Rabbit burrows vary greatly in depth and size, says Edward Cook

Many of the characteristics of a rabbit burrow, including depth and size, depend on the local soil type.

Obviously the easier the soil is to dig into then the more likely the burrows are to be deeper and more established. The length of time a burrow has been around can also affect the depth: the longer it has been in existence, the deeper it will be and the more occupants it will have.

shooting rabbits

Tips for shooting rabbits

Rabbits seem to have exploded in volume this year. The early wet weather but milder winter has seen an ever-increasing population boom in the…

Water levels

The depth to which rabbits will burrow will also depend on rising water levels. So you can’t say that there is any average depth to a burrow as it is so dependant on conditions.

Usually I’ve always found those burrows in open countryside to be deeper than others that are concealed with dense cover. Maybe rabbits design them this way to avoid predators.

Rabbit burrow depth – how deep is deep?

These will go down further than my 15 foot locator sets can pick up.

There are no hard and fast rules with rabbits. The only thing to remember where bunnies are concerned is don’t take anything for granted.


When it comes to snares, a lot depends on the ground you’re setting your snares on, but for ease let’s say it’s very short grass. If you find a good ‘run’ which clearly indicates the ‘beats’ (or pads) I would look for a series of beats that are small and far apart. This is a clear indication the rabbit is travelling at speed and won’t have any hesitation in placing its head through a well placed snare.

Padding or beats that are larger should be avoided especially if there’s a concentration of droppings – this is where rabbits tend to sit and will not moving at speed.

Ideally, and where possible, I set my wires the height of the width of four fingers (give or take ¼ inch). As for noose size, I’ve managed to bring the size down on such runs so it’s not a great deal bigger than a rabbit’s head.

However, on slower runs (where beats are still small but closer) I set them about 1 ½ times bigger. This is simply because in such places I find them not as easy to judge.