Jack rabbits in Illinois?
Ed Graham of Mackinaw swears he saw a jack rabbit recently while driving through Livingston County near Strawn. If Graham is correct, his sighting would be the first white-tailed jack rabbit spotted outside the northwest corner of Illinois.
“If this wasn’t a jack rabbit someone has been feeding growth hormones to the cottontails there,” said Graham, a longtime rabbit hunter who became familiar with jack rabbits while living in New Mexico.
Jack rabbits, which are much larger than their more common cottontail cousins, have been reported over the years at the sandy Savanna Army Depot in
Jo Daviess County. And Donald Hoffmeister in “Mammals of Illinois” lists historic records for five other northwestern counties: Lee, Stephenson, Carroll, Whiteside and Ogle.
That makes sense to Graham, who grew up in Tampico and said he remembers hearing stories about jack rabbits near Morrison.
Does it make sense to anyone else out there? Do you have a jack rabbit sighting or story to share?