Dana Plateau conditions anyone?

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Messages 21 - 39 of total 39 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jun 24, 2013 - 09:27am PT
Snowshoe hares have white flanks year round as well as shorter often dark tipped ears than the white tail jacks.. Most ive seen east side have been Jacks and not "shoes"..
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 24, 2013 - 09:28am PT
I've seen some BIG hares up in the Luther Pass region in winter....assumed they were Snowshoe hares...no?
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jun 24, 2013 - 09:35am PT
If they were BIG, they were White tail jacks- they outweigh snowshoe hares by up to 6 lbs... Snow shoes are much smaller.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 24, 2013 - 09:36am PT
Thanks Ron...yeah, these suckers you could saddle.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jun 24, 2013 - 09:43am PT
I advise you clean White tail jacks exceptionally, separating ALL the viscous and sinew material from the meat- cubed up in smaller pieces, then marinated for a while, and stir fried with veggies and a little sauce. mmmmmmmmm.. As for black tailed jacks,, i suggest running them over in a tank a few times for tenderizing..

Nev rabbits can be the BUGGIEST critters youll ever see. Warbles, fleas, u name it. ONLY good when COLD AS HELL!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 24, 2013 - 09:45am PT
I'm not a hunter. I go to the market.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jun 24, 2013 - 09:46am PT
Then ur eatin New Zealand whites lol!;-)
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 24, 2013 - 09:47am PT
Actually...I just do chicken and fish...occasionally beef.

Leaning more towards being a veggiesaurus these days though.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jun 24, 2013 - 09:50am PT
hhmmm, perhaps i should send you some deer, or maybe some bear sausage or elk burger..Lean protein is king! And wild game is the leanest. And cleanest. but i like fowl and fish too!
Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 24, 2013 - 09:58am PT
Ron, so would say snowshoe hares are about the size of black-tail jacks then? If so, then I remain pretty confident what I see atop Dana are white-tails because of their size.

It's too bad we didn't meet up as teens so close to each other in the CV area bitd, we too enjoyed our share of jack rabbit and cotton-tail meat after a good hunt. It was one of the things to do out there - esp after being primed watching a tv show like Daniel Boone or Wild Kingdom, ha! (btw, I'm a vegan, now, and no longer hunt.)

Good on you, Jeebs, gettin some!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jun 24, 2013 - 10:05am PT
Black tailed jacks typically up to 7 lbs,, and snow shoes typically up to 4 lbs, while the white tails typically to 10 lbs. The snowshoe has the largest FEEt though lol.. But they are just a little bigger than cottontails. Ive only seen a few snowshoes "round here"..

ANd Foot,, yeah seems like we led parallel lives eh lol!
Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 24, 2013 - 10:23am PT
Ron, thanks for the reply.

So the conclusion then is that there's just no confusing white tails
and snowshoes.

Good to know!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jun 24, 2013 - 10:25am PT
Yep,, if you think you saw an albino COTTONTAIL,, it was a snowshoe..;-)

Everything else is easily identified by the white or black tail o da bunny..
Willoughby

Social climber
Truckee, CA
Jun 24, 2013 - 10:52am PT
Well, I'll say it can be a little trickier than that. It all depends on how well you see them.

Habitat is a big help, as the white-tailed jacks like the highest elevations, open ridges, and wide-open spaces, whereas the snowshoes like dense cover, mature mixed-conifer, riparian, and especially that super-thick new conifer growth that you can't even really walk through. But there is a lot of overlap, especially in the winter. Here at Tahoe, white-tailed jacks tend to stick to 8500' or above, but in the winter, those within easy striking distance will migrate downslope to the east if the snows get too deep (e.g., Carson Range critters will drop down to the Carson Valley). But those stuck over in the Carson Pass area seem to actually migrate uphill to concentrate on the slopes where the winds scour the ridgetops free of snow (so they can get at something to nibble on - sage, rabbitbrush, creambush, granite gilia).

