Movements, Home Range, and Cover Use: Factors Affecting the Susceptibility of Cottontails to Hunting

Winter home ranges for 19 telemetered cottontails (Sylvilagus floridanus) aueraged 2.8 ha for males and 2.2 ha for females. Home ranges determined from retrap and reobseruation data for ear-tagged rabbits aueraged 5.6 ha for males and 1.2 ha for females. Cottontails preferred smaller areas within their existing home ranges for diurnal couer. The area within each rabbit's home range in which the rabbit was found in 80 percent or more of the diurnal readings was designated as the diurnal couer preference range IDCPR). Destruction of the DCPR couer appears to stimulate the relocation of home ranges and the concomitant formation of winter concentrations of cottontails, Three winter concentrations of cottontails were located and 75 percent of the rabbits flushed during this study were flushed from areas regarded as concentrations. The tendency of cottontails to flush decreased as couer became harder for hunters and dogs to penetrate. Slower paced hunts with a thorough examination of couer yielded a greater number of rabbit flushes than faster paced hunts with superficial couer examination.

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