A Scourge of Rabbits

Posted by on May 21, 2019 in Minnesota Northwoods Life | No Comments
Gnawed by a fiend

By Joel Schnell for Ruffed Grouse Minnesota.

Conservation Hurts.

I mean, being a land steward involves getting a bit sweaty, dirty, buggy, wood-ticky and all. The first few trees you plant, you say “Boy this is gonna be great! I wish I would’a planted 50 trees every year!” But after digging through the clay, rocks and roots, three trees later you say “This sucks. Conservation hurts.”

But rabbits- they are my nemisis today.

Planting time

Spring is the time for putting trees and bushes in the ground. Improving habitat variety for my ruffed grouse and woodcock woods is done with a few orders from our county tree sale. This year it’s paper birch and white spruce, with a few local transplants of white pine, fir and tamarack.

Come and get it!

Trying to keep the critters away from the banquet of young trees is a challenge. My forester suggested paper cones on the terminal buds of pine, and balloons on the tips of oak.

I don’t speak rabbit, but if I did I’d hear them say “Try the ones with the balloon on top, they are delicious!”

Paper cone

But I will not give up. Chicken wire is my next defense against the gnawing hoard.

Get through this you buggers

If it every stops raining I’ll get my little apple trees in the ground and a few more of the rest. The birchs are already budding out.

birch and apple
Have cart, will plant

Well, it’s a labor of love. I’ve got more trees, and more chicken wire. Find your own food, rabbits.

by Joel Schnell

Posted May 17, 2018.

Donate to this website

Joel Schnell is publisher of www.ruffedgrouseminnesota.com
He can be reached at info[at]ruffedgrouseminnesota.com

© 2018 Joel Schnell, All Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply