The jack rabbits of the United States

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Title:
The jack rabbits of the United States
Series Title:
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Division of Ornithology and Mammalogy. Bulletin
Physical Description:
84 p. : front., vi pl. (incl. 2 maps) ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Palmer, T. S ( Theodore Sherman ), 1868-1955
Publisher:
Govt. Print. Off.
Place of Publication:
Washington
Publication Date:

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Jackrabbits   ( lcsh )
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non-fiction   ( marcgt )

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Statement of Responsibility:
By T.S. Palmer ...

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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 030149456
oclc - 05192965
lccn - agr06000830
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lcc - QL737.R6 P2
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AA00018818:00001


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SS. DEPARTMENT


OF AGRICULTURE


DIVISION OF ORNITHOLOGY AND MAMMALOGY


THE


JACK


RABBIT


THE UNITED


T. S. PALMER,


As--isttanlt Chief of


STATES


M. D.


Division


WASHINGTON


GOVERNMENT PRINTING


OFFICE


1896


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LETTER OF TRANSMI'TTAL.


UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
DIVISION OF ORNITHOLOGY AND MAM.IALOGY,
Washington., D. C., October 19, 1895.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit and to recommend for publication
as Bulletin No. 8 of this division a report on Tihe Jack Rabbits of
the United States, by Dr. T. S. Palmer, assistant chief of division.
Dr. Palmer has prepared the whole bulletin and is responsible for all
statements made, including opinions respecting the status of the vari-
ous species.
Respectfully, C. HART MERRIAM,
Cli ief of Divisio n.
Hon. J. STERLING MORTON,
Secretary of Agricidulture'.












































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PREFACE.


The damage done to crops by rabbits lhas been illustrated very
forcibly during recent years by the losses sustained by farmers and
orchardists in the arid regions of the West through the depreda-
tions of the large native hares, or jack rabbits. The introduction of
irrigation and the cultivation of large tracts of land have favored the
increase of rabbits in several States by furnishing a new source of
food supply. To such an extent have their depredations increased
that the extermination of jack rabbits has become a serious question
in California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, and Utah.
The objects of this bulletin are: (1) To give a general account of the
distribution and habits of the various species found in the United
States; (2) to show the methods which have been used to exterminate
the animals and to protect crops from their depredations; and (3) to
bring together facts and figures concerning the economic uses of rab-
bits in general, for the purpose of indicating how our native species
may be more generally utilized.
The disastrous results of the introduction of the common European
rabbit into Australia some thirty years ago are known the world over,
and nowhere have the methods of destroying rabbits and protecting
crops been so carefully investigated as on that continent. WhiletheOld
World rabbit belongs to an entirely different species from the jack rab-
bits of the West, and differs from them in habits, some of the Austra-
lian methods might be used with advantage in our own country. The
commercial utilization of rabbits has been attended with considerable
success in Australia; large quantities of rabbits are used for food, and
an immense number of skins are annually exported to England, some
of which find their way to the markets of this country. Therefore,
when possible, reference has been made to experiments in Australia
which are likely to be of benefit in the United States.
It is obviously impracticable to mention the many persons who have
contributed data, but acknowledgments are due to all who have aided
in the preparation of this report. The author, however, is under special
obligations to Maj. Chas. Bendire and to Messrs. M. S. Featherstone
of Goshen, Cal., Henry Lahann of Traver, Cal., Geo. WV. Stewart and
D. K. Zumwalt of Visalia, Cal., A. Van Deusen of Lamar, Colo., and






PREFACE.


to Vernon Bailey and J. Ellis McLellan, field agents of the division, for
many valuable notes. More than five hundred letters were written in
the course of the investigation, and thus a large amount of informa-
tion has been collected which could not otherwise have been obtained.
The statistics given in the last two chapters are only approximate, and
necessarily incomplete, but any corrections or additions will be wel-
comed, particularly in the case of the lists of rabbit drives, which it
is desirable to make as complete as possible.
T. S. PALTER.









CONTENTS.


Page.
CHAPTER I.-INTRODUCTION ------------------------------------------------................................................ 11
General habits........................................................------------------------------------------------------.. 11
Food ...........................................................-----------------------------------------------------------.... 12
Depredations -.... ...... ...... ...................................-------------------------------... 13
Species found in tile 1'nitd Statles.....................................------------------------------------. 13
Prairie Hare or White-tailed Jack Ralubbit (Lepus cdmqpefris) ............. 14
California .Jack Rabbit (Lepus califoruicin) .............................. 17
Black-tailed or Texan Jack Rabbit (Lepus texianuis) ...................... f19
Black-eared Jack Rabbit (Lepus mielanotis) ............................... 21
Allen's Jack Rabbit (Lepns alleni) ....................................... 22
CHAPTER II.-ABUND)ANCE AND RAI'DITY OF INCREI-.A.'E .................... 24
Breeding habits ..------------------.----......-------------------------------.................... 25
Number of young in a litter.---------------------------------------........................................ 25
Time of birth.....................................................---------------------------------------------------.. 27
CHAPTER III.-INJURY TO CROPS AND MEANS OF PiROTECTION ---.....-...----..------. 30
Injury to grain, orchards, etc...........................................-------------------------------------- 30
Protection of orchards and crops ........................-............--.... -32
By fences....................................................... -------------------------------------------------------.... 33
Protection of single trees.-----------------------------------------......................................... 34
Smears ..........................................................---------------------------------------------------------... 34
CHAPTER IV.-METIIODS OF DE.STllICTION .................................. 36
Inoculation --..---------------------------------------------------------.............. 363
Methods used in Australia............. -............ ...................---------------------------.... 37
Poison...............................................................---------------------------------------------------------... 3S
Bounties ---..--------------------------....................-...............--------------------........... 40
California .......................................................------------------------------------------------------... 40
Idaho ..........................................................----------------------------------------------------------.... 41
Oregon .........................................................---------------------------------------------------------.... 42
Texas ...........................................................----------------------------------------------------------... 42
Utah -----------------------------------------------------------43
Expenditures in Australia............................................... --------------------------------------------43
Natural enemies ......................................................... 44
Epidemics ........... ----------------------------------------------------------45
CHAPTER V.-RABBIT DiV'ES AND HUNTS .................................. 47
California .............................................................. 47
Origin of the drives................................................. 52
Results of the drives- ................................................ 57
Oregon ................................................................. 59
Rabbit hunts ............................................................ 60
Utah .................................................................... 60
Idaho ................................................................... 62
Colorado ................................................................ 63:
Suimmniary ....................... ..................................... 64(i
CHAPTER VI.-VALUE OF THE JACK RABBIT ................................ 6.5
Coursing ................................................................ 66
Skins ................................................................... 68
Jack rabbits as game .................................................... 71
Parasites ........................................................... 71
How the game is killed and shipped................................. 72
The market ----. ..................................................... 74
General summary and'conclusions .......-................................ 78
Articles on Rabbits .................................................. .... 80


































































































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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



PLATEI-.
Olppsitep ];i Lie-
Frontispiece. Rabbit driving in the >San Joaqhin Valley, Californi;i-'The
Grand Army drive at Fresno, March 12, 1892. ('roiii phliotogralh by Stittir.)
I. Map showing distribution of jack rabbits in the United tates .......... 11
1I. Distribution of the California a nid Texan Jack Rabbits.................. .I
III. A jack rabbit drive near Fresno, Cal., May 5, l 94-lk'abbits (interin tihe
corral...........................................................---------------------------------------------------------.... 47
IV. Result of the Grand Army rabbit drive at Fresno, ('al.-20,000 rabbits
killed. (From photograph by Stiffler).............................. -----------------------------51
V. Map showing location of rabbit drives in southern Clirirui i........... .--------
VI. Result of the jack rabbit hliunt at Lamiar, Colo., I)eceimlx.r 22, 1S!91-5.112
rabbits killed. (From photograph by Ilallack)................... ----------3

TEXT FIGURES.
1. Diagram showing tforiti of corral used in the rabbit drive at lBaker.t-ild,
Cal., January 15, 1888. (Fromn Am. Field, 1X)...................... l-------------------
2. Diagram showing fbrmni of porta1lc (corral iis.d 1)by the, Goshen R;ibbit )rive
Club. (From M. S. Featherston ) .................................... .-II
9




















































































































































































































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Bull. 8, Div. Ornitho;ogy and Mamma'ogy., U S. Dept. Agriculture.


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Praitrie Hare
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Drives.and Hunts
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PLATE I.


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THE JACK RABBITS OF THE I\ITEI) STATES.


By T. S. I'ALMF M. I).


CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION.
The Great Plains and deserts of the western United States anre
inhabited by several species of large hares, commonly known as 'jack
rabbits.' These rabbits occur almost everywhere, except in the higher
mountains and in wooded regions, from the ninety-filthi meridian west
to the Pacific, and from thle Plains of the Saskatchewan southward over
the table-land of Mexico to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The resem
balance of their large ears to those of the well-known pack animal of the
West has suggested the common names of 'jackass shares,' jackk rab-
bits," or 'jacks.' In some parts of California jack rabbits are called
'narrow-gauge mules' and 'small mules,' but fortunately these absurd
terms are very local, and not likely to come in general use. In t e South-
west and beyond the Rio Grande the large shares are called 'liebres*
by the Mexicans, to distinguish them from the cotton-tail rabbits, or
'conejos.'
GENERAL HABITS.

Jack rabbits may be seen abroad at almost any hour of the day, and
hence are likely to be recognized by the most casual observer, and are
perhaps better known than most other native mammals. Living as they
do on the open plain, where they are compelled to rely for safety onl
lquickness of hearing and on speed, their ears and hind legs are (level-
oped to an extraordinary degree. This gives them a somewhat grotesque
appearance, but in reality few animals are more graceful as they bound
along when once thoroughly alarmed. In spl)ite of an unfortunate name
and seeming awkwardness of gait, a closer acquaintance with their

'This name seems to have been first introduced by Avdubon and Bachinia in 151.).
In referring to one of the species found along the Mexican border they say: "This
species is called the jackass rabbit in Texas, owing to the length of its ears." (Quail.
N. Am., II, 1851, p. 99); and again, in reference to LepuR lexianu,. "This hare received
from the Texans and from our troops in the Mlexican war the name ofjackass rabbit,
in common with Lepus callotis." (Ibid., II, p. 157.)






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


habits will reveal many points of interest and will arouse admiration
for the way in which they seem to overcome every adverse condition
of life, so admirably are they adapted to their Surroundings.
Unlike the cotton-tails, or the common rabbit of Europe, these
hares do not live in burrows, but make 'forms' under bushes or in
patches of weeds, where they find protection from the weather, and
also bring forth their young. Certain shrubs in the West belonging
to the genus Bigelocia are commonly known as 'rabbit brush,' because
they grow in dense thickets, in which rabbits are fond of hiding.
Where there are no bushes, the rabbits seek the shade of any objects
which can shield them from the burning rays of the sun. A traveler on
the Southern Pacific Railroad, crossing the barren plains of the San
Joaquin Valley in California, where large stretches of country are
devoid of bushes, may sometimes see the jack rabbits crouching in the
shadows of the telegraph poles, evidently alarmed by the train, but
uncertain whether or not to forsake their shady spots and seek safety
in flight.
Extremes of climate apparently do not affect them to any great
extent. Some species are at home on the deserts of Arizona and Cali-
fornia; others, as the Prairie Hare, contrive to exist in the intense cold
of a Montana winter, when the ground is covered with snow, and they
are compelled to live on the bark of shrubs or of willows growing along
the streams.
Food.-Like other rabbits, they feed almost exclusively y on the bark
and leaves of shrubs and on herbage, and hardly any land is too poor
to supply this food in some form.
On the Great Plains, buffalo and grama grass and such herbs as
they can find constitute their principal fare, but this is supplemented
in winter by the bark of willows. In the deserts of the Great Basin
they seem to be especially fond of the tender annual species of grease-
wood (Atriplex) and several species of cactus. If nothing better is
obtainable, however, they can subsist on Sarcobatus, and shrubs which
other animals seldom touch. Sometimes it is difficult to see where they
can obtain sufficient food, but lack of water and of green herbage sere
only to reduce their numbers and rarely cause their complete abeaem
from any region. Among the greasewood on the alkali fiats northwest
of Great Salt Lake, or on the cactuscovered deserts of Arizona, the
jack rabbits are almost as fat and sleek as when feeding in the
alfiilfta. patches and vineyards of southern California. If neemsari
they can travel long distances for food, but as they seldom i::ink,
scarcity of water causes them little inconvenience, and the jowcac-
tus pads' or ordinary desert herbage furnish all the moista i- eA-
sary to slake their thirst. They are fond of vegetables and -mAnd
when these canu'be had they quickly abandon their usual food and.
themselves neartlhe garden or cultivated field. Theirfonda
bark makes them particularly destructive in the orchard and.4.. 4T






SPECIES.


where they are likely to do irreparable injury by girdling young fruit
trees and vines.
As jack rabbits multiply rapidly they often become great pests.
They have comparatively few natural enemies, and if not held inll check
by other agencies would doubtless overrunii the country. Their undue
increase is prevented ordinarily by lack of food, by unfavorable climatic
conditions, or by disease. Many (lie during unusually severe winters;
a cold, wet spring is disastrous to tlhe young, and thousands of ymloung
and old perish during tlhe epidemics which occasionally bveak mut amoliig
them over large sections of country. Nevertlieless, tlihy cai adal)t
themselves to circumstances to such an extent as to be able not only
to hold their own under most unfavorable co)iditiois, 1; blt to increase
rapidly whenever food is abundant.
Depredations.-Tlie experience of settlers in the San Joaquiu VaIlley,
California, along the Arkansas River in southeastern Colorado, and
in southwestern Idaho lias shownvii that where new land li:as been culti-
vated or irrigated jack rabbits fairly swarm inl from the surrounding
country, and instead of being driven out by advancing civilization, at
first multiply so enormously that radical measures have to be adopted
to protect the crops from destruction.
Some idea of the extent of these injuries can be formed, when it is
stated that the damage caused by jack rabbits to tlihe crops in Tulare
County, Cal., during a single year lhas been estimated at $000,000, and
one county in Idaho has actually expended more than 830,000 in boun-
ties on these pests! The money spent by individual farmers in the West
on rabbit fences and other devices for protecting crops would aggregate
a very large sum, which it is impossible even to estimate. But the thou-
sands of rabbits destroyed for bounties and the tens of thousands killed
in the large hunts and by epidemics seem to diminish tlhe abundance
of the species only in localities where a large part of the land is under
-cultivation and the animals are systematically killed off year after year.
Jack rabbits are largely used for food and for sport. In a fair race
they can outstrip all but tlhe best hounds and can even keel) abreast of
a railway train running at a moderate speed for some distance. For
coursing the native species are considered equal, if not supl)erior, to the
Old World hares. Large quantities are shil)pp)ed to market every year
as game, and the trade is capable of considerable increase. The skins
eightt also be saved with profit, but the value of jack rabbits, whether
for food or for fur, by no means o()ffsets the imnmense damage which they
do to crops.
SPECIES FOUNI) IN THE UNITED STATES.

This group of rabbits is unfortunately in a somewhat chaotic con-
dition, and it will be impossible to treat the species satisfactorily until
they have been subjected to a thorough revision. A technical discus-
sion of their characters and relationships does not come within the


13






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


scope of this bulletin, however desirable it might be to consider these
questions. For the present it will be sufficient merely to give the
species now generally recognized, with the full knowledge that their
status and nomenclature are likely to undergo considerable modifica-
tion in the near future. Such a course is unsatisfactory, but unavoid-
able under the circumstances.
For convenience, the jack rabbits which occur in the United States
m1y lbe divided into two groups, according to the color of the upper
surface of the tail.' In t lie first group, represented by the Prairie Hare
(LIpus campestris)--the only jack rabbit which ever turns white in
winter-the tail is entirely white. In the second group the upper sur-
hace of the tail is marked by a more or less distinct stripe of black.
Flour or more black-tailed rabbits have been .described from the West:
(1) A buff'-bellied species found in California and southwestern Oregon
(Lepus californicus); (2) a large, long-limnibed species inhabiting s6uth-
ern Arizona and Sonora, known as Allen's Hare (Lepus alleni); (3) a
widely distributed white- bellied animal with long ears, occurring in the
Great Basin and commonly known as the Texan Jack Rabbit (Lepus
texianus), and (4) the Black-eared Jack, or Eastern Jackass Hare of the
Great Plains (Lepus melanotis), very closely related to the Texan Hare,
but differing from it in possessing shorter ears and richer coloring.
One or more Mexican species cross the southern border of the United
States and are found in the extreme southern part of Texas, but their
range within our limits is so restricted that they will not be considered
further.
Prairie Hare or White-tailed Jack Rabbit.
(Lepns campestris Bachman.)

The Prairie Hare was first discovered by Lewis and Clark on their
memorable trip across the continent in 1804-1806, although not actually
pined until 1837.2 They described it as follows:
The hare [ Lepus carmpestris8] on this side of the Rocky Mountains inhabits the great
plains of the Columbia. Eastward of those mountains they inhabit the plains of the
Missouri. They weigh from 7 to 11 pounds. * The head, neck, back, shoul-
ders, thighs, and outer part of the legs are of a lead color; the sides, as they
approach the belly become gradually more white; the belly, breast, and inner part
of the legs and thighs are white, with a light shade of lead color; the tail is round
aind bluntly pointed, covered with white, soft, fine fur, not quite so long as on the
other parts of the body; the body is covered with a deep, fine, soft, close fur.
colors here described are those which the auinial assumes from the middle of April
to the middle of Novemnber; the rest of the year lie is pure white, except the black
and reddish-brown of the ears, which never change. A few reddish-brown spots
are sometimes intermixed with the white at this season [February 26,1806] on the
head and the upper part of the neck and shoulders. * His food isgrass and
lhrlis; in winter he feeds much on the bark of several aromatic herbs growing on
'Jack rabbits never turn the tail up like cotton-tails, and hence it is easy to tell
at a distance whether the color of the upper surface is black or white.
Bachman, Jouin. Acad. Nat. Sci., Philadelphia, Vol. VII. 1837, p. 340.


14






PRAIRIE HARE.


the plains. Captain Lewis mexasilrid tile lel)aps of this :iiiiinil, and foind th.iii
commonly from 18 to 21 feet. They ar.- generaIlly fl' u111141 septLrate, and are never
seen to associate in greater nuinil)ers ti;ai two wr thirer.'
The White-tailed .lack I:abbit liis .111 extended range ill tlhe northern
part of the Great Basin a(nd ol tlie G(realt PllaiIs. It is said to be found
as far north as latitude 55?' in Saskatlchewan a1z1d r ,ges eastward to
Lake Winnipeg, Elk liver. Minnesota, and: central Iowa. On the
south it is lnot found on the plains iniichi below central Kansas and
southern Colorado-Fort. tliley and lPende(lCiiiis, Ka ls., and( Las Aninias,
Colo., being near its soutlieri limits. Out tihe 1iwl{, v Moumit;aii plateau,
however, it goes a little farther south ad(I hias been taken at Fort Gar-
land, Colo., and at Kanal, Utah. The Sierra Nevada and Cascade
Range mark the limits oft' its western tlistributioi, but it occurs il the
Sierra as far south as LHqwp Valley (lhat. 380 30'), and probablyas har as
latitude 360.
Although called Prairie Hlare,' it ranges high up in tlie 'mouintains-
at least in sumnier-hligher than any other Jack rabbit. Il August,
1891, I saw a large rabbit, probably belonging to this species, at an
altitude of about 10,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada, about 20 miles south
of Mount Whitney. Signs of their presence have been flbund in the
Rocky Mountains far above timber line and nearly to tlhe sulniits of the
higher peaks. It is hardly probable that .jack rabbits spend the winter
at such altitudes, but the uppl)er limit of their winter range still remains
to be ascertained. Abundant food in the mountain mnea(lows and above.
timber line probably tempts them to ascend firon lower levels in summer
just as cultivated fields on the plains attract them from a distance.
In the mountains and in the northern part of their range they become
pure white in winter, but in Kansas, Nebraska, Washington, and else-
where near the southern limit of their habitat they undergo only a
partial change, or do not turn white at all. In southern (O)regon tlhe
rabbits inhabiting the higlhier mountains are said to turn white in win-
ter, while a little lower down they undergo) only : martial challuge and
in the valleys do not assume the white pelage.
This species probably never occurs in such numbers as the Black-
tailed Jack Rabbit, even under thle most favorable circun.stances. Dr.
Coues speaks of it on the .Great Plains :as follows:
Nor is the Prairie Hare inl tile Ieast grega-rio i,. I have never seen nor heard
of several together, and indeed it is rare to find even tw() together, at ilyl season
whatever. It is one of the most 8olitaryv anlilimals with which I have ibecomne
aicquainted. I have never fondi an k ind of loality even, whic, wi lre-
senting special attractions, might invite ii);ny hIares together. All places are, alike
to them; the oldest frontiersman. prol,:llily, could never guess wit:h any degree of
certainty where the next hare to bound oil before' hiimi would appear. If it haave any
preference, however, it is for weedy' tracts. of which tile sage-brinush regions furniish
the best examples; there it finds shelter which tlihe lo crisply, grass of rolling prairie
does not afford, and .1180 (luilitItless 8secures a greater variety of food.-'

SCones' Edition Hist. lxped. Lewis anal ('lark, Vol. Ill, 1893. pp 865-666.
SBull. Essex Institute, VII (1875), 1876, pp. W0-81.


15






18


JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


The true California animal was formerly supposed to extend east-
ward to the Colorado River and Arizona, but more recent investigations
show that it is restricted entirely to the region west of the Sierra.
Here, where the chaparral-covered slopes of the foothills dip down to
the valleys, it is most at home, mainly below an altitude of 3,000
feet. Rarely does it range above 5,000 feet, although in one instance
at least, on M3ount Pifios, it has been found higher than 8,000 feet.
But the individuals found at these higher levels are few in number,
and are probably only stragglers which have wandered up from the
lower foothills. It avoids the dark, damp forests of the redwood belt
on the Northwest coast; but finding suitable localities beyond the
limits of its native State, it has crossed the Siskiyou Mountains and
taken possession of the Rogue River and Umpqua valleys in Oregon,
and is known to range as far north as Comstock, in Douglas County.
Mr. Clark P. Streator reports that a single specimen, probably a strag-
gler, was killed near Eugene, at the head of the Willamette Valley,
about November 20, 1893. To the south this species extends some
distance down the peninsula of Lower California.
While the limits of certain portions of this range are readily under-
stood from well-marked conditions of climate and topography, it is by
no means easy to explain the invisible but apparently sharply defined
lines which separate the California and Texan rabbits in the great
interior valley of California. Here they probably mingle with one
another, but at no point are their habitats known to overlap to
any great extent. Nor is it clear why the Texan Jack Rabbit, which
extends up the east slope of the Sierra as high as 7,000 feet and over
Walker pass (altitude 5,300 feet), should occupy only the bottom of the
San Joaquin Valley below 2,000 feet. This part of its range is inclosed
on both sides by that of Lepus californicus, which is here restricted to
the foothills, but which spreads out to the north and covers the whole
expanse of the Sacramento Valley, as well as the slopes of the Sierra
Nevada and Coast Ranges. Briefly stated, the white-bellied species is
found in the bottom of the San Joaquin Valley, while the buff-bellied
animal occupies the Sacramento Valley and the adjacent foothills, as
well as those surrounding the San Joaquin Plains.
The California Jack Rabbit is nowhere as abundant as the Texan
species. In some portions of the Coast Range only two or three indi-
viduals will be found over a large extent of country, and it is quite.
rare in some of the valleys southeast of San Franciso Bay; but this is
due mainly to the settlement of the country, and the various means
adopted for its extermination. It is perhaps most abundant in the
Rogue River Valley, Oregon, along the western slope of the central
part of the Sierra Nevada, and in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino
valleys.
In speaking of the California species T. S. Van Dyke' says: "Few
4.
animals are more graceful than this hare, whether skimming the.

Southern California, 1886, p. 131.







Bull. 8, Div. Ornithology and Mammalogy, U. S. Dept. Agriculture.


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iL S'.i Br-~atl S.e r^k .lSl ta\
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17


Sazn


DISTRIBUTION OF CALIFORNIA AND TEXAN JACK RABBITS.
Dotted area =Calfcrni Jack Ratb;i; spots outside this area show where the Texan R3tc. has been colected.


PLATE II.









TEXAN JACK RABBIT.


plain before the outstretched greyhound or aroused from his Iform1
he dashes away with high jum ps, as if to take a better view of tlhe
intruder, or stopping and rearing upon his (ind legs, stands erect, with
ears pointed at the zenith and surveys him at safe distance, then
again lengthens out his trim form and Ihugs tihe ground like a racer
until a mile away. Sometimes at early morning or evening yo, inay
see him scudding along tihe plain as if in play, ruiiiiiig '2 or 3 miles,
perhaps, most of the time at high spewed. * A tine runner lie
is, too, and gifted with good staying qualities. It takes a good grey-
hound to overtake the best of them, while the slowest ones distance at
common dog at every bound."


Black-tailed Jack Rabbit, Texan Jack Rabbit.
(Lepui texianus Waterhouse.1 )

This hare is pale-gray above, often tinged with brownish and mixed
with black; the lower surface of the body and tail is white, while tlhe
tips of the ears and upper part of the tail are distinctly marked with
black. In length it measures about 254 inches (647 mm.2) from the tip
of the nose to the end of the tail vertebni and weighs 4 or 5 pounds.
The ears average 61 inches (171 mm.) but the tail is only 44 inches (109
mm.) in length. The Black-tailed Hare is smaller than either the Prairie
Hare or Allen's Hare, but is about the same size as the California Jack
Rabbit. Specimens from southern Arizona are not as large as those
from the central part of the Territory and other, portions of the Great
Basin region, and for this reason have been recently sel)arated by Dr.
J. A. Allen3 as a subspecies or race called the Desert Hare (Lepus
texianus eremicus).
Usually it is not difficult to distinguish the Black-tailed Hare from
other species found in the same region. In the northern parts of its
range it occurs along with the Prairie Hare in some parts of Oregon,
Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas, but here the lat-
ter (Lepus campestris) may be recognized by its white tail, larger size,
and more or less complete change of pelage in winter-no black-tailed
species showing any tendency to turn white in winter.
The Texan Rabbit will hardly be confused with the larger and longer
limbed Allen's Hare in southern Arizona, after they have once been
seen together, but it is sometimes difficult to distinguish it from the
California Jack. Although typical specimens of the latter arc buff
instead of white below and have the lower surface of the tail buff, those
from the foothills bordering the San Joaquin Valley in California are

'Under this name are included all the black-tailed jack rabbits, except Lepus alleni,
which are found from the Rocky Mountains west to the Sierra Nevada and Cascade
Range.
2Average of 9 specimens collected by I)r. F. A. Mearnis at Fort Verde, Ariz. (Bull.
Am. Mus. Nat Hist., II, Feb. 1890, 302.)
albid., VI, Dec. 20, 1894, pp. 347-348.


