Case: A summer stroll to forecast the fall hunting

Staff file photo / Rabbits almost always seem to be in abundance during the summer, but so are the predators who will keep so many of those same cottontails from seeing the first snowfall, writes outdoors columnist Larry Case.

The calendar tells us it is officially summertime. Let's take a drive and then a walk in the typical country lane.

We shall see what we shall see.

First, there seems to be a good crop of young rabbits. But don't we usually think that to be the case this time of year? Yes, every time we round a bend in the road, there is a half-grown rabbit or two running into the brush when they see us.

This is very encouraging to all of those who have a pen full of beagles just begging for you to open the door (and to those of us who tag along with them). We hunters think there will be plenty of rabbits to chase come November, but sometimes it just ain't so.

How come?

Everything eats a rabbit.