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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start off by saying that I know this story won't be believed. Even I don't really believe it and I was there. When I was a teenager, I lived in Friday Harbor Washington. You can look up the numbers and maybe even some of the photos but unless you see something like it for yourself, it strains credibility. The island is about 12 miles by twenty at its widest and longest points so when I say there was approximently 5,000,000 rabbits at the hight of the infestation you can imagine for yourself how tightly they were packed. Look out at a field and see 100,000 rabbits. The whole field moved like a giant living blanket. They seemed endless. We couldn't shoot enough of them. I remember going out in an afternoon and without moving from my rock, shooting 200 rabbits. More would come over to see what all the other rabbits were laying around for. We used to tear around in "Rabbit Cars" nothing but a frame, engine and seat from which we would net them at speed. Eventually they died off from rabbititous of some other bug but it's something I'll never forget.
I'll see what I can come up with for photos. If you ever get over to the island, the museum has a pretty good story about it with photos. Not hunting exactly, more like slaughter.
 

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When I was 12, (1966) we loaded up the twenty two's in Dad's car and made a weekend trip to Friday Harbor from Everett. IIRC Dad gave some guy twenty bucks or so for us to stay in an outbuilding on his farm and we hunted rabbits all weekend. Had quite the time!! Though we did not see quite the numbers you're talking about, I believe it, because I seen it, and did it! What a time we had! no way did we know that Dad would be gone not six years after that trip. Thankyou Queequeg for jarring my memory of great times!
 

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I can't remember when the last time I have seen a jack rabbit; When I was a boy growing up they were all over the place here in Idaho.

I use to go to the sagebrush area this south of the town I grew up in and shot jack rabbits until I ran out of shells.

My Granddad use to tell me about how he and a bunch of others would go out and shoot them in droves, they use a wagon to carry there ammo and guns.

jic
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When I was 12, (1966) we loaded up the twenty two's in Dad's car and made a weekend trip to Friday Harbor from Everett. IIRC Dad gave some guy twenty bucks or so for us to stay in an outbuilding on his farm and we hunted rabbits all weekend. Had quite the time!! Though we did not see quite the numbers you're talking about, I believe it, because I seen it, and did it! What a time we had! no way did we know that Dad would be gone not six years after that trip. Thankyou Queequeg for jarring my memory of great times!
"Jarring" is a good phrase. I have those memories of my Dad too and he's long gone. The rabbits were heavy there from the 30s through the 80s but the highest numbers were in the 1970s. Mostly we used Ruger 1022s but I also used my Marlin lever 410. Those were simpler times, don't know what made me think of it but I'm glad I did. I was telling this story to a guest at my lodge (Alaska) and found later that he hadn't believed me. The guy he told this to was another pilot friend of mine and having been there himself, soon set him straight. The guest later came to me and apologized. Glad I was able to kick the jar, so to speak. It's fun to remember.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can't remember when the last time I have seen a jack rabbit; When I was a boy growing up they were all over the place here in Idaho.

I use to go to the sagebrush area this south of the town I grew up in and shot jack rabbits until I ran out of shells.

My Granddad use to tell me about how he and a bunch of others would go out and shoot them in droves, they use a wagon to carry there ammo and guns.

jic
These were large domestic rabbits that had been set loose from a fur farm. Brown, black, and even white although the Bald Eagles got those pretty quick.
 

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A big plus is that it is beutiful country in the San Juan Islands as well! before all the restrictions due to population and overfishing, some fantastic salt water fishing was to be had there as well. I don't know why Washington State ever allowed bottom dragger fishing into Puget Sound. Many hours I have into fishing P.S.'s waters, bottom fish, flounder and sole, pile perch, clams and crab. Now I want a crab and mozarella omelett ! LOL! MmmmmMMMMmmm!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When I was 12, (1966) we loaded up the twenty two's in Dad's car and made a weekend trip to Friday Harbor from Everett. IIRC Dad gave some guy twenty bucks or so for us to stay in an outbuilding on his farm and we hunted rabbits all weekend. Had quite the time!! Though we did not see quite the numbers you're talking about, I believe it, because I seen it, and did it! What a time we had! no way did we know that Dad would be gone not six years after that trip. Thankyou Queequeg for jarring my memory of great times!
I can't remember when the last time I have seen a jack rabbit; When I was a boy growing up they were all over the place here in Idaho.

