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White-tailed jackrabbits are typically 22-27 inches long and weigh 5-10 pounds, with females tending to be slightly larger than the males.
Jacks begin mating about mid-April in Wisconsin, and during this time there is heavy competition among the males for breeding rights. Little is known about the harvest of jackrabbits in Wisconsin, but it is thought that approximately 8,000 are taken each year. The statement in Audubon's signature (above) that these figures were "drawn from nature" is somewhat misleading. From the discription of this anamal, it is in point of colour, figure, and habbits very much the same species with the European Hare, and is as large, if not larger than that anamal. It wasn't until six months later that Lewis got his first close look at that "large hare of America," when one of the Corps' ace hunters, Private John Shields, bagged the first specimen more than 1,100 miles (by Clark's estimate) up the Missouri River.
Although Lewis's pen was dry for weeks or months at a time during the expedition, his observational powers were never idle for long.
The hare on this [the west] side of the Rocky mountains inhabits the great plains of the Columbia. The colors here described are those which the animal assumes from the middle of April to the middle of November; the rest of the year he is pure white, except the black and reddish-brown of the ears, which never change. His teeth are like those of the rabbit [cottontail or wood rabbit, Lepus sylvaticus], as is also his upper lip, which is divided as high as the nose. Captain Lewis measured the leaps of this animal, and found them commonly from 18 to 21 feet.
By comparison, the eastern cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus, which the explorers may have seen frequently along the lower Missouri River, is 12 to 16 inches in length, and weighs but two or three pounds.
Poised for flight, wide-eyed and stock-still, this "large Hare of America" appears to be measuring the risk involved in sticking around, using its sensitive ears to evaluate the photographer's intentions. Nicholas Biddle omitted these details from his paraphrase of Lewis's description, perhaps because they seemed trivial. Lewis's dimensions apparently are the averages of several specimens, being slightly larger in a few details than those he recorded for the first one brought to him by John Shields two years before. Jackrabbit, the common American name for Lepus townsendii appeared about the middle of the 19th century. Whatever we choose to call it, and notwithstanding the animal's utter indifference to our need to name it, Lewis's "large Hare of America," is the subject of more myths, legends, fables, tales, and outright lies, than perhaps any other mammal. Beside the profound symbolism are the simple, mundane yet legendary facts of the hare's life—speed, hiding, and playful dance, all overshadowed by wide-eyed fear. Hares generally are not a sociable animals, so Clare's use of the third-person-plural pronoun is merely a poetic artifice. Now, as to the hare's legendary fecundity: The key to rabbit and hare reproduction is induced obulation, which means that the act of copulation itself stimulates ovulation. Hotspur's aphorism notwithstanding, in 18th-century England, when royal stags were declining in numbers, hares became the best alternative prey in sport hunting. The hare is a beast of venery, or of the forest, but peculiarly so termed in the second year of her age.
The sport-hunting of "beasts of venery" was popular among American Colonists' small fellowships of landed gentlemen, and remained so until after the Revolution.
Consider the Lewis and Clark Expedition's prize discoveries—the grizzly, bison, wolf, bighorn sheep, coyote, and antelope. Contests between unequal participants, often pitting an anthropomorphic hare against an ordinary bully, are found in the moralistic literature of virtually every race and culture. One of the oldest tales in the literature is the one that has been attributed to Aesop, the purely fictitious author-storyteller who reputedly lived as early as the 6th century BC.
The animated Silly Symphony, produced by Walt Disney in 1935, again dramatized the little story.
To every genuine jackrabbit's chagrin, there is one species of the genus Lepus that is known to surpass even the vaunted speed of the white-tailed jackrabbit–the jackalope, Lepus temperamentalus. In Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, the March Hare and the Mad Hatter try to stuff the super-sized Dormouse into a teapot. The jackalope must not be confused with the antelope jackrabbit, Lepus alleni, or Allen's jackrabbit, which is a legitimate species native to the mesquite groves of south-central Arizona.