19






20


JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


frequently so light in color as to closely resemble the white-bellied
Texan Rabbit.
The Black-tailed Jack Rabbit is found in the Great Basin from the
Rocky Mountains west to the Cascade Range in Oregon and to the
Sierra Nevada in California, and from central Idaho and southeastern
Washington south to Mexico. Its range extends eastward into west-
ern Texas and some distance down the Rio Grande. West of the
Sierra it has a most remarkable distribution in a narrow strip along the
bottom of the San Joaquin Valley from the Tejon Mountains nearly as
far north as latitude 38. It gains access to the valley from the Mohave
Desert by way of Walker Pass (altitude 5,300 feet) and probably also
by the Cafiada de ]as Uvas (altitude 4,300 feet). It is distinctly an
animal of the deserts and plains and nowhere ascends to very high
altitudes.
In southern Arizona and on the Colorado Desert in California the
Texan Jack Rabbit is usually seen singly or in groups of only two
or three individuals, while in Kansas, eastern Colorado, and some
portions of the Great Basin large numbers are often found together.
Its abundance or scarcity is usually governed by local conditions-an
unusually cold winter, an epidemic or a dry year in which food is
scarce, may so reduce its numbers as to make the species appear rare
where ordinarily it is abundant. When food supply or other conditions
favor its increase it is gregarious to a high degree, and occurs in
immense numbers.
Forty years ago Dr. George Suckley found these rabbits very abun-
dant south of the Bbise River, on his trip through southwestern
Idaho, in September, 1854.' He says: "6 They are so numerous that our
command of 60 men subsisted on them for nearly a week. In a short
ride of an hour's duration to.see 30 near the trail was nothing remark-
able. * This hare breeds in great numbers on the vast sage
plains at the South Boise River, between it and the Snake River."
More recently, in 1878, Maj. Chas. Bendire found them in immense
numbers in the Payette Valley, in southwestern Idaho, where fully 150
were seen together one morning near Payette River Ferry. At this
point there was a small grass-covered island to which the rabbits could
cross from the river bank by a bridge. When startled they merely
loped away for a few yards and then stopped to ascertain the cause of
the disturbance. A writer in 'Forest and Stream 2 states that in the
vicinity of Austin, Nev., jack rabbits are exceedingly abundant, and
that 487 had been killed in eight hours by a party of 12 hunters.
But the Texan Jack Rabbit is most abundant in the southern,part of
the San Joaquin Valley from latitude 37 southward, where the condi-
tions for its existence are so favorable that it is still able to hold
its ground in spite of the great numbers annually slaughtered by drives.
Pacific Railroad Reports, XII, Book 2, 1860, Chap. II, p. 105.
2 Vol. XVIII, Apr. 20, 1882, p. 229.






BLACK-EARED JACK RABBIT. 21

In the summer of 1891 I saw large numbers Just south of the town of
Bakersfield. At least a hundred were in sight at once, and were so
tame that they paid little attention to teaiis passing along the road,
and would allow a person to :pl)pproaclh within a few feet lieforec moving.
Dr. A. K. Fisher and Mr. Vernon Bailey also saw thousands (of jack
rabbits between Bakersfield and Visalia only a few weeks later. At
one point just north of Delano, Tulare County, at least 100 scallmpered
away at a single discharge of a guin.
Referring to the habits of the Black-tailed Jack Rabbit in Arizona,
Dr. Cones' writes:
At Fort Whipple, the species is very common the year round, and :iliii',t every
sort of locality is frequented by them, though they chieClly atIlct grassy :ni.adows
and open glades, interspersed with copses, or luminps of oak t.r.es, or l.patches of
briery undergrowth. The gulchls, or washes,' as they are called, leading out of
mountain ravines, and thickly set with grease-wood (Obione [A triplex] Canescens), are
favorite resorts. They feed much upon this plant, and ly their incessant coirsings
through patches of it they wear little intersecting avenues, along which they ramble
at their leisure. When feeding at their case. and unsuspicious of danger, they movo
with a sort of lazy abandon, perforIlinig a succession of careless leaps, now nibbling
the shrubs overhead, now the grass at their feet. They are not ,l tll gregarious,
though peculiar attractions may bring many together in the same spot. They do
not burrow, but construct :a form' in which they squat. I do not think these are
permanent; but rather that they are extemporized, :as wanted, in some convenient
bush; though the case may be different duiriug tlhe season of reproduction. It has
been stated by some authors, that only two or three are produced at a birth, which I
know to be at least not always the case, having found as many as six embryos in the
multipartite womb of a pregnant female. In thle latitude of Fort Whipple the
young are brought forth in June.
It has a long, swinging gallop, :and performnis prodigious leaps, sonie of
them over bushes 4 feet high; now in the air, its feet all drawn t(igtlher and
downstretched; now on the ground, which it touches and rebounds from with
marvelous elasticity. It will course thus bfor a hundred yards or so, and then stop
as suddenly as it started; and, sitting erect, its long, wide open ears, vibrating with
excitement, are turned in every direction to catch the sound of following danger.

Black-eared Jack Rabbit or Eastern Jackass Hare
i l.epu.- nelanoli. Mearns.

The Black-eared Jack Rabbit is simply tlhe eastern form of the Black-
tailed Rabbit of the Great Basin region, al(l was described only six
years ago, in 1890, by l)r. E. A. Mearns, from a market specimen sup.
posed to have been killed near Indepenldence, Kans. The differences
between it and the common Black-tailed lJa(k Rabbit arc only apparent
after a careful comparison of a series of specimens, but Lepits melanotis
is described as having a richer coloring and shorter ears than its West-

*Am. Nat., I, Dec., 1867, pp. 532-533.
-Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., N. Y.. II. Feb.. 1890. pp. 297-300. The average measure-
ments of two specimens from Independence, including the type. are: Total length,
23* inches (590mm); tail, 3 inches (771""1): ear. 5A inches (142,nn). The ear averages
nearly 301mm shorter than in L. lexiamns.






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


ern representative. Whether it should be recognized as a full species
or merely a subspecies need not be considered here; but it may be
explained that under this name are included all the. black-tailed jack
rabbits occurring east of the Rocky Mountains and from central Texas
northward to Nebraska.
This haze is fbund on the Great Plains from eastern Kansas to the
Rocky Mountains and western Texas, where its range probably merges
into that of Lepiis terianus. In some parts of Kansas and in south-
eastern Colorado it is very abundant and is killed in large numbers.
When full grown it weighs about 6 pounds and is the black-tailed rab-
bit most commonly seen in the markets of Eastern cities.
Its habits are similar to those of other jack rabbits. According to
Mr. H. P. Attwater it is sometimes captured when young and kept alive,
but is.always wild and very pugnacious. It is much used in coursing,
and is considered one of the best rabbits for this sport. An interest-
ing experiment on its speed was made on the plains of eastern Colorado
near Burlington, about 160 miles east of Denver.' Several hares were
turned loose after having a drop or two of anise-seed oil rubbed on their
feet, and as soon as they were out of sight a pack of five hounds was
started in pursuit. The first and second hares were run down in
about twenty minutes, but the hounds required nearly two hours to
overhaul the third, 'an old black tail.' The writer adds that these
rabbits run in circles as a rule. They make a spurt for the first two
miles, but then begin to weaken, and if the scent is not lost they are
certain to be overtaken by the hounds at last.

Allen's Jack Rabbit
(Lepus alleni Mearns.)
Allen's Jack Rabbit is the largest and finest of the hares of the South-
west. Even at a distance it may be readily distinguished by its gray
sides and the white on the hind part of the body. Its length is about
254 inches (643"11'); tail, 2J inches (69mn1); while the ears measure
about 71 inches (195"n1"n1).2 The color above is yellowish brown mixed
with black, but this area is restricted by the gray of the sides, and in
autumn (November) specimens is a beautiful dark steel gray. This
species was also described by Dr. E. A. Mearns, in 18903 from a speci-
men collected May 8, 1885, at Rillito Station, on the line of the Southern
Pacific Railroad near Tucson, Ariz.
Allen's Hare is found in the deserts of southern Arizona and Sonora,
in the region extending from Phoenix southeastward to the Santa Cat-
alina and Santa Rita mountains, and thence south, into Mexico almost
as far as Guaymas. It has been collected in Sonora at Oputo, on the
SAm. Field, XLII, July 21, 1894, p. 53.
SAverage of three specimens, including the type, collected by Dr. Mearnms.
a Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., II, Feb. 1890, 294-297, 300.


22






ALLEN'S JACK RABBIT.


upper Yaqui River, at Magdalena, IIermiosillo, and Ortiz, and probably
ranges over the greater part of the State. Little is known as to the
western limits of its range, or the injury which it may do to crops wlien
the country becomes more thickly settled. Concerning its habits Mr.
W. W. Price says:
"This splendid hare is abuinidant about Tucson and iin lower portions
of the desert belt. It is found both on the gravelly liills bordering the
Rillito at Fort Lowell, and on tlie immense inesqiuiite iind Larreti plains
of Tucson. It is somewhat shy, atld hard to secure, except with a rifle.
One rarely comes upon it suddenly. I have never seen it start up with
the quick, rapid flight of L. te.xiani(s. It lias ;i slow, apparently awk-
ward gait, but its leaps are long, and it gets over the ground with
surprising rapidity. In color and habits it is so very different from any
other American hare, the wonder is that it should have so long remained
undescribed."'
1 Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. lHist., VII, 1895, pp. 201-202.


23













CHAPTER II.


ABUNDANCE AND RAPIDITY OF INCREASE.
It is well known that jack rabbits are very prolific, and reference
has already been made to the great numbers found together in some
parts of California, Idaho, Nevada, and South Dakota. Similar
instances might be mentioned for southeastern Colorado and central
Utah. But the best illustrations of extraordinary abundance in lim-
ited areas can perhaps be found in California. In Modoc County, in
the northern part of the State, nearly 25,000 jack rabbits were said
to have been killed in three months on a tract of land only 6 by 8
miles in extent; this was during the period when the bounty law was
in force. A still more remarkable case has been recorded in the San
Joaquin Valley. Some of the early drives near Bakersfield took place
on a ranch less than 1 square mile in extent. In the first drive, on the
afternoon of January 2, 1888, 1,126 rabbits were killed; as soon as the
animals were dispatched, the same field was passed over again and 796
more killed. A week later, on January 10, there were two drives on the
same ground, the first resulting in the destruction of 2,000 rabbits, the
second in more than 3,000; in the latter an adjoining field was also
driven over. It was estimated that altogether about 8,000 rabbits
were killed on this ranch in nine days. The 'Kern County Echo' of
March (8 ?), 1888, stated that a total of about 40,000 rabbits had been
killed in the drives about Bakersfield from January 1, 1888, up to that
date, and referred to an estimate that two-thirds of the rabbits killed
in the drives were females and the average number of young of each of
these was 3J. On this basis it was computed that had these 40,000 rab-
bits lived two months they would have increased to 135,000. When
it is considered how much injury a single rabbit can do, the damage
which such an army of rabbits is capable of inflicting would hardly be
less than that caused by a grasshopper plague.
Surprise is sometimes expressed that jack rabbits are not entirely
exterminated in regions where they have been mercilessly slaughtered
for years, and it might be supposed that animals which live on the
open plains without even the protection afforded by burrows or holes
of any kind, could easily be kept within bounds, though they have
comparatively few natural enemies. But experience has shown that
this is no easy matter. Ada County, Idaho, which has been systemat-
ically killing off the jacks for fifteen years under the bounty system,
received more scalps and expended more money for this purpose during
1895 than in any year since the bounty law first went into effect in 1878.
24






BREEDING HABITS.


In view of these facts it may be worth while, before consi(ldering the
subject of depredations or thle inetliods used in extermination, to dwell
somewhat on the way ini which these rabbits contrive to liold their own
under apparently great disadvantages and whenll exposed to attacks of
every kind. Naturally their breeding habits and the ratc at which the
animals increase should be considered in this colnicctioli.
BREEDIE NU AB, IIll',.

The breeding habits of the Old World hare and rabbit are well
known and have been determined repeatedly by observations on ani-
mals kept in confinement, so that the period of gestation, the number
of young in a litter, the number of litters born in a year, and the age
at which each species begins to breed are known with considerable
accuracy. According to Sir Richard Owen, tlhe period of gestation in
the Old World hare (Lepus thimhids) and the rabbit ( Lepus crn iculus)
varies from thirty to thirty-one days, and it is probably much the same
in the case of our native species. The coimmonI Europl)ean rabbit breeds
from four to eight times a year and thle number of young varies from
3 to 8 in each litter; it begins to breed when only 6 mouths old and
attains an age of 7 or 8 years.
The breeding habits of the various jack rabbits are so much alike
that the account of those of any one species will serve as an illustration
of the others. The following description is taken from Dr. Cones' paper
on the Prairie Hare in Montana. to which reference has already been
made:
In the regions where I have studied this bare, the female brings forth in June and
early July-oftener the latter-anud apparently only one litter is produced each
season. The number of young is 5 or 6, as a rule. The form is simply constructed,
without burrowing, in the grass beneath some low, thick bush or tuft of weeds.
The young are said to suckle and follow the mother for a month or mior.. They are
agile little creatures, even when only a week or two old, and it, is only when very
young that they can be caught by hand. In traveling aIlong the Milk River (where
the species was abundant), early in July, I had several little ones brought to me, and
some I kept for a time in a box. Though only 5 or 6 inches long. they had
all the motions and attitudes characteristic of the parents, and made shift to run
aboutquite cleverly. They could nut eat, but some of them could be coaxed to lick
a little milk. (Bull. Essex Inst., VII, 1875, p. 81.)
Much still remains to be learned in regard to the number of young
per annum, the exact time when they are born and particularly the ium-
ber of litters per year. The interest in this sub ject is not restricted to
the naturalist, for it is a matter of practical inlmportance to the orchardist
or the farmer to know when his efforts at extermination will be most
effective.
rNumiber of young in a litter.-Compared with the domesticated rabbit
the jack rabbit does not increase very rapidly. Writers, however,
differ widely concerning the number of young and thie frequency with
which the different species breed. Most of the statements seem to be

'Flower & Iydekker, Manmmals Living and Extinct, 1891, p. 494.


25






26 JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.'(

largely matters of opinion. Mr. H. P. Attwater states that the jack
rabbit on the southeastern coast of Texas is supposed to have only one
young at a birth. Dr. J. H. Clark, surgeon of the Mexican Boundary
Survey, notes that the species found along the Mexican border brings
forth but 2 or 3 young at a time, and these usually late in the summer.
The writer, in the -Kern County Echo,' referred to above, says: "If
these rabbits breed every six weeks, as is asserted by many, or at the
outside, three times a year, every farmer in this end of the
valley without a rabbit-tight fence will be compelled to surrender his
ranch to the pests."
As very little positive data seems to have been given by most
observers, recourse was had to the specimens in the collections of Dr.
C. Hart Merriam, the United States Department of Agriculture, and
the American Museum of Natural History,' to supplement the few
published notes. Altogether about 50 specimens were available for
this purpose, consisting first of 15 adult females with young, which had
been examined in the field and a note made of the number of embryos
which each contained. These furnish the most accurate data possible
concerning the number of young. The other specimens, 36 in number,
comprise rabbits less than half grown, and in some cases only a few
days old, which may be utilized to show roughly the dates of birth.
The data thus collected are shown in the following tables:

Table showing number of Jack Rabbits in a litter (based on dissection of fema, with
young).

Num-
Species. ber of Date. Locality.
em-
bryos.

Lepua californicus..... 4 Mar. 19,1894 Jolon, Cal.
Lepus campetris ...... 4 May 5,1890 Bridger Pass, Wyoming.
Do................. 4 May 30,1894 Forks of Cheyenne, South Dakota.
Lepus melanoti (?)*... 1 Dec. 28, 1894 San Antonio, Tex.
Lepus texianus ........ 1 Jan. 24,1891 Death Valley, Cal.
Do-----------------................. 6 Mar.25,1891 Do.
Do ................. 6 Apr. 16,1891 Panamint Mountains, Cal.
Do ................. 4 May 1, 1891 Salt Wells Valley, Cal.
Do(?) .............. 4 May 8,1893 Raymond, Cal.
Do() .............. 3 May 9,1893 Do.
Do ................. 2 May 25,1892 Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
Do ................. 6 June? -- Fort Whipple, Ariz. (Coues).
Do................. 3 July 9,1890 Blackfoot, Idaho.
Do................. 3 July 31,1891 25 miles west of Benton, Cal.
Do................. 2 Sept. 5,1889 San Francisco Mountain, Arizona.

Specimen in American Museum of Natural History, New York.

The number of young as shown by these 15 specimens varies from 1
to 6-never more; in fact it is probable that 6 is rather exceptional,
although found in three of the cases mentioned above. The average
obtained from the table is between 3 and 4 (3.5), but this result is prob-
ably not accurate. It will be noticed that all the cases of 3 young or

SThrough the kindness of Dr. J. A. Allen, curator of mammals in the American
Museum of Natural History, New York, I have had an opportunity of examining the
jack rabbits in that collection.

U.






TIME OF BIRTH.


less are in the desert region of the Great Basin or Arizona, or else
represent second or third litters. Dr. E. A. Mearns, United States
Army, who has examined many specimens iii Arizona, states that it is
very common to find only 1 young and that 2 is the usual number
in that region. Farther north, however, both in tlir casc of the Prairie
Hare and the California, Jack. 4 is probably not too high an average
for the first litter, but it is doubtless true that later in tlie season the
litters are smaller.
Time of birth.-The evidence at hand not only fails to substantiate
the view that jack rabbits breed every six weeks in the year, bulIt there is
every reason to believe that each species has a regular breeding s-eason
and a definite period of rest. Certainly no data liave been foiiud which
show that the young are born in the United States in October, Novem-
ber, or December. It is almost impossible to determine the exact d;a tes
of birth unless the animals are kept in captivity, but the time call be
estimated approximately. As already stated, the period of gestation
is about thirty days, so that the specimens mentioned in the last table
can be utilized for this purpose by addfintI thirty days to the dates
given and the results will be within a month, and probably within two
or three weeks of the true time. Furthermore, it maybe assumed that
jack rabbits attain their full size (but not weight) in about two months,
and the size of the adults and of the young at birth being known, time
measurements of a young animal may be taken as a rough index of
its age. The following table is based on an examination of 36 young
rabbits selected for this purpose. No specimens were included which
seemed to be much more than half grown, and nearly all those given
may be assumed to be less than thirty days old and hence the date of
birth less than a month earlier in each case.
The collection contains several specimens which illustrate the size
and condition of the young at birth. Perhaps tlhe most interesting are
4 foetal Prairie Hares collected at Bridger Pass, Wyoming, May 5,
1890, evidently but a day or two before birth. The average measure-
ments of these specimens are: Total length, 149111""; hiid foot, 36""".
The animals are entirely covered with hair and the eyes are open. In
one, at least, the front teeth (incisors) are cut, and nearly all the molars
in the upper jaw are just breaking through the gums. Thle specimens
having been preserved in alcohol for four years are somneiNwhat shrunken
and the total length is probably about 25."u" too short. A specimen of
the Black-tailed Rabbit (Lelus te.rianus) from Paiamiint Valley, Cali-
fornia, collected January 10, 1891-evidently only a few d(lays old-meas-
ures only 192"11" in length, and hind foot 471",". Another of about the
same age from Santa Rosalia, Chilihuahua, taken September 21, 1893,
measures 18511"1, hind foot, 43'"". Thus the young at. birth average a
little less than 2001""1 in length the hind foot about 40 or 451i"". The
dates of birth can be approximated from the bfollowini" table with suf-
ficient accuracy for present purposes by comparing the difference


27








28 JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

between these measurements and those of any particular specimen
with the difference obtained by subtracting the measurements of the
young from those of the adult of that species.

List of young Jack Rabbits, showing time of birth.


SIcies.


SDate.-


Lepus alleni ....... June 12,1892


Lepus californicus.I
D o.............
Do.............
Do .............
Do ............
Lipus campestris ..
Do............
D)o" ...........
Do* ...........
Do* ........
Lepus melanotist -.
Do* ............
Do t ............
Dot ............
Do............
Do............
Do ............
Dot ..........
Dot ...........
Dot ..........
Lepus texianus .....
Do...........
Do .............
Do............
Do............
Do............
Do............
Do............
Do............
Do.............
Do............
Lepus sp (?)........
D o ............
Do.............
Do.............


Mar. 18,1892
Mar. 23,1894
Apr. 15,1894
Apr. 18. 1894
May 1,1894
May 23, 1894
May 24,1894
May 28, 188
.... do ......
Sept. 10, 1887
Mar. 4,-
Mar. 9,1891
Apr. 12,-
July 6,-
Apr. 26,1894
July 30, 1892
Sept. 3,1890
Sept. 17, -
Sept. 17,-
Oct. 11,-
Jan. 10. 1891
Mar. 27, 1891
Apr. 10,1891
Apr. 27,1892
May 9,1891
May 18,1889
May 22,1889
June 11, 1891
July 17,1894
July 26,1890
Sept. 21,1893
Jan. 23,1892
Sept. 30, 1Th3
Aug. 14,1892
.....do ......


Locality.


Riliito Creek, Arizona --....-
San Fcrnando, Cal ........
Jackson, Cal .............
Oakdale, Cal .............
Chinese Camp, Cal ........
Priest Valley, Cal.........
Newcastle, Wyo ..........
._do ..................
Fort Pierre, S. Dak .......
..... do ...... .... ... ....
Fort Bubford, N. Dak......
San Antonio, Tex .........
Onaga, Kans .............. I
San Antonio, Tex .........
.do .. ---. ............... -
Vernon, Te ..............
Cairo, Kans ...............
Onaga, Kans ..............
San Antonio, Tex.........
.....do.....................
.... do...... ..............
Panamint Valley, Cal.....
Grapevine Mountains, Nev
Furnace Creek, Cal .......
Fort Huachuca, Ariz ......
Beaverdam, A riz ..........
Phoenix, Ariz............
Carson, Nev ..............
Lone Pine, Cal.......-...
South Fork, Pitt River, Cal
Arco, Idaho......--......
Santa Rosalia, Chihuahua.
Matagorda, Tex...........
Rockport, Tex ............
San Luib Potosi, Mexico..
-do.....................


Total Hind R .
length. foot. Remarks.


Mm.
455
375
405
390
420
410
344
350
460
445
265

266
206
405



"192
379
200
380
300
410
"295'
281
240
185
260
195
198


Mm.
110


Adult: Length
hind foot, 138.


643mm;


105
104 Au
87 Adult: Length 592mm;
108 hind foot, 136.
116
95
iO kAdult- 4 Length 598--;
hind loot, 150m-m.
103 o,

...... One-third grown (I).
"73'
.1.... Adult: Length 590"-;
46 ( hind foot, 130.
109


47
98
51
100
88
102
109
84
77
65
43
80
48
48


Unborn (,).
Do.
Few days old.


Adult: Length 647m";
hind foot, 145.




One-third grown (?).


In Merriam collection, t In American Museum of Natural History, New York.
SAverage of 6 specimens from Wyoming.


It would have been desirable to have a much larger number of speci-
mens, but the localities and seasons are well distributed and com-
pensate in a measure for the small series. The earliest date of birth
indicated in these tables is about the beginning of January in the case
of three specimens-one taken in Panamint Valley, in the desert region
of southern California, the others in southern Texas, at San Antonio
and Matagorda. The latest dates (September), are represented by speci-
mens from San Francisco Mountain, Ariz.; Santa Rosalia, Chihuahua,
and Rockport and San Antonio, Tex. Between these extremes every
month is represented, but most of the young seem to be born in April,
May, and JUDO. Specimens born after the 1st of July are from the
northern part of the Plains, from the Great Basin, from southern Texas,
from elevated regions, or from the table-land of Mexico. There is a
noticeable absence of data from the low deserts of southern Arizona
and southern California, apparently indicating at least a partial period
of rest during the hot, dry sunummer. The tables also fail to show that


i






BREEDING SEASON.


any jack rabbits are born before the 1st of February in California west
of the Sierra, or before the 1st of April north of Kansas and central
Nevada. The length of the breeding season in southern regioIIs indi-
cates that several litters are born each year, Ibut in tlhe northern United
States the number is probably not more than two, or at the most, three.
The practical bearing of these generalizations is obvious. Drives or
hunts organized for the extermination of rabbits should tike place
before the beginning of tlhe breeding season, if they are to accomplish
the desired end. Just after the young are born the rabbit 1)opulationl
in a given place may be two or three times what it was six weeks pre-
vious, and the killing of 1,00)0 rabbits then would be only one -lialf or
one-third as effective as the destruction of an equal number earlier in
the season, when all the animals were adults. Drives in southern Cal-
ifornia should therefore be made in December, January, February, or
early in March-the earlier the better, if the weather.is favorable;
later in the season more rabbits may be killed at one time, but a cer-
tain proportion will be young. In Colorado and Utah, hunts made
before the 1st of February will accomplish much more than those in
April, while in Idaho they may be postponed somewhat later.
Similarly, when killed for game, the rabbits from southern California
or Arizona are not likely to be in the best condition after the 1st of
February or March, while those from the northern Plains may be
shipped up to the 1st of April. On the other hand, the young will
hardly be in condition for market before October except in southern
regions, and there the hot weather is likely to interfere with their ship.
meant.


29












CHAPTER III.