I use to go to the sagebrush area this south of the town I grew up in and shot jack rabbits until I ran out of shells.

My Granddad use to tell me about how he and a bunch of others would go out and shoot them in droves, they use a wagon to carry there ammo and guns.

jic
WoW! That's somethin else. I could see some fun happening there with a 22!
I believe it though...

Thanks for sharing!
Blood
A big plus is that it is beutiful country in the San Juan Islands as well! before all the restrictions due to population and overfishing, some fantastic salt water fishing was to be had there as well. I don't know why Washington State ever allowed bottom dragger fishing into Puget Sound. Many hours I have into fishing P.S.'s waters, bottom fish, flounder and sole, pile perch, clams and crab. Now I want a crab and mozarella omelett ! LOL! MmmmmMMMMmmm!
Some of that's still around if you know where to go. I still dive deep for scallops now and then. I have a place on Center Island. Look it up on Google Earth. No roads, but a path we use golf carts on and a runway behind the house. What more could you ask for?
 

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I lived in Idaho Falls, Idaho for a few years (1950-1954). Jack rabbits were a blight there at the time. We would just drive out east of town to the sage areas on the farm outskirts and shoot Jacks until we were out of ammo. Easy to see several hundred in a half mile walk. Whistle and they would stand up to see what the sound was for a moment or two to get off a standing shot. Even on the dead run a jack will stop to see where the whistle came from. Or if you were good enough there was plenty of opportunity to try running shots. Hard to keep a smooth lead on them as they ran through sage though. Periodically farmers would organize jack rabbit drives. Hundreds of volunteers with long walking sticks would surround a section (square mile) of land in which a chicken wire trap had been previously constructed. Not unusual to see 3000 - 5000 rabbits in the trap. Then they were clubbed and loaded in a truck to be hauled off to the dead animal market where they were made into various products, mostly fertilizer I suspect. I think the going price was 3 cents a piece. There was another eruption of them in the early 1980s as I recall. In the 50s the process was just common sense if you wished to raise a crop. But in the 80s there were some upset activists who had no concept of just what a disaster the over population created for farmers, livestock ranchers, other wildlife and the payroll in these rural communities.. Tough winters in that part of the country required that a lot of hay be put up for the cattle, sheep and horses. The rabbits would eat at the base of the huge hay bale stacks, collapsing the outside of the stack, and spoiling the hay with urine etc. The plastic wrapped bales hadn't come along yet and I suspect they would have torn into it anyway. Rodents are rodents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I lived in Idaho Falls, Idaho for a few years (1950-1954). Jack rabbits were a blight there at the time. We would just drive out east of town to the sage areas on the farm outskirts and shoot Jacks until we were out of ammo. Easy to see several hundred in a half mile walk. Whistle and they would stand up to see what the sound was making for a moment or two to get off a standing shot. Even on the dead run a jack will stop to see where the whistle came from. Or if you were good enough there was plenty of opportunity to try running shots. Hard to keep a smooth lead on them as they ran through sage though. Periodically farmers would organize jack rabbit drives. Hundreds of volunteers with long walking sticks would surround a section (square mile) of land in which a chicken wire trap had been previously constructed. Not unusual to see 3000 - 5000 rabbits in the trap. Then they were clubbed and loaded in a truck to be hauled off to the dead animal market where they were made into various products, mostly fertilizer I suspect. I think the going price was 3 cents a piece. There was another eruption of them in the early 1980s as I recall. In the 50s the process was just common sense if you wished to raise a crop. But in the 80s there were some upset activists who had no concept of just what a disaster the over population created for farmers, livestock ranchers, other wildlife and the payroll in these rural communities.
Poor little fuzzy bunny! Out here people "Love" the whales to death. Everyone wants to see them, and that's fine but the problem is that in the summer the Killer Whales have to eat as much as they can and use echo location to find food. Well when they're surrounded by whale seeing boats for every minute of daylight the noise underwater is deafening so they can't hunt. And they wonder why they're dying off. Sorry to have hijacked my own thread but I just had to rant about Bunny Huggers and their misunderstandings of the natural world.
 