Sonora Pass, lots of White-tailed Jacks, but prob. some patches of both, depending. White Mtns., definitely White-tailed Jacks.

Right at Luther Pass, the habitat is much better for snowshoe hares, but I've gotten pics of white-tailed jacks on the west side of Waterhouse Pk., and I'm sure they're in Hope Valley too, so they could be transiting from Freel to Stevens via Waterhouse, or going up or down to/from the Valley. I would expect both species there.

BIG = white-tailed jack. That is true, but the snowshoe hares are quite a bit bigger than the cottontails I'm used to seeing, and they can give you the impression of being a surprisingly big rabbit, especially on a gallop, or sprawled out as roadkill. But if you're thinking about saddles, that's a white-tailed jack.

Both of the jacks and the snowshoe are all in the same genus, and actually, all the snowshoe hares we've sequenced from Tahoe have Black-tailed Jack mitochondrial DNA, which means they hybridized at some point. I'm seeking DNA from both White-tailed Jacks and Snowshoe Hares throughout the Sierra, btw.

Two things I look for are relative ear length (longer than head on jack, usu. shorter than head length on snowshoe), and whether or not you notice the tail. On a dead run, the jack sticks its tail out, but you really don't see much of a tail at all on the snowshoes, ever. Here's a pic of a White-tailed Jack that Maysho posted a while back: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1081557&msg=1087220#msg1087220

As far as the feet go, snowshoe hare feet are definitely crazy big and they can definitely splay them out (they can look a lot like dog tracks in the snow), but still, the jacks' are bigger. I think these are all from adult females, L-R = White-tailed Jack, Snowshoe Hare, Nuttall's Cottontail:

Credit: Willoughby
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jun 24, 2013 - 11:15am PT
Good info Will!

Ive only taken a few showshoes, winter time they seemed to have HUGE hind feet. As i remember. in relation to the cotton tails. and the ear tips always a dark color yr round. I guess the altitude of the dog valley "herd" of white tails to be 5700 up. They come down in the winter when they are common on the summit 1/2 road area. Probably summer on Verdi peak and the ridge between Boca and "Dogville".

But its fairly easy to distinguish White tails from "jacks" for me at least. WAY bigger and youll always get a glimpse of the white under tail on them, whereas the jacks just be black. Up around wildhorse, there are good populations of jacks white tails and cotton tails. I never mistakenly shoot a jack lol! They make better boot strap than to eat !
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 24, 2013 - 11:18am PT
^^Grim. Somewhere there's a few rabbits saying, "Now why doesn't he write?"
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jun 24, 2013 - 11:27am PT
hhahahahaa! Dang Crag,, your on a ROLL!



Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 24, 2013 - 06:26pm PT
Willoughby,

you're quite the student/expert in this area.

Kudos to you for your scientific work and care. It's nice to know you're one among others paying attention to this very important part of nature.

Also, it IS a public service, though not always recognized as such. Thank you.

Keep on keepin on! :)
Willoughby

Social climber
Truckee, CA
Jun 24, 2013 - 09:59pm PT
Thanks, Footloose! I often feel a bit selfish in my research endeavors, since they have their own rewards, but it's very kind of you to recognize the public benefit. Much obliged!

Given the position that rabbits have in shaping both vegetation and predator communities, it's kind of surprising that the local agencies haven't paid any attention to them. That's starting to change, but it takes a lot of salesmanship and evangelism on my part. We got rejected for a small grant a couple of years ago, with the eventual rationale being that white-tailed jackrabbits weren't a TRPA threshold species. My counter of "well, of course they aren't - you guys didn't even know that species was still around!" wasn't met with the enthusiasm I'd hoped.

We're working with the Veterinary Genetics Lab at UCD Davis on some of this stuff, and we'd really like to suss out some of the connections with Sierra Nevada Red Fox. Surely White-tailed Jackrabbits must be the most important winter prey item for that still-extant Sonora Pass population. Yet another creature that folks didn't even realize was living right under their noses - for almost 90 years!
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