INJURY TO CROPS AND MEANS OF PROTECTION.
INJURY TO GRAIN, ORCHARDS, ETC.
With the settlement of the West the jack rabbit has found that
several cultivated crops furnish food which is better and more easily
obtained than the wild plants on which it formerly fed, a fact that is
too often demonstrated by the ravages committed in orchards and
vineyards. Like the cottontail, it seldom ignores a neighboring alfalfa
field or vegetable garden, and if unmolested can do a surprising
amount of damage. Melons, cabbage, carrots, alfalfa, cotton, sweet-
pbtato vines, young grain, grapevines, and trees suffer most frequently
from its visits. The damage is most severe, however, in the young
orchard set in newly broken ground, for here, deprived of its ordinary
food by the cultivation of the land, the rabbit is forced to seek a new
supply, and finds it in the tender bark of the young trees. A single
animal can girdle a large number of trees in a short time, and will often
injure them so seriously that part of the orchard has to be replanted.
It destroys both the foliage and bark of young vines, but is especially
partial to alfalfa and to cabbages. Fortunately, it does not burrow to
any great extent, and therefore does not injure the roots of trees or
plants, like the pocket gopher.
It has been estimated that five jack rabbits consume as much food
as one sheep; thus some idea can be formed of the damage which a
few rabbits may do in the course of a single night. Complaints of their
ravages have been received from numerous correspondents from Texas
to Washington, and from Kansas to California. Probably all the spe-
cies are injurious, although no positive evidence against Allen's Rabbit
is now at hand, simply because so little land in the area which it
inhabits happens to be under cultivation. Most of the injury is done
by the California Jack Rabbit and the wide-ranging Texan Hare (Lepus
texianus).
Mr. IHI. P. Attwater states that jack rabbits are common in Aransas
County, Tex., along the Gulf coast, and do so much damage that many
of the smaller truck farms are protected by rabbit-proof fences. In the
northern part of the same State Mr. W. J. Crowley, of Grapevine, Tar-
rant County, reports that they cause considerable injury to grain, and
in fields of wheat, oats, and cotton often cut paths 12 inches wide and
300 or 400 yards in length, and destroy patches as large as an ordinary
sized room. Mr. A. Vogt wrote from Willow Point, in the neighboring
county of Wise, under date of December 6, 1889: "The damage done,
30






INJURY TO CROPS.


to my old orchard of a thousand 1)eacli trees by rabbits [Lepus sylrati-
cus and L. melanotis] is 50 per cent. Three lMiundred trees aire barked
all around and below the bud, so that if tliey come out again they will
be seedlings. Whitewashing the trunks does no good, as the rabbits
take the whitewash and bark together."
When irrigation was first begun near Lamar, in sontlheastern Colorado,
the rabbits were attracted from the surrounding country, a(nd caused
much damage in the alfalfa and young orchards. Hunts were arranged
on a large scale to kill off the pests, and proved so successful that
regular 'rabbit days' have been celebrated for the last two or three
years at Las Animas and at Lamar.
In Idaho much difficulty has been experienced with jack rabbits at
the experiment station at Nampa, Canyon County. They are partic-
ularly destructive to oats, wheat, barley, clover, vegetables, and fruit
trees. Mr. T. T. Rutledge, assistant director, states that entire crops
of grain and alfalfa are sometimes destroyed if small in acreage and
unprotected.
Mr. J. B. Cure, of Rudy, Fremont County, writes uider date of Sep-
tember 10, 1895: "Jack rabbits have done a great d(leal of damniage in
this part of the country to grain and lucern, and are increasing very
fast. * Some of the farmers have lost from 8 to 10 acres of
grain by rabbits this season."
Complaints have also been received from the State of Washington
from Sunnyside, Yakima County; from Davenport, Lincoln County, and
from Prescott, Wallawalla County. M1r. Conrod, of Davenport, wrote
on December 19, 1887, that the jack rabbits were causing serious injury
to grain, apple and plum trees, raspberry vines, carrots, and cabbage.
Mr. Oscar N. Wheeler, of Prescott, writing under date of August 12,
1895, says: "Jack rabbits (white tailed) have done a vast amount of
damage to orchards, vineyards, and grain fields, but are not nearly so
numerous now as they were three or four years ago, when they destroyed
bearing orchards. Timber claims, planted in black locust that were
large and old enough to 'prove up' on. were destroyed by them. Peo
pie who had hay stacked had to fence it to keep them off. I have
known large stacks of hay destroyed by thlieiii."
In Utah, Mr. W. G. Nowers wrote in Februa.ry, 1887, concerning the
Black-tailed Jack Rabbit (Lepus te.rianu.v) in Beaver County: "At
times its ravages are enormous; sweeping down from the bench lands
and sage plains in myriads, it devours entire fields of cera.ls. Last
year in this and adjoining counties on either side its depredations
amounted to several thousand dollars. Last year some farmers in this
county lost their entire crop of small grain from this source alone. At
Minersville not more than one third of the crop was harvested; at
Adamsville nearly the total crop was taken; at (Greenvill, one-half of
the crop was destroyed; and here (Beaver) about the samie. This is
also a fair representation of the ravages in Iron County south of us."






32


JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


In Califotbrnia jack rabbits are most abundant on some of the richest
lands iu the State, and they have been particularly injurious to the
vineyards and crops in the southern coast counties and in the San
Joaquin Valley. The following account of their ravages in west-
ern Fresno County, by Mr. Alvah A. Eaton, gives some idea of the
extraordinary numbers in the central part of the San Joaquin Valley,
and shows how a scanty food supply drives the rabbits to the culti-
vated fields. Mr. Eaton says:
I arrived in Fresno, Cal., April 1, 1890, after what was known as a wet year,
i.e., rain enough had fallen to sprout wheat and raise a fair crop without irrigation.
These conditions were favorable for various 'tar' and 'alkali' weeds (species of
MAladia) which grew so luxuriantly that year that they prevented the heading
of wheat in several sections of the Riverdale country. The next year was dry, and
there was no wild feed that the rabbits could get, so they flocked to the wheat
fields, feeding on the wheat and hiding and breeding in the weeds. Many were
destroyed by burning the weeds, and by gunners, but it did not seem to make much
difference. To make matters worse, there had been a bounty of $5 a scalp placed on
coyotes, and these were mercilessly hunted, and the rabbits and squirrels throve in
consequence.
During the summer of 1891 it was no uncommon thing to start 1,000 rabbit out of
a patch of weeds, and in one patch about a quarter of a mile long there were at
least 5,000. The winter of 1891-92 was also 'dry,' no feed springing up till late in
February. The rabbits were driven by hunger to the alfalfa fields. They gnawed
the tops of the stools to the roots, and even dug them out with their feet and ate
them. One 10-acre field of my brother's was more thickly covered with their drop-
pings than I ever saw a pasture covered with those of sheep.
Such was the state of affairs in the spring of 1892 just previous to
the four great Fresno County drives,' which occurred in February and
March, resulting in the destruction of more than 43,000 rabbits.
The damage which jack rabbits have done has been enormous, but it
is very difficult to obtain reliable statistics. The 'Visalia Delta' of
February 16, 1888, estimated that the annual loss in Tulare County
amounted to more than $600,000. During the last six or seven years,
however, owing to the increased acreage under cultivation and the
vigor with which 'drives' have been conducted, the rabbits have been
kept pretty well in check.
The loss on account of the depredations of rabbits in Victoria,
Australia, for the ten years, 1878-1888, has been estimated at about
$15,000,000 (3,000,000).'

PROTECTION OF ORCHARDS AND CROPS.
The cost of properly protecting trees and vines is often a large item
in the expense of setting a new orchard or vineyard. Several methods
are commonly employed, but the one which is most effective, and the
only one which can be used for crops of all kinds, is the rabbit-proof
fence. Rabbits which succeed in getting into the inclosure may be
shot or poisoned.
'Jourin. Soc. Arts, London, XXXVII, No. 1879, Nov. 23, 1888, p. 22.






PROTECTION OF CROPS.


FENCES.
If the orchard or field is to be protected as a whole, it should be
inclosed by a low fence so built as to leave no holes large enough to
admit a rabbit. While the animals could( easily leapl) over a low fence
they are not likely to undmler ordinary (ir(cuntstances.' In southern
California experience lhas shown that a fence about 2 feet high atflords
ample protection under ordinary circumstances, land miany vineyards
and orchards are surrounded by latlh fences 2 to '2A feet inl height. In the
rabbit-infested region near Bakersfield, Cal., the fences are built some-
what higher than usual-about 5 feet-and arc made of latlhs securely
fastened with wire, which is stretched between posts set 15 or 24) feet
apart (see corral in P1. III, p. 47). Several kinds are in use, but ihi any
case the fence should be built well down to the ground, and may be still
further protected by running a barbed wire along the surface of tlhe
ground, or by turning a furrow against the bottom to prevent the
animals from crawling under. A horizontal board fence may be ren-
dered rabbit proof by nailing slats between the boards or by placing
the lower boards closer together. Fencing material consisting of laths
interwoven with wire is sold in large rolls and can be had in some
localities ready for stringing to the posts. Woven wire fences are also
made especially bfor keeping out rabbits. One of the best fences is
made of galvanized wire netting with 1 -inch meshes stretched between
posts which are set in the ground at convenient distances. The netting
should be fastened with staples on the inside of the posts, and two
barbed wires, with barbs 24 inches apart, fastened to the outside of tlhe
posts, one just clearing the ground and the other an inch above the top
of the netting. The barbed wires will tear any rabbit that tries to
scratch under or jump over the fence. If desirable, a third wire may
be stretched a foot or two above the top of thie netting, which will
make a fence high enough to keep out cattle.2
In regions having a heavy snowfall it may be necessary to build the
fences somewhat higher, as the rabbits, taking advantage of the drifts,
can oftentimes clear a low fence. This difficulty has been experienced
in Idaho, and some orchardists have used a combination feiice made of
paling 4 feet high protected at the bottom outside by a strip of wire
netting 2 feet in width. Ordinary fences made of laths or paling can
not be relied on if wide spaces are left between thle slats, as the rabbits
can then gnaw a hole large enough to gain entrance to tlhe inclosure.
Prof. Charles P. Fox, director of the experiment station at Moscow,
Idaho, suggests that such fences cal be still further protected by dip-
ping the slats in a warmn solution of silicate of soda or protecting them

'It may be interesting to note flat a jack rabbit has been seen to clear a 7-foot
fence at a single leap. Mr. Charles Payne, of Wichita, Kans., had several animals
confined in an inclosure of this height and actually saw one or more escape by
jumping over the fence. (Am. Field. XLII. Sept. 29. 1894, p. 295.)
2Wickson, California Fruits, 1889, p. 553; 2d ed., 1891, p. 577.
8615-No. 8-- 3


33






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


with sand paint. He also reports that a substitute for fencing is now
being tried at the substation at Nampa, Idaho. Rabbits are very trou-
blesomie at this place, and in past years have destroyed almost the
entire crop of alfalfa. Last spring, instead of building an expensive
rabbit-proof fence, a band of alfalfa 30 feet in width was sowed around
the field, which was inclosed simply with three strings of barbed wire,
the idea being that jack rabbits, which usually feed around the edges
of the field, will obtain sufficient food from the outside strip and not
molest that within the fence. He says "we can grow rabbit feed in
the form of alfalfa cheaper than anything else."
In Australia fences have proved the best means of protection, and
many miles of rabbit fences have been built by the government. One
fence, running from Narromine, on the Macquarie River, to Bourke, on
the Darling River, and thence to Barringun, is 291 miles in length and
cost on an average 82 per mile. It has recently been extended to
Corowa, making the total length 703 miles. Another fence has been
built from the Murray River northward along the western boundary
of New South Wales for a distance of nearly 346 miles, at an average
cost of a little over 75 per mile. These fences were built of 17-gauge
wire netting 42 inches in width and having 14 or 1J inch meshes. The
fences are looked after by 'boundary riders,' who live in huts about
30 miles apart. Altogether the government has erected 1,049 miles of
fencing in New South Wales, while the amount built by individuals
has been estimated at about 15,000 miles.'
In Queensland about 675 miles of fences have been built by the
government2 and in New Zealand 12,530 have been expended for the
South Canterbury fence.
PROTECTION OF SINGLE TREES.
Where the expense of a fence is too great, young trees may be pro-
tected by wrapping the stems with strips of burlap, gunny sacking, or
coarse cloth an inch or two wide. These strips should be securely tied
at the top and bottom. Small cylinders of wire netting, heavy paste-
board, or other material are sometimes used, and a device known as
the 'tule-tree protector,' made of the dried rushes or tules, which grow
so abundantly in the San Joaquin River swamps in California, has been
patented for this express purpose. Recently cylinders made of thin
strips of yucca wood (Yucca arborescens), with the edges fastened
together by wire, have been placed on the market. They come in sev-
eral sizes and are readily put in position. While they shield the stems
from the sun their value in protecting the trees from jack rabbits is
open to question.
SMEARS.
Some orchardists advocate painting the trunks of the trees with
mixtures distasteful to rabbits. Whitewashing is said to prove effect-
Coghlan, Wealth and Progress of New South Wales, 1894, Vol. I, p. 356.
Year Book of Australia, 18941, p. 145.


34






SMEARS. 35

ive in some cases, particularly itf' ai mixture of glue aiid copperas is
added to the solution. The mixture is made as follows: Take a bushel
of unslaked lime and add stiflicient walter. then aldd two pouiids of
dissolved glue, and stir in thoroughly oJIe p1und) oft copperas. Anotlier
mixture which is said to work well insistss ot one polled of 'oillitercial
aloes with four gallons of water. A tea made by steeping llassia,
chips is also used.' A combination ol" 1 tasli andl (lay[ is oc('asi(Ially
employed, and is mixed so as to have a contsistency like tlhi t (it thick
cream. A writer in the 'American Garden' recoummends ruldbbing tlhe
bark thoroughly with blood or grease, and asserts tlit rabbits will not
touch trees that have been treated in this way. iIe IIds: It tlhe
case of trees which have been gnawed or peeled, thie wound shliomild be
covered with a cloth ot which is spread a little grafting wax. Ti'is not
only excludes the air, but also helps tlie injured part to hleal." Tlie
New Zealand department of agriculture has recently recommended a
paint made of cow dung, clay, and soot and slightly flavored witl tar
or spirits of tar for protecting the stems of trees from ra:bbits.-' Too
much reliance should not be placed on smearing tlhe trunks of trees, and
nomixture should beused which contains petroleum in any form. Blood
or grease will soon cease to be effective and it becomes necessary to
repaint the trees in a short time.
'Wicks(.n, 1. c., p. 553; 2d ed., p. 577.
: Leaflets for Gardeners, etc., No. 10, June, 1895, p. S.

















CHAPTER IV.


METHODS OF DESTRUCTION.

The destruction of rabbits has been so carefully investigated in
Australia that it may be well to refer briefly to the conclusions arrived
at by the Royal Commission which was appointed to inquire into
schemes for the extermination of rabbits in Australasia. In a procla-
mation dated August 31, 1887, the government of New South Wales
offered a reward of 25,000 for the effectual extermination of rabbits
by any method or process not previously known in the colony, but three
years later a report was made that after prolonged and careful study
of all the proposals which have been submitted, the commission finds
that no scheme has been propounded for the extermination of rabbits
which complies with the terms of the proclamation."

INOCULATION.
The question of introducing infectious diseases was also carefully
considered, but while the commission "found no evidence to warrant
the belief that any known disease can be so employed as to exterminate
rabbits," it suggested that many diseases would probably be found
useful auxiliaries in keeping the rabbit plague within manageable
proportions.2
The success of disease as a means of destruction depends on two
conditions: (1) It must be fatal to the rabbits; (2) it must not injure
man or domesticated animals. The Australian experiments were mainly
confined to the effects of (1) chicken cholera, (2) the so-called 'Tin-
tinallogy disease,' (3) diseases caused by the bladder worm (Ccenu-
rus), and (4) by rabbit scab (Sa&rcoptes cuniculi). It was found that
while the rabbits were easily killed by putting microbes of chicken
cholera in their food the disease did not spread freely from infected to
healthy animals. The Tintinallogy disease takes its name from a sta-
tion on the east bank of the Darling River near Menindie, New South
Wales, where a peculiar affection was noticed among the rabbits in
September 1887. The principal symptoms are erection of the fur, begin-

'New South Wales Roy. Comm. Inquiry Exterm. Rabbits iu Australasia, Final
Report, 1890, p. 11.
sL. c., p. 3.
36






METHODS OF DESTRUCTION IN AUSTRALIA.


ningon the head; slight discharge from the eyes ad(l nose, lasting three
or four days; emaciation, followed by loss o,f power in tie liiind legs,
and finally death with convulsions in about three weeks. Experilients
were made with this disease on a large sca:tle, but were only partially
successful. In addition to thle bladder worm -ndl rabbit scab, experi-
ments have been made ill New Zealand within rabbit measles ((ysticercus
pisiformis) and liver cocci(dium (C'occidiun orif/rimc). Tihe latter para-
site is injurious to man, and its introd(luctilon is therefore dangerous.
Diseases caused by parasites do not otfer much hope as a successful
method of destroying rabbits, as their effects at best can be only indli-
rect by bringing about a condition of general weakness and emaciation,
and thereby rendering the animal more subject to attacks of other dis-
eases. A full account of these experiments will be onmid in tlhe report
of Prof. A. P. W. Thomas on The Rabbit Nuisance ill New Zealand,
1888, and the Report of the New South Wales Royal Coummission on tlhe
Introduction of Contagious Diseases amongst R:abbits, Sydney, 1889.
Further inquiry into tlhe epidemic and parasitic diseases of rabbits
was advised by the New South Wales commission, ;and(1 it may be added
that this means of destruction seems to promise better success in this
country, where large numbers of jack rabbits are destroyed every few
years by epidemics.

METHODS USED) IN AUSTRALIA.

No less than 1,456 persons submitted schemes to tlhe Australian
commission for the destruction of rabbits by methods other than dis-
ease. The various schemes were arranged under tlhe following heads:'
1. Commercial utilization. 7. Miscellaneous, including tiring tlioeoiintry,
2. Fencing. cutting off froin food and waiter, hunting
3. Poisons. and trapping parties, etc.
4. Natural enemies. 8. Indefinite methods.
5. Traps. 9. General methods.
6. Electricity. 10. Methods involving special legislation.
A method which has been tried with some success in New South
Wales, consists in capturing a number of rabbits alive and( allowing the
males to escape after killing all the females. As soon as tlme males
begin to predominate in numbers, it is said that they persecute tlhe
females with their attentions to such an extent as to prevent them from
breeding, and also kill the young that happen to be born.-'
The Australian commissioners did not favor commercial utilization,
because "the principle of making rabbits a profitable article of com-
merce is universally condemned by practical men interested in their
destruction, on the ground that it leads to their conservation." This
method, however, has recently been brought to notice and seems to
be one of the most promising (see ppl). 65-78).
Final Report, 1890, pp. 3-4.
2Nature, XXXIX, March 21. 1889, pp. 193-494.


37






38


JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


The question of fences has already been discussed under the head of
prevention of injury to crops (pp. 33-34). Poisons, bounties, and natural
enemies will be considered in detail further on. The other schemes
were found to be either impracticable or unworthy of recommendation
for use on a large scale.
Thlie most successful traps used in New South Wales have been yards
or inclosures made of rabbit-proof fence with openings which allow the
rabbits to enter but prevent their getting out. Such traps have been
found most efficient in dry seasons, when food and water are scarce.
Several methods of using# electricity were submitted, but all were
found impracticable. Firing might be employed in some cases, but
is attended with more or less danger. Cutting off the animals from
food can only be used uuder certain favorable conditions.
Hunting and trapping parties have not accomplished much in Aus-
tralia, but in certain parts of the United States a modification of this
method has proved to be the most successful means of destroying large
numbers of jack rabbits. (See chapter on rabbit drives, pp. 47-64.)
POISON.
In this country poison has been used to some extent, although less
successfully than the gun and club. As none of the jack rabbits bur-
row, the poison must be scattered about on the surface of the ground
where the rabbits are likely to find it, but the bait should not be
placed where domesticated animals or poultry can eat it. Promiscuous
scattering of poison in the orchard and vineyard is not to be recom-
mended under ordinary circumstances, and when it can not be placed
in holes or out of the reach of animals for which it was not intended
the danger is greatly increased. The importance of this fact can hardly
be overestimated, and every possible precaution should be taken in
using poison for jack rabbits. In Australia experiments have been
made with strychnine, phosphorus, arsenic, corrosive sublimate, lead
salts, tartar emetic, barium carbonate, and sulphate of iron. Arsenic
may be simply sprinkled on any food which will attract the rabbits,
but it is more effectual when dissolved and the bait soaked in the
solution. Paris green, London purple, lead salts, tartar emetic, barium
carbonate, and sulphate of iron have not been found sufficiently active
for killing rabbits, and corrosive sublimate has a powerful acrid and
metallic taste, which may render it unpalatable to them.
Of all the poisons mentioned above, strychnine is the most effective.
As the ordinary crystals of strychnine are almost insoluble in water,
the sulphate should be used when the poison is to be dissolved. It
may be placed on bits of watermelon, cantaloupe, or vegetables of
which the rabbits are fond, and scattered around the orchard or vine-
yard. Rabbits are said to be attracted by a mixture composed of half
a teaspoonful of powdered strychnine, two teaspoonfuls of fine salt, and
four of granulated sugar, thoroughly shaken up and placed in small






POISON.


39


piles on a board.' ID)r. lolhn Strentzel, of Martinez, Cal.. recommends
mixing the stryclhnine within grain wjich has been well sweetened
with oil of anise or rhodium and placing it where it will be readily
found by the animals. Mr. A. Iiunmley, ot Byron, (Cal., uses dry pul-
verized strychnine with wheat or barley tliat has beeill smoked in
water and slightly warmed. Sugar ald 11 lourr are added it suitable
quantities and the poison carefully mixed witli tlie grain and spread
out to dry. The addition of sullgar ind flonr iimakes tle stryclhnine
adhere to the grain, and the mixture is reported Ihiglily sul(ceessfill.
Maj. G. F. Merriam, of Twin ()aks, Cal., renmniends soaking thle whleat
in water containing strychnine. The wheat is barely covered with
water and allowed to soak until the grain is soft, and then dried as
thoroughly and quickly as possible. A handful (of this dry wheat
is placed among the vines or scattered in thie trails Ira(1de by tlhe
rabbits.
Phosphorus is advocated by many persons, but it must he thoroughly
soaked into the grain; if simply deposited on the ouItside :and( not cov-
ered with some protective material it will oxidize rapidly. Wheat
soaked in water containing phosphorus is highly recommended. It
should be used in the following proportion: One, Lnuindlred )poutnds of
grain, 1 pound of phosphorus, 1 pound of sugar, 1 ounce of oil of rho-
dium to 9 gallons of water. The mixture should be lieated to the
boiling point and allowed to stand over night, then enough flour added
to make it a paste.
In Australia preparations of phosphorus have been more generally
used. A writer in the Kyneton Guardian' gives the following directions
for preparing the poison: Four and one-half ounces of phosphorus are
put into a gallon of boiling water and kept boiling for thirty minutes,
while the phosphorus is thoroughly stirred. The liquid should be
passed through a fine strainer. Fourteen or 15 p1)ountds of malt are
then stirred in and allowed to boil slowly for fifteen minutes, and
finally 3 pounds of flour and 4 pounds of sugar are added. Tlhe
mixture is sown like turnip) seed, in furrows plowed here and there in
rabbit-infested places.
Another method of preparing phosphorus, known as the 'Lascelles
process,' "consists in (1) dissolving the phoslphorus in bisulphlide of
carbon, (2) mixing the solution so obtained in a churn with flour paste
so as to form an emulsion, andl (3) coating the wlheat in a revolving
cylinder with this emulsion. Tihe solution 4o) phosphorus is made and
kept under water, so as to prevent spontaneous combustion. This
method has the advantages of facility and quickness, of the even dis-
tribution of the poison over the grain, and also 4of tlhe prevention of
volatilization by the coating with flour paste."2
'Wickson, California Fruits, 1889. p. 53 ; 2d ed., 1891, p. 578.
2Final Report, Royal Comm. Inquiry into Schemes Extermi. Rabbits A.ustralasia,
1890. p. 6.






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


BOUNTIES.
Bounties have been paid on jack rabbits in five of the Western
States-California, Idaho, Oregon, Texas, and Utah-but the amounts
have been small as compared with similar expenditures for the destruc-
tion of other animals. In Oregon, Texas, and Utah the rates were
fixed by State laws, but in California the bounties varied in different
counties. Bounties on rabbits have been even less successful, so far
as extermination is concerned, than those offered for coyotes, prairie
dogs, pocket gophers, or ground squirrels.
CALIFORNIA.
One the main objects of bounties in California, particularly those
offered by the counties in the San Joaquin Valley, was to encourage
rabbit drives, and in some cases the payments were almost sufficient
to defray such expenses. Eight counties have offered bounties during
recent years, namely, Butte, Colusa, Fresno, Modoc, San Bernardino,
Shasta, Sutter, and Tulare. In the case of Sutter County, and possibly
one or two others, the returns include amounts expended for pocket
gophers and ground squirrels. Bounties are.seldom offered on rabbits
alone, and it is difficult to obtain the amounts expended for each
species.
A rate of 10 cents per scalp was paid both by Butte and Colusa
counties-the highest rate paid for any considerable length of time.
In Butte County it was maintained from January 7, 1887, to February
1,1890; in Colusa, from February 10,1888, to September 12,1892. The
bounty was then reduced to 4 cents and continued to February 1,1894.
In Fresio the bounty was offered merely to defray the expenses of
the rabbit drives, and was not paid unless at least 1,000 pairs of ears
were presented at one time. The total amount expended was about
$500, indicating that more than 33,000 scalps were received.
In the spring of 1886 the supervisors of Modoc County offered 3
cents apiece for rabbit scalps, and in three months expended $826.77
for 27,559 scalps.1
The bounty offered by San Bernardino County about two years after
the passage of the coyote scalp act of 1891, is unique from the fact that
its main object was to offset the effect of the State bounty on coyotes.
The ordinance went into effect August 25, 1893, and expired by limita-
tion on December 6 of the same year. It provided that the rabbits
must be killed within 2 miles of a cultivated orchard, nursery, vineyard,
or alfalfita field not less than 1 acre in extent, and the scalps must be
deposited within thirty days with a justice of the peace of the town-
ship in which the animals were killed.
Tulare County expended $5,000 for bounties on ground squirrels
previous to November 1894, besides paying $3,000 for bounties on rab-

Forest and Stream, XXVII, August 5, 1886, p. 26.


40






BOUNTIES. 41

bits. The Los Angeles Times' states that no less than 4,000 scalps were
secured in the drive near Tr;aver, March 6, 1892, and as niny as 5, 9l
have been deposited by a single person at one time. The ordinance
under which these bounties were paid will serve as an illustration of
those in other counties. It was passed October 31, 1.891, and reads as
follows:
()RDiINANCI. Ni. 46.

The board of supervisors of the County ofl Tularo, sate of (' ililori.i, i1, ordain
as follows:
SECTION 1. [Provides fora bounty of 2 C, cents on( ground isquirrel scalps.]
SEC. 2. That a bounty of 0110 and one-half 1$0.010 C.1 t.,t li pa iiI by t i-js county
on each and every scalp taken from a.jack rabbiit, containing libith eair.s of' said iiilad
animal, killed or destroyed by any person or iTrsons in this county, uponlm the saiL
person or persons so killing or destroyllig saiid ;lianiaIal deliositing said scalp or scalps
with any notary public,justice of the peacE, or anuy officer autholrized liv law to take
affidavits, and certify claim with said affidavit. together with alilavit of such ofitcr
that said scalp or scalps have been destroyed by firt to this board.
SEC. 3. That said bounty shall be paid by thie county until sunlh timn- when the,
funds set apart for that purpose shall be exhausted, or until this ordinance be.
repealed or rescinded by this board.
SEC. 4. That this ordinance take effect and be in force from and after the 31st day
of October, 1891. ,
SEC. 5. [Provides for publication of the ordinance.]
So far as figures are available, the amount expended in California is
about $16,000, although no returns have been received from San
Bernardino County. The amounts disbursed are shown below:

Table showing expenditures for Bountie by Counties in ('ulifJornia.
N uuni er I [ite. 'or Aiioi n?
County. B1ount1 in force. oNuji.er Ra .ip, eApeintdim.
** -ot scallps. sirjip. expendvd.

Cents.
Butte .............. Jan. 7,1887, to Feb. 1, 1890 ......................... 35,O Uoo 10 $3, 500. 00
Colusa ..Feb. 10, 1888, to Sept. 12, 1892 ..................... 4l 4.800. .Jo
Colu a............. Sept. 12, 1892, to Feb. 1, 1894............................... 4 s .<
Fresno................................................................ *:. 0110 1I 50i, Ut)
M odoc ............. Three months, 1886 ........ ....................... 27. 55.j :51 826. 77
San Bernardino.... Aug. 25 to Dec. 6. 1893 ....................................... 2'o ..........
Shasta ............. M ay 11, 1891, to M ar. 1, 1892 ....................... ......... 5 :42. 55
Setter ....... ... Sept. 25, 1893, to July 9. 1894. ...................... ......... 8 13,040. 42
Tulare ............. Oct. 31,1891, to Nov., 1894' ........................ "2(o, 00(uo 1 3,0UU0.00

Estimated from amounts expended.
I Includes also bounties on gophers and ground siiiirrvls, ;t ,5 Aink pier scalp.