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I ran into a similar situation at a golf coarse in Tucson. The place was literally crawling with rabbits and quail. I never saw anything like it before. The wildlife was attracted to the copious supply of water and green grass.
 

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I can't remember when the last time I have seen a jack rabbit; When I was a boy growing up they were all over the place here in Idaho.

I use to go to the sagebrush area this south of the town I grew up in and shot jack rabbits until I ran out of shells.
My Granddad use to tell me about how he and a bunch of others would go out and shoot them in droves, they use a wagon to carry there ammo and guns.

jic
There's your answer. ;)

Seriously tho - when I lived in Utah some Sheep herder would lose a lamb and blame it on 'yotes. The state would then issue a fatwah (bounty of $20 a pelt) on teh 'yotes.
Next thing ya know all the good ol boys are sporting new wheels on their trucks.
About 2 years later *BOOM* jackrabbits up to your armpits. Then the farmers and common folk with gardens are screaming because the jackrabbits were eating everything in sight.
The good ol boys then hop in their trucks, head out to Promotory area and have a jack roundup.
I've seen thousands and thousands of jacks herded into a canyon and massacred - for 2 weeks you couldn't stand to go out there from the stench and the sky was dark with carrion eaters.
Seems there should be a better way...
 
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I ran into a similar situation at a golf coarse in Tucson. The place was literally crawling with rabbits and quail. I never saw anything like it before. The wildlife was attracted to the copious supply of water and green grass.
Glad to hear about them quail - virtually disappeared everywhere I used to hunt 'em. I tell ya - these developers making houses so the city slickers can have "country living" is borking it for those who know what it's about.
 

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Poor little fuzzy bunny! Out here people "Love" the whales to death. Everyone wants to see them, and that's fine but the problem is that in the summer the Killer Whales have to eat as much as they can and use echo location to find food. Well when they're surrounded by whale seeing boats for every minute of daylight the noise underwater is deafening so they can't hunt. And they wonder why they're dying off. Sorry to have hijacked my own thread but I just had to rant about Bunny Huggers and their misunderstandings of the natural world.
That I've seen off California/Oregon coast. Had a Wildlife guy tell me he wished he could ban those whale cruises because they really disrupt the whales - especially the ones with calves because they head to deeper and unsafer waters before the calves are ready because of the boats.
 
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I was talking to the GM at the coarse and asked him about mountain lions and he pointed to the fairway in front of us and told me a mountain lion walked right down the middle of the fairway one morning... I smiled and said I'd be surprised if they weren't here with all this food walking around...
 

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Yep the rabbits were released from farms, the way I heard was during the depression because the farmers couldn't afford to feed them anymore. The market just fell out for the meat and fur. So the cages were opened, and bugs and pete were sent off to fend for themselves. We were told that many of them were Belgian Hares, bred to be heavy (5-10 lbs) meat producers. Boy were they big!

Have seen killer whales cruising the pacific beaches in WA before, just beyond the surf line. Awesome animals! The Northern coast and those along the straights of Juan De Fucia are one of my favorite places here. A beachcombers delight!. Going to Port Townsend area for a few days soon, absolutely going to get in some beach time. I really like the rugged rocky area's, messing about with tide pools and wondering what writing is on some of the floatsam that gets washed up. (boy, talk about rambling huh? LOL!)
 
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Bubba- The quail in Florida are being wiped out by fire ants. I suspect the fire ants are having a similar effect on the quail in Texas. The fire ants are an invasive species and invade the ground nests of the quail. bad news.
 
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