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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lori walks every day with Chloe our GSP, they go for 2 miles. When she came home Lori told me she counted 20 plus rabbits during her walk, they were in yards and crossing the road. We live on a secondary paved road. I have at least 5 plus behind our house. Driving my dogs nuts watching them.
I know rabbits cycle every 7+ years so I am hoping we have more because of it.
What is the rabbit situation at your homes?
 

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I have never seen any evidence that cottontails “cycle” every so many years. In my experience, if you have suitable habitat, you will consistently have rabbits year after year in the same places.

July is a month of peak rabbit population. Breeding starts to slow with the coming of late summer so that within a couple of months many of those rabbits you see now will be gone and those that remain are much improved at staying hidden from daytime predators, including us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree with the habitat, I have hunted places that always had rabbits, we never shot a lot go there the next year and numbers were going down, went a few years later and jumped one rabbit. The population then start to swing back up.
The DNR of Michigan has always said cottontails cycle, the same with partridge. JMHO
 

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I agree with the habitat, I have hunted places that always had rabbits, we never shot a lot go there the next year and numbers were going down, went a few years later and jumped one rabbit. The population then start to swing back up.
The DNR of Michigan has always said cottontails cycle, the same with partridge. JMHO
To me, a cycle would mean an entire State or large area of it would go up/down on a regular pattern, which simply does not happen. Somehow that myth got started years ago, but we don’t hear it much anymore.

Now, you might have a big population in a small area one year and not the next simply because predators will focus on areas where there is food. If a bobcat decides to raise her kittens in your 50 acre cutover, you naturally will not have the number of rabbits you had last year when she was a solitary predator passing through. You can call that situation a cycle if that meets your definition, but every 7 years?
 

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Seeing many more rabbits in areas where where I run. It has been sparse for the last number of years (S. Central PA). PGC says the cicada return (17 year variety) has positively impacted some of the predators' food chain in that they (cicadas) were an easy to get source of protein, thus sparing the normally vulnerable young of some game species. Anecdotal evidence would show a correlation between the cicada numbers and the rabbit numbers around here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am seeing more in middle Tennessee. i have good habitat but seems like more rabbits this year. For what it is worth TWRA also says rabbits are on a 7 year cycle.
Thanks Rick for validating the 7 years cycle. If it’s as Huntsman says its more propaganda that is being told to us by our DNR. In Utah they will cycle every 10 years.
I have been hunting and running dogs for many years I have seen the cycle occur in various portions of our state. JMHO
 

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I am seeing more in middle Tennessee. i have good habitat but seems like more rabbits this year. For what it is worth TWRA also says rabbits are on a 7 year cycle.
I was interested in the validity of this and I asked a wildlife biologist and he said that most animals go through a circadian but especially with animals that have so much predator pressure, rabbits certainly adjust their numbers according to their need for survival. But let’s be real God is the true orchestrator of all of this. He manages His creation in a way that we Never will understand. I’m glad cuz I sure do enjoy His creation! You all as well I’m sure.
 

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Jhook I agree 100%. God created His animals to survive and gave them the instincts to not overpopulate for their environment. In bad dry years you will see less rabbits because less habitats and food sources. The whole chain of predator/prey are related and years of good habitat/food you will have more production of rabbits, quail, mice, etc., and also more snakes, hawks, coyotes, bobcats, fox, etc. nature has a check/ balance that we can only somewhat understand. I have been studying this cycle for many years and have worked with our local/state Biologist for over 30 years and it does seem to lean towards a 5-7 year cycle but only as Jhook said God determines those cycles. The theory of 7 years came from the Old Testament teachings of laying land idle to rest thus allowed more habitat/food. God’s plan not ours.
 

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I don't know if it's a cycle or not but I've been seeing a lot of young rabbits in town and also on the bike paths I ride along the river and old canals.But I see that each year,lots of young squirrels and waterfowl too.About a year ago I surprised a hen turkey with her pheasant sized brood.Years ago I remember reading a quote from a state biologist that in Ohio rabbits have an annual turnover rate of 85%.
 

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I was interested in the validity of this and I asked a wildlife biologist and he said that most animals go through a circadian but especially with animals that have so much predator pressure, rabbits certainly adjust their numbers according to their need for survival. But let’s be real God is the true orchestrator of all of this. He manages His creation in a way that we Never will understand. I’m glad cuz I sure do enjoy His creation! You all as well I’m sure.
Amen brother!!!
 

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Im seeing rabbits but im not going to get excited.The balance of nature is screwed up where i live.By october ill have fat hawks and owls etc.And be back down to one rabbit.
Burnett is correct. The only real “cycle” with cottontails is the population peaks in July each year. By Sept, you won’t see the numbers everywhere like you do in July. Same thing every year as long as the habitat does not change - for example, let your fields revert to forest and you eventually will not have as many rabbits even in July.
 

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Burnett is correct. The only real “cycle” with cottontails is the population peaks in July each year. By Sept, you won’t see the numbers everywhere like you do in July. Same thing every year as long as the habitat does not change - for example, let your fields revert to forest and you eventually will not have as many rabbits even in July.
What a GREAT subject! As a young rabbit hunter, I would hear the old guys talk about the "cycle". Now, 55 years later, I am one of the old guys and I still can't confirm or deny the "cycle". But for sure there are some years better than others as far as numbers! Looking forward to more "cycle" theories. Bottom line, as long as they aren't extinct, I'll still let the dogs chase 'em.
 

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Years ago I remember reading a quote from a state biologist that in Ohio rabbits have an annual turnover rate of 85%.

If we are tending the garden to keep it (having dominion) and all, then we may need to help..... keep the balance of life in our garden.

Some times we need to help our little friends to live and prosper so they can inherit their place in the land too.

We all know there are those that go about as a...Roaring Lion seeking whom they may devour. Those have a place but everything needs balance. There is a place for all.

I find when the monsters that terrorize and brutalize the rabbits and their little ones go away the little rabbits and their little families prosper.

Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" With a little help from us (tending our garden) ( having dominion) I find this to be very true and extremely rewarding.
 

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Ive come to the conclusion after getting serious about killing rabbit eating predators that its a waste of my valuable time.Youd have to do it alot to MAYBE make a difference and i simply have other things id rather do.Theres too many different species of em .The worst ones are illegal to kill ,others have a short hunting season in Tn
so unless your willing to take a chance on getting in serious trouble not alot you can do.Seems theres always another predator to take the place of the one you killed.Ill kill em when i can to make me feel good and keep my fingers crossed and hope i have at least one rabbit to run here at home.I could care less about killing rabbits but ill agree its alot of fun rabbit hunting.If i lived where there was lots of rabbits and places to hunt id do it and id still use my slow dogs. :) I could take my favorite pair of slowdogs and get my limit in a little while if i had the places to hunt with rabbits.
 

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Laws to protect predators has caused a shortage in rabbits. Farmers opening up their land for row cropping is another issue. Mr. Burnett, a bunch of us old Tullahoma boys used to hunt Lynchburg a lot years ago. Those hills were covered in sage grass and rabbits were plentiful. We walked them up. Now the hills are kept bush hogged to graze cattle and the old days are gone.
 
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