IDAII).

Two counties in Idaho-Ada and Canyon-are no\w paying bounties
on jackrabbits at the rate of 3 cents per scalp. Mr. ('halrles S. Kings-
ley, county clerk, has kindly supplied the figures ft)r the expendi-
tures in Ada County, anti wrote, under date of zAugust 24, 1895, as
follows:
"The county began the payment of bounty .July, 1878. and from that
time until October, 1886, paid 8,129.75; from the latter date to the






42


JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


8th day of .July, 1895, the county paid the sum of $22,963.69, making
an aggregate of $31,093.44.
S"I have myself been much interested in these figures, and find that
during the 33 quarters embraced in the first period stated the average
quarterly amount was $232.27, while during the 35 quarters embraced
in the last period the average quarterly payment amounted to $850.50.
It is noteworthy that (luring 1887 (latter part), 1888, 1889, and part of
1890 the average quarterly payments dropped to approximately $100.
This was due to the very great destruction of rabbits during the winter
of 1887 by extreme cold. It is thus seen that the average has been
growing larger, notwithstanding the bounty, and the figures for the
last quarter are $2,520.65; that, with the current quarter, are of course
the heavy quarters of the year, and it is possible the total average per
quarter for the year [1895] will not exceed $1,000. These figures
seem to indicate that the bounty is not a success in the matter of
exterminating the pests,"-and yet at the rate of 3 cents apiece more
than 1,000,000 rabbits must have been destroyed.
OREGON.

Under the session laws of Oregon, 1887, a bounty varying from 1 to
5 cents was offered for jack rabbits. The law specially stated that this
bounty was to be paid for the Black-tailed Rabbit, and none seems to
have been paid on the Plains Jack Rabbit (Lepus campestris), which
occurs in the same region. During the years 1888, 1889, and 1890, Lake
County paid bounties on 54,000 rabbit scalps at the rate of 4 cents each,
amounting in all to $2,160.
TEXAS.

In. April, 1891, the legislature of Texas passed "An act to protect
stock raisers, farmers, and horticulturists," which provided-
That hereafter when any person shall kill any wolf, either coyote or lobo, pan-
ther, Mexican lion, tiger, leopard, wild-cat, catamount, or jack rabbit, he shall be
paid in the county in which he kills such animal or animals the sum of two dollars
for each coyote, and the sum of one dollar for each wild-cat or catamount, and the
sum of five dollars for each panther, lobo, Mexican lion, tiger, or leopard, and the
sum of one dollar per dozen for jack rabbits, and fifty cents per dozen for prairie
dogs so killed.'
The sum of $50,000 was appropriated and expended in carrying out
the provisions of this law. Unfortunately it has not been possible to
obtain the amounts paid for each of the animals named, so that the
total bounty on jack rabbits can not be stated. The burden of this
expenditure fell so heavily on some of the southwestern counties of the
State that the law was repealed in March, 1895, and a new act substi-
tuted which made the payment of bounties optional with the counties,
and omitted jack rabbits and prairie dogs from the list of proscribed
animals.

General Laws of the State of Texas, 22d legislature, 1891, p. 160, chap. 100, sec. 1.






EXPENDITURES IN AUSTRALIA.


"I.A 11.

Section 2114 of the laws of Utah for 189(4 authorized the county
courts to offer bounties for tlhe destruction of jack rabbits and certain
other injurious animnials. On Septemiber 1, 1893, a l.oIlIIty of 5 cents
per scalp was placed on rabbits by the court o(f Boxeldcr Coiunty. This
rate was maintained until .lJai uary 28, 1S95, when it w;as reduced to. 2
cents per scalp. The county clerk reports that al) to December ';,
1895, bounties had been paid on 111 coyotes at s(5 cents each, wliile
more than $500 had been exp)eld(led for rabbits. ;is follows:

Table showing expenditfutreN fur I;ountlies in I' lah.
N' ii n lI wr JR|tv, per .A imo nt
County. Datr. ofN' 1'il- Ir i.. -,:i.pr Ae Xpn ti l.
-~~o M4u r<:il|b **';aIl|. exjwiaIaIli.

C ( 'enf t.
Boxelder ........... Jan. l-Sept 1. 1893 ................................ 716 2 $14.32
Do ............. Sept. 1, 1893-J'n. 29, 1895 .......................... 9, 179 5 4 5, !95
Do.............I Jan. 28-Dec. 31, 1895.............................. 2.863 2 5-7. 21;
Total .. ........... ........... .......................... 12, 758 .......... $53tu. 5:


Bounties represent the only expenditures made by counties or States
in this country for the destruction of rabbits. As shown above, the
totals, including the State bounty of Texas, which was paid on several
other species of animals, aggregate about $100,000, an amount whiich
is insignificeut when compared with that spent in Australia.

EXPENDITURES IN AL'STRAI.IA.

The common rabbit of Europe (Lepus cuniculus) was introduced into
Australia about the year 1864 at Barwon Park, near (Geelong, Victoria.'
In the course of a few years it spread over Victoria and westward into
South Australia, crossing the Murray River in 1878. The following
year legislative action for tihe destruction of the pest was inaugurated
by South Australia, and the exampl)le was soon followed by Victoria,
New Soutlh Wales, New Zealand, Queensland, and Tasmania. No less
than 19,182,539 rabbits were destroyed in New Soutli Wales alone iu
1887.2 But in addition to the direct payment of bounties, the govern-
ments of the colonies have expended large sums for poisons, for experi-
ments onvarious methods of destruction, and have built several thousand
miles of rabbit-proof fences. Aks shown by the following table, tlie total
amount expended up to 1888 was 1,093,890 (more than $5,O0,01000) in
addition to 96,264 (nearly $500,000) for fences.

'According to Hlion. Jamies M. Mornii. formerly I'nitefl States .consil-gejernil at
Melbourne, rabbits were first introduced iu western Victoria about 1860, Ibr the
purpose of sport. (Consular Reports for Dec., 1886, XX, p. 482.)
2Circular on Rabbit Destruction. Committee New South Wales Comm. Pastoral
and Agr. Ass., Jan., 1888.


43






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


Government Expenditures for Destruction of Rabbits in Australia and New Zealand,
I879-1888.'

Colony Date. Amount. Remarks.

New South Wales ........ 1883-1888............. t 732,236 23,997 also expended for fences.
Queensland .............. ;'pto Dec.,1887 ....... () 59,737 for fences.
South Australia.......... 1881-1888 .............. 128,595
Victoria.................. 1 879-1888 ............. 131,724 On unoccupied Crown lands.
New Zealand ............. 1882-1888.............. 18,453 12,530 also expended for South
i I Canterbury fence.
Tasmania................ I May, 1883-Jan., 1888 .. 82,882
Total........... ......................... 1,093,890 Add 96,264 for fences.

Progress Rept. New South Wales Royal Corn. Inquiry Exterm. Rabbits, t890, App. IU. pp. 190-192.
t FIon. J. H. Carruthers, Minister for Lands, gives 831,457 4s. Id., as the total amount expended from
the passage ot the rabbit act in 1883 to June 30, 1890. The figures for each year are less in nearly
every case than in the statement quoted above, but represent the sumnis disbursed solely for the par-
pose'of attempting to get rid of the rabbit." From July 1. 1890, to December 31, 1894, the expenditure
amounted to only 22,761, which was devoted to fences.' (Rept. Conference Rabbit Pest in New South
Wales, 1895, p. 6.)
: Total expenditures up to 1894 (largely for fences), 136,484 8s.. (Year Book Australia for 1894,
p.145.)
NATURAL ENEMIES OF JACK RABBITS.

Birds of prey seldom molest the larger hares. Among those which
are known to feed on jack rabbits are the barn owl (Strix pratintola),
Audubon's caracara (Polyborus cheriway), prairie falcon (Falco mexi-
canus), and western red-tailed hawk; but remains of the Texan rabbit
have been found in the stomach of the red-tail in only three cases
among a large number examined. The western horned owl (Bubo
virginianus subareticus) and the golden eagle (Aquila chryswtos) should
also be mentioned. The marsh hawk (Circus hudsonius) occasionally
attacks rabbits, and Mr. J. Alden Loring shot one at Vernon, Tex., while
in the act of killing a young jack rabbit which weighed a pound and a
half.
The mammals in this list are likewise few in number, the most
important being the coyote (Canis latran.s), gray wolf (Canis nubilus),
long-eared fox (Vulpes macrotis), gray fox (Urocyon), and wild-cat
(Lynx). Skunks, weasels, and badgers may occasionally destroy the
young, but seldom, if ever, the full-grown hares. The badger, an inde-
fatigable hunter of the ground squirrel and the prairie dog, is too slow
of foot to overtake the jack rabbit in a fair race, and is unable to cor-
fer him in a hole, as he can a burrowing animal.
On the Great Plains the gray wolf undoubtedly destroys large num-
bers of jack rabbits in the region from Colorado northward. In Mon-
tana, according to Dr. George Bird Grinnell,' "The abundance or
scarcity of the prairie hare in any district depends almost altogether on
the number of wolves to be found in the same tract of country. Where
all the coyotes and gray wolves have been killed or driven off, the hares
exist in great numbers; but where the former are abundant, the latter.
are seldom seen. We saw none near the Missouri River, where the
buffaloes, and consequently the wolves, were numerous; bat at Camp

Ludlow's Rept. Reconnaissance Yellowstone Nat. Park, 1876, p. 69t


44






EPIDEMICS.


Baker, where there were scarcely any wolves, the shares were very
commoIn."
The coyote is a. most effective rabbit destroyer and accomplishes
more good in. this way than lie usually receives credit for. His true
value, however, is beginning to 1>e appreciated by fruit growers. Tile
following notes contributed by Mir. Verntoui Bailey show how coyotes
sometimes prey on jack rabbits. Mr. Bailey says:
In trapping on the greasewood l;it,- abOu)t. Kelton, in 1,ortheirii Ut.alh, d(In iug t-1.
latter "part of October, 1888. I noticed in many pila'., that .jilk rabbits (Lc(ipus
texia fls) had been killed aind eaten by soiIe "iiiiiinl. The feet, bits of .skih. ;miid fur
were usually all that remained, but I immediately attriibutcdi this coyotes, anid Liter on was able to verify the cuiirluisimoi by indinig ir- r ainis ,1 r;,'a'bits
surrounded by fresh coyote tracks. In a walk of a mile it was co.iuiuou to seco wherni
a dozen had been eaten, and I could even seC where the coyotes had rui :;id c.1uglit,
the rabbits. I was surprised(l at the inuiinbr killed, although 1mth rabbints andl
coyotes were numerous. As I walked through the brush j.'ek rablbits would jiimp
up and run every few minutes, and coyotes were frequently seen. In this partiicul.ar
spot the numerous bunches of grcascwood (Sareolaiffi.) sc;attere.d over the smooth
valley bottom gave the coyotes a great advantage, enabling lnthem to approach close
to the rabbits and probably catch them before they got fairly started. It is very
doubtful if a coyote cani catch a jack rabbit in a fia.ir race on open ground.
About five years ago the State of California offered a bounty of $5
each for coyote scalps. The act was passed March 31, 1891, and pro-
vided that such scalps should be deposited with thle clerk of the board
of supervisors of the county in which the animal was taken, within three
mouths after the date of capture, and must be accompanied by an affi-
davit showing the timne and place that the animal was killed. Tlhe law
practically remained in force up to September 30, 189', when thle State
board of examiners refused to pass on any claims tbr scalps taken sub-
sequent to that date. The State controller reports that the sum paid
for scalps during the eighteen months that the law remained in effect
was $187,485, and that up to June 30, 1894, no less than 71,723 coyote
scalps had been presented,with claims for bountyamounting to $358,615.
This immense destruction of coyotes has permitted thle increase of the
smaller animals on which they feed. Complaints have been made
that the rabbits are increasing in numbers and that the damage done
by them is greater than that caused by thie coyotes. As already stated,
the county of San Bernardino in 1893 offered the unusually high bounty
of 20 cents apiece on the rabbits, which, as a result of this wholesale
destruction of coyotes, had so greatly increased in numbers. In this
remarkable case of legislation a large bounty was otflered by a county
in the interest of fruit growers to counteract the effects of a State
bounty expended mainly for the benefit of sheep owners!

EPIDEM1I('S.
Jack rabbits are subject to epidemics, which occasionally reduce
their numbers very materially. These outbreaks are more or less local,
but are reported every few years. According to Mr. George Watkins,


45






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


rabbits were found in large numbers in Ash Meadows, Nevada, pre-
vious to 1891, but in the spring of that year they were very rare. He
attributed the decrease to the prevalence of an epidemic, which had
been so severe as to render these animals almost extinct. In north-
eastern California Mr. A. C. Lowell, of Fort Bidwell, Modoc County,
mentions seeing many dead rabbits in the autumn of 1893.
A similar occurrence is reported by Mr. F. Stephens, near Beck-
worth Pass, Plumas Coduty. Speaking of a trip through northeastern
California in August, 1894, he says: "The epidemic among hares was
widespread through all the region I passed over north of Beckworth
Pass, being perhaps most noticeable in the Madeline Plain on the South
Fork of Pitt River and near the Nevada line south of Surprise Valley.
In all these places I saw daily dozens of carcasses near the road. The
only cause of death that I could see was the abundant warbles (Cutere-
bra) present in nearly al!. It would seem, though, that these could
only operate by lowering the state of health generally and that some
contagious disease was present."
Dr. J. A. Allen' speaks of an outbreak that occurred in the vicinity
of Great Salt Lake in 1870-71, destroying large numbers of Lepus
texianus and L. campestris; and Prof. Marcus E. Jones states that
another occurred in Utah in 1885 or 1886. A similar instance of the
destruction of the Prairie Hare (Lepus campestris) has been'mentioned
by Mr. Gibbs and Dr. Cooper, which occurred in Washington north of
the Columbia River about 1853.1 Mr. Clark P. Streator, while at Pasco,
Wash., near the mouth of Snake River, learned that another epidemic
had occurred among the rabbits in the vicinity during the summer of
1890. Maj. Chas. Bendire states that the inhabitants of the Payette
Valley, Idaho, claim that epidemics occur among the jack rabbits in
that region every five or six years. The following table gives briefly
the epidemics which have been reported in the West during the last
forty years, but the list is very incomplete:

Partial List of Rabbit Epidemics in the WIest.

State. Locality. Date. Authority.

California..... Fresno County ................ Autumn, 1892..... Geo. B. Otis; Selma.
Do- .....--.... Modoc County ................ Autumn, 1893..... A. C. Lowell, Fort Bidwell.
Do......... Modoc to Plumas County..... August, 1894.....-- F. Stephens.
Idaho-........ Payette Valley ................ (Frequent) 1878... Maj. Chas. Bendire.
Nevada........ Ash Meadows, Nye County... Spring, 1891 ....... George Watkins, Ash Meadows.
Utah ..........: Near Great Salt Lake......... 1870-71............ J.A. Allen, Mon. N. Am. Roden-
1 tia, 1877, p. 372.
Do ......... Iron County .................. 1877 .........--- .....-- M. Richards, jr., Parowan.
Do ......... Central Utah ................. 1885 or 1886 ...... Marcus E. Jones, Salt Lake City.
Washington... North of the Columbia....... About 1853 ....... Cooper &Gibbs,Pac.R.R.Repts.,
XII, Pt. II, 1860, pp. 87,131.
Do......... Near mouth Snake River...... Summer, 1890..... Clark P. Streator.

SMonographs of American Rodentia, 1877, p. 372.


46
















CHAPTER V.
RABBIT DRIVES AND HUNTS.
CALIFORNIA.
In certain parts of California where jack rabbits are foi uid in great
numbers the 'drive' has proved the most successful means of exter-
mination. Rabbit driving seems to have been fir.t introduced in the
San Joaquin Valley, near Tiptoii, Tulare County, in 1882. but did not
attract much attention until the winter of 1887-88. This was during
the 'boom' in southern California, and it is probable that the influx
of peol)le from the East, many of whom settled in the San Joaquin
Valley, was one of the causes of the sudden interest in rabbit drives.
Large tracts of land were brought under cultivation in sections where
jack rabbits were very abundant, and it became absolutely necessary
to adopt some effective means of protecting the newly planted orchards
and vineyards.
The origin of the method, however, is somewhat obscure. It is said
that the Mission Indians formerly hunted both cottontails and jack
rabbits on horseback. A dozei or more Indians armed witli clubs would
engage in such a hunt, and, riding at full speed tlirough the under-
brush, would start the rabbits from their hiding places. The cotton-
tails, confused by the clattering of the horses' hoofs and tlhe shouts
of thle riders, would turn this way and that, and either dodge into their
holes or squat close to the ground, only to be dispatched by a swift
blow from a club. The jack rabbits, on the contrary, usually imade
for the open plain, where they were turned in their flight, and soon sur-
rounded and killed.
Long before the settlement of tlhe country by the whites, the Indians
were accustomed to capture large numbers of jack rabbits with inets,
tlhe animals being surrounded and driven into an inclostuire, where they
were killed with clubs. One of the earliest accounts of this custom
is contained in Townsend's 'Narrative of a Journey across tlhe locky
Mountains,'published in 1839 (p. 327). In speaking of tle lflac( ktiiled
Jack Rabbit found near Walla Walla, Wash., lie says: "Thie [nidii:s
kill them with arrows, by approaching them stealthily as they lie con-
cealed under the bushes, and in winter take them witl nets. To do this.
some one or two hundred Indians, men, women, alnd children, collect
and inclose a large space with a slight net, about 5 feet wide, made of
47






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


hemp; the net is kept in a vertical position by pointed sticks attached
to it and driven into the ground. These sticks are placed about 5 or 6
feet apart, and at each one an Indian is stationed with a short club in
his hand. After these arrangements are completed, a large number of
Indians enter the circle, and beat the bushes in every direction. The
frightened hares dart off toward the nets, and, in attempting to pass,
are knocked on the head and secured. Mr. Pambrun, thesuperintendent
of Fort Walla Walli, from whom I obtained this account, says that he
has often participated in this sport with the Indians, and has known
several hundred to be thus taken in a day. When captured alive, it
does not scream, like the common gray rabbit (Lepus sylvaticus)."
The Indians of southern Oregon also carried on rabbit drives some
years ago, especially near the Oregon-Nevada boundary line, near Fort
McDermitt. Several hundred rabbits were killed at a time and util-
ized for food, while their skins were made into clothing. During his
second expedition, Col. J. C. Fr6mont found the same method of cap-
turing rabbits used by the Piutes of Nevada and eastern California.'
In describing one of his camps on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada,
evidently near the head of the Truckee River, he says, under date of
January 31, 1844: "We had scarcely lighted our fires when the camp
was crowded with nearly naked Indians; some of them were furn-
ished with long nets in addition to bows, and appeared to have been
out on the sage hills to hunt rabbits. These nets were perhaps 30 to
40 feet long, kept upright in the ground by slight stakes at intervals,
and were made from a kind of wild hemp, very much resembling in
manufacture those common among the Indians of the Sacramento
Valley."
Maj. Chas. Bendire, while returning from Deep Spring Valley to
Camp Independence, Cal, in November, 1866 or 1867, saw the Indians
engaged in driving jack rabbits on the east side of Owens Valley, a few
miles south of Bishop. A corral had been made by stretching low nets
between stakes placed about 20 feet apart. Into the inclosure thus
formed the animals were driven from a considerable area in the valley,
and it was estimated that 300 or 400 rabbits were killed in this drive.
The nets were made by the Indians, and each hunter was required to
furnish his quota. Mr. F. V. Coville, botanist of the Death Valley
Expedition, learned that similar nets were formerly used by the Indians
of Ash Meadows, Nevada. These nets were made from the Indian hemp
(Apocynmtn cannabinumn), which furnishes a strong and excellent fiber.
The same material was evidently used by the tribes in the eastern part
of the State, for Bancroft, in speaking of the Indians near the Utah
boundary, says: "The Gosh UITtes take rabbits in nets made of flax
twine, about 3 feet wide and of considerable length. A fence of sage
brush is erected across the rabbit paths, and on this the net is hung.
The rabbits in running quickly along the trail become entangled in the,
SRept. Expl. Expd. to Oregon and Calif., 1845, p. 227 (House Doe. No. 166.)
i


48






PLAN OF THE DRIVES. 49

meshes and are taken before they can escape." (Native RIaces of the
Pacific States, I, 1874, p. 428.)
The Moki Indians, of northeastern Arizona, have practiced rabbit
driving for a number of years. Tlie huntl s are made bothi on foot and
with horses and the rabbits are simply surrounded instead of being
driven into an inclosure. A peculiar kiiid of w;)e.ipon, resembling a
boomerang, is employed in these hunts, and is thl-mrow i within such accu-
racy that it proves very effective in tlhe ltainds of Indians accustomed
to its use. Similar drives were also nmtde, by thle Indians in northern
New Mexico, near Espanola. The PImutes and other tribes in Utah used
to assemble in large numbers in a valley near (C'edar City. where they
engaged in a grand hunt each November, killing thiiosamds of rabbits
for their skins and for food.
The modern rabbitt drives' are conducted on much thle saie planl
as those of the Indians, but precautions are taken befiwehmiand so that
no escape is left for the ani-
mals when once surrounded. C
A square or triangular in-
closure, open at one end, is A .
constructed of wire netting 1. D
-or of laths securely fais-
tened close together. Often
a corner of some old corral R D
is simply made rabbit-tight, R
and from the open end of
the pen diverging fences or
wings are carried out in the D
form of a wide-mouthed V, D
sometimes for a distance of
2or3 miles (see fig. 1). The
fences are occasionally made fB
in sections, so that they Canll FIG I.-Diagram showing form ',f corral used in rabbit
be transported from one drive at Bak.rsfield, Cal., Jant 15, 1888.
A, B, portable wired picket fiine, 1 InilI Inng: C, corral;
place to another, and thus D. drivers: E. trancee to corral. R. ralbit. iFrom A1m.
used for several drives. The Field 1888.)
Goshen Rabbit Drive Club, organized in the spring of 1888, lhad an
'outfit' which cost about $150, aid waos considered one of the best in
the San Joaquin Valley; it was used mainly near Goslhen. but was also
moved to Huron, Fresno County, where it lidA(l duty for some tihe. This
outfit consisted of 1 mile of wire netting 28 inches wide, and 400 iron
stakes three-fourths of an inch in diameter and 3 )or 4 feet long. The
stakes were set 15 or 21) feet apart, andl tlhe netting fastened to them.
At the apex of the wings a circular corral w:is built (60 to 2-'0 feet in
diameter and provided with a sliding gate (see p. 50).
Mr. Charles S. Greene, in describing the drive at Traver on April S,
1892,' states that the wings used on that occasion were made of wire
Overland Monthly, 2(1 ser., XX, July, 1892, p.54.
8615-No 8- 4






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


netting and were not more than 2 feet high. Although he saw rabbits
leap much higher during the early part of the drive they made no
attempt to escape over the fences when the wings were reached, the
animals evidently being too wearied, as they had been driven for some
distance. On the other hand, in a small drive which took place near
Claremont on September 9, 1893, no wings or corral were built, but an
attempt was made to utilize a corner of a stone wall 3 or 4 feet in height
instead. The rabbits were driven only a short distance and when the
wall was reached it is said that most of them went over it like sheep,
and comparatively few were killed. In the great drive at Wildflower,
Fresno County, the wings, made of wire netting, were 3 feet in height
and extended for a distance of 7 miles, converging toward a circular
corral at the apex.'
A drive always means a gala day, and is a favorite way of celebrat-
ing some special occasion. The announcement is the signal for a
gathering of the clans from
A all the neighboring country
and the population of the
place is increased to sev-
eral times its normal size
when such an event takes
place. Excursionists are at-
tracted in large numbers by
the special rates offered by
C the railroads, and sometimes
FiG. 2.-Diagram showing form of portable corral used by come from points as far
the Goshen Rabbit Drive Club.
A, B, wings of wire netting each half a mile long; C, distant as San Francisco
corral 60 to 200 feet in diameter; E, sliding gate. (From and Sacramento. Upon the
M. S. Featherstone.) appointed day large num-
bers of people turn out armed with sticks and clubs, and, scattering
over a considerable area, start the rabbits and drive them toward the
mouth of the corral. Every available vehicle is pressed into service,
but the larger part of the throng is usually on foot. The lines grad-
ually close in, and the frightened rabbits, urged on by blows and
shouts, rush blindly into the opening between the wings and are grad-
ually crowded toward the narrow end of the pen where they are soon
dispatched with clubs. Firearms are seldom used either in driving or
killing, as clubs are cheaper, safer, and equally effective. The drives
take place in winter or spring, and the number of rabbits killed varies
from a few hundred up to ten or even twenty thousand in a single day.
The town of Traver regularly celebrates its birthday in April by a rabbit
drive and barbecue. On April 8, 1892, it was estimated that no less
than 6,000 persons were present, and more than 4,000 people and 1,000
teams took part.
See figure in Scientific American, LXI, No. 19., Nov. 9, 1889, p. 295.


50






DRIVES IN CALIFORNIA.


