Hunting for rabbits has changed quite a bit in the last 25 years or so. One of the main reasons is the rabbit’s habitat. As fields have been destroyed during construction to build subdivisions and shopping centers, the havens for small game decrease each year.
In addition to decreasing fields where rabbits reside, other elements factor in as well:
Natural predators of the rabbit are increasing in both strength and size. Why? Because 25 or 35 years ago, it was quite common for a land owner to shoot a coyotes, hawks or owls. Now, with closer knit communities, laws prevent most land owners from doing so. This causes an increase in these animals which instinctively hunt the rabbit as a meal source…leaving a dwindling population for the hunter and his trusted hunting Beagle pack.
Because laws protect the coyotes as an endangered species, they have grown and migrated from the West, now covering many field and forested areas of the East and South...this too keeps rabbits in hiding. In fact, they have learned to hide so effectively that even the best of trackers have difficulties finding their safe havens.