There is a variety of game in Missouri to suit hunters of every preference. Rabbits are part of the small game family of animals that also includes squirrels and bullfrogs. Referred to as the cottontail rabbit by the Missouri Department of Conservation, this small hardy animal makes its home anywhere in the state of Missouri that has the proper habitat.
Rabbits in Missouri, like all other rabbits, reproduce quickly when their basic needs for food and shelter are met. The most important of these is a reliable food supply and distributable ground cover, but other factors include ideal nesting areas and a small water supply. Rabbits usually forage what moisture they need from the plants that they eat, so an area with ample, edible ground cover that includes low lying trees and shrubs.
Rabbits are an animal that not only provides decent table fare but can also test an experienced hunters skills. The Missouri rabbit season, which includes trapping under the fur-bearing animals category, starts at near the beginning of October and continues through the middle of February. The trapping season for fur-bearing animals runs at about the same time but is slightly shorter, starting in mid-November and running through January.
Rabbits are animals that can become pests if the population isn't monitored and controlled. Hunting and trapping are integral parts of keeping the rabbit population in check. Habitat management is equally important. Hunters wishing to find rabbits should look for plants like bluegrass, crab grass, clover and corn in areas with plenty of low-lying shrubs and dry soil. Trappers can lure rabbits with bits of apple and produce.
Hunting Licences and Permits
A rabbit hunter in Missouri needs to carry at least three different kinds of permits depending on their age, level of education and residency status in the state. A Missouri resident that is 18 or older needs only a Resident Hunting and Fishing Permit and a Heritage card to hunt during rabbit season. Non-residents need to buy a Daily Small Game Hunting Permit, and Apprentice Hunter Permits are required for hunters under 18 and beginners who are not yet hunter-education certified.
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