51


A writer in tlhe Chlicago Tribuie of October 1, ls93, timhs graphic-
ally describes one of the largest drives w -liilt bas take i)lace in the
vicinity of Fresno, Cal.:
A close fence formingiii the corral is built atboutt .-in) ; ar l. ,ijt;tr'. with :11 spelling
or entrance for receiving tliO drive ;It one end, the lopnin- licin- perl ;alis 50 fret
wide. This is the finishing point of the drive, :iid will ,-ld thousands oi f rablits.
From this opening diverge two feiices, close ,iiugii tio ke' *I. the r:aL1bits l'ri'in j1,1p-
ing through, about 5 f.et. high. TIhese two ftc-e.s div,.r-, fri-'in the enltr;inci. 6r
about 3 miles, increasing in their distance apart as they inii' ati iiin ir.t;i < 1'0 I'oin
the entrance.
By 7 o'clock inii the mourning all is bustle :and rnI;i-ration for tlie drive. S,,nio
men have heavy sticks and some heavy clubs, but no pi-itils or any ki ,r of firea:ris
are allowed, and no (logs. The sticks ;iiidl clubs are usi-d to beat ithe brush and to
kill the rabbits at the finish.
A general is appointed to) give orders, ;MId imnler him are tlhosi w ,o keep ic lintMes
in order. But sometimes they are anything but o-(rd.rly. The order to st;trt ,einig
given along the lineC, the cavalcade rni.,he" forward. Boys with loots and mi irs run
hither and thither, wielding their sticks. M ii on fiot in :Id\v;iii. li ines aire followed
by those oni horseback and in vehicles. Tli'i,,, on foot mt-i., to have thie 1,l.,t success
in putting up the rabbits. *
After advancing a few miles the coniineiicenieiit of the fcm .,. div.rgin.- troi, the
corral can be seen. The scene is humoru ;i at ti iih., 'vlell a ]ioricma i\i, .']rii i;isl-
ing at full speed after a jack rabbit and ;a 1ii;i oiln tfiot running in antn,-hr dir-ction
after another. Now hundreds of the poor 'rc:itures are easily dliscerlint-d ;, the
fences appear on the left and right, miles apart. M.ny try the back tr:uk 4anly to
meet death in the attempt. All the horsecnme gallop in cowboy ?.tyle. some with
long sticks in their hands. Great inuibers of rabbits da.-lh in every direction
in front of the advancing hosts, and far ahead the long e;irs of humdrireds .miore canil
be seen racing for life, occasionally crouching and then starting aliemid ;igain. but
still surely advancing into the inevitable death-trap. The close proximity to the
finish makes the chase exciting. Those on foot are he:ited and eager. The fencie on
each side is closing in fast, and although still some distance from the corral the
screaming of the poor creatures cain le heard as they iiud their retreat cut off.
The climax of the drive is now at hand. Hundreds of men and bo .ys rush in every
direction. The horsemen and carriages partly liide the view. Flie clouds of du1.t
are stifling. Now the screeching of the rabbits can be heard above every thing, and
the ground is covered with dead rabbits liy the dozen. At the cori;l entrance the
scene is indescribably pitiful and distressingr. To slash anl beat the poor
screaming animals to death is the work of lut a thort time, hut it brings tears to
many an eye, and makes the heart sore to witness lie finish. It is a relieft to every-
body when all is still, when the trying day is at an end. The result oft tlie drive at
Fresno was 20, 000 (lead rabbits.
The rabbits killed in tlhe drives are utilize(d in various ways. If
they are in good condition some aire dressed and shipped to market
where they find a ready sale. But usually the drives a;re carried on
solely for the purpose of exterminating tlhe pests. In localities where
a bounty has been offered the ears are collected for Iscalp)s' anim the
bodies not saved for food are either used for fertilizing purposes, fed
to hogs, or thrown away.
Drives have occurred in nine counties of California, viz: Iyo, Los
Angeles, Modoc, Fresno, Kern, Kings, M;derai, Merced, a;id TIilare.
With the exception of those in Inyo, Los Angeles, and Modoc, all have






52 JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

taken place in the southern part of the San Joaquin Valley. Data are
available for only a few drives east of the Sierra Nevada, one being
the Indian hunt already mentioned, which took place in 1866, near
Bishop, Inyo County, and the others in Modoc County in the extreme
northeastern corner of the State-in Surprise Valley, just east of the
Warner Mountains, and near Likely, on the South Fork of Pitt River.
It may also be noticed that the drive at Claremont, Los Angeles County,
is the only one which has occurred at a point well within the range of
Lepus californicus, and although it resulted in the destruction of only
about a hundred rabbits is especially interesting, as it seems to be
one of the few drives in which the California Jack Rabbit alone was
killed. All the large drives have been made in localities where the
Texan Jack Rabbit is the predominant if not the only species. The
largest drives have occurred in the vicinity of Bakersfield and Fresno.
They usually extend over considerable country, and one of the Fresno
drives has been described by Mr. Charles H. Townsend, in which nearly
2,000 horsemen took part. This hunt covered some 20 square miles,
and about 15,000 rabbits were driven into a central corral and killed.
(Forest and Stream, XXXVIII, March 3, 1892, p. 197.)

ORIGIN OF THE DRIVES.
The feasibility of driving jack rabbits into a corral for wholesale
destruction was demonstrated about twenty years ago; but rabbit driv-
ing as now carried on, began within the last decade. At first the ani-
mals were shot instead of being killed with clubs, and these hunts were
known as shotgun drives.
Mr. George W. Stewart, editor of the Visalia Delta, has kindly con-
tributed the following notes concerning the early drives in California:
The first rabbit drive in the San Joaquin Valley, and probably in the State,
occurred in the year 1875. The firm of Haggin & Carr had begun to farm a large
body of land in Kern County, at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley,-which
up to that time had been used only as a cattle range. The manager, a Mr. Souther,
was much annoyed by the ravages of thousands of jack rabbits on what is known
as Kern Island [a tract of land about 15 miles long] formed at that time by branches
of Kern River. Mr. Souther collected a large number of his vaqueros and other
ranch hands, and these men, mounted and on foot, surrounded a large territory and
gradually closed their lines toward a large cattle corral, into which the rabbits
were driven. Many rabbits escaped through the line, but the result of this first
drive was 1,200 rabbits and 2 coyotes. * *
The next great slaughter of jack rabbits occurred eleven years later near Han-
ford, now the county seat of Kings County. Notice had been given beforehand, and
on March 3, 1886, about 250 men from Hanford and the adjacent country, armed with
shotguns (rifles and pistols were barred), surrounded a large area of country 6 miles
south of the town. As the circumference of the circle gradually lessened, the
shooting commenced, and when less than a mile in diameter the firing was incessant,
the continuous discharge making the noise of a small battle. When the last jack
rabbit had been shot the army halted for a lunch. A number of men had shot as
many as 50 rabbits each, and it was estimated that 3,000 had been slain. In the
afternoon a fresh supply of ammunition was secured and another smaller tract of






ORIGIN OF THE DRIVES.


country was surrounded and the battle continued. Tin. result of the afternoon's
work was 1,000 hares, making -1,000 for the day. One result of' this exciting day
was a realization of the danger of sing guns in this manner; several people were
peppered with shot, but none were seriously injured.
The following year, 1887, the rabihit. had belomle ho deStruinctiv' ol thko great Miller
& Lux ranch, on the west. side of Merced Cmionty, Ihit litii wre mplr)' oedl to kill
them. The hunters were supplied witli horses, w:1gon., ;inl ammunllition, :ind were
paid 5 cents for every rabbit killed. Over 7,000 were killed on thi:t one ranch during
the season.
The first largo rabbit drive on the plan aftrwards a:Ldlopte(ld took place ni'iar Pix-
ley, in Tnlaro County, on November 1.1, 1887, a year anild a half a fti.r tl if H;firid
slaughter. Firearnis of all kinds were forbidden, and dogs wer, not allowedI withiin
the lines. A corral of rabbit-proof wire was made, and from its entranrii two
V.shaped wings extended a distance of a mile and a half. Inti, this .lpaec thi rallbits
were driven. Many hundreds stampeded and broke through the line, but tlihe result
of the drive was 2,000.
The modern method of driving rabbits into a corral seems to hiave
originated with Mr. W. J. Browning, a professional hunter, of Tiptoii,
Tulare County. Stimulated by an offer of $1,000 for 1,000 live jack
rabbits for coursing, Mr. Browning undertook to capture the animals by
driving them into a corral made by stretching fish niiets between posts.
In a letter dated January 15, 1895, he says: "I commenced the busi-
ness of trapping jack rabbits with a corral drive net, with wings about
half a mile long, during the summer of 1882. I have shipped many
thousands to all parts of the country, alive, for coursing purposes.
* In driving, I use six or eight men mounted on good horses,
and in this manner usually trap from 50 to 500 jacks. The big drives
of this State were patterned after my system, as the first drive I ever
heard of outside of my own was made [at Pixley] in this county in
1887, in the month of November."
In order to obtain all the information possible on the subject of rab-
bit driving, Mr. J. Ellis McLellan, a field agent of the division, was
detailed to visit Merced, Fresno, Bakersfield, and other points in the
San Joaquin Valley in the autumn of 1894. Mr. McLellai gathered
many facts of interest, and the following brief account lias beeii mainly
condensed from his reports, while the list of drives on pagers .55-57 is
largely the result of his energy in collecting data.
Early in the autumn of 1887 the question of taking measures for a
wholesale destruction of jack rabbits was discussed in Kern Cmounty,
but nothing wasdone for some months, and the pr4 ject would probably
have proved a fthilure through apathy or opposition lhad it not been
vigorously agitated by the press. In the meantime. however, an exper-
iment was made at Pixley, Tularc County, and thie first, liublic drive
took place there on November 14, 1887. Two thousand rabbits were
killed, and it was demonstrated that, jack rabbits could be successfully
driven into a corral. Another drive took place on December 3, and
1,000 more were slaughtered. Rabbit driving began in earnest in
Kern County on January 2, 1888. The first drive was made near


53






54


JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


Bakersfield, and was followed by others at intervals of a week or ten
days with such success that the method attracted widespread atten-
tion throughout the valley. Great interest was aroused in Tulare
County, anl on February 25 the Pioneer Rabbit Drivers' Club' was
formed and driving was undertaken by various towns in quick succes-
sion. The first drive near Tipton took place January 28, at Tulare on
February 1, at Waukena February 11, at Visalia March 16, and at
Traver April 7. Not to be outdone by Kern and Tulare counties, the
citizens of Fresno met on February 8, and decided to arrange for a rabbit
drive and barbecue, which was held on March 166 An association for
rabbit driving was also organized in Merced County, and the first drive
took place at Merced on March 24. During this time the matter seems
to have been dropped at Pixley and the credit of originating the novel
method of rabbit destruction was claimed by several other towns.
In February and March, 1888, rabbit driving seems to have reached
its height in the San Joaquin Valley. It was estimated by the news-
papers that nearly 20,000 rabbits were killed in Tulare County during
March alone; while about 40,000 were destroyed in Fresno, and 70,000
each in Kern and Tulare counties during the spring of 1888. With
the close of this season there was a noticeable falling off in the num-
ber of drives, either through lack of interest or because the rabbits
had decreased in numbers to some extent. Comparatively few took
place in 1890 and 1891, but in the spring of 1892 several large ones
were made in Fresno County. The largest on record occurred between
Easton and Oleander, 10 or 15 miles southwest of Fresno, and formed
the closing event of an encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic
at Fresno, March 12,1892. It is said that 8,000 people were present, and
the estimates of the number of rabbits killed vary from 20,000 to 30,000
(see Pl. IV). The central location of Fresno makes it an easymatter
to bring together large numbers of people at short notice. Since 1892
there has been a still further decrease both in the number and size of
the drives, and except at Traver, hardly any large ones have taken place
in the State. The custom has been somewhat revived during 1893 and
1894 in Modoc County, where it is said a few drives were held in 1889.
It is impracticable to give a complete list of all the drives or an
accurate statement of the number of rabbits killed. The figures pub-
lishlied in newspapers are probably often exaggerated, but in most
cases afford the only data available. With the assistance of many
correspondents statistics for about a hundred and fifty of the more
important drives have been collected.' As shown by the following
table, more than 370,000 rabbits have been destroyed, but these prob-
ably represent only a small proportion of the total number actually
killed in California,.
'The writer is indebted to many persons for aid in the preparation of the follow-
ing list. Besides those named below should be mentioned Messrs. Charles H. Shinn|
of Berkeley, Walter E. Bryant, of Oakland, and F. H. Holmes, of Bertyessa, who.
have assisted in various ways.
...." .I














Bull 8, Div. Ornithology and Mammalogy, U S. Dept. Agriculture.


F R E S N


^Tra.ver
tb *0ViSuCRo


L re


MtXiewD ).rny0

-_ \uen 1

% K


MAP SHOWING LOCATION OF RABBIT DRIVES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
Drives have occurred at each place marked with a black spot.


PLATE V.








55


DRIVES IN CALIFORNIA.

List of Cali'fornia Rabbit lIriiH.


Locality.


Fresno County.

Caruthers (6 miles west) .....
Easton (12 miles southwest
of Fresno)

Do.......................
Do......................


I):lte.



Feb. 22, 1892
Feb. 13, 192

Mar. 12. 1892
Mar. 18,18921


Fresno (5 miles south)....... Mar. 16, 1888


Do......................
Do.......................
Do........ ........ .
Freano (10 miles south)......
Fresno .......................
Do .......................
Do ....................
Huron ............... ......
Wild Flower................
Do ..................-


Mar. 24,1888
Apr. 12,1888
Apr. 25,1888
Mar. 23,1889
Mar. 13. 1893
Mar. 18, 1893
May 5,1894
J iil1 12, 1891
Mar. 14. 1888
Mar. 1,1889


Kern County.

Bakersfield ................. Jan.

Do...................... Jan.
Do....................... Feb.
Bakersfield (Hougliton dairy) Oct.
Bakersfield (4 miles west) .Jan.
Bakersfield (Rosedale, 3 May
miles uortlh).
Do....................... May
Do......................' June
Bakersfield (5 miles south) June
Bakersfield (6 miles south. Iec.
east).
Do....................... Die.
Do ..................... I Dec.
Delano...................... Feb.
Delano (10 miles southwest).. Feb.
Delano (9 miles west)........ July
Delano...................... Nov.
31,
Haggin & Carr Ranch, Kern
Island. i
Mount View dairy0 (13 miles Jan.
southwest of Bakersfield). i
Do ....................... Jan.
Do.................... Jan.
Do...................... Feb.
Mount View dairyt10 (13 miles Feb.
southwest of Bakersfield)
(shotgun drive).
Mount View dairy"o(13 miles Feb.
southwest .af Bakersfield).
Mount View dairy'0 (13 miles Feb.
southwest of Bakersfield)
(shotgun drive).
Do ...................... M ar.
Do...................... Mar.


2, 1888 5
I


10,1888
9,1888
1,1888
20,1889
3,1891

16, 1891
6,1891
10,1894
9,1894

16,1894
23, 1894
4,1888
19,1888
13. 1888
14-Dec.
1894.
1875

15,1888

23,1888
30,1888
5,1888
12,1888

19,1888

25, 1888


4.1888
3, 1889


4


I ;0;)b it s
l, illh'd.



7. 4f'0
1 14, i(Ji)

220, o1()
9 2 O0~
S 1, 5o00
f 9ooS
414,72.1
::O0
1, 2oo
151


10 500
1,N00
2. 500

612, 000


61,126e
796
5, 075/
500s
3. 500
81,600
200
1,500

2,500
3. 500
1, (Ul)
350

500
200
5,500
5, 501
10,000
9 25,000

1,200
113,500

2, 000
5. OuO
5, 000
500

127.000

1,000

1.946
4, 1428


.\ rirhirity.



.Alvnti A. :atlin.
\\'e kl .I F ,sim Ei.p gi I'fl,. 17. I/ l'orest anI .St r'-a iii. X \ X V III, MNar. :i,
I,92_. 197 1:.11111.
I'hol,,ilapl it I -' N. M .Stlilehr. <):eklatI.
\Vf-'klY lr'e-oif, l.\|i,,sitor. M.,r "2"-' I.-9
Fr'-,t4m I)ailv Rte'lci ii a'ri, M;in'. 17 J I'04;
l':xpiiteir. MaNir 22.
Friesmn Iaily Jueljtiiliican. M:ir .',. I M,
I-'r-snio 1)ailvy INe lplili niii Apr. I Is ..
I-'res.zo Expj Psitor. A pr. 2-. 1 M8.
Fr'.'rno nDaily lepulllic;ia Mar '24, 1889.
1'liotipgra p1i by E. I'. lliiggins I -''i.lno.
Chlicago laily Ne'ws M.ay 10. 1X:i.
IDaily Ev'eniii,, l'\|miositr, NMay 5 1891.
ruhlareC,,iiiit \'Timcs + ir i. di J) .Tuly16, 1891.
Weekly Visalia Dilta, MNftr. 219. l.^.
Scientific Am., LXI, Nov. 9, 1b89. p. 2'J',.


San Fr'ani<'io Mining and Sci 're-.s Jan.
28, 1888, ). 51.
Do.
Weekly Kern Countly Echo, Fb. 16,1888.
Weekly Kern (oIIllty c4io, ()<. 8. 1888.
W'eeklv Ki.tn County Eclh. Jan. 24. 1889.
Weekly Kern (.u'anty Echo, ..ay 7, 1891.

Weekly Kern County Echo, May 21, 1891.
(Ius. Kratzmer. Bakersfieldl.
Weekly Kern (Countv Echtu, Juno 14, 1891.
C. A. Nelson, Bakersfield.

B. L. lirundage., Bakersfield.
D~o.
Delano Courier, Feb. 10, 18X8.
Delano Courier, Feb. 24. 1888.
1)elano Ciourier, July 20, 1888.
Hill & Conrad. Delano

Ge'Io. W. Stewart, etlitorVisalia DIlta.

Weekly Kern County Echo, Jan. 19, IS88.


Weekly Kern County
Weekly Kern Cmunty
Weekly Kern (Count '
Weekly Kern County


Echo,
Ercho.
Echo.


Jan. 26. 1888.
Feb 2, 18,M.
Feb. 9, 1888
Feb. 16,1888.


Weekly Kern ('Cominty Fliho, Feb. 2:. 1888.

Weekly Kern (',uiit.v Echo, Mar. 2. 1888.

Weekly Kvrn County Echo, Mar. 8, I.88.
Sliowi ing and Fisliiing. V, Mar. 2. 189'J, 13.


I Actual count-7.000 in the corral, 7.000 dead outside.
'Thegreat G. A. R. drive, which look place bet ween Easton and Oleandel t h' lariu'st drive -in record.
The Weekly Fresno Expositor of March 16.1892, places the tonuilber of rabbit, kil Il at 25,1o00.
3 Badly managed; about 20,000 rabbits roundedil up; anil buitt 2.000 escaped.
4Two drives same day; 9,723 bv actu al count, about 4.I00 hauled aiway bicfore count leman; I,00
taken alive for Merred coursing match.
'Mr. M. S. Featherstone, of Goshen. states that onilv 8,0"0 were killed by actual count.
*2.500 estimated to have been killed altogether.
7500 estimated to have b)een killed outside the corral.
*Private drive, covering 16 sections.
"'Thirteen private drives. About two-tlhirds of these rabbit were' shipped to the San Francisco
market.
"Returns for these drives vary. Messrs. Nelson & Bailey ihave circulated aclipping from tlie Kern
County Echo with their photograph of the drive of March 4, I$$$. which gives tlh. following figures:
January 2. 2,500; January 8. 6,000; January 15,5.5UO: .IaTaiiVary 2:. 2.til), Janiuary :il), 4.0t; February
]5,5,000; February 9. 500: February 12, 4.51O0. F'eb'iarv 19. 7.0't0: F,'brirarv 23. 1,5i1: March 4, 2,000.
m "3,000, according to N E. White in Amnrican Field, XXX, November 3, 1888, 410-411.
I "Actual count, first drive, 5,500; second, 1,500.


I








JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

List of California Rabbit Drives-Continued.


Locality.


Date.


Kings County.
Hanford (shotgun drive) .... Mar. 3,1886
Hanford (Cross Creek)...... Mar. -,1888
Hanford (Halfway to Traver) Apr. 22,1888
Los Angeles County.
Claremont.- ....-----------. Sept. 9,1893
Madera County.
Berendo (Desmond Ranch)... Mar.or Apr.,
I 1888.
Do ........................... do .......
Berendo (Miller Ranch)...... .... do .......
Berendo .................--. Jan.orApr.,
1889.
Berendo (Miller Ranch)-..--...- Feb. orMar.,
1892.
Berendo ........ ..----..--.. 1892
Do...................... Feb. 24,1895
Do....................... Feb. 28,1895
Do ...................... Mar. 9. 1895
John Brown Colony.......... Apr.orMay,
1890.
Do..................... Spring, 1891
Do...................... Spring, 1892
Do ...................... Mar. -,1893
LaVina ................... Apr. -,1890
Madera (4 miles west) ....... Dec. 30,1888
Madera (5 miles south)..... Feb. -,1889
Madera (3 miles west)...... Mar. 14,1889
Madera .----......----.......... Apr. -, 1889
Madera (5 miles south) ..... May -,1889
Madera (3 miles west)....... Feb. 17,1895


Merced County.
Athlone (10 miles west)......
Do.....................
Athlone (16 miles south)....
Hartley Ranch (near Beren-
do. Madera County).
Hartley Ranch ? ............
Livingston ..................
Do.....................
Do.....................
Do ......................
Do ......................
Merced .....................
Do..........--......
Do1 ......................
Do .......................
Do .......................
Modoc County.
Cedarville (3-12 miles south)


Spring, 1888
....do .......
..-..do ..-
Mar. 16,1895
Feb. 8,1895
Apr. 4,1893
Apr. or May,
1893.
Apr. 25,1893
1893 ?
Apr. 4,1894
Mar. 24,1888
Mar. 28,1888
Apr. 4, 1888
Apr. 16,1888
Mar. 12,1889

J u n e-July,


1893.
Cedarville (7 miles north).... Dec. 20,1894
Lake City.................... Jan. 5,1893
Do..................... Jan. 15, 1893
Do..................... Jan. 20, 1893
Do....................... Jan. 25, 1893
Lake City (2 drives) .......... Feb. -, 1893
Lake City.................... Dec. 30,1894
Do ..................... Jan. 5,1895
Do....................... Jan. 20,1895
Likely (several drives)....... 1889
Tulare Co.unty.2
Alila....................... Sept. 15,1888
Do........... ...... Sept. 22,1888
Goahen ...................... 1888
Do...................... Apr. 11,1888
Do...................... Jan. 20,1889
Do....................... Feb. 15,1889
Do....................... Mar. -, 1889


Rabbits
killed.


5 3, Ooo
) 1,00o0
1.250
'4,569

100

5,000
250
500
400
400
..............
2,900
3,000
1,500-1,600

2,500
1,200
1,400-1,500
750
400
2,500
1,050
1,000
1,500
250

1,200-1,500
1,200-1,500
1,200-1, 500
200
2,100
8,000
2,500
1,000
250
2,000
1,000
2,000
2,800
1,700
2,000

3,000
260
990
500
250
345
275
250
60
50


3, 000
........... .
850
a 994
1,200
4 2,500
700


Authority.


George W. Stewart, editor Visalia Delta.
Weekly Visalia Delta, Mar. 29, 1888.
Weekly Visalia Delta, Apr. 26, 1888.

Pomona Times, Sept. 13,183.

H. D. Crow, Berendo.
Do.
Do.
John J. Purkner, Madera.
H. D. Crow, Berendo.
H.D.Crow and MissL. K. Gozzoli,Berendo.
J. F. Ward, Berendo.
Do.
Do.
John J. Purkner, Madera.
L. U. Hoskins, Madera.
Do.
Do.
John J. Purkner, Madera.
Weekly Visalia Delta. Jan. 10, 1889.
John J. Purkner, Madera.
J. F. Ward, Berendo.
John J. Purkner, Madera.
Do.
Do.

W. H. Bowden, Athlone.
Do.
Do.
J. F. Ward, Berendo.
Do.
F. Crowell, Livingston.
Do.
Do.
Diary of D. L. Heffher, Merced.
F. Crowell, Livingston.
San Joaquin Valley Argus, Mar. 24,1888.
San Joaquin Valley Argus, Mar. 31,1888.
H. N. Wilson, Merced.
San Joaqnin Valley Argus, Apr. 21,1888.
San Joaquin Valley Argus, Mar. 10, 188.

T. H. Johnston, Cedarville.

Do.
S. 0. Cressler, Lake City.
Do.
Do.
Do.
Do.
Do.
Do.
Do.
Wm. J. Dorris, Likely.

Delano Courier, Sept. 21,1888.
Delano Courier, Sept. 22,1888 announceded.
Shooting and Fishing, V, No. 19, Jaim. 24,
1889, p. 10.
Weekly Viaalia Delta, Apr. 12,1888.
Tulare Register, Feb. 1,1889.
M. S. Featherstone, Goshen.
Weekly Visalia Delta, Mar. 21,1889.


'3.969 in the corral, and eoo00 estimated to have been killed outside, all on one section of land.
2 Mr. D. K. Zumwalt, of Visalia, has kindly furnished the statistics for 16 drives in this county, and
several in Fresno, Kern. and Kings counties.
8 About 200 more were killed outside; a second drive was made later, but the figures were not given.
42,390 actually driven into the corral; the others killed outside.


56








57


RESULTS OF THE DRIVES.

List of C'alifornia Rabbit ]h'iven-Continied.


Locality. Date. kil

Tulare County-Continued.
Jonesa ..--.....--..........---....... Apr. 9. 1888
Oakdale .................... Mar. 18, 1888
Oakdalo (3 miles south) ...... Mar. 24,18882
Pixley ....................... Nov. 14,1887
Do....................... Dec. 3,1887
Do....................... March, 1888
Do ...................... 'June 1. 1888 8,000-
Pixley (12 miles south) ...... May -. 1889
Pixley ....................... Aug. 20, 189{ 3:
Do....................... Nov.(7?), 1894
Do...................... Dec. 14, 1894

Pixley (other drives4) ..................... 3, U00
Piano (18 miles west) ........ ............. ......
Poplar....................... Jau. 20, 1895
Do...................... Jan. 27,1895
Tipton (Lake View school).. Jan. 28. 1888
Tipton...................... May 18,1889
Tokay (5 miles south Tulare). .Mar. 10,1888
Tokay...................... Feb. 25, 1894 .......
Traver(Settlers ditch, south. Apr. 7,1888'
west of town).
Traver..................... Feb. 20. 1889
Do...................... M ar. 8, 1889 .......
Do...................... Apr. -, 1891
Do .......... ....... .......... do .... ..
Do...................... Mar. 6.1892,
Do......................, Apr. 8,1892

Do....................... Feb. Apr.,
1892.
Do....................... Apr. 8.1893
Do...................... Felb. 25, 1894
Do....................... Mar. 4, 1894
Do................... Apr. 7, 1894
Traver(10 miles southwest).. Mar. 31, 1895
Traver...................... Apr. 8,1895;
Tulare (Mitchell Ranch, 6 Feb. 11,1888
miles west).
Tulare (Birch Ranch, 7 miles Feb. 15,1888?
west).
Tulare (7 miles south) ....... Fellb. 20.1888
Tulare...................... Feb. 24, 1888
Do...................... Mar. 2, 1888
Tulare (6 miles east)........ Mar. 4.1888
Tulare ...................... Mar. 9, 1888
Tulare (Parkwood, 7 miles Mar. 24,1888
northwest).
Tulare...................... Feb. 9.1889
Do ....................... Feb. 25,1889
Do------------Feb. 25, 1889'
Do ..................... Mar. 30, 1889
Tulare (Mitchell Ranch, 6 Feb. -, 1890 .......
miles west).
Visalia ....................... j Mar. 16,1888
Visalia (north of town)...... i Mar. 18,1888
Visalia(?) (McCann Ranch).., Apr. 14,1888
Waukena................... i Feb. 11, 1888
Do...................... I Feb. 2. 1889
Do....................... June 1l, 1894
Do...................... June 30. 1894
Do....................... Nov. ilt, 1894


liii .i
IlIA
led


4, m )u Weekly Vi ual- a Ih-Ita.i. A Iii-. 2;. 1 ANR.
2.2uu We-eklv Vi.sali 1 -lta Ni .ar ''29. l,8.
1,211 I1,'.
2,01, Ti'ularn lH,.giister, N,,v. Is 1..-7.
l. lll1 'linlar,. lRg- i. 6 4 r, I1 I. 9, l.9 1. 7.
1, 31)0U Saniinel Shilllil, I x I..' .
10.000 Johln \W ilarl,.r. I'i\l1\.
1, IOOU Saiiu'l .Sl1llni I'ixI.v.
10-400 John \W. i aaij-r, l'ixli.-y.
3,900 Maj. C. J. Berr, Vi.-ali:
200 J4l1hn W. l;-"irp, ,'ixhlv G;... martinn,
I 'upl ar- 2)0.
-4 000 JTolin W. Il.iriier, I'ilr.
...... William T'uhonisti, I'lIu,,.
145. G.J. Mai tiu, 1',plar.
235 D1.
420 W.J. Brownin,_,, ''ilitinl,.
117 Tular(c I;-i..ster. May '24, 18,9.
2,50U Tulare I-gisit'-r, Mar. 16 ls$8.
...... M S. F :itlier-itimie. Gio-lien.
1,1000 Weekly ViS'ilia DVlta, Apr. 12 1.,8.


