Rabbit levels

Overlay

Well-Known Member
Guys

how have the Rabbits done in your areas this year

The last two areas I’ve visited have virtually no activity

grass is green, crops are in, plenty of new growth, the weather has been ok

it just seems there has been no new litters and the few seen have been adults no half grown or bolters

I’ve still got a couple of permissions you can harvest 60 rabbits in an evening with no sweat and not dent numbers, other bits it’s a job to find any

Foxes are abundant as usual but no rabbits !!! On some
 

Archer

Well-Known Member
Not shooting as many as previous years- was 50/60 once a fortnight- this year it's 20 or so an outing.

Three, possibly four litters this year and in one area some rabbits are showing swelling of the eyes.

No reason to think the lower numbers are anything other than the result of regular control over the past 7 years
 

Overlay

Well-Known Member
Not shooting as many as previous years- was 50/60 once a fortnight- this year it's 20 or so an outing.

Three, possibly four litters this year and in one area some rabbits are showing swelling of the eyes.

No reason to think the lower numbers are anything other than the result of regular control over the past 7 years

Yep

I’m not 100% in that they have had more than 2-3 litters this year as I’ve not seen many bolters, spring breeding started a bit slow this year hereabouts then a spurt of numbers that has really come down in numbers

I always have a good look at condition of the rabbits inside and out and haven’t found anything negative
 

NigelM

Well-Known Member
We haven't noticed a major difference here, perhaps a small reduction in numbers, and hadn't really noticed it until yesterday. Found a rabbit on the lawn, laid out, still alive, breathing and squeaking. No sign of any physical damage, no bulging eyes, looked perfectly fit - apart from the fact it was laid out flat. If I was to guess it was poisoning and internal organ shutdown, but we have no poisons out and the fields haven't been sprayed for anything recently at all. No idea what the problem was.
 

JTO

Well-Known Member
I used to shoot about 2 per acre per year on my little patch, mainly for fox bait, but I've left them alone for two years because they had almost disappeared. There's a few more half-grown ones about this summer, but nothing like it used to be. A snowflake neighbour seems to let her cats have kittens and let them go wild. I've shot 12 cats in the last two years.
 

potshotpat

Well-Known Member
I used to shoot about 2 per acre per year on my little patch, mainly for fox bait, but I've left them alone for two years because they had almost disappeared. There's a few more half-grown ones about this summer, but nothing like it used to be. A snowflake neighbour seems to let her cats have kittens and let them go wild. I've shot 12 cats in the last two years.
Oh dear, AOLQ !! :old:
 

VSS

Well-Known Member
None here. All succumbed to disease about 4-5 years ago. Must've been particularly virulent as normally I would have expected numbers to be back up by now.
 

Cottis

Well-Known Member
Numbers hugely down around here as well. Used to shoot a fair few but not shot a rabbit in a long time now. I will leave them until they recover. Plenty of foxes. RHVD i reckon as historically they have always recovered from bouts of Myxie. It is like they have just vanished. No dead littleuns at side of road either. Very odd.
 

FISH BOY

Well-Known Member
Low numbers on my permissions in Essex. Used to shoot a dozen plus every week now lucky to even see a dozen.

Mixie last year and the wet winter hit them hard which they still havent recovered from.

With the birds coming, shot 5 for bait a couple of weeks ago but it was a bit of effort.
 

deerstalker.308

Well-Known Member
We haven't noticed a major difference here, perhaps a small reduction in numbers, and hadn't really noticed it until yesterday. Found a rabbit on the lawn, laid out, still alive, breathing and squeaking. No sign of any physical damage, no bulging eyes, looked perfectly fit - apart from the fact it was laid out flat. If I was to guess it was poisoning and internal organ shutdown, but we have no poisons out and the fields haven't been sprayed for anything recently at all. No idea what the problem was.


Classic VHD symptoms, internal bleeding/organ failure. Norfolk and Suffolk are being hammered by that and to a lesser extent myxomatosis, here they’re a key conservation tool for creating the unique landscape of the Brecks, without them the landscape is changing in front of our eyes, very sad to see.
 

Essex stalker

Well-Known Member
Out last night on a permission and shot 52 which is comparable with last year, I have however noticed a large increase in Hares this year, a couple of my permissions are covered with them, there are more hares than rabbits. I don't normally shoot them unless specifically asked to by the farmer.
Has anyone else noticed this?
 

old keeper

Well-Known Member
Mixy, VHD and VHD2 has all but wiped out the local rabbits. we were out last night on a 100 acre patch where five years ago we could have shot fifty or sixty, we covered the whole area which was all stubble and saw 5 rabbits in all. There's a few patches where some late litters have boosted the numbers a little but overall it's a bit of a disaster.
 

Paddy_SP

Well-Known Member
In our area (mid-Devon) there are some places with very few rabbits, but in many others they abound - over the last few nights I've seen hundreds. We've got mixy locally, but I've not seen any sign of it elsewhere.
 

Tom D

Well-Known Member
Round here they were hammered years ago by disease. But they have never recovered to anything like their previous numbers. Back in the 80’samd 90’s keepers would shoot thousands round here, literally thousands. Now every time they seem to recover they get knocked back again.
 

Hornet 6

Well-Known Member
None here. All succumbed to disease about 4-5 years ago. Must've been particularly virulent as normally I would have expected numbers to be back up by now.

Same here, just about extinct on my permission, been asked not to shoot them at all.

Neil.
 

Cottis

Well-Known Member
Out last night on a permission and shot 52 which is comparable with last year, I have however noticed a large increase in Hares this year, a couple of my permissions are covered with them, there are more hares than rabbits. I don't normally shoot them unless specifically asked to by the farmer.
Has anyone else noticed this?

Definitely noticed a huge increase in Hares. Used to see the odd one but I can go out and see 5 chasing around now. I also don't shoot them as they don't cause any issues and I think they are a great addition to the farm. They certainly outnumber the rabbits now.
 
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