I’ve had the same experience as Alan- absolutely no success at getting them into the cages and they only damage my fruit trees during the winter. The snow was very high this past winter (almost 3’), and they ate all the low fruit-buds off a bunch of apple trees. During the summer, they really do a number on my garden, beans in particular.
Last year I tried using a sling shot to get it, but I wasn’t a good enough shot and the 1 time I got lucky, it didn’t pack enough umph. I probably need to get a pellet or CO2 gun if I really want to take it out.
Alan, sorry about that. Can’t really use a fence due to them being mostly on my driveway, and in the front of the house. It would be more of a pain for me then anything.
Have A Heart is useful to make sure that you are only killing the target animal. I’ve caught and released a roaming cat. Too bad that cat hasn’t done it’s part in eat/scare away the rabbits.
Well, I would say, Bob, that cats probably would be much more likely to walk into a Have a Heart trap, as they like to go inside things, but very unlikely to step on a trap baited with a carrot. I think in Sean’s situation, I bet he could set a trap that would only attract a rabbit, and be done with his issue (for a while), but you do bring up a good point. One of my big bugaboos - cats outside. They shouldn’t be allowed to go outside, as they are our #1 killer of native songbirds.
You’re probably right about the carrot, but I’m often trying for raccoon and groundhogs as well, so there is a variety of bait. From what I’ve read, rabbits should go for apple cores, but it (and lettuce, carrots, peanut butter, etc) hasn’t worked for me. Groundhogs are tricky to get, but possible. Rabbits just don’t go in.
Strangely, the one time I caught a rabbit, it was a young one in an empty tall 3 gallon plastic pot which was on it’s side. I picked the pot up, saw a lot of movement in it and threw the whole thing with a scream. Of course it got away after the pot landed
I’m not a pet lover, but I wouldn’t mind having more cats around- at least the hunter variety. Only after my parents got cats did the birds stop eating all the blueberries. Their cats used to lay under the blueberry bush and jump up to snare the birds.
For this particular rabbit, or rabbits all I needed to do was either take my cuttings from pruning, or some of the many branches they already chewed off that still had leaves and that was enough. Apples did work because they ate them, but only if I already bated the trap with plum or apricot leaves.
I have a small shotgun that kills rabbits easily- when they come out during the day. Once I’ve shot a couple they become nocturnal, except the small young ones whom the older and wiser rabbits quickly replace.
I can recommend the Benjamin Titan air rifle.
It packs a whallop. For around $125 . Check out all the reviews at cabelas, amazon, wally world, etc. Extremely accurate, cheap, and will kill small critters easily. We like to sit on our back deck in the evenings and I always have it with me just in case. Truth be told I’ve never actually killed anything with it because I haven’t had much problems with pests yet. But I can attest to its accuracy and knock down power because I shoot it at targets a lot and have put pellets through half inch plywood.
Bob, many cats out there had their claws removed, can’t catch mice or rabbits etc. It it not their fault but their irresponsible human owners
I’ve trapped at least 13 rabbits this year. I haven’t had too much issue with the smaller ones, but i’ve only caught maybe 1 of the big rabbits… i use a large live trap…the one that is probably for raccoons… i cut some apple up in toss it inside…I do think leaving the trap out there for a few days to get them used to it might not hurt, although i do wonder if the bigger ones know not to go in there. I came home last night and counted 3 rabbits in the neighbors yard so i’m not making much of a dent … i’d shoot them all if i could but in this neighborhood that isn’t a good idea. I think we are at some sort of rabbit population peak. In years past i’ve had almost zero issue with rabbits…this year its just insane. To this day they are still eating a lot of my flowers, chewing on some of my smaller trees…even with yards full of clover. I am also seeing very small/young rabbits this late in the year…did these things breed twice…not sure.
I always have good success trapping rabbits with whole apples, year round, especially in the winter, also works for possums. Dead birds, chicken skin and bones for raccoons and possums, and sunflower seeds for squirrels. For the past three years, I’ve posted my annual critter report, and the next one will be posted in January.
I have one rabbit that has been hanging around me while I’m in my orchard. As of now it hasn’t damaged anything. Just one more thought about preventing damage to your trees. Will starting your limbs higher than the rabbit can reach be a viable option? Bill
That is what I was thinking. I’m seeing the most here that I’ve seen in a long time. However, it is small compared to what other people are reporting. It might be due to the healthy fox population we have here. I see them on patrol at dusk, when all the rabbits are coming out as well. We never have a lot of squirrels either. Having foxes around would be more effective than cats. With the exception of deer, they can handle all the furry ground vermin. Actually, they might even help a bit with deer by deterring doe from turning your orchard into a deer nursery.
I don’t think that really makes a difference. Rabbits like apple tree bark, especially in the winter, when other food sources are scarce. That’s why it’s important to have rabbit guards around your tree trunks.
You are so right, I am going to buy the white plastic spirals and put them on this November! Learned my lesson the hard way. Wish our foxes would come back, but they won’t.
In my area in S. NY state we are also in the second year of a rabbit epidemic. It is funny that they arrived just as there was a crash in the squirrel population. I will take the rabbits over squirrels any day. Unfortunately, this season the birds are filling in for the squirrels where the rabbits can’t climb and destroying half of my fruit. Can’t be bothered with nets.
Interesting that you say that. The rabbit density has exploded the last couple of years here too. My planting safeguards had only considered deer.
Now I’ve seen 4 or more rabbits at once and often 2. Prior years it was 1 at a time and they were more tentative. I used to expect a raptor to swoop down and snatch them when they are in the open. No luck.
We have eagles around here to help out but they mostly go after the fish on Logan Martin Lake. Occasionally they will give us a flyover to see what is available.
Now that you mention that, we used to have quite a few hawks around here when we first moved in 4 years ago. I can remember the wife and I sitting in our dining room and looking out the window watching 3 or 4 just circle above. They would cover a pretty wide area moving every 15-20 min… had to be easily covering 1/4-1/2 mile at a time. I don’t think I’ve seen them in about 2 years. Last year I know for a fact we had at least 3 rabbits in our yard alone when prior years I would only see one in passing. Now this year we have at least 3, possibly more since its impossible to tell them apart.
I assume that if I see 3 or 4 in the open at one time there must be at least dozens of them in the brambles and surrounding properties.