1,200 Fresni' Daily l'i-pullic'an, Mar. 2. 1889.
....... Fre.suo Diiv lW-piiluli-dian, Mar. 1n, 1x89.
1,500 Henry Lahaui, i'ra \cr.
50) D)o.
4,000 Los Angeles Tini-,. Mar. 7, 1.-92
4,o 00 C. S. ;reenc, )\vrlandl Munthily. 2d ser.,
XX, July, 1892'. pj. 49-58.
12,000 4 drives," Henry Llhaiij. Tr.iver.


2, 500
2, 0Oo
1,5li0
2, 000
370
:3I110
85,000

2,500

1,000
2. 300
3.000
2,232
2. 000
2,200

1,400
350
200

3, 300
1,400
400
5, 01)
1, u67
500
500
150


Henry L.Iahain, Traver.
Do.
Do.
Visalia(Tulare Count- 'Tinirs, Apr. 12,1894.
S. S Cederberg. HanFlord.
Henry Lahann, Traver.
Weekly Visalia Delta. Fell. 16. l.%88.

Photograph from D. K. Zumwalt, Visalia.

Tulare Regi.ter. Feb. 24. 1888.
Weekly Vfsali;a Delta. Mar. 1, 1888.
Tularui Register, Mar. 2. l18A.
Tulare Register, Mar. 9. \.SW.
Tulare Register, Mar. 16, 1888.
Tulare Register, Mar. 30, 1888.

Tulare Register, Feb 1". 1889.
Tiflare Register, Feb. 28. 1.89.
Tulare Register, _% pr. 5. 1889.
M. S. Featherstune, Gosheu.
*
Weekly Visadlia Delta, Mar. 29, 1888.
IDo.
Weekly Visalia De-lta, Apr. 19. 1888.
Weekly Vis.alia IDelta, Feb. 16. 188.
Weekly Visalia Delta, Feb. 7, 1.b9.
W. F. GIass, Waukeua.
D)o.
Do.


S300-100 more probably killed before reaching the crurral.
Another drive announced for March 29, 1888.
2 First public drive in California.
4 Several small shotgun drives took place about 1882 and 1s83.-J. Ellis Mclellan.
Another drive announced for April 15. 1888.
6 Third driveof the season. Another was planned t',r March 13, 1892. ibut no 1i-port lih.i be-,ii received.
SSix drives in all took place during Februar-y, Marcli. and April. in which 20..11m wert killed.
s About 1,000 more estimated to have escaped. Anotl ir drive i)launcd tbr March 1$.

RESULTS OF Till: DRIVES.

Although it is practically impossible to give all tlie rabbit drives
which have occurred in California during tlhe last eight years, still this
listof 155 drives, including the more important ones during the twenty

: years from 1875 to 1895, should be sufficient to show the progress of


A nl ]urnt N'.


1






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


rabbit driving and the effect of this means of extermination. The gen-
eral results may be tabulated as follows:
Summary of California Rabbit Drives.

Before 1888. 1889. 1890. 1891. 1892. 1893. 1894. 1895. Misc. Total.
1888.
Number of drives.. 4 55 20 1 7 12 15 29 12 ....... 155
Rabbits killed ....- 8,200 158,492 34,963 750 14,500 65,060 32,010 41,310 11,160 3,750 370,195
Average n iiimber
perT rive ......... 2,050 2,881 1,748 ....... 2,071 5,421 2,134 1,424 930 ....... 2,387
Returns incomplete; 4 drives reported but figures given for only 1.

An examination of these figures shows that in the total of 155 drives
370,195 rabbits were killed, or an average of nearly 2,400 in each drive.
Returns for years previous to 1888 have been received for only 4 drives
in which 8,200 rabbits were killed, but during the spring of 1888 the
number of drives suddenly increased to 55, and then, as the novelty wore
off or the rabbits became scarcer, decreased to 7. During the same
period the number of rabbits slaughtered decreased from nearly 160,000
in 1888 to 14,500 in 1891. In 1892 there were a few more drives and a
decided increase in the slaughter of rabbits, due to the large drives in
Fresno County. The total of 65,060 rabbits was second only to that of
the season of 1888, but in the last three years there has been a decided
falling off in the totals. The apparent increase in the number of drives
in 1893 and 1894 is due in part to the small hunts in Modoc County, but
the number in the San Joaquin Valley has continued to decline regularly
until 1895, when only 12 small drives were reported.
The largest number of rabbits killed in any single drive is said to
have been 20,000, but the average of all the drives for any one year has
varied from 5,400 down to 930 the past season. By far the greater
number have been killed in the southern part of the San JoaquinVYalley
in a strip about 170 miles in length and 30 miles in width. If the small
drives. in the northern part of the State and the single one in Los
Angeles County are omitted, as well as the two early shotgun drives,
the result is reduced to about 356,400 rabbits killed in 140 drives during
eight years, or an average annual slaughter of about 44,500 rabbits in
an area scarcely as large as the States of Connecticut and Rhode Island
combined. The success of the drives is evident from the small number
of rabbits killed d(luring the last three years. This result, at least in
Fresno County, is probably due in part to the appearance of an epidemic
among the jack rabbits soon after the large drives of 1892. -One cor-
respondent writes from Selma: Just as it had been found possible to
control their presence in the more thickly settled paint [of Fresno
County] an epidemic appeared among them and they died by hundreds
and by thousands. Since then we have kept a few dogs and
the wire-screen fences have been gradually taken down, and now very
few rabbits are to be found among the vines."


58






RABBIT DRIVES IN OREGON. 59

Whether the present diminution iii numbers is mnly tenlpoPrary re-
mains to be seen, but this section of Califorinia is now being settled so
fast that it seems hardly possible for the rabbits to increase to their
former abundance under all the forms of destruction which can be used
against thliem. The case is instructive in showing the combined elect
of natural and other means of extermination. If rabbits could he sys
tematically destroyed just after their inuminers hli:d lb'eeii redc ied by aIn
epidemic, they would receive a setback from which they would not soon
recover.
The decline of rabbit driving is hardly to be (deplored. In the San
Joaquin Valley a drive was made the occasion of a general holiday; the
schools were closed and women and children joined tl(he throng to assist
in clubbing the rabbits or to watch the slaughter. It may be ques-
tioned whether such frequent scenes of butchery can have anything
but an injurious effect on a community, and it is fortunate that the
necessity for them does not now exist.

OREGON.

In Oregon the California method of destroying rabbits by drives liha.as
been recently introduced. Throughout the region east of the Cascades
the black-tailed Texan Jack Rabbit (Lepus fe.riants) is very abundant
and has become so troublesome in Lake County that $2,160 was ex-
pended for its destruction during the years 1888, 1889. and 1890.
More than a dozen drives were made in ])ecember 1894, and January
1895, in the vicinity of Lakeview. Ii one of these, which took place
on January 6, 1,975 rabbits were killed, while the total number slaugld-
tered during the two months amounted to 12,202. Several drives,
resulting in the destruction of 3,000 to 4,000 rabbits, have occurred
during the winter of 1895-96, but in the absence of' any detailed report
they have not been included in tlhe following table.

Partial List of Rabbit Drives in Oregon.

Locality. Date. ied Authority.
killed.
Lake County.
Lakeview ....Lake ............nty................ De 18. 1894 1. 654 I'. Snidler. I.aik,\ ii w, 0r.--g.
Do ................................... 1De 2". 1894 1,767 Do.
Do ................................... Dec. 22, 1894 6.5 1)Do.
Do ................................... Dec. 24 1894 82 I)DO
Do .................................. Dec. 27, 1894 1. 592 1)o.
Do ................................... Dec. 30, 1894 30) I)o.
Do ................................... Jan. 3, 1895 973: Do.
Do ................................... Jan. 6,1895 1. 975 Do.
Do ................................... Jan. 10, 18'95 1,146 ih..
Do ................................... Jan. 17. 1895 :04 Io.
Do .................................... Jan. 20, 1S95 200 I)o.
Do ................................... Jan. 24. 1895 280 Do.
Do ................................... Oilither drives 50 Do.
Total (12 drives) ................... .............. 12, 2W2
A average .....................----.......................... 1, .016






60


JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


RABBIT HUNTS.
It may be of interest to consider the methods of destruction which
have been used in other States. Two of the jack rabbits which occur
in California (Lepus texianus and L. campestris) are common also in
Utah, Idaho, and Colorado, and in some sections are excessively abun-
dant. An entirely different method of extermination, however, is prac-
ticed from that adopted in California. Large numbers are killed with
shotguns in regularly organized hunts, but rabbit drives, properly
speaking, are now rarely made, except in Idaho.
UTAH.
According to Mr. M. Richards, jr., of Parowan, Utah, the club was
formerlyused in some of the rabbit hunts on the brushlands bordering
Little Salt Lake, and as many as 2,000 rabbits have been killed in a
drive, but this method has now been abandoned and shooting has been
adopted instead.
Rabbit hunts have taken place since the earliest settlement of the
State-nearly half a century ago-but when they were first held by
the Indians is unknown. The Piutes, Goshutes, and Pahvan Indians
were accustomed to resort to a large valley near Cedar City during the
month of November, for the purpose of having a grand hunt, and thou-
sands of rabbits were annually slaughtered.' Strangely enough, the
first hunt among the whites of which we have any record probably
occurred very near this place, and was participated in by a party of
emigrants on their way from Salt Lake City to California in 1849. It
was a portion of the same company which soon after experienced such
hardships on the desert, and on account of whose sufferings the now
celebrated Death Valley in California received its name. This early
rabbit hunt probably took place in the month of October, 1849, some-
where in the region north of Little Salt Lake, either in Iron or Beaver
County. Mr. W. L. Manly.2 one of the members of the party, describes
the hunt as follows:
"We came into a long, narrow valley well covered with sage brush,
and before we had gone very far we discovered that this was a great
place for long-eared rabbits-we would call them jack rabbits now.
Everyone who had a gun put it into service on this occasion, and there
was much popping and shooting on every side. Great clouds of smoke
rolled up as the hunters advanced, and the rabbits ran in every direc-
tion to get away. Many rau right among the horses, and under the
feet of the cattle and under the wagons, so that the teamsters even
killed some with a whip. At the end of the valley we went into camp,
and on courting up the game found we had over 500, or about one for
every person in camp."
SCoues & Yarrow, Rept. Geog. Surv. W. 100th Merid., V, Zool., 1875, p.127.
2 Death Valley in '49, 1894, pp. 110-111.







RABBIT HUNTS IN UTAH.


Mr. James L. Bunting, of Kanab, writes that between 18-5.8 a|nil
1870 rabbits were very abundant on the land( between tlie Joridan
River and Great Salt Lake. In November and Deceiber lhinters
would go out almost daily in parties of from tI ir t4o six ea;'h, and on
some occasions as many as 500 rabbits were killed iii a single day.
The hunts usually take place iii the winter or early spring when the
suow is on the ground, aid are tlius described by WV. (. -Nowers in ;a
letter dated February, 1887. He says:
"Our mode of destroying these pests is to select two captains, wlho

choose their associates from the community. and foril two attacking
parties, who ride or go with firearms, dogs, clubs, ;and so oii, and lay
siege to every rabbit caught sight of. In some instances the slaughter
has amounted to nearly 1,000 for each sid(le. These raids are waged on
every favorable opportunity-after a snowstorm, or monthly, it' noi si\ow
falls, as has been the case this winter."
Rabbit hunts have occurred in a number of places in southwestern
Utah, but are less common in the northern part of the State. One, how-
ever, took place near Corinne during the suii mer of 1894. According
to Prof. Marcus E. Jones, as many as a dozen or fifteen huints have
occurred annually during recent years. One of the largest is described
by Mr. Vernon Bailey as having taken place near Panguitch, Garfield
County, in 1885. It lasted three days, and somile 80 men and boys took
part, killing more than 5,000 rabbits within a few miles of the town.
As will be seen from the following table, the recent Utalh hunts are
small in comparison with those in Colorado or thile California drives.

Partial List of Rabbit Ifilns in 'tahi.


Locality.

Beaver County.
Beaver .................... Dec.
Do ...................... 1894.
Do...................... Feb.
Minersville *................. JIuly
Do...................... Dec.
18(
Boxelder County. t
Corinne..................... Sum
Kelton ..........................
Garfield County.
Panguitch .................. 1885.
Iron County.: I
Near Little Salt Lake I...... Oct.
Cedar City..................I Fe)b.
Kanarraville ............... .l)ec.
Do ....................... Jiii.
Paragonah .................. Feb.
Parowan..................... Spri:
Do ....................... Spri
Do .............. ........ Jan.
Do ...................... Jan.
Summit..................... Jan.


Date.


,1886 .........
.. .......... ...
,1895 ....... '..
.1887 ........ :
1887,orJan., 1
38.

nier 1894......





(!), 1949 ......
24, 1894 ......
21. 189.; ......
28-Feb.2.189- I
11-14, 1895....I
ng 1875 .......
ngr 1?,5 ....... |
18,1894 .......
31. 1894......
20-26, 189.5,....


RI 1)1 its
killed.


5, 000
1 i)00
2.300
2,io00 3.1.1o
1,500-2,1.100


300-400
1. 000

5 52)'



172
I1;9
li 0
2. 0"'0
1 sIJUJ
79'6
:3137
1.290


Ant hority.



Orson Alred. 14-av,\r.
Dko.
Do.
Doto-i & Snii Minersville.
Do.


Editor h.r. irghlni 1'i1y.
C_'>onanit Brll.. K, lion.

IDavidl W. M1iltagtuc, l',tPnnii hi.

W'. I,. ManI. 'IDeaitlhi \';tIlle.v in 1i 110
Will ('. liglgin. ('C.d.ir l'itv
D o.
!rno I_'oiinil ]ie 'iii 1:.1, Ic!1].
Irin C,'itiitv Rec'irel IF.h). 15. 195
M Rich;rds. jr., l'.iro an i tiriv e).
I)a.
Will C; Ilii,.'ins. C,'d.r l'ltv
IDe.
Iron (ountv lIre ,r'il '1 1. 1 'I.IV 5.


*Messra. Dotson & Son report tIhat -1l.0t1f-22.Oi1 rabilil %s erce kiil in t iinmont hq in 1.-.-7 and I.
tA number of hunts seem to have wviur-rvi near liriha.mi (City and elcwwherr. % hiiih itr- I1'e'raAir ily
omitted here in the absence otf squffilen illata. Tit- ''tiillv paiI imninti.s ion1 ]1.7.'75 rnbliti- during, tio,
years 1893, 1894. ainid 1895-sm. p1. 4:1.
:Mr. M. Richards, jr., of Parowan givt-.s 9.1101 as thl proli.ale niumbnbr utf ralbbits kille-d in this
county during 1894.


i







62 JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

Partial lists of Rabbit Hunts in Utah--Continued.

Locality. Date. Rabbits Authority.
killed.

Millard County.
Corn Creek ................. Mar. 27,1894 ...... 50-60 Marcus E. Jones, Salt Lake City.
K.inosh ...................... Jan. -, 1893 ...... 1,800 James A. George, Kanosh.
Do....................... Jan. (19?), 1894.... 1,000 Do.
Sanpete County. I
roint Pleasant............. Dec.30,1894 to Jan. 1,000 Several hunts. Postmaster.
12,1895.
Wayne County.
Loa.......................... Dec. 14,1894....... 350 John T. Lazenby, Loa.
Central Utah ................. Dec. 3,1893........ 2,762 John L. May, Salt Lake City.
Do....................... Nov. 29,1894 ...... 1,379 Do.
Do....................... Dec. 8,1894........ 656 Do.
Total (26 huuts) ....... ................ 37,215

IDAHO.
A few large hunts have recently occurred in southern Idaho, but
greater success has attended the introduction of the rabbit drive. A
novel method is sometimes employed in Fremont County, the rabbits
being baited by spreading a line of hay on the snow or on the ground,
and after they are 'lined up' several can be killed at a single shot.
Mr. T. T. Rutledge, assistant director of the experiment station at
Nampa, Canyon County, reports that a small hunt took place about
September 1894, near that place, but the number killed is unknown.
In the winter of 1894-95 about 2,600 jack rabbits were killed near Idaho
Falls, Bingham County, and shipped to Eustice, Nebr., along with grain
and provisions for distribution among the drought sufferers in that
State. Another smaller hunt also occurred at Idaho Falls later on.
While these pages are passing through the press, reports have been
received indicating that rabbit driving is being successfully carried
on in the southern part of the State. At Marion, Cassia County, about
5,000 rabbits were killed in a drive on December 9, 1895. It was esti-
mated that 500 people were present and that an area of country less
than 3 miles square was driven over; 4,000 more rabbits were killed at
the same place during the following week.
Farther east two smaller drives were held at Market Lake, Fremont
County. In this case no corrals were built, the rabbits being simply
driven into the railroad stock yards and afterwards shipped to Salt
Lake City for distribution among the poor. The following list has been
brought down to date as far as possible and includes five drives which
occurred early in January, 1896:
Partial List of Idaho Rabbit Drives and Hunts.

Locality. Date. Rabbits Authority.
killed.

.Bingham County.
Idaho Falls............................... Winter 1894- 2,600 A. V. Soott, Idaho Falls.
95.
Do ........................................do ................ Do.
Canyon County.
Nampa......................................... Sept.-,1894 .......... T.T. Rutledge, Nampa.







RABBIT HUNTS IN COLORADO. 63

Partial List of Idaho Rabbit Drivesn and HantIx-Continiedl.

Locality. Iate. kiih.,i. .\,ll ri..i .

Casia County.
M arion*.................................. Dee. 7,1895 5. u0i ('. A To lii;ia.n. NI.irin.
Do ................................... De 9,1895 2, o Ills.
Do ................................... Dec. 14, 1895I 2,1100 I,,.
Do ....................... ............ Dec. 31,1895 1,200 Ii).
Do ................................... Jan. 3, 1891; 150 l0,.
Do ................................... Jan. 4,1896 1, (1(0 Do.
Fremont County.
Grantt................................... Feb. 1,1895 247 Eli M 'Eiitire (;ranl.
Do ................................... Feb. 7,1895 45(1 D1ii.
Do ...--..----..........-..... ...---...... Feb. 14, 1895 5119 IDI.
Do ................................... Feb, 20, 1895 7139 Do.
Lewisville................................ Jan. 9. 1896 990 Ed lill.\w ri li, 1.,. i.-villa.
Market Lake*............................ Dew. 30. 18,15 1,044 D1i.
Do ................................... Jan. 4. 196 1.010 D)o.
Rigbv................................... W inter 1894- 2,00U E. P. (oltman. hlali, l"iill.
95.
Do* ................................. Jan. 11,1896 300 Ed Ell.wortli. Lo% i-, ill.

Drives.
t Hunts have been reported from Lewisville for February 14 andil 26 ( 1. i95s. whirli ;irt, )rihillv il,'
same as those given in this list. Grant, Lewisvillc, and Rigby are all wit llii a jn I,,iiI-s I ,l ,11ne
another; the same hunt may be reported fron different places and thus I-ad to uiilii.siui,, particularly
if no dates are given.
COLORADO.

During the last three years a series of rabbit bunts have taken
place in eastern Colorado, resulting in the destruction of nearly 29,000
rabbits. As is the case with the hunts in Utah, no inclosures are built
and shotguns are the only weapons used. The hunters are usually dis-
tributed over the ranches in the neighborhood and hunt singly or in1
small parties. The success of these hunts has led to the celebration
each winter of a 'Rabbit Day,' which is set apart for the destruction
of the pests. In reply to an inquiry concerning the origin of the cus-
tom at Lamar, Mr. J. T. Lawless, editor of the Lamar Sparks, wrote on
March 4, 1895:
This portion of Colorado was first settled in 1886, and in 1889 farming iy irrigation
was begun on an extensive scale. The territory under dic Lch is about 18 niles wide.
North and south of this strip of irrigated land there is litt i' vegetation, -ind t lie land
is valuable chiefly as a stock range. After the first year of' faruinig lby irrigation,
rabbits increased rapidly, and the farmers were greatly annoyed. The rallihits catte
from the rainbelt region for miles around and made their headquinrte'rs ill the alt'ailfa.
and grain fields and the growing orchards of Prowers County. Tlie great
increase in the number of rabbits caused nmuich concern, and filni]ly a li-i- hlint was
arrangedto reduce their numbers. This hunt was coilined to pu pile f l.a;mniar and
the county. About fifty-live men participated, and they killed over 1.2001 rabbllits in
one day. The following winter another hunt was arranged on similar lines. :ind tlie
same number of men brought in about 2,000 rabbits. This hunt \ as followed Iby the
first annual hunt, in which gunners from all parts of the State pa:trtitcipated. That
was the inauguration of Rabbit Day. Over 4,0(X) rabbits were killed, and thlie-' were
drawn and shipped to Denver and Pueblo for distribution among the poor, to % hom
the meat was very acceptable.
One of the largest and most successful lhunts was that of December
22, 1894, in which 101 gunners took part and secured 5.142 rabbits as
the result of a day and a half of steady work (see Plate VI). When
dressed, these jack rabbits usually average about 6j pounds each, and







64


JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


it was estimated that the game obtained in this hunt weighed nearly 5
tons. The annual hunt on December 19-20, 1895, was less successful,
owing to a severe storm and deep snow; only about 1,600 rabbits were
killed.
A unique feature of the Colorado hunts is the disposition of the game,
which is distributed among the poor of Denliver and Pueblo. The rab-
bits are transported free of charge by the railroads and distributed
mainly under the direction of Rev. Thos. A. Uzzell, of Denver. This
charitable work was begun about four years ago, and 250 jack rabbits
were received the first winter; last season 4,500 were distributed in
Denver alone, and it is said that over 5,000 have been given away each
season for the last three years. In fact the success of the hunts at
Lamar in December, 1893, January and December, 1894, was largely
due to the efforts of Rev. Thos. A. Uzzell, who arranged for the ship-
ment and distribution of the rabbits.


List of Colorado Rabbit Hunts.'


Ha bb its
Locality. Date. klled.

Brush, Morgan Connty ............... Dec. 28,1894 700
Lamar, Prowers County.............. Jan. 6,1893 1,194
Do ............................... Dec. 22,1893 1,799
Do ............................... Jan. -.1894 3,029
Do ............................... Jan. 12-13, 4,500
1894.
Do ............................... Nov. 25-26, 1,500
1894.
Do ............................... Dec. 22. 1894 5,142
Do ............................... Dec. 19-20, 1,600
1895.
Las Animas, Bent County ............ I Feb. 22,1893 815
Do ............................... Feb. 22, 1894 1,865
Do ...............................I Feb.6-7,1895 6,522
Total (11 hunts)................ .............. 28,666


Authority.

Lamar Sparks, Jan. 8, 1895.
A. Van Deusen, Lamar.
Do.
Do.
Do.
Do.
Do.
Lamar Sparks, Dec. 26,1895.
M. R. McCauley, Las Animaa.
Do.
Jacob Weil and M. R. McCauley.


For descriptions of the hunts of December, 1893, and January, 1894, see Shooting and Fishing, Vol.
XV. January 4. 1894, p. 221, February 1. 1894, p. 303, and American Field, Vol. XLI, March 10, 1894,
p. 222. For annual hunt of Dec. 19-20,1895, see Shooting and Fishing, VoL XIX, Jan. 2.1896, p. 225.

SUMMARY.

A comparison of the foregoing tables will show that California has
accomplished much more in the way of rabbit destruction than Colo-
rado, Idaho, Oregon, or Utah, notwithstanding the fact that hunts have
been held in Utah for nearly half a century. Rabbit driving is now on
the decline in California, but the number of hunts is rapidly increas-
ing in the other States. The results may be tabulated as follows:

General Sutmmary of 220 Jack Rabbit Drives and Hunts in the West.

California Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Total.
1875-1895. 1894-95. 1849-1895. 1894-96. 1893-95.

Number drives ................... *155 *12 :26 16 til 220
Total number rabbits killed...... 370,195 12,202 37, 215 21,829 28,666 470,107
Average number per drive........ 2,387 1,016 1,431 1,364 2,606 2,137
Largest drives ..................... 20,000 2,000 5,500 5,000 6,500 ...........


4 Both drives and hunts.


* Drives.


t Hunts.















CIIAPTEIL VI.


VALUE OF THE JACK RABBIT.

The question may well be asked wlhetlher the J;*ik ni'bbit ha.s a iy
value or can be utilized in mnay way. I1 19S!) the koyal (Co'IInissio o
New South Wales suggested that -' rabbits llay Ie used Foir flnl. citlher
fresh, frozen, canned, jerked, or as soup; for their skins ;ind fuir i tilhe
manufacture of gloves and felt; for extracting glue and oil; ;aind fior
reduction to manure."'' Nevertheless they discouraged the principle
of commercial utilization on the ground that it would le(d to the pres
ervation of the rabbits instead of their destruction. But after many
exp)erimnents with poisons, diseases, traps, and other methods of destriuc.-
tion, and an outlay of millions oft' dollars for fences, this very iletlho(i
has recently been advocated as the most promising, by the Hon. J. II.
Carruthers, Minister for Lan(ls in New South Wales. In his opening
address to the rabbit conference, lhiel(d at Sydney on April 2, 1895 lihe
said:
One feature of the rabbit question has not. it is thought, received siifficient atten-
tion at the hands of the sufferers in this colony, and that is the comninrcial utilizationl
of the animal. In the past suggestions tof this ri;ra.cter have mneti with ondeti-
nation on the ground that it would lead to tlhe conserv;ition of 1l' r:illbit, 1lut it
would appear that the time for such argument has disappeared. xperienae in thie
past leads to the belief that the rabbit is a fixture, andl there should be n' reason
why persons resident in localities suitable for the purpose slh,,ld net seriously con-
sider why the animal should not lie made to contribute to the cost of it, oEwn
destruction. It is, of course, apparent that operations of this hcl:iraicttr would only
be possible over a limited area of the infested country: but with the e;is.. ie:an- of
reaching foreign markets, it is worthy of consideraitlion whether the' cara:iss of lthe
rabbit may not 1)6 used as an article of food, either frozen or vanned, atind whether the
skins and fur may not be profitably applied in the innnif:aicttir of gloves ;and felt.'
In this country, however, the larger hares have beeii used iln onIly a
few of the ways suggested by tlhe Royal Cominiissiomi of New South
Wales, viz, (1) for sport, especially ini coursing. (2) for tt.ir skins, ;idtl
(3) for food.
The pursuit of the jack rabbit furnishes excellent sporl with the
shotgun or rifle as well as to tlhe mIounte(d rider eager fIr a tri:l of'
speed with houn(ls. It is often a difficult matter to get a shot if the
rabbit happens to be somewhat wary, 1)but onl tlhe other hand, if tihe
game is abundant and not too shy, large unrulers niay 1he readily killed.

