Despite seemingly perfect weather conditions yesterday (13 February), exactly zero cottontails were seen during our four-hour hunt on a local public wildlife area. Surprisingly, very few tracks – and no fresh sign – was observed. Habitat conditions were fair, with heavy snow cover -
I realize it's not a glowing report. I was surprised to see so little sign, and really have nothing but guesses as to why there was so little. Coyote and fox tracks were present, but not overwhelming; however, more than a dozen red-tailed hawks were seen patrolling the skies overhead. Could it be red-tails are keeping the bunnies close to their dens during the day, while owls and canine predators tend to the night shift? Supporting that theory, perhaps, was the fact that 99 percent of the rabbit sign observed was within 8-10 feet of den sites -
Still, a wonderful day to be out. Incredible amounts of deer sign, and this despite Iowa's recent 200,000+ whitetail harvest. Rabbit season comes to a close in Iowa on 28 February; fortunately, turkey season isn't far behind!