Antidote for Cabin Fever
This winter has been something else. The blasts of arctic air combined with every kind of wintery precipitation have cancelled schools, depleted road salt supplies, and ushered many folks indoors. I admit that I have curtailed some of my outdoor activities this winter and have instead chosen the sheltered warmth of the house. However, there is a point when cabin fever sets and I get the itch. It doesn’t matter how cold it is, I’ve got to get outside and am looking for a good excuse.
Last weekend with the close of goose season, Duck Creek was open to another hunting opportunity. While rabbit season has been open elsewhere since October 1st, it opened up on Duck Creek last Saturday, February 1st, and will continue till next Saturday, February 15th. This juggling act of seasons is necessary to prevent conflict among users and provide refuge for the range of fish and wildlife swimming, flying, hopping, and running around the open marsh and bottomland forests.
Taking a long walk in the woods is a great activity for both the young and old and everyone in between. It is an opportunity to explore other corners of the area and a chance to hear the bay of beagles hot on the trail. Whether you go alone or with family and friends, it is better than being cooped up for another day and going stir crazy.
Where can we hunt?
On Duck Creek, the whole area is open. Pool 1 is open and no longer set aside for waterfowl refuge. Pool 2 and 3 still have water in them, but have higher elevations that are never flooded. Thompson Ridge, the Pine Plantation, and Grim Tract are timbered areas that we don’t have flood control
How many rabbits?
The daily bag limit of rabbits is 6, with only 2 of them being swamp rabbits. The possession limit is 12 rabbits, with a cap on 4 swamp rabbits.
What is the difference between the two species?
Swamp rabbits are larger than the Eastern cottontail and can weigh up to 6lbs, which is 2 lbs more than the smaller species of bunny. Despite the size difference, swampers typically have shorter and rounder ears and don’t have the distinct rusty neck patch that the smaller cottontails. The fur of a swamp rabbit typically has a yellowish cast and has more black mottling. Additionally, the tops of the hind legs are rusty in color.
Do we need to check in?
In front of the office is a bulletin board with a sign in sheet. Please sign in at the beginning of the day and sign out when you are done with a tally of your success.
There is not much to it. If you’ve got the itch and were just looking for an excuse to get outside, please take this as an invite to tromp through the timber. Hopefully, you’ll be able to stumble upon some rabbits and have an exciting hunt. Good luck, be safe, and have fun.