Journal excerpts are from The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, edited by Gary E. Quentin Tarantino visited the Cameo as an eager young filmmaker on the promo tour for Reservoir Dogs; I started just after that but the walls behind the bar were plastered in pictures of the staff in shades and black and white suiting. Butch Coolidge is one of Bruce Willis’s best performances, the battered, conscience-ridden boxer, on the run, desperate to protect his beautiful girlfriend Fabienne, played by the fragile Portuguese actress Maria de Medeiros. Michelyn, le labo 33 is perfect as the movies scent track ; I find it familiar and disturbing. I work at a hospital and one of the paramedics was just discussing the intracardiac injection of adrenaline to the heart scene two days ago. Its ears and hind legs are longer than a rabbits, and the young are born with their eyes open and furred, while rabbits are born hairless and blind. By the early 1950's, the state's jackrabbit population seemed to peak at between 50,000 and 75,000 hares, but since that time, their numbers have continued to decline, mostly due to habitat loss. Males fight rivals by standing on tiptoes and boxing with the forefeet or kicking with the hind feet, chasing, or even biting.
In summer, their diet will be 25-50 percent grasses, but they will also feed on other wild and cultivated plant vegetation such as grains, clover, alfalfa and green shoots.
Hares are hunted best with dogs, and the beagle is most often the dog of choice, and there has to be a balance or harmony between the hunter and the dog to be successful.
The only way for Audubon to reproduce realistic physical details in a portrayal such as this one was to work from dead specimens as models.
Louis on March 26, 1804, to accompany some slips of the Osage orange tree that Pierre Chouteau had given him. Clark considered it "very pore"—thin, undernourished, —and, perhaps after discussing it with Lewis, classified it as "clearly the mountain Hare of Europe."2 Of far more importance to Clark, however, was the pronghorn antelope he himself shot on that same date, the first any of the Corps had shot, and of which he immediately wrote his own brief account. At various times en route, and especially during the winter at Fort Clatsop, he wrote more or less detailed descriptions of plants and animals evidently based on numerous personal observations–not all of them written down, as far as we know now–as well as conversations with Indians. He polished up the description Lewis drafted on February 26, 1806, at Fort Clatsop, quoting the original text almost verbatim, with only two elisions. A few reddish-brown spots are sometimes intermixed with the white at this season on the head and the upper part of the neck and shoulders. His food is grass and herbs; in winter he feeds much on the bark of several aromatic herbs growing on the plains.
This one is well into his seasonal molt, as steadily declining autumnal temperatures plus the diminishing span and intensity of daylight have triggered the seasonal variation of its pelage, or coat.
Carl Linnaeus had established the genus Lepus in 1758, but Lewis's new species was first described officially by the naturalist Richard Harlan (1796-1843) in his Fauna Americana (1825). Some etymologists figure it took root in the wild, so to speak, as the spontaneous exclamation of someone like a gold prospector. As a body of lore and literature it all adds up to an annotated catalog of the creature's salient virtues: speed, timidity, fecundity, playfulness, and innocence. In fact Lepus is so faint–so timid, one might say–that the brightest of its seven (or more) stellar objects is barely a glimmer of the third magnitude.
Unlike rabbits, which live in groups that humans call warrens, hares live alone except during the breeding season when several bucks may gather to compete for a particular doe.
There are reckoned four sorts of them, from the place of their abode: some live in the mountains, some in the fields, some in marshes, and some wander about every where. George Washington was reportedly fond of the sport, and it may well be that the gentlemen of Lewis's circle in Albemarle County, Virginia, were similarly active in the formalized pursuit of deer, wild boars, foxes, and hares. All were notable for their ferocity, size, speed, grace, voraciousness, or sagacity as the case may be.


The 20th-century model of the happily innocent hero-hare is the world-renowned cartoon character, Bugs Bunny. Aesop's Fables first appeared in print, in Latin verse, during the first century AD, and in English prose in 1484.18 Those simple stories, ostensibly aimed toward the inculcation of moral values in children, were brief and seemingly improbable anecdotes in which animals represented contrasting facets of human nature, interacting in ways that dramatized principles to live by. Slow but patient Tortoise regarded the Hare's boast as a challenge, and thoughtfully accepted it.
Some authorities consider it as merely an especially slippery variety of the fantastical deerbunny.
Aside from that, there are lots of jackalope photographs on the Web, but all of those are fakes.
