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Discussion Starter #1
Assuming it's not a Chupacabra, the climate is probably too cold here. And not Bigfoot, the woods too thin. What would tear the head off a large rabbit in relative silence (my dogs didn't hear any commotion) and leave the body behind? A little gut spillage in the immediate vicinity along with the usual tufts of fur, but the rest of the body appears unscathed.

I didn't see any need for a pic. Y'all can picture what the body of a torn off head looks like.
 

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A raptor of some sort?
We have red tails and the occasional bald eagle, those are the only raptors large enough for rabbit sized game, but I can't imagine one would tear the head off and leave with it. I haven't seen everything though.
The time it would take would be long I imagine. I would have seen it if it happened during the morning. This had to happen before dawn I'm guessing. It's pretty fresh. Do raptors other than owls hunt at night?
 

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I did smell a skunk this morning when I was outside (5:00). I don't think they go after rabbits, but then I didn't think rabbits went after crows and I saw that a couple years ago, lol.
 

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We have red tails and the occasional bald eagle, those are the only raptors large enough for rabbit sized game, but I can't imagine one would tear the head off and leave with it. I haven't seen everything though.
The time it would take would be long I imagine. I would have seen it if it happened during the morning. This had to happen before dawn I'm guessing. It's pretty fresh. Do raptors other than owls hunt at night?
I was thinking the bird caught the rabbