Author Topic: Killing wild rabbits  (Read 1383 times)

Offline mountainmoma

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Killing wild rabbits
« on: April 13, 2020, 12:18:55 PM »
I am being overrun with cotton tail bunnies, eating up the garden.  Yes, I know they themselves are good eating, but I am only on 2 1/2 acres, so guns can only be used for certain downward shots with a definite, absolute  dirt  backstop in some parts of the property.  I may get lucky for one or two that way with a scoped 22 and a subsonic round.

I have never made a snare or trap, and I need to not kill non-target species, like my cat. 

So, maybe someone here has good ideas on how to get the bunnys, now that we are safely past Easter ?


Offline bigbear

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Re: Killing wild rabbits
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2020, 01:39:21 PM »
I trap and shot.  I'm on an acre, so I can't take free shots either.  But I'll set cage traps along fence lines and other known rabbit highways.  Sometimes I'll bait the cage (like when there's a lot of activity).  Other times, I'll just leave them open empty.  But instead of releasing the rabbits, I just shoot them in the cage with a .22.  I've taken care of groundhogs, possum, and raccoons this way as well.  I've caught a few cats too that just get released in the morning.  Don't leave the trap open when you're out of town for any length of time.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Killing wild rabbits
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2020, 04:23:35 PM »
I trap and shot.  I'm on an acre, so I can't take free shots either.  But I'll set cage traps along fence lines and other known rabbit highways.  Sometimes I'll bait the cage (like when there's a lot of activity).  Other times, I'll just leave them open empty.  But instead of releasing the rabbits, I just shoot them in the cage with a .22.  I've taken care of groundhogs, possum, and raccoons this way as well.  I've caught a few cats too that just get released in the morning.  Don't leave the trap open when you're out of town for any length of time.

Someone has just laoned me a live trap, but I need to sand/oil and get it to not stick and slam shut.  SO, assuming a catch a bunny, where do you shoot it ? I do have a 22 rifle and hand gun.  Best if I dont have to look it in the (cute little) eye

Offline Stwood

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Re: Killing wild rabbits
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2020, 04:30:51 PM »
Back of the head.

If you don't want to do that, drop bunny and trap in a tub of water big enough to cover the trap up. Wait about ten minutes.
I do that with coons, as they are to messy to deal with shooting them in the trap.

Offline Redman

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Re: Killing wild rabbits
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2020, 06:56:23 AM »
I got a large trap from local animal control recently for stray cats. I got tired of baiting it and seeing the bait eaten, trap shut and nothing in it. I took it back, Officer said the trap was working properly should catch cats but usually won't catch coons. He said he's seen coons go in far enough to get the bait and step on the trigger but they are large enough it doesn't shut. They back out.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Killing wild rabbits
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2020, 08:52:20 AM »
I've noticed most of ours have turned around in the trap. Coons must be smaller here

Offline Redman

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Re: Killing wild rabbits
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2020, 09:07:21 AM »
Don't know. I coons I've seen are roadkill. The possums are small enough to get trapped but I don't know if they'll eat cat food.

Offline IKN

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Re: Killing wild rabbits
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2020, 09:53:50 AM »
I just go with a cheap air rifle to dispatch old Peter Cottontail.
Way cheaper to shoot than even a 22 and less likely to over penetrate or ricochet.
Lot less noise as well.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Killing wild rabbits
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2020, 10:56:08 AM »
We used to use the trap and drown method. On the farm it was a .410 shotgun. But you can get away with that on a couple hundred acres in Wisconsin. Where I am now I would be a social pariah for killing the bunnies that eat my garden. So they rule the roost.

There is another way that my grandfather did that I find unethical. He'd put out a dish of anti-freeze. Yup, it will kill off the critters and maybe a couple of his barn cats but it will work.

If you made me get rid of rabbits today I'd use my bow and eat them. Rabbit is a good meal. But as always it's all about what the neighbors will think.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Killing wild rabbits
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2020, 12:16:40 PM »
Yeah, times like this and the squirrels make me wish I had a scoped pellet gun, but I don't. 

As far as neighbors, well, yeah, some would have a fit if they heard you threw rocks near the coyotes to move them on ---

Of course no-one openly talks about killing pests.  But it is done, and is why now and then you hear one shot ring out, and no-one can triangulate from the one shot.  Or why another neighbor has a live trap to loan me that they have caught and drowned pests.  Drowning is not as nice for the animal, I know.  But first bridge to cross is actually catching one.

Offline bigbear

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Re: Killing wild rabbits
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2020, 01:16:38 PM »
Yeah, I can't quite pull myself to drown them.  That's why I shoot.  I use a .22LR.  I haven't had a problem with over penetrating/ricocheting (yet).  I just put the barrel up to a gap in the cage and fire.  Like any other time you shoot a gun, make sure you know what's in the field of fire and behind the target.  I haven't tried our pellet gun but it's more of a hassle for me though.  I'd try that if noise was more of a concern.

I've found apples and/or lettuce work well. It may take a few days for the bunnies to get used to the new thing/trap in the environment before it explores.  Rabbits, being low on the food chain, like to stay safe.  So they're frequently along hedges, fence lines, walls, or along the side of a raised bed wall.  Those make great spots to put the trap.  If you can get your hands on a second one, that'll increase your odds.  And you can face them different ways or on different potential rabbit roads.

I'll bet you're not supposed to dispose of the carcass in the trash (but a 'body bag' covers a multitude of sins).  I typically dump mine on the other side of a field behind my house for a kit of foxes.  But I've been tempted recently to just feed them to my chickens.  I'm sure my wife and kids will go nuts when I try that!

I spray/clean off the cage afterwards.