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I've tried different clovers etc without much luck. Then I bought North American Whitetail Institute seed and they are doing well. I take soil samples and follow their instructions. I've planted Imperial Whitetail Clover in one plot and Imperial Whitetail Fusion in another. Both have done really well, I see rabbits feeding on it all the time, I planted in the Fall. Getting ready to plant another plot of Fusion because I had some extra seed. Will see how spring planting goes. Be sure to take soil samples and tell them what you plan to grow. North American Whitetail Institute offers this for around $14. Good Luck.
 

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I've tried different clovers etc without much luck. Then I bought North American Whitetail Institute seed and they are doing well. I take soil samples and follow their instructions. I've planted Imperial Whitetail Clover in one plot and Imperial Whitetail Fusion in another. Both have done really well, I see rabbits feeding on it all the time, I planted in the Fall. Getting ready to plant another plot of Fusion because I had some extra seed. Will see how spring planting goes. Be sure to take soil samples and tell them what you plan to grow. North American Whitetail Institute offers this for around $14. Good Luck.
I plant the same clover,it does good in all my plots but to tell truth one of the biggest reasons is the blue dye so I can see where im sowing the dang seed lol
 

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Mitch Huguet said on another thread: Were we live "Thick, Thick Matted Briars" and LOTS and LOTS of them is the absolute very best thing we can do for rabbits down here. When we find briars like that we always find more than enough rabbits and other small game to hunt and run.

Without the briars I could never do enough to keep rabbits in my pen as it would be an up hill unending, nonstop battle of hard work, money and frustration and would take away all the fun and pleasure of raising and starting dogs. It would also tempt some to use fake rabbits....FUNNY..... bunnies which when used down here becomes a down hill spiral for any location.

Down here rabbits live, eat and thrive in Thick, Thick Briars and nothing gets to them enough to slow them down if the briars are thick and large enough to provide enough cover and food for large populations of rabbits.

Down here rabbits multiply like rats in "Thick Mated Briars" acres and acres of them. The more briars the more rabbits and other small game increase with no other added help

I agree with previous post above on another thread (see above). In my opinion, food is not the limiting factor for rabbits cover is the limiting factor.
 

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I plant more for cover than food. Pheasants Forever sells some great cover mixes. Most have some varieties of sunflower and sorghum mixes. I like to move these around each year and let natural weeds and briars fill in last year’s plots. The seed is not too expensive, but you also need lime and fertilizer to get a good stand. The weather was bad for planting last year and some of my stands flopped.

I have also planted serecia lespedeza in patches. The lespedeza is very expensive, so when I establish a plot, it’s meant to be there long term. I have had some issues getting the regular old serecia lespedeza like you find in strip mines, roadsides, etc. Seed companies will send other lespedeza varieties sometimes, assuming you want something for feeding to cattle.
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Huntsman what kind of cover do you guys have up your way for rabbits during the cold winter months when the green dies off and the predators get real bold and hungry. Where do the rabbits go for safety and what do they use for food in your part of the country?
 

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Mitch, on some of the bigger wildlife areas that are reclaimed strip mines, serecia lespedeza is fantastic rabbit cover. It grows in large patches, usually in fescue fields. Rabbits will eat all the fescue under the lespedeza, and contrary to popular belief, thrive this way. The lespedeza grows to about waist high on a person.

Where there is no lespedeza, briars - blackberry and multiflora rose - protect rabbits in winter. Honeysuckle patches mixed with briars provide both food and cover. Some of the cover mixes I mentioned above will stand up to winter weather very well also, if planted in a thick stand. My own fields have a lot of goldenrod, which makes cover for rabbit movements, but they need the briars mixed in to survive.
 

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In Missouri, I think blackberry briars are the best. I agree that serecia lespedeza works well also. These 2 pictures are from an old fescue field allowed to grow up. Nothing was planted. There are lots of briars (first picture 2-17-21) and serecia lespedeza (second picture 2-14-21) and lots of rabbits. When turned loose the dogs head for the briars where they have learned that most of the rabbits stay. There are many predators hawks (multiple species) owls (great horned and barred) and coyote tracks daily. The briars may provide a better chance for rabbits to survive on this place.
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In my opinion cover is the most important factor when it comes to rabbit populations. But I do believe food plots or feeders are important as well. I've raised a few Red Backs and I noticed how much feed they ate. They can really go through a bag of pellets and a bale of hay pretty quick. This is high quality pellets and hay, everything in it that they need, not dried up grass, weeds, tree bark etc. So how much of that do they need to eat to get what they need to survive a cold wet winter. If I help one doe make it through the winter and she raises 1 or 2 litters in the spring it was worth the expense. I can't run a rabbit if he is not there.
 

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I don’t find it necessary to do anything for blackberry plants except stop mowing for a couple of years. Birds will spread blackberry seeds in their droppings. The challenge for me is to keep the briars but not let saplings take over due to lack of mowing. I spend a lot of time in winter hand cutting and spraying saplings in the fields.

As for honeysuckle vines, it will take over a field too. I mow and disc when areas of honeysuckle get too large, then will sometimes plant a cover plot, such as lespedeza, in that spot.

Sumac is another problem plant that I mow, disc, and try to set it back. I hate sumac as much as autumn olive. Both try to dominate if you let them.
 

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Has anyone tried planting honeysuckle. I have 7 acres that is brush but in the winter time dies amd thins out. I was thinking of trying to do a stand of honeysuckle in some dead ash saplings to try and create a good winter area for feed and cover it will also but up to a clover food plot
jmeyers, best thing you can do is drop any saplings you have. Rabbits do better if nothing is over 5-6 feet high. They need thick thick ground cover, and you won’t have that if trees are shading it out. When the sun hits the ground, weeds and briars will come (unfortunately also with more saplings). If you have trees around the perimeter of your 7 acres, they will continually reseed your ground with new saplings, plus they will give hawks and owls a perch from which to hunt your ground. Drop all trees of all sizes if you can. Rabbit farming requires constant attention and a lot of labor.
 

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Central Missouri: Black berry briars in horse pasture (fescue around the outside and fence row around outside) have not been cut in 10 years. No food plots were planted. Yesterday 2-22-21 I released a 1 Y hound and he opened in this briar thicket 3 rabbits came out in addition to the 1 he was running (I saw 4 maybe there were more). Both pictures are of same blackberry thicket.
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