Hunting Rabbits in Oklahoma
There are three species of rabbits in our state. The cottontail weighs two to four pounds and is generally grizzled tan, brown and gray with white or light tan on the feet and underside. The underside of the tail is white. Preferred habitat is edge cover, brush, creek bottoms, briar patches and swamps. Its diet includes herbaceous vegetation in summer and bark and twigs of woody vegetation in the winter. Three to five litters are produced during the February to September breeding season. The cottontail inhabits the entire state.
The swamp rabbit weighs four to six pounds. It has shorter, sleeker fur than the cottontail but is basically the same color. Its preferred habitat is marshes, floodplain forests, sloughs and other areas of standing water. The swamper eats mainly grasses, sedges, shrubs and tree bark and twigs.
Peak mating season is from mid-February to September with three to five litters born to each female yearly. The eastern one third of the state with scattered isolated populations are included in the swamper’s range.
The blacktailed jackrabbit is found statewide but is more common in the western regions. It is generally the largest of Oklahoma’s rabbits weighing four to seven pounds.
The coloration for the jackrabbit is buff-brown above with white on the underparts and ear tips and topside of its tail black. It prefers green vegetation for its diet and is particularly fond of alfalfa and other crops. Habitat ranges from sparse brushland to open plains to irrigated croplands. The jackrabbit’s mating season is from January thorough September with one to six young born per each of one to four litters.