Final Rept. Royal Corn. Inquiry Extern. Riallbits, Austrila-i:a, 1.M!H. p. 4.
2Rept. Proceedings Conference Rabbit Pest. New South Wa\Vles. Sydney,:, p. 7.
8615-No. 8-5 "5






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


In one of the large Colorado hunts, which are conducted mainly for
sport, two men shooting together at Lamar, in December 1894, secured
412 rabbits in two days. For the rifle, a jack rabbit on the run makes
a fine target, and one requiring skill and steadiness to hit. Hunting on
horseback with shotguns is considered much more exciting than on
foot and requires considerable skill in riding as well as in shooting.
Hunting the jack rabbit with hounds, however, is a form of sport which
seems to be increasing in popular favor, notwithstanding the fact that
it is considered cruel by some.

COURSING.

The adaptability of the large hares for coursing has long been recog-
nized. They are certainly superior in speed to any of the smaller
rabbits, but whether they are better than the Old World Hare is still
an open question. Thus far the evidence seems to be in favor of the
jack. Says Van Dyke' in speaking of coursing in California:
A dash after the hare on a good horse and behind good dogs is one of the most
charming of outings. The horse enjoys the sport as well as the dogs do, and tries
his best to outrun the procession. The ground flies beneath you, the surrounding
mountains swim in a haze, the whole amphitheater seems to turn around while
you are standing still. Vainly the hare twists and sends the dogs spinning ahead
in confusion, while he scuds away on his new tack without the loss of an instant,
so far as you can see. All ordinary dogs fall out of the race. Even the wiry and
swift coyote, though he loves hare more than anything else, rarely if ever feels
hungry enough for a stern chase. But if the greyhounds are good and the brush
not too near, the hare's doubling only postpones his end, however untiring his foot,
or frequent his twists. Vainly he lays his ears flatter upon his neck and lets out
another link of his reserved speed. Before he has made many turns he is caught-
perhaps in mid-air-and the dogs and hare go rolling over in a heap together.
Coursing began in California in the early sixties, and has since been
carried on with more or less spirit by various clubs. About twenty
years ago the old Los Angeles Coursing Club used to follow the jack
rabbits with greyhounds on the mesa near Pasadena, and women as
well as men took part in the sport.2 In 1872 the Pioneer Coursing
Club of San Francisco held the first of a series of meetings at Merced.
Since 1890 the meetings of the Interstate Coursing Club have been held
at this place, which has become one of the principal coursing centers
on the Pacific Coast. Other meetings have been held at Newark, San
Francisco, and near Los Angeles.
The American Coursing Club was the first club east of the Rocky
Mountains to use jack rabbits, and in October, 1886, inaugurated a
series of annual meetings which were continued up to 1892 on the
Cheyenne bottoms, near Great Bend, Kans. In 1894 and 1895 the club
met at Huron, S. Dak. The National Coursing Association, of Hutch-
inson, Kans., was organized in 1888, with a capital stock of $50,000, and

'The Land of Sunshine, Los Angeles, Cal., III, Aug. 1895, pp. 116-117.
2 Forest and Stream, XXVIII, Jan. 27, 1887, p. 3.


66






COURSING.


flourished for two or three years. Its ol)biject was ti) develop coursing
in the United States, by breeding rallbbits ol tleir owin soil aid
shipping them to various parts (t tihe country in order tha;it meetings
might be held in the large. cities anld a more gcileir.l interest arotlsetd.l
The association had 320 acres at I luthliinson ii'(.losed with at wire. iesll
fence, and imported jack rabbits fr' n Ca:lifiirniai, -New Me.lxico, ;ild
Wyoming and turned them loose in this park where in a few -ionliths
a large number were collected. icloscl coUirsig,' i. V. rIituilg the
rabbits in an inclosure instea(l of on thile .open plaii was intrto'Iced at
tlhe meeting, held on October 23, 1S88. A track half;( ililc 1ouig. and1 75
yards wide was arranged inside tlhe park. The rabbits were st;irt,-d ;it
one end of the track and at the other were allowed to vs'-.iIj from the
hounds, through small openings, into a pen, where they were Laught
for use in another race.'2 The National Coursing Association held
meetings in 1889 at St. Louis, Mo., and Louisvil!e, Ky., tand fifty .Jak
rabbits were shipped from time park at Ilutchinsoin to be used i tlhe
latter meeting. In 1890 it hlield at series of meetings at St. Louis,ea -
sas City, and St. Joseph, Mo.; Colorado Springs and Denver, Colo.;
Omahlia and Lincoln, Xebr., and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Coursing has received a wonderful impetus in the West during tiln
last ten years largely through tlie work of these two clubs, the Inter-
state Coursing Club of Merced, Cal., and the Occidental Club of
Newark, Cal. Since 1890 numerous local clubs have been organized in
Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, and
southern California, and no small number of rabbits are. required
annually for these meetings.
The demand for rabbits for this sport seems to have b)een largely
instrumental in bringing about the rabbit drives in California. and as
many as a thousand or more have been obtained iil one of the large
drives. Nearly all the rabbits for coursing in this State come fronl
the San Joaquin Valley. Some of them are caught near Goshen, where
they are shipped in coops, containing 24 single stalls arranged in two
rows. From 50 to 100 are sometimes required for a single meeting, and
the wholesale price varies from k5.50 to k9 per dozen.
At Wichita, Kans., and Merced, Cal., several per- ,is regularly trap
rabbits for coursing. At Wichita, Mr. Chlas. Payne captures jack rab-
bits by means of a net about a mile in lgt len t. i ade of comi mnionll cotton
seine twine, which is stretched straight acr'oss a field. On one side are
attached short nets at an angle with thle main net, fiorminig a number 4f
V-s. The rabbits are (driven toward tlie trap by 6 to 10 lit- on ,horse-
back, and 10 to 20 rabbits are considered a good catch for one day.
Shipping boxes are so arranged that each animal is in a Sepl)arate coIll-
partment, and the largest hold about a dozen rabbits. Some of these

'Am. Field, XXX, Nov. 24, 1888, p. 504.
2 See illustrated article on "Jack Rabbits and Inclosed Coursing," by M. E.
Allison, in Am. Field, XXXIII, Apr. 26, 1890, pp. 395-396.


67






68 JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

jack rabbits bring $2 apiece, and they have been shipped to varioua
points in the United States and Canada, and even to England. Last
winter (1894-95), between 200 and 300 were furnished to the St. Louis
Coursing Association alone.

SKINS.

Rabbit skins are used in greater quantities than those of any other
animals except the true fur-bearing mammals. At present skins of
jack rabbits have little commercial value, and no attempt appears to
be made to utilize them on a large scale. It seems strange that where
the animals are slaughtered in such numbers the skins are not made
to yield a fair profit, as is done with those of other species. Their use
for fur seems to be restricted mainly to the Indians.
The Piutes and other tribes of the Great Basin formerly relied to a
considerable extent on the rabbit for furnishing their scanty supply of
clothing, and in Idaho, Nevada, and Utah killed large numbers of
jack rabbits for this purpose.
Says Bancroft in speaking of the Indians of this region: "On the
barren plains of Nevada, where there is no large game, the rabbit fur-
nishes the only clothing. The skins are sewn together in the form of a
cloak, which is thrown over the shoulders, or tied about the body with
thongs of the same. In warm weather, or when they can not obtain
rabbit skins, men, women, and children are, for the most part, in a state
of nudity." (Native Races of the Pacific States, 1, 1874, pp. 423-424.)
Mr. Vernon Bailey, chief field naturalist of the division, who has
traveled extensively in this region and seen the robes in use among
the Indians, has kindly contributed the following notes:
A good robe serves an Indian both for clothing and for bedding. It is exceed-
ingly light, soft, and warm, and is easily carried in a small roll on the horse or in
the pack when not in use. A Piute with an old shirt, a pair of breeches, moccasins,
and one of these robes is well equipped for traveling, even in cold weather. In the
wickiup the robe is thrown down and serves as a seat during the day and for a bed
at night.
Robes of jack rabbit skins are common articles of clothing among the Piute and
Mohave Indians. I have seen them among the Pyramid Lake Indians, the Piutes in
Reese River Valley, Nevada, and the Mohaves at Fort Mohave, Ariz. They are usually
6 or 7 feet square, large enough to wrap around the body and entirely cover the
person. They are made of twisted strips of jack rabbit skins laid parallel close
together and fastened at short intervals with strings. The skins, apparently, are
not tanned, but the robes are as soft and pliable as a blanket, and by twisting the
strips the fur is thrown on both sides. These robes are generally valued at $6 to $8,
but the Indians seem reluctant to part with them. One old Mohave upon being
asked to sell his robe, refused, saying: "Me no make 'em. Hualapai make 'em, me
buy 'em."
Jack rabbits were doubtless used also by the Indians of California,
although to a less extent. The Miwok, a tribe whose territory
extended from the crest of the Sierra Nevada to the San Joaquin
River, and from the Cosumnes to the Fresno in a part of the San Joa-






USES OF RABBIT SKINS.


quin Valley where the jack rabbit is now extremely abundant, used
rabbit skins for making robes. They cut the skins into linalrrow strips,
and after drying them in the sun, laidl thenzii close togetlier ,an1d iiad. a
rude warp, by tying or sewing strings across. at intervals of at fi'w
inches.'
In order to show some of tlhe uses to which jack rald)it skills niighlt I1.
put, it will be necessary to refer briefly to the geiiral traide in rlabbit
skins and some of the ways in which the lower gr;ide. atre utilized.
The annual collection of English rabbit skins is abmit 3I1,)(0U00., and
50,000 to 80,000 dozen (600,000 to 9(0,000) arc i i)ported 'rom llFrance and(
Belgium. These skins are dyed and sold for fur to be used for ,laps,
boas, muffs, and trimmings of various kinds, and atre used for felting,
especially in the manufacture of hats. Skins for felting are cut open,
washed, and the long hairs 1)pulled out with wooden knives; the fitur is
then cut off by machinery, sorted, and( blown by air. Tlie fur from
different parts of the body is separated and sold at different prices.
The best Coney back wool used inll thie manufacture of felt hats brings
from 5s. to 7s. 6d. per pound.2
In the United States skins of native rabbits are used for fiur, if at
all, only for trimmings, as the hair is too brittle and they have very
little underfuir. Large numbers, however, are used for felt in tlie
manufacture of hats. It is estimated by one of the lea(ling furriers in
New York that 1,500,000 native skins are collected annually in this
country. In addition to these, rabbit skins are imported, not only
from Great Britain and the continent of Europe, but even from Aus-
tralia. Native skins are mainly those of thie cottontail (Lepus. y/lrat-
icns), and the supply is derived largely from Maryland, Virginia. and
North Carolina. They are assorted into three grades, princess,' 'sec-
onds,' and 'culls.' Prime skins are those of full-grownt ainials within
bright pelts; 'seconds,' of half grown aiiinals; while tlhe torn or inper-
feet pelts are classed as 'culls. The prices range from 1.1 upl) to 4
cents apiece, averaging during 1895 about 1Q to 2 or 2A cents fIr the
best skins. Imported skins are considered superior to those of "(cot-
tontails," averaging in value about 3A cents each, although tlhe best
French rabbit skins are worth 5 cents. One of the New York ulealers
reports that skins of tlhe native hare, probaldy tlhe Varying Hlare
(Lepus americanits), .re worth 6 cents each, but that very few are
received in a season. England. however, in 1891 received 36.281; skins
of the American Varying Hare fro n tlhe Hu(dson Bay (Company, and
50,000 from other traders. It may be stated here tliat tlhe HudII(lson
Bay Company has been shipping rabbit skins to Etglatd tor iore tian
one hundred years. Most of these are ski.s of LTpJ.J mnerifenIus, ilnd
accordingto Poland3 the total number exported between 1788 allnd IS!;
'Powers, Tribes of California. Cont. N. A i. EthI ology, V'i. Ill, 1877, p. 3.51.
'-Poland, Fur-bearing Animals, Lond(on, 1892, p. 2S1 et seqi.
3Loc. cit., pp. xxiii-xxvii, 276-277.


r39







70 JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

was 3,333,933, or an average of 39,750 for the eighty-four years for
which statistics are available.
Rabbit skins have formed a large item of export from Australasia,
chiefly from the colonies of New Zealand, Tasmania, and Victoria, for
nearly twenty years. In Victoria the number exported increased nearly
fifteenfold from 1876 to 1893, when it reached 10,374,154. Shipments
from New Zealand were trebled between 1879 and 1893, reaching in
the latter year over 17,000,000, valued at about 140,000 or nearly
$700,000. The following table shows the number of skins exported
from Australasia so far as figures are available:

Export of Rabbit Skins from Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania.'

New Zealand. Tasmania. Victoria. S. Australia.
Year. Number of Value. Number of f Value.Number of ae Value.k-
skins. skins, skins. skins.
II
1873............. f36,716 1,263 ............ .......... ............ ..........................
1874..--..--......... 56,504 1,878 ................................. .......... ...............
1875 ............. 111,142 3,913 ............ .......... .....................................
1876............. 311,632 4,418 ...................... 724,985 6,711 ..............
1877 ............. 918,236 8,630 ...................... 700,565 5,790 ................
1878 ............. 636,409 33,460 ...................... 711,844 6,206 ..............
1879............. 5,384,506 46,799 ...................... 1,036,372 7,322 ................
IPs80 ............. 7,505,616 66,976 ...................... 3,309,408 21,674 ................
1881............. 8,514,685 84,774 ...................... 4,473,108 32,217 ................
1882............. 9,198,837 88,725 1,881,040 15,699 4,929,432 37,538 _...............
1883............. 9,891,805 100,955 1,735,856 20,367 4,245,596 30,364 ................
1884............. 9,807,665 107,514 1,730,628 14,537 4,963,371 37,243 ................
1885............. 9,168,114 85,754 2,872,896 22,572 3,424,259 23,548 86 883
1886............. 8,546,254 65,694 1,184,862 7,400 910,609 6,800 35 602
1887 ............. 12,743,452 111,172 2,181,068 17,555 2,663,314 16,294 398 7,534
1888 ............. 11,809,407 91,908 1,961,576 12,661 3,967,533 20,759 725 9,578
1889 ............. 11,342,778 96,039 1,819,547 11,369 3,429,015 12,303 208 3,081
1890 ............. 12,543,293 111,880 2,991,316 24,362 4,913,351 25,667 594 11, 320
1891 ............ 14,302,233 126,251 3,241,351 19,571 6,359,210 31.367 613 9,239
1892 ............. 15,899,787 121,775 3,180,104 17,097 7,501,864 31,905 496 8,790
1893 ............. 17,041,106 138,952 3,590,474 23,278 10,374,154 55,039 419 6,958
1894............. 14,267,385 87,993 3,541,464 16,194 ...................... 980 10,973
Total".... 180,037,562 1,586,723 31,912,182 222,562 68,637,990 408,747 4,554 68,958


The importation of Australian rabbit skins in London, as shown by
reports of sales, aggregated 8,210 bales in 1890-91, and from July,
1894, to July, 1895, amounted to 13,140 bales, each averaging about
400 pounds and containing about 4,000 skins. The total number in
1894-95 was, therefore, about 52,500,000 skins, valued (at $70 per bale)
at nearly $1,000,000.
It should be noticed that no less than one-third of the Australian
skins sent to London are said to be exported to New York. There
are now 20 cutters of hatter's fur in America, employing about 160
machines. Each machine will cut on an average 1,200 skins a day,

Compiled from Statistics Colony New Zealand, 1881-1890; New Zealand Year Books, 1891-1895;
Statistics Colony Tasmania. 1882-1894; Victorian Year Book. 1893, II, p. 262,1894, 1, p.437; Statistical
Register South Australia, 1885-1894.
tThe returns from New Zealand for 1873-1880 are taken from U. S. Consular Repts.,VI, 1882, p. 122.
The values are only approximate, being reduced from dollars at ihe rate of 1=$5-the rate appar-
ently used in obtaining the value for 1881 in the Consular Report. Returns for 1891-1894 are taken
from the Year Books under reports of export of wool.
The total exports from Australasia can not be obtained from these figures as some of the skins
from New Zealand and Tasmania were shipped to other colonies, particularly Victoria, and such skins
may have been reexported; e. g., the direct exports from Tasmania to Europe from 1886 to 1892 formed
a very small percentage of the total exports, the bulk of the skins being shipped to Victoria.






JACK RABBITS AS GAME. 71

producing 75 pounds of cut fuir. Ift' all the machines were kept run-
ning for two hundred and fifty (days per animin, tihey would requllire
48,000,000 rabbit and hare skins. The output of lfuir woi ild be al olut
3,000,000 pounds, which, valued at 85 cents per po1ti.nd, wlmid ,i\ a
total of $2,550,000; deducting $60(,0to1 Ibr cost of vct ittilg, estiniated
at 20 cents per pound of fur, the value would be -,l.11J,004ui.'
Jack rabbit skins apparently have 1i1ot been itttiliz'ul to a;,Ny ..e4:at
extent, but if they can not complete within tlie be.st nattivie or ftreiign
skins in quality, they certainly caii be used for intan" piurplses ,for
which skins of inferior grades are employed. In a liilition to .beig"
utilized for fur and felt, rabbit skins are used Ior making g elati.,
jujube, sizing, and glue, and in Spain it is said thIat 1l.i hair is s i e-
times used in place of down. For these )rpi).ses skins of jck rnlbbits
ought to be as good as any. If skins cai be shil)pped frora Australia to
the United States by way of London and then sold at a profit for 3
cents apiece, there ought to be a large market for native skins. Jack
rabbit skins can be collected with such facility in the West that they
could probably be sold at a lower price than those of the cottontail or
auy imported skins of the same grade and still allow a margin of profit.

JACK RABBITS AS GAME.
Between the months of October and March, jack rabbits are sold il
considerable quantities in the larger cities of the United States [ron
San Francisco to Boston, and from St. Paul to New Orleans. lPoth the
Prairie Hare and the Blacktailed Jack Rabbit are shipped to Eastern
markets, but in Calibfornia the Texan Hare and the Calitfornia Jack
Rabbit are the only onesconimonly sold. The business of handling
this game is larger than is generally suppl)osed, and while by no means
equal to the trade in cottontails, is capable of being developed into
an important industry to the mutual i)enefit of tlhe consumer and of the
farmer who suffers from the depredations of the rabbits.

PA IASITES.
Many persons have a prejudice against eating Jack rabbits because
the animals are infested at certain seasons with parasites, or because
the flesh is sul)posed to be 'strong.' This prejudice, however, is
entirely unfounded. The parasites of the rabbit are not ijllrious to
man; furthermore, the ticks and warbles occur at a season when tlie
rabbits should not be killed for game, while tlhe tal)peworm cai only
develop in certain of the lower animals, e. g. in the dog or tihe
coyote. The most important parasites of the jack rabbit a;re ticks
(Ixodes) and larve of a fly (Cifterebra) andl of a tapleworm (Twni).
Ticks are especially troublesome during the sumniner and may sometimes
be found clustered about the ears in great numbers. A large tly of

'These figures have been kindly fiurnisheol by Messrs..J. 1'. MP'<-ioveru &A Bro.,
importers and fur brokers, of New York.






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


the genus Cuterebra attacks these hares as it does deer, squirrels, and
wood rats, and punctures the skin in order to find a suitable place to
lay its eggs. The egg hatches soon after being deposited, and the
parasitic larva, becoming incased in a capsule immediately beneath the
skin of its host, forms a lump sometimes an inch or more in length,
which is usually known as a I warble.' These warbles are most often
seen in July or August. The larva emerges from its case in due time
as a perfect insect, and the wound heals, leaving little or no scar. On
some of the rabbits brought to market large 'water blisters' or 'boils'
are occasionally found, which are the larvae of a tapeworm (Tcenia
serialis). This larva is called Ccenuruzts serialis,' and has been found
in the California Jack Rabbit (Lepus californicus), the Prairie Hare
(L. campestris), the Old World Hare (L. timidus) and rabbit (L. cu-
nicdulus), the coypu of South America (Myopotanzmus coypu), a species of
squirrel (Sciurus), and in the horse.2 Ccenurus does not develop into
the adult tapeworm in any of these animals; but in the dog, and in
the coyote, which eats many rabbits, it reaches the adult stage.
It is sometimes said that trichinosis may result from eating jack rab-
bits, and such reports are occasionally circulated by the press. The
State board of health of Iowa recently published a report on trichi-
nosis, in which it referred to the source of the disease in the following
terms, implying that there was danger of infection from rabbits: "In
all cases known the hog has been the source of the disease in human
beings, so it may be said of nearly, if not all cases, that they are caused
by eating trichinosed pork, although the rabbit and the hare are con-
sidered not behind the hog in susceptibility to trichinosis. Hogs
become infected mostly from rats, and rabbits and hares become mouse
hunters in winter." (Seventh Biennial Report, 1893, p. 80.)
Hares and rabbits rarely if ever eat mice or other small mammals,
and the danger of infection from this source is of no practical impor-
tance. It may be confidently stated that there is no authentic case of
trichinosis in rabbits on record, except in those which have been pur-
posely infected. Until it can be shown that trichinae are actually found
in our native species, no danger need be apprehended in using rabbits
as game.
HOW THE GAME IS KILLED AND SHIPPED.

It would be interesting to know the extent to which jack rabbits are
sold in the United States, but unfortunately it is practically impossi-
ble to obtain complete statistics. All that is possible is to cite a few
cases which will give some idea of the business. A correspondent in
Goshen, Cal., states that he sent at one time (February 16, 1889), after

For a popular account of these 'blisters' see an article entitled Cmnurus of
the Hare," by Katherine Brandegee, in Zoe, Vol. I, Nov., 1890, pp. 265-268.
2 This list of hosts of Twenia serialis has been kindly furnished by Dr. C. Wardell
Stiles, Zoologist of the Bureau of Animal Industry, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture.
4


72






WHERE RABBITS ARE KILLED FOR MARKET.


one of the large drives, as many as 400 jack rabbits to) the San Fran-
cisco market. In the fall of 1892 one of li.s neighbors made a blisinCess
of market hunting, sometimes killing six dozen jackl rallbbits per day,
and in one week he secured 26 dozen. This nman shot troii a o(ie liorse
buckboard, and nearly all the game was retrieved and brought to tile
wagon by his setter. During the autumn &f 1894 three men t1and a bo)y
killed about 200 rabbits per day and sent theiml to Saln Frallcisco. 'e'le
shipments from Goshen during the month of November 1894, anmoitited
to about 1,000 jack rabbits, weighing 3,860 i)(Juids.
Two hunters in Kern County, Cal., mitade a series of thirteen rabbit
drives last winter for the purpose of obtaining rabbits for market.
These drives were made in various localities near I)elano, beginning on
November 14, 1894. More than 25,000 jack rabbits were secured and
about two-thirds of them were shipped, bringing from 50 cents to .1.25
per dozen in Sain Francisco. The venture, however, proved unsuccess-
full, as the expenses for sacks, twine, commission, and transportation
amounted to 61 cents per dozen and many of the rabbits spoiled in
transit. It was claimed that if the bounty had not been removed there
would have been a profit instead of a loss.
Many jack rabbits are shipped to market from Kansas. Norton,
Winona, and other places in the western part of the State send the
game to Denver, while from points in central and southern Kansas a
good deal is shipped direct to New York and other Eastern cities.
A commission merchant in Great Bend, Kans., states that lie shipped
about 4,200 jack rabbits (350 dozen) during the winter of 1893-94 and
about 6,000 (500 dozen) during the winter of 1894-95. Most of this
game was sent to Kansas City, Chicago, New York, Baltimore, and
Boston. Considerable quantities are also shipped to the New York
market from Independence, Kans. A single invoice of several hundred
pair was received from that point in the winter of 1889-90, and a conm-
mission merchant writes that his shipments from Independence have
been increasing gradually during the last few years at the rate of 200
to 300 per year. In the winter of 1894-95 he slipped about 1,600 jack
rabbits direct to New York. McPherson County is one of the main
shipping centers in the State, and a dealer in Marquette writes that lihe
handled 2,646 jack rabbits last season. The freight traffic manager of
the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad reports that three car-
loads were forwarded from McPherson in the winter of 1893-94, two
consigned to Chicago and one to New York. Last season the MclPher-
son Produce Company handled 7,927 jack rabbits, and the total ship-
ments from that place average about five carloads, or 20,000 rabbits a
season, 75 per cent being sent to New York. The game is not often for-
warded in carload lots, but is usually shipped with dressed poultry in
ordinary refrigerator cars.
The Black-eared Jack Rabbit (Leputs melanotis) is tlie principal species
shipped from Kansas, but the whiite-tailed Prairie Hare (L. cnipestri.x)


73






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


is sold in even greater numbers in Eastern cities, and the bulk of the
supply probably comes from the Dakotas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and
Iowa. In Newcastle, Wyo., a single hunter killed over 100 Prairie
Hares for market during the season of 1893-94. One dealer in Pier-
point, Day County, S. Dak., reports that he has shipped from 1,200 to
1,500 per annum for the last three years, and a correspondent in Water-
town, S. Dak., writes that probably 50,000 rabbits were killed in Cod-
ington County, S. Dak., last season, although not all were used for
food. The severe winter following the drought of 1894 resulted in the
destruction of larger numbers than usual, and no doubt many persons
in Dakota and Nebraska gladly availed themselves of this source of
supply.
As already stated, part of the game in California is secured by
means of rabbit drives. In eastern Colorado large quantities are killed
during the annual hunts at Lamar and Las Animas, but as the rabbits
are killed for sport, and not especially for market, many of them are
donated to the poor of Denver and Pueblo. In Kansas large numbers
of jack rabbits are killed after heavy snowfalls, and in Chautauqua and
Montgomery counties it is said that the farmers sometimes bring them
in by the wagon load; the hunters usually receive about 10 cents apiece
for them. Near McPherson one method of hunting is to stretch a wire
between two wagons about 200 yards apart, and allow it to drag in the
grass or stubble as they proceed. As the rabbits are started they are
shot from the wagons or by two hunters who follow behind. In this
vicinity the prices vary from 15 cents apiece in October, down to 5
cents in January.
Jack rabbits are shipped to market either by express or freight. At
Goshen, Cal., they are cleaned and hung up over night to cool off, and
are then simply placed in barley sacks (each holding from 25 to 30),
and sent by express. Kansas shippers usually forward the game by
ordinary freight during cold weather, but at other times in refrigerator
cars. Some pack the rabbits without ice in boxes holding from 24
to 3 dozen each; others wrap the game in paper or excelsior and pack
it in barrels containing 4 or 5 dozen rabbits. Another method is
simply to cord them up in refrigerator cars, thus saving the cost of
packages and packing.

THE MARKET.

