Two rabbits gone, who knows how many more to go!! I caught my first rabbit Sunday morning, then a second one yesterday morning. This morning would have made three, but the rabbit snuck in the trap, nabbed the carrot and proceeded to chomp on it outside the trap without getting caught. :( Still, I'm feeling like quite the successful rabbit trapper! I drove Sunday's catch across the county line and released in the woods; I did NOT want to take any chances of it finding its way back to my garden! I didn't have as much time Monday morning, so I just drove it several miles away to a park; two miles is usually far enough as rabbits stay pretty close to their area of birth. I almost felt like I was the chauffeur in "Driving Miss Daisy"! :) I do have to admit, though, I did feel a bit guilty uprooting them from their happy home. Both times, the rabbit bolted out of the cage, then suddenly stopped and looked around, trying to get its bearings. He'd hop a little further, then look around again, trying to decide where to head. The one even looked back at me as if to say, "You really aren't going to leave me here, are you??" But then I reminded myself of how brazen these guys are and how much they have seemed to enjoy terrorizing me. They are so tame - they would even watch me set the trap! They also enjoy taunting the neighbors' dogs by nestling down at the end of their leash range. One of the baby bunnies lives in my strawberry patch and startles me every time I pick strawberries; it was getting to the point that every time I heard something rustle in the garden, I'd think it was a rabbit! However, when I read the facts on rabbit reproduction, I lost all sense of guilt; according to the Havahart website, "a female rabbit can produce three or four litters a year, with four to six young in each litter. Over a period of five years, a single pair of cottontails and their kin would number around 350,000." Now can you understand why I am on a mission to rid my neighborhood of these rabbits?!!!
The Havahart cage traps are pretty slick. I borrowed this trap from friends who are accomplished squirrel trappers (200 plus catches over the past 15 years!). They were kind enough to show me how to operate it and let me give it a trial run. I've found carrots seem to be the best bait; the secret is placing the trap where the rabbits like to nestle down (under the pine trees in my back yard). I can easily glance out the window and check to see if I've gotten a catch; you don't want to leave the rabbit in the trap any longer than necessary. After a catch, it's a good idea to cover the cage with a towel for transporting so it's not too traumatic for the rabbit. I went ahead and ordered a trap for myself now that I know it does the trick. Since these traps are made in Lititz, I figure I'm supporting the local economy! I'll start trapping in the early spring next year when the rabbits start in on my crocuses.
I did wonder if I should start tagging their ears to make sure I'm not catching the same rabbit over and over again, but hopefully that's not the case....
Hope your gardens are rabbit free!