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We went from boom to bust with rabbits on the property. Been close to 20 years since there was a targetable population of either Cottontail or snowshoe.
 

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Of all the rabbit dogs I have had only one was a slow runner and she would circle them all day long. My boys loved hunting with her
Dont care if they're fast or slower, but a dog that can circle a rabbit all day is a desirable beagle, imo. I've seen too many that can't keep a run going when solo'd.
 

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The neighbors have a beagle and basset cross that runs like my old dog but she's really gun shy you better get the rabbit the first shot because she's going home.
 

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Yep, a dog will run to it's genetics and physical attributes. Unfortunately, you generally will not be able to alter the way a particular dog runs a rabbit. I must add though, that after spending most of my life raising and running beagles, when it comes to cottontails the last kind of dog I wanted was a fast one! Medium, maybe even medium slow speed was perfect. If you pressure a cottontail too hard they will surely hole up and in a hurry. Now for hare that's a different story. The faster the dog the better.
 

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Yep, a dog will run to it's genetics and physical attributes. Unfortunately, you generally will not be able to alter the way a particular dog runs a rabbit. I must add though, that after spending most of my life raising and running beagles, when it comes to cottontails the last kind of dog I wanted was a fast one! Medium, maybe even medium slow speed was perfect. If you pressure a cottontail too hard they will surely hole up and in a hurry. Now for hare that's a different story. The faster the dog the better.
Yep slow is good for me i only hunt with .22 so having a bunnies stopping looking back make for a perfect shot like the five on my profile !
 

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Snowshoes seem to come and go. When I was a kid we had to drive to find them but we had lots of cotton tails. Then one winter right after deer season on the first good snow there were jack tracks all over in the swamp. About ten years later they were gone. I haven't seen one around here in probably thirty years.
Coyotes or feral/neighbors cats have probably taken over. They do an amazing number on rabbits, esp but other ground nesters also.
 

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There were no coyotes around here when they disappeared and as far as cats we hunted them too. This was before cat lovers got the laws passed to protect feral cats.
 

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Are feral cats protected? News to me. They kill more migratory birds and non game wildlife than anything.


Sent from my iPhone using Michigan Sportsman
 

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Coyotes or feral/neighbors cats have probably taken over. They do an amazing number on rabbits, esp but other ground nesters also.
Coon will empty a rabbit nest i have seen this several times .Sometimes they just kill for the sport of it and leave them lay .
 

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There were no coyotes around here when they disappeared and as far as cats we hunted them too. This was before cat lovers got the laws passed to protect feral cats.
When I belonged to the Beagle Club we used to stock the pen with rabbits. It was always needing restocked in order to maintain good levels of game for trials. Most don't realize it but Owls will really put a hurtin on your rabbit population and quick. Once they clean up a swamp or thicket they move to the next area. Feral and domestic cats will wipe out a nest in the summer really quick as well.

On a warm summer evening I had more rabbits than I cared to count running around the yard and in the garden this past summer but I can already see the steady decline. The first cold weather will knock off the weak and sick, then the Owls will pick away at them. By end of February we will be down to our breeding stock again and the cycle will continue.
 

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View attachment 595895 View attachment 595901
A large Munsterlander and a big pointer/hound mix.
My youngest large Munsterlander has a snow shoe and cotton tail to her credit this year. Snow shoe never shot at and the cotton tail kicked out - both while grouse hunting . thought I missed but she recovered with in 30 yards of shot. My older LM had a lot of rabbits shot in front of her.
Never bothered their bird hunting either. With the speed of the LM you may have to pass on
a number of bunnies but its the tracking and pushing out while routing around that will give you many opportunities. Biggest factor in using faster dogs are the people you hunt with and
can trust there judgement on the shot!!
 

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Trusting the people you hunt with is a must especially if you are hunting with hounds. When I have my hounds out I have a no jump shooting rule. Anyone jump shoots a rabbit by my hounds and collect them and leave. No need to jump shoot when the rabbit will circle back giving the opportunity to get a shot without the dogs too close.
 

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While far from scientific, I got out pheasant hunting five times with my two pointers. On each occasion I saw more rabbits than roosters. So I am agreeing with the bunny boom hypothesis. Not a banner year for pheasants but fun nonetheless.
 
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