Jack rabbits usually bring from 75 cents to $3 per dozen, depending
on the demand and the expense of shipping. In some cases they are
sold at a much higher figure. During the winter of 1890 some black-
tailed jack rabbits were sold at retail in the New York market at $1.50
per pair,' and in December 1895, a few Prairie Hares were retailed in
the Washington market at $1 apiece.

SMearns, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., II, Feb., 1890, p. 298, footnote.


74







MARKETS AND PRICES.


75


The following table shows thle ordinary market prices in some of the
larger cities for the season of 1894-95:

Market Prices of. Jack Rabbints, ls:) -9.-


City. vl)t..


i Oct. 20, 1894 .................
San Franciso, Cal .......... Oct. 27-Nov. 24, 1894 ........
........... ,ian. 12. 1 95.................
I"l. 9, \K95 ..................
Denver, Cooin .................... ...... ............ ......
C ica o .................. D c. 1 1894 ................
De.1.', 1X94 ...............
Chicago,..................( Feb. 2:-Mar. 2, 1895.........
New Orleans, La ...................... ........................
St. Paul, M inn ............... ................................
St. Louis, M o........................ ........................
Boston, Mass .................... Tan. 26-Fel,. 2, 1895 ..........
New York, N. ...........( lec.22.194 ..................
New York, Y............. D,. 29.1894 ................
Washington, D. C .............. Jan. 26-Feb. 2, 1895.........


A v\-ra:,di
I'rl ,, I" | r ii g ,,n'r
Il')/.i'll. lln/r'll alllr-


Pri, v 1n'i pa:ir


..o............

..... .o .. .... ..
.. ..... .o ... .




$0. .25-$0. .I
.40- .60
4"- .55


jU. 5''-jl. ul'
. 7J1- l. UO
S75- I. 1.11
1 .ii
l 4)11

O. Oil- .: .5i
I. 714 l2 ili
I. 75- 2. ,',i


i. ;7-$1.00


*Returns for Boston, New York. anil Cliia ro are taken from I in market review in th. Ai.rivan
Agriculturist. Vols. LIV and LV : fur Sian Francisuo. from the il'a.iti Ifi r:il I're.,. Vois. X LV III andl
XLIX; figures for St. Louis ha c.i luieu kimnll\ fuirnisli-l liv t li.St. l.ilis 'Poultry aul (;:,iiu (Cuijilanv;
for St. Paul, by H. E. Cobb; for lNew Orl.ans, by Messrs. II. & i. lum, and lur DL.UVr, by II. 0.
Munger & Co.

As might naturally be supposedly, some of the largest markets for
jack rabbits are in the cities of California where thie game is sold at a
lower price than elsewhere. Sanl Francisco probably uses more tall
any other single city in the United States, and it is said that this game
is received during tlhe winter months at tlhe rate of 100 to 154) dozen
per day. An estimate obtained by the board of trade froni the com-
mission merchants places the total nunlber consumlned per annum at
about 96,000. The ganie is supplied principally by the counties of
Fresno, Merced, and Tulare, in the San Joaluin Valley. Los Angeles
is supplied by the southern counties of Los Azigeles, Orange, River-
side, San Bernardino, and San Diego. The nuImiib)er sold as estimated
by the Chamber of Commerce, averages from 12 to) 15 dbz/enl per week
thd year round, or approximately 7,500 to 9,200 ler annum, iimost of
which is received during tlhe winter months.
An estimate furnished by thie Chamber of Conimnerce p)la('ces tlhe num-
ber of jack rabbits sold in Salt Lake City, I tal, duringg the winter of
1894-95 at 10,000 to 15,000. Many more were given away, and the sec-
retary, Mr. E. F. Colburn, explains that l)erhaps njiore were co.Isu med
than usual, owing to tlhe fact that the rabbits were slaughteredd in large
numbers in regular hunts and were Idonated to tlhe poor. In i)Denver,
Colo., large numbers of jack rabbits ire (lonlated to tlhe poor, 1ut 1inly
are also sold as game. One commission house reports that for tile last
ten years they have handled from 13,000 to 15.,0400 eali seasomi, although
large quantities are rarely found in market at any one time. Tlie gale
comes from the eastern part of the State and from western Nebraska
and Kansas. Omaha, Nebr., is supplied by tlhe western part of the


1.25
1.75
1. 5,-
2. 1NJ-
1.75-
4. 50-
2. 40-


2'. ;0
2. 66
2.50
2.75
:3. 00
2.25
*;. 00)
3.45
3.00






JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


State and by Wyoming, largely from the region between the Fremont,
Elkhoru and Missouri Valley and the Burlington and Missouri River
railroads. No reliable statistics of the number consumed in Kansas
City, Mo., are at hand, the estimates ranging from a few hundred dozen
up to about 75,000.
Texas probably furnishes most of the rabbits sold in the markets of
its principal towns as well as some of those in New Orleans. Only a
limited number of 'jacks' are used in New Orleans-probably not more
than 25 per cent of the total number of rabbits sold-and these are
shipped mainly from points along the Kansas City, Fort Scott and
Memphis Railroad.
Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., receive their main shipments from
North and South Dakota and Minnesota. It is reported that 12,000 jack"
rabbits (1,000 dozen) were handled by a single commission house in St.
Paul during last winter, probably nine-tenths of which were obtained
from the Dakotas, the remainder being received from Minnesota and
Iowa.
Estimates of the number of jack rabbits sold in the markets of some
of the cities west of the Mississippi River have been obtained from
boards of trade, chambers of commerce, or reliable commission mer-
chants, and are shown in the following table. Such figures are only
approximate, but in most cases are based on the sales of the season of
1894-95:
Estimates of Jack Rabbits sold in Western Cities.

City. Number of Authority.
rabbits. Authority.

Los Angeles, Cal.............................. 7,503-9,200 Chamber of Commerce.
San Francisco, Cal ............................ 96,000 Board of Trade.
Denver, Colo .................................. 30,000 H.O 0. Munger & Co.
Pueblo, Colo .................................. 1,000 Jno. M. Killin & Co.
New Orleans, La.............................. 2,500 Bennett & Co.
Minneapolis, Minn............................ 25,000 Produce Exchange.
St. Paul, Minn ................. .............. 12, 000 R. E. Cobb.
Kansas City, Mo............................. t 25,000
St. Louis, Mo .................................. 35,000 St. Louis Poultry and Game Co.
Omaha, Nebr.................................. 60,000 Peycke Bros.
Salt Lake City, Utah.......................... 10,000-15, 000 J. P. White.

H' handled by a single commission house, t Approximate.

Most of the jack rabbits sold in Chicago, St. Louis, N ew York,
Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington seem to come from
the Great Plains-from Kansas to North Dakota-but the attempt to
secure accurate statistics from Eastern cities is almost hopeless, as
quantities of the large Varying Hares (Lepus amerieant) are also
received and sold indiscriminately with jack rabbits under the aame of
hares.
These data will give some idea of the extent to which jack rabbits
are shipped to market. The total number sold in the cities men-
tioned above is about 300,000. Allowing an equal number for local
consumption in small towns and for those sold in other cities would


76






CONSUMPTION OF RABBITS IN AUSTRALIA. 77

give 600,000 as a very rough appi oxiniation of the total number con-
sumed in the United States per annum. l'stimiated at the ratefof 1.50
to $2 per dozen the total value would lbe about ;75,001) or w 1001')0()00).
This, however, is only a small proportion of the total iii inber of rabbits
used as game, since cottontails are sold everywhere in miu.ch larger
quantities.
In connection with these figures it will be interesting to coi lpare tihe
number of rabbits sold in one of the large cities of Australia. Mel-
bourne, the capital of Victoria, according to the censu..s of ISM!, 1h;il a
population of 490, 89(--soiewliat more than that of Sain Fraciiso, Cal.
The following table from the Victorian Yearm Book fobr 1893 (Vol. I1. p. ,262)
shows the iminumber of rabbits sold in Mlelbouriie during the s.vew years
from 1886 to 1893:

Number of labbilts .,ihippcd to inmar'kets of M.elbourne. .AiiOlriliai.

1Number of ,,id,.lr, ,t" rabbits--
Year. Co_
Sold. dnCod. Total.
denied.

1886-87 ............................................................ 346. ,856 4,460 51.:1
1887-88 ............................................................. 418,.i,8 I -7 42i). X i)1
1888-89 ........................................ ................. 474, :84 1:1. 45.-. 4, 7, 42
1889-90 ............................................................ 606,568 11,567 C;ls, 1:65
1890-91 .............................. ......................... ..... 676, 796 5,9-,5 ,-', 751
1891-92 ......................................... .................. 572, 4-26 17, 977 5'.iii. 4u:
1892-93 ............................................................ 617,773 19.275 f;:'7, A8
Total couples..............................................' 3,713.421 74, 9'64 3, 78S. 385
Total rabbits ...................................................... 7.426, g42 149, 9"!A 7. :.7;, 77d)
Average per an uim .............................................. 1, l 6u,977 21,418 1, u2.:J93


Evidently rabbits are more extensively used for food in Australia
than in this country, but in comparing the figmues it should be remem-
bered that the statistics for Melbourne include the total number of
rabbits sold, whereas those given for jack rabbits consuinned in the
cities of the United States represent only a part of the rabbits sold.
England imports, it is said, about 124,000 hundredweight of rabbits
yearly for food, which are valued at X42,000.1
So far as known, little or nothing has been done in the United States
in the way of canning jack rabbits, although the subject lias been
discussed occasionally. When rabbit driving was being agitated in
Tulare County, Cal.. the Visalia Delta of Janiuary 26, 1888. pllblished all
article on "'Money in Rabbits," which advocated cantinhg some of tihe
jack rabbits which were being killed in large iinumbers at that time. Tlhe
article was based mainly on statistics of the industry iin New Zealand,
and apparently the suggestion has never beeii adopted, at least not on a
commercial scale. After making special inquiries co iceirnhig the ulili-
zation of rabbits, Mr. C. 1). Willard, secretary of tlhe Los lAngeles
Chamber of Commerce, reports: -No use whatever is made opf the

'Simmnionds, Commercial Dictionary of Trade Products, Londuon, l2.r_' p. 186.






78


JACK RABBITS OF THE UNITED STATES.


skins here, and as far as I can learn no one has ever heard of canning
the meat." Mr. D. R. Payne, of Independence, Cal., writes under date
of September 18,1895: 'Many years ago there was a cannery engaged
in putting up all kinds of wild game, and probably they used some
jack rabbits, but during my long residence in California I never saw
them in the market put up in cans."
There seems no good reason why rabbits can not be profitably
canned, and some commission merchants claim that this would relieve
the glut in the market at certain times in winter and bring about
better prices. Several preserving companies are in operation in Vic-
toria and in New Zealand. In October, 1886, Hon. James M. Morgan,
then United States consul-genenal at Melbourne, Australia, reported
that "in the Colac and Camperdown district [Victoria] a preserving
factory was started some few years back and operations carried on with
vigor, the factory working each year for about six months, from March
to October, and during that period purchasing from 750,000 to 1,000,000
rabbits, the price paid being about 2s. 6d. per dozen. These rabbits
are nearly all obtained from the stony rises and surrounding districts,
as they can not be sent to the factory in proper condition from any
great distance." (UT. S. Consular Repts. for Dec., 1886, XX, pp. 482-484.)

GENERAL SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.

(1) The various species of jack rabbits are all more or less alike in
habits, and all feed largely on bark and herbage.
(2) When food is easily obtained, and particularly on newly culti-
vated land, the rabbits increase rapidly and do great damage to crops.
The black-tailed species are more gregarious than the Prairie Hare,
and as a rule are more destructive.
(3) The best means of protecting crops from the attacks of rabbits,
and in fact the only method which can be relied on, is the use of
rabbit-proof fences.
(4) Under favorable circumstances great numbers of jack rabbits
may be killed by drives or large hunts, but this means will only serve
to reduce their numbers, and can not be used to exterminate the pests.
(5) Bounties or other direct expenditures of public money for the
destruction of rabbits have failed to accomplish the desired object.
Bounty laws afford unusual opportunities for fraud, and the amounts
expended are often so large as to be a serious burden on the county or
State.
(6) The extermination of rabbits can only be accomplished by coop-
eration on the part of individual farmers or landowners. The work of
destruction can be most effectually and economically done when the
animals have suffered an unusual decrease in numbers, either from a
severe winter, lack of food, or an epidemic.
(7) Commercial utilization is the most promising and least expensive
method of keeping these pests in check in localities where they are






79


CONCLUSIONS.


unusually abundant; but returns from this source will only partially
offset the losses sustained on account of injuries to crops.
(8) Jack rabbits may be used for coursing, for their skins, or for food.
The United States imports annually millions of rabbit skinis for felt
and other purposes. The skins of jack rabbits could probably be
used for many purposes for which the cheaper grades oft iliported
skins are now utilized, and could be collected so ( cheaply as to leave a
margin of profit.
(9) The consumption of jack rabbits for food aioiiints to about
600,000 per annum, and is gradually increa.siig. This ru.e can be
obtained in considerable quantities on the plains. and on the deserts of
the Great Basin, and may be profitably shipped to Eastern i arkets to
the mutual benefit of the farmer and the consumer.
(10) In America the rabbit question never has, and probably never
will, assume the proportions it has assumed in Australia. Tl,-jack
rabbits of the United States are all indigenous species and ordinarily
are held in check by natural enemies and by disease. Although local
conditions may sometimes favor their temporary increase, yet natinral
agencies, aided by the persistent and constantly increasing war of
extermination, are gradually, but none the less surely, diminishing their
numbers.













ARTICLES ON RABBITS.

The following list contains references to only a feBw of the more
important articles on jack rabbits and the rabbit pest in Australia. Some
of these papers have been referred to in scattered footnotes, but are here
grouped under several headings for convenience of reference. Very
little has been published on rabbit driving, and this mainly in the form
of brief notes and descriptions of single drives which are mentioned
below.
COMMERCIAL UTILIZATION.
Griffin, G. W., The Rabbit Skin Trade of New Zealand, U. S. Consular Repts., XIX,
May, 1882, pp. 118-122.
Poland, Henry, Fur-Bearing Animals, 1892.

COURSING.
American Field, XXX, 1888, p. 504; XXXIII, 1890, pp. 395-396, and subsequent
volumes.
H[older], C. F., Mounted Sport in California, Forest and Stream, XXVIII, 1887,
pp. 2-3.
DESCRIPTIONS OF SPECIES AND GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION.
Allen, J. A., Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., 1875, pp. 430-436. Monographs N. Am.
Rodentia, 1877.
Audubon and Bachman, Quadrupeds of N. Am., Vols. I-III, 1851.
Bachman, John, Jour. Acad. Nat. Sci., Phila., VII. pt. II, 1837, p. 282 et seq; VIII,
1839, p. 75 et seq.
Baird, S. F., Mammals N. Am., 1857.
Gray, J. E., Charlesw. Mag. Nat. Hist., I, 1837, 586-587 (Lepus californicus).
Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist., 3d ser., XX, 1867, pp. 221-225.
Lewis and Clark ExpecL, Coues' edition, Vol. III, 1893, pp. 865-866 (Prairie Hare'.
Mearns, E. A., Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., New York, II, Feb., 1890, pp. 294-304
(Lepus alleni and L. melanolis).
Waterhouse, G. R., Nat. Hist. Mamm., II, Rodentia, 1848.

DISEASES, INOCULATION, AND PARASITES.

Brandegee, Katherine, Cenurus of the Hare, Zoe, I, Nov., 1890, p. 265-268.
Progress Rept. Roy. Comm. Inquiry Esterm. Rabbits in Australasia, 1890, pp. 138-
215.
Rept. to the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales on the Rabbit Pest, 1888,
pp. 1-17.
Thomas, A. P. W., Report on Rabbit Nuisance in Wairarapa District, New Zea-
land, 1888, pp. 1-7; 1889, pp. 1-14.

DRIVES AND) HUNTS.
[Editorial] Driving the Jack Rabbits, San Francisco Mining and Scientific Press,
Jan. 28, 1888, p. 51 (Bakersfield, Cal.).
Fremont, J. C., Expl. Exped. to Oregon and California, 1845, p. 227.
Greene, C. S., Rabbit Driving in the San Joaquin Valley, Overland Monthly, XX,
July, 1892, pp. 49-58 (Traver, Cal.).
80







ARTICLES ON RABBITS.


Manly, W. L., De:ith Valley in '49, p. 110 (ii,:r Little Salt La'ke.. 1 tali).
8ayer.s, R. H., A Jack Rabbit 1limtt, Amii. Field, XLI, No. 10, MAir. 10, IS91, p. 222
tLamair, Colo.).
Scientific A.nrican'i, LXI, Nov. 19. 1, s!9, p. 21i, (W\ildliloc,1r, Cl.).
Shooting and Fislhing, XV, S1.. pp. 221, :,03; XIX, .Jmii. 2, ls!i;, p. 22'-5, (LI.;iiii.i.
Colo.).
Townsclil, C. H., A Jac, 1 l:>ili1it l)rive. Fr .et and St..irii. XXXVII 1. lhr. :;. I-''2,
p. 197 (ti:nir Frce-4o. Cail.).
Townseind, J. K., Narrative of a Jouirnrny Across the loky Mo1iit;iixs, l; 1'. :2T7.
White, N. E., A Californii;t, albbit Roid-iiid-, Ami. Field, XXX, Nov. 3, 1,- p.
.110 (.B:ilkerslield, Cal.)

HABITS.

Cones, E., Ain.irican R;i)blits or lfaire', Ani. Sportsm.n:ii, Aug. 29 1871.
Cones, E., Habiits of the Prairie Hare, Bull. E.sse TInstitute, VII (.P 7s:), 1P7';. {il.
73-85.
Coues, E., Ani. Naturalist, I, Dec., 1,i7, pp. 531-5:;-1 (Lcpus texianus).
Vin Dyke, T. S., Solt.ilirn (':; iifrni;i. 1D_04. p*. 1313-132.
I;AllITS IN Al'-TriALI.I.\,

lFili:il lRcpt. Roy. Coimmli. Inquiry Ex itciiii. Rabbits .A Istral;isi;, ,]Sl(i pp). 1-20).
Morg:n. J. M., "Th'e ;1'abl)it Pest in Vi'tori;i, U. S. -Cos)illial Rcts., Vol. XX, No. 72.
Dec.. I$.,S,. pp1. 4,-4SX4.
Progress Rept. ,'Roy. Coln\ii. Inquiry Exterm. R:i:1,its Aritr;il:i,;i:i, 1,9'Il, 1pp. 1-291.
Rept. Coinit. Legislative Council New Soith \Wales on Pa-11bit Nuissin.- ..ct of Ac '.
1887, pp. 1-46.
Rept. Proc. Con ference IRabubit Pest in New South Wales. is,',, pi.l 1-33.
Wealth andi Progress, New South Wales (Annual Volumes).
Yearboloks of Australia and of the separate Colonies.
861.5-0. S---6





















I




















I ND EX.


&Paga.
Abundance ................................ 24-2
Ada County, Idaho. bounty ................ 41-42
Allen's .Jack Rabbit ........................ '22-2
Arizona Indian drives ..................... 49
Australia, commercial utilization in ..--. 6- 70,77
expenditures ........................... 43-44
export oi skins ........................ 70
introildntioii of rabbits ................ 43
legislation in........................... 43-44,
methods ot' destruction................ 37. 39
rabbit fences.. ........................ 43-44
Bi bliograpliv ............................... 80-81
Black-tailed Jack Rabbit ................. 19-21
Bladder worni ............................. 3f;
Bounties ................................... 40-43
California .............................. w-41
Idaho ................................. 41-12
Oregon................................ 42
Toxas .................................. 42
U tah11 ................................... 4:
Breeding ihabits........................... 25-29
Butte County, Cal., bounty................ 40,41
Cenurus .................................. 36,72
California. abundance in.................. 24-25
bounties .............................. 40-41
coursing in ............................ 66-68
deprudations.......................... 13,32
drives, list of.......... ............... 55-57
epidemics ............................ 45-46
hunts by Indians ..................... 48
Jack alibbit .......................... 17-19
markets for rabbits ................... 74-77
summary of drives .................... 58
Canning rabbits........................... 77-78
Capture of rabbits for .-oursing ........... 53,67
Change of pelage........................... 14, 15'
Chicken cholera........................... :!6
Coccidinm ovifornme ........................ 37
Colorado hunts............................ 63-64
markets ................................ 64,74
U
Colusa County. Cal., bounty................ 40
Connuerilal utilization of rabbits.... 37,65,7t. 77
Corrals for rabbit drives.................. 4'1. 50
County ordinances ........................ 41
Coursing.................................. 60-68
capture of rabbits for................. 5.3, 67
Coyote bounty law ........................ 45
Cuterebra ................................. 46 72
eyvticercu.s pisifurnis '....................... :17
Depredations........................... 13.3ii-'12
Desert hare ............................... 19


I ;i I-..
D)i.sia's.a. (See Flpidi-iics.)
Destruction of rabbits by cold ............. 42
by e.pidi1irs ......................... .i ;4
Distribution ..................... 11, 15, 17,-" "2
Drives. best time fior ....................... .' 59
S'alif'rnia ............................. 17-59
early. N .................. .............. .
history ofl ....................... i., .:2- 54
Idaho ................................. V;, 1;:i
Indiani ............................... 47-49
1;i rgt-st .............................. 54. 64
list of.................................. -7
method of condi I i ng............... .... -. -52
oli'je tii ins to ......................... 5'1.
Ore-on................................. 59
ii iin -I' ........................... 47, "-55
results iif ........................... 57-','., -
Enemies 4,f rabbits........................ i I)"
Epidirmics .................................. 45-46
lxlnriditmres in Australia fr destruction
of rabbits ................................ 41-44
Felt, made from rabbit skins .............. 69
Fen es, rabbit proof ...................... ::3 '1
for drives ..... ......................... 49 -.9 .
in Australia ......................... 4. 4:3-44
substitute for ......................... :!4
I-'onol of rabbits ........................... 12-13
Fresno County, Cal., abundance in.........
bounty................................ 40
drives................................ 54, 55
Furi, rabbit skins for ....................... 69
Game ..................................... 71-77
how killed and shiplued................ 72-74
market for ............................ 74-7,-
;euv.ral habits............................ 11-13
Goshen rabbit drive club ................... 49
Grease. for -ine:iring trees................. :.
Hare, Desert .............................. 19
Prairie................................ 14-17
Ilunts, Colorado............................ 11l; ;
Idaho................................. 62-63
Indian ................................ 47-19
Utah .................... .............. 60-62
summary of........................... 64
Idaho. bounties........................... 41-42
depredations ........................... 31
drives................................. 62 1.;
Indian ,iu lmhls of liuintin, ............... 47-4.1
methodm8s ol' ir pairinu skins ............ ,-
In. jury to crops.......................... I, '. -:'
in A us al ..ia........................... 2
S3










Page.
Inoculation ................................ 36-37
Ixodes ...................................... 71
Kansas, coursing in ......---....--......-- 66-68
shipments from .--...---............... 73
Lake County, Oreg., bounty- .....----.......... 42
dI rives---------..............-------..------------... 59
Lascelles' process of preparing phosphorus.- 39
Lepus alleui ...... ......................... 22-23
american s ............................ 69
eralifornicus ......................... 17-19,72
cam npestris .......................-------------------- 14-17,72-74
cuniculus ........................... 25,43,72
minelanotis............................ -----------------------21-22,74
texianus................................ ---------------------------19-21
texianus eremicus ....................... 19
timidus ................................ 25,72
Market for jack rabbits .................... 74-76
in Australia ........................... 77
prices ..................--..--..-..--........---.. 75
shipment to.--........----................... 73
Methods of destruction:
Australian ............................. 37-38
bounties .... .......................... 40-43
drives ...........................-....... 47-52
hunts ......................--...... 47,48, 60-64
inoculation ............................ 36-37
poison.................................-------------------------- 38-39
Modoc County, Cal., abundance in .....------. 24
bounty ..........................- ....... 40
drives-------.....----..------......-...--------. 54,56
New South Wales, expenditures in ........ 43-44
reward offered by Governmentt ......... 36
New Zealand, expenditures in ------.....--------.. 44
export of skins ........................ 70
Oregon, bounties ........................... 42
drive ---------..............------...-----------....... 48,59
Parasites- ...---...--............... -- ............----. 71-72
Phosphorus .......----......... ............... 39
Summary and conclusions.................. --------------78-79
Poison, danger of using .................... 38
phosphorus ............................ 39
strychnine..------------............-----..---.- 38-39
Potash. for smearing trees ---............---..... 35
Prairie Hare ............................... 14-17
Protection of orchards ....... ............ 32-35
by fences ..----.-------..-......------------..... 32-34
by smears.............................. -----------------------34-35
Quassia for smearing trees................. 35
Queensland, expenditures in ............... 43,44
Rabbit day in Colorado .................... 63
Rabbit measles ............................. 37
scab .................................... 36,37


Reward offered by New South WalIt:
destruction of rabbits ...........-. ...
San Bernardino County, Cal., bounty- j..:..:;
San Joaquin Valley, Cal, abundaueD O M
rabbits in ... ................... 20-2- .4, 7.
drives................................ i 0
shipments from------.......-...--.--..-------.. 7,7 '
Skins, exported from Australia-- .......-..... 70
consumption of, in United States- f-l---- 6 ', 71.
imported by England-- -............ ..- 70- |
uses of ....................................- .
Smears ......................................4.-.
South Australia, expenditures in ........... 4" ,
export of skins. --------------------- 70
Species found in United States --............. -14
Allen's Hare ........................ 14,22-23 2i
Black-eared Jack-...............- -- 14,21-22
Black-tailed Jack Rabbit..--..-------.. 14,19-21
California Jack Rabbit- ---. 17-149
Eastern Jackass Hare- ....--........... 14,21-22
Prairie Hare ......................- 14-17
Texan Jack Rabbit .................. 1419-21 "
White-tailed Jack Rabbit-...--..-----.'14-17
Strychnine-------------------------................................. 28-39 '
Ten ia seriahs .....-- .........,--...-....72. :
Tapeworms in rabbits .---'..--.-....." 72
Tasmania; expenditures in...------.....- 43,44
export otf skins ................ -- 70
Texas, bounties .-....--------..--...-. ....,. 42
depredationsin ------------------.. 30-31
Ticks ..-..-----..---...-----------...----------- 71
Tintinallogy disease -................-:. .-
Tree protectors .-...-................ 34
Trichinosis ...----------.. -..-----.........--..---------. 2 .
STulare County, Cal., bounties .*,..' 41-. ,:'
drives.----..----..-----------.... .... 49- ,"56-57 ."
injury to crops .................-....-.. ,
Utah, bounties .........................- 43
hunts ...........................-..-.-- ::::60-2
depredations in ...............- -i-, "3 -.
31
Value of jack rabbits................--- .. -.. ....
Varying Hare, export of skins from AIJIOK 69 :.;
Victoria, canning rabbits in---......- ...-- . 7
depredations .----.....-..................
expenditures in --- ---------- .43,44 3
export of skins.-------...........'---- -.::" -Q :
introduction of rabbits........:..,.* ii
Warbles in rabbits ..------------.-------........,. -1 .
Washington, depredations in-......-. i
Young, number of ..................-........... 26- "
time of birth---......-..- ........ i.. "-


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