This one is summed up in the metaphor "mad as a March hare," once used colloquially to refer to a person whose nature was unnaturally excitable or unpredictable. Depending on certain environmental factors such as climate and habitat, the breeding season of the white-tailed jackrabbit lasts from February to July, peaking between early March and late June. Lewis published a prospectus for his intended three-volume work about the expedition shortly after his return in 1806. In the so-called "Estimate of the Eastern Indians" that Clark compiled at Fort Mandan, one of the categories in his list was "The defferant kinds of Pelteres, Furs, Robes . John Bachman, "Observations on the different species of Hares (genus Lepus) inhabiting the United States and Canada," Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Vol.
It was where I saw a blind and fragile Derek Jarman helped onto the stage to say a few whispered words after the screening of his monochromatic Blue.
Then came Pulp Fiction, Oscar nominations, a Palme d’Or and a huge career revival for John Travolta. The current number of jacks in Wisconsin today is unknown, but we do know that the species does exist in areas of favorable habitat throughout the state. Sight and smell are also very keen, and jacks are able to detect even the slightest movement at a great distance with their large, brown eyes, all the while sniffing the air to detect predators and find food.
Eventually, the strongest prevail and the victors mate with several females during the breeding season. Jacks also eat small amounts of soil to gain the necessary minerals they need for survival. The hunter can be a good shot, the habitat can be great, the dog can run beautifully and yet no jacks may be harvested.
It was no doubt Chouteau also who told him that Indians considered the tree's fruit poisonous, but knew that many animals fed on it, including a large species of hare.
Meanwhile Lewis devoted most of his own attention to his specimen of the lowly "hare of the prarie," as he called it, that Shields had brought him.
The large eyes situated on the sides of the head provide a wide panoramic view, but principally record only motion. Harlan had access to Lewis's description but not to Clark's opinion, and regarded the species as merely a variety of the American Lepus virginianus, commonly known as the "varying hare" because of its protective annual molt between a gray-brown summer coat and a white one in winter. Struck by the hare's ears that were as oversized as the auricles of his own jackass, the name jackass-rabbit conveniently sprang to mind with a smile, and quickly boiled itself down into jackrabbit.
Otherwise, they feed singly at dusk and again at dawn, or perhaps browse all night by moonlight.
Another of the hare's evasive tactics is "hooking"–leaping sideways perhaps several times in succession to confound predators that track them by scent, or to disappoint an eagle in a determined dive. Meanwhile, their mother becomes estrus, ready to conceive again, thus producing an average of four litters per year. The old word has been archaic for more than a century now, but the hare is still a "beast of venery" inasmuch as it remains an object of recreational hunting in nearly every state in the U.S. Hare scoffed at Tortoise's ridiculous decision and, in full confidence of his athletic prowess, laid down to take a nap, while Tortoise immediately set out on the race-course. As its name implies, the jackalope is a crossbreed between a jackrabbit and an antelope, with horns as long as its ears. The expression "Mad as a March hare" is said to have first appeared in print in Thomas Heywood's Proverbs (1546). The main monument to the species is in Douglas, Wyoming, where the first specimen was observed–once upon a time. When or where it originated is not known, but it emerged in print in the mid-16th century, and remained in the lexicon of English idioms for 300 years, until 1865, when it was elaborately ensconced in that immortal British cache of childish nonsense, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.
Females taunt their suitors, who respond by chasing their intended mates in long zigzag races. The mountain hare, Lepus timidus Linnaeus (1758), is native to the British Isles, especially the moorlands of Scotland and Ireland. The cultiness of the film, the knowing banter, the hair, music, Vincent and Mia’s dancing, the jaded perfection of Bruce Willis and the complexities of multi-layered storytelling all came together with audacious, ludicrous brio. I saw this movie at a theater in the West Village in New York City (I have no idea if it’s still there or not). Their hind feet are large and powerful, and combined with the long legs, these animals are built for speed, having been clocked at over 40 miles per hour.
