Friday, 15 June 2007
How deep is the average burrow and what's the deepest set you've ever come across? Also, how high above the ground should you set the noose on a rabbit snare?
EDWARD COOK says: Rabbit burrows vary greatly in depth and size. Much depends on soil type, although that's not always the case. Obviously the easier the soil is to dig into then chances are the burrows will be deeper and more established. The length of time a burrow has been established can also affect the depth: the longer it has been in existence, the deeper it will be and the more occupants it will have.
Rising water levels in some areas will limit the depth rabbits may burrow, so to say there's an average depth to a burrow would seem slightly foolish.
Usually I've always found those burrows in open countryside to be deeper than others that are concealed with dense cover. Maybe rabbits design them this way to avoid predators.
The deepest burrows I've come across?
They would be further than my 15 foot locator sets can pick up! There are no hard and fast rules with rabbits. The only thing to remember where bunnies are concerned is don't take anything for granted.
When it comes to snares, a lot depends on the ground you're setting your snares on, but for ease let's say it's very short grass. If you find a good 'run' which clearly indicates the 'beats' (or pads) I would look for a series of beats that are small and far apart. This is a clear indication the rabbit is travelling at speed and won't have any hesitation in placing its head through a well placed snare.
Padding or beats that are larger should be avoided especially if there's a concentration of droppings - this is where rabbits tend to sit and will not moving at speed.
Ideally, and where possible, I set my wires the height of the width of four fingers (give or take ¼ inch). As for noose size, I've managed to bring the size down on such runs so it's not a great deal bigger than a rabbit's head.
However, on slower runs (where beats are still small but closer) I set them about 1 ½ times bigger. This is simply because in such places I find them not as easy to judge.
Snaring is definitely an art in its own right and one I try to improve on each year. I'm slowly getting there and can now manage to catch a few rabbits with their ears pinned back and neck snapped.
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