Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Why geography matters

Standing in a pine thicket a couple weeks ago I realized something I thought was very profound. The timber industry and more specificly the mass planted pine tree, has saved modern rabbit hunting. Ok yes I agree rabbits are being hunted on old farms. Pastures with overgrown fence rows, old wood lots, and fallow crop land are all good places to find rabbits. What those places don't have however is acres and acres of it available. Pine tree plantations are nearly as common in the south east united states as corn fields are in the mid west. The pine thickets are planted and the land owner expects to reap a healthy profit come harvest time some fifteen to thirty years down the road. In the mean time, he typically leases that same property out to recreational sportsmen (that's us.) Millions of acres are planted this way. This large supply allows the rabbit hunter to take advantage of plenty of places to hunt. It's by this good fortune, we rabbit hunters have a great supply of hunting ground. Why do rabbits like pine trees you may ask? Well, it's not exactly the the pine trees that attract the little bunnies. You see, the primary ingredient you need to keep a healthy supply of rabbits is heavy cover. The thicker and nastier the brush and briar's look, the more likely you"ll find rabbits. I've took the liberty of assuming you have a good hunting beagle along. These pine trees are planted in rows and tiny seedlings. The ground in nearly clean with the life giving rays of the sun shining right on the earth. Weed seeds, black berry's, and even Sumac are resurrected from their hibernation come spring. Quickly the ground cover gets thick and the rabbits move in. Typically by the time the pine trees are 10 foot tall a place will be covered with rabbits. Happy Hunting Everybody. I'm heading over to Foothills beagles club to meet Doug Grant and look at some started pups run.

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