During the winter, jackrabbits feed on alternate food sources such as buds, small twigs and bark of woody bushes and young fruit trees, and if necessary scattered hay or straw when available. These hares avoid large areas of wooded cover and use the edges of woodlots and forested sections only for shelter during extreme winter weather. You must be in sync with your dog, and let him do the work after you have selected the location. This was the legacy that Lewis and Clark left to the botanists and biologists who followed them into the West. At Fort Mandan, where the Corps was billeted from late autumn of 1804 until early the following spring, Private Whitehouse remarked on January 3, 1805, "One of the hunters killed a beautiful white hare, which is common in this Country." This hare can complete its winter camouflage by laying those prominent ears flat against its back with the white sides up. The Scottish naturalist Sir John Richardson (1787-1865) used Harlan's designation in his Fauna Boreali-americana, or, The Zoology of the Northern Parts of British America (1829). The name is still unique to American speech, primarily in the West, even though it's a total misnomer. During daylight hours they retire to a "form" or nest-like depression in a willow or sagebrush thicket, there to remain motionless but sensibly alert in their "hidden lair," dropping into deep sleep for only about a minute per day. None of the expedition's journalists used venery that way, preferring the common synonym of it, "the chase," mainly during the Rocky Mountain phase of their journey when their hunters were mounted on horseback. It is still considered good eating, too, although it is not consumed in numbers as great as during the 18th and 19th centuries—100 to 150 dozen per day in San Francisco, in 1894-95. Nevertheless, the hare owns a number of attributes that have enabled it to entertain countless generations of young and old with a light-hearted literature of short tales. Hare awoke not knowing where Tortoise was, but confident in his own superlative speed, reached the finish line in a flash, only to find Tortoise already there. The seasonal syndrome has endured in countless variations since the dawn of man, and is certain to continue. In the chapter titled "Pig and Pepper," the Cheshire Cat responds to Alice's request for directions by offering her the option of visiting either a Hatter or a March Hare. Bachman, a prominent Lutheran minister as well as a naturalist, considered the Book of Nature equal in authority to the Bible.
A type specimen is the collected instance or example upon which the official scientific classification, name, and description of a species are based. In a classic touch of irony, Peanuts' dog Snoopy annually masquerades as "the Easter Beagle," but is not known to have harried any hares.
At the end of the 1800's and early in the 1900's, deforestation seemed to contribute to the spread of jacks into much of the southern and central parts of the state. A more normal running speed would be about 35 MPH, and their leaps can span 17 feet or more.
The home range is normally less than a half-mile radius and may be as small as one large field, and only food shortage, predator pressure or too many hares will cause it to move out of its area.


Let the dog hunt the hares and you hunt the dog, following his leads and avoiding dense cover for open shots. And it was with the delicate nuances achievable through lithography that he and his assistants thrilled several generations of Americans with their sympathetic evocations of birds and mammals. The first naturalist to classify it as a new and distinct species was John Bachman (1790-1874), the young American physician, naturalist, and co-author with John James Audubon of The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. If they perceive a potential threat, they wait until the evil-doer approaches to within about 10 feet of their forms. Nature's necessity for such fecundity is simply the survival of the species: Within their first year of those defenseless levrets' lives the mortality rate is 90% or more. In the Midwest and Southwest, where the closely related and more numerous black-tailed jackrabbit is found, 19th-century farmers often got together to organize "rabbit drives" to reduce damage to their crops. Bugs, "cunning in the ways and mazes of the fields," has made a career of outwitting the "poor little Nimrod," Elmer Fudd. The jackalope must be twice as fast on its feet as either of its parents, a sure bet in the daily doubles.
Greene, American Science in the Age of Jefferson (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1984), 30-31. Thomas Jefferson recommended this 8-volume encyclopedia to Meriwether Lewis, who carried a set on the expedition.
Together the lovers would riff and echo classic Guerlain history and effects, mixing subterfuge, French New Wave and melancholia in a quintessential American way.
In the summer, this hare is brownish gray, with a black patch extending along the backside of the ear to the tip. Young jacks are fully furred and have their eyes open at birth, and they average 5-8 inches in length and weigh 2-6 ounces.
Over-population is probably the main reason for dispersal, as jacks are not a highly social species.
Constant moving after the jack has been jumped will decrease your chances, as you will be spotted and the hare will head for cover. Even after the turn of the 20th century, following the advent of long lenses, high-speed shutters, and fast color films that made wildlife photography easier, combined with the perfection of half-tone and four-color-process printing, the popular appeal of Audubon's lithographs remained virtually undiminished.
The ear, for instance, was five and one-half inches long and three and one-eighth inches wide.
Bachman first wrote of it in 1837 in an article for the Journal of the Philadelphia Academy.6 Two years later he renamed it L. At what hares somehow determine to be the last pre-doom instant, they gun their engines with a few brisk hind-leg hops, then pop the clutch and roar into cruising speed with hind feet reaching ahead of forefeet to initiate eratic leaps of various lengths and directions. Unfortunately, the jackrabbit's natural inclination to re-populate the available habitat made such efforts futile in the long run.
There are numerous varieties, stuffed specimens of which may be surprised in nearly any lower-class watering-hole in the Western U.S.
The European hare, Lepus europaeus, also called the "brown hare," was introduced into the state of New York in 1893 from England. There are several clues in the journals to suggest the captains referred to it at least occasionally. Feeding occurs mostly during early morning and at twilight, although they may feed during moonlit hours of the night, and occasionally feed during daylight hours on cloudy days. When they are finally reconciled through their natural impulses, bucks and does do little dances. By the turn of the 20th century the value of the jackrabbit's fur as a commodity had begun to change: "Although the fur of the jack rabbit seems to be well enough suited for felting it is not much used at present, while the skin is too tender and the fur itself too brittle to make it of much value as fur. The author is indebted to Doug Erickson, head of special collections and archivist for the Watzek Library, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, for continued assistance in the use of this resource. These color changes allow the jackrabbit to blend in with surroundings, which is an important line of defense. After about 15 days, the young hares are weaned and begin foraging for food, and after two months, they are mature and leave the litter for life on their own. Jackrabbits remain active throughout the winter, but when snow is deep, they may burrow 3-4 feet under the snow, both for shelter or hiding purposes. There is no need for off-balance jump shooting when working with a good dog, just understand his work and be patient. From the human's perspective, a male jackrabbit is called a buck8; a female is called–without apology to the Family Cervidae–a doe.
Lewis measured one of the leaps of a jackrabbit he surprised on the plains at 21 feet, but hedged with the admission that "the ground was a little decending." From all this it appears that, until someone takes the trouble to track some hares remotely by digital means, the subjects of the jackrabbit's speed and the lengths of its leaps merely add up to another good story. Overall, their behavior may look bizarre, but they're not really raving mad–or at least no moreso than a lovesick two-legged hare may be. The Western Indians, however, have always held jack rabbit skins in high esteem for clothing.
See also Stephen Dow Beckham, The Literature of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (Portland, Oregon: Lewis and Clark College, 2003), 27. All year-round, the tail is completely white, which combined with the jack-ass-like ears, give the white-tailed jackrabbit its name. During warmer months, jacks don't tunnel, but they do wear down trails by repeatedly using the same paths. Hares don't run in circles, as many people believe, but they will tend to stay in their home ranges, so it may be 20 minutes after the jump before you get your shot, and your opportunity may be brief. This species is said to have been the original "Easter Bunny." Legend has it that a Germanic goddess of spring created the first hare from a bird, which accounts for its ability to lay eggs. Don't give up if the dog quits barking, as it might have only temporarily lost the scent, and the race might be on momentarily.
Camouflage is the hare's main defense against predators, and often, it will lay on the ground, with ears flat against its body, and not move until closely approached. Normally, one running jack doesn't mean that there is only one hare in your area, as others may sit if not being pursued. When flushed, jacks jump at full speed, ears erect and moving to detect sounds, and they may jump vertically to detect intruders and thump hind feet on the ground to warn other hares of danger.
Start by facing the barking, but always be mindful for movement using your peripheral vision, as hares zigzag and might approach from the right or left and maybe even behind. Numerous parasites and diseases also take their toll, such as lice, fleas, ticks, tapeworms, roundworms, flukes, and tularemia, which is transmissible to humans. Movement doesn't seem to bother hares at over 40 yards, but it will spook them if they're closer, especially if they are headed toward you.
All jackrabbit meat should be thoroughly cooked and you should not handle or dress a jack with cuts or abrasions on your hands.
When your dog is hot on the trail, he will act like a busy spouse, and disregard your commands, so it makes sense to let him be during the thrill of the chase and reprimand or counsel him when the scent of hare is not so strong. The dog is not really chasing hares, and he rarely sees them, but he loves to chase the scent. Hares are best hunted with several hunters and several dogs, but now knowing your dog and the signals that he sends are ever more important. Always wear plenty of blaze orange clothing when hunting in groups and use bells on the dogs.
Without a dog you can try jump shooting in good habitat, by walking and stopping thru thick cover trying to get a shot at a bounding hare.




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