observations of rabbits for each of the study days. Observers also document the range of days surveyed, the size of the route, and the complete miles driven.

The mail carrier details is applied to forecast the approaching searching season, keep track of the inhabitants, and estimate rabbit productiveness. This delivers a glimpse of what can be anticipated for the impending looking period, giving wildlife administrators worthwhile development info exhibiting regardless of whether the inhabitants is up, down, or stable. The info is expressed as the selection of rabbits noticed per 100 miles pushed.

The East wildlife area led all four wildlife locations in the point out in the selection of rabbits observed, followed by the Bluegrass wildlife location.

Swamp Rabbit (Photo by Lindell Dillon, Flickr Commons)

Period Timeframe

Small sport hunters in Kentucky search ahead to the opening of rabbit time in element for the reason that of its timing.

The season is open statewide the 7 days prior to Thanksgiving, on November 15th, so opening working day is form of the unofficial begin of the holiday break time.

In modern years Kentucky’s rabbit year has been split into an japanese and western zone.

The 2021-2022 Kentucky rabbit seasons are:

• Eastern Zone, November 1-12 and November 15 as a result of January 31, 2022.
• Western Zone, November 15 by February 10, 2022.
• The statewide each day bag limit is 4 rabbits.

Rabbit Hunter Cooperator Survey

(Photograph courtesy Recreation and Fish Publications)

The Rabbit Hunter Cooperator Study was created in 1995 as a voluntary initiative. Hunters are questioned to file details about their hunts, such as day, county hunted, hrs hunted, selection of hunters, amount of canines, and number of rabbits seen killed, and wounded on a diary-style looking log.

A duplicate of the logs is offered at fw.ky.gov or by calling 800-858-1549.

Hunters only update their log as the hunting season progresses, and mail it to the KDFWR Headquarters when they are concluded searching for the period.

Facts collected from the survey deliver biologists with info employed to keep track of rabbit populace developments in Kentucky for the 3 species of rabbits current: the japanese cottontail, the swamp rabbit and Appalachian cottontail.

Each calendar year participating hunter cooperators are mailed a new searching log, the success of the study, and a compact gift.

Some highlights from the 2020-2021 Rabbit Hunter Cooperator Survey incorporate:

• Cooperator hunters went on 770 hunts in 55 counties and hunted 2,758 hours.
• Hunters jumped 4,576 rabbits and harvested 2,006.
• Hunters jumped an typical of 5.94 rabbits per hunt and harvested 2.61 rabbits per hunt.
• Ninety-9 {2b63ca780747fd71e5e7e1abc600b24462415ced4ae6b883c2cb36d8675d08de} of study members hunted with puppies.
• The highest harvest fees were in December and January, and 37 per cent of all hunts took position in January.

Rabbit searching with mates and household is exciting and wonderful exercising. Searching with a pack of keen beagles turns the outing into an out of doors spectacle, complete of excitement.

Art Lander Jr. is outside editor for the Northern Kentucky Tribune. He is a indigenous Kentuckian, a graduate of Western Kentucky College and a life-extended hunter, angler, gardener and mother nature fanatic. He has labored as a newspaper columnist, journal journalist and writer and is a former workers writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine, editor of the once-a-year Kentucky Hunting & Trapping Information and Kentucky Spring Looking Guidebook, and co-writer of the Kentucky Afield Outdoors newspaper column.