Don’t overlook rabbits

Of all the hunting seasons on the horizon, the one I’m most looking forward to this year is the rabbit season. That might seem weird to you, but I’ll try to explain my reasoning.

There are a lot of hunting seasons just around the corner. The archery antelope and black bear seasons are already under way, and the rifle seasons open for antelope and deer in about a week. Waterfowl season’s quickly approaching, too, and upland birds will be fair game before we know it.

But this year, the season opener I’m looking forward to the most is rabbit season. They’re thick as fleas around my house. And fleas are one of the reasons I’m ready for the season to open. Rabbits are like little mobile incubators for fleas, and those fleas can carry tularemia. If they do, they tend to put a pretty massive dent in rabbit populations pretty quickly, but it doesn’t appear tularemia has had much of an effect on the rabbits around my house yet. There are far too many rabbits out there for tularemia to have gotten a toe-hold.

But that doesn’t mean there are no fleas. Since the hunting season’s closed for the moment, the rabbits have gotten pretty bold. They sit on my back porch, hang out by the dog kennel, and just munch on the grass in what passes for my lawn. I’m sure they’re depositing fleas everywhere they stop, in addition to the little brown pellets they leave behind. And those fleas jump on my dogs at the first opportunity, then hitch a ride on the dogs long enough to get inside where it’s cozy and dry, then they jump off on me. And I’m tired of it.

So I’m ready for the rabbit season. I may not make a noticeable dent in the rabbit population at my house, but at least I’ll put some fear in those long-eared varmints. And maybe they’ll stop lounging next to the dog kennel, which might put an end to the dogs going berserk about the fact that there’s a tasty morsel just outside their reach.

Only a week to go. I just hope I don’t go insane from the fleas and the barking before then.