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Any thoughts out there about the "need" to kill a rabbit now and then for the sake of the dogs? I live in an area where the rabbit population is down and available hunting ground is limited (compared to 20-25 years ago). I have been reluctant to do more than run the dogs (no gunning involved) for those reasons. Was wondering about thoughts on needing to reward the dogs on occasion? I would appreciate any input.
 

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We don't have a lot of good places to hunt either. Therefore we only kill about 6 to 10 rabbits a year. The rabbits that we shoot are normally shot over young dogs. I dont think older dogs need it. They know what the end result of a chase is. I will say that if the older dogs are pounding one around and around then on occasion we will harvest it. Its more about the running than gunning for us
 

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I feel like I need it more than the dogs sometimes... I often forget how much fun it is to shoot a well run bunny. We run the dogs daily and by "we" I mean my 8 and 9 year old daughters and I. 20 years ago I shot limits on a regular basis, now it's hard too. My goal for this season is 1 rabbit a week, that's 20 tasty critters and plenty of action for my ladies. Most of all I want my girls have fun!
 

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By all means, if you harvest any type of game, do it because you or someone will eat it. Killing one “just for the hounds” may not be the best reason. Not too long ago, men hunted rabbits to put food on the dinner table, but most of us don’t need to hunt to eat today.

Many years ago a bunch of hare hunters on Beaver Island in Michigan got a bad name for themselves with the locals because they were killing hare and just leaving piles of them where they parked. Let’s all have more respect than that for the rabbits we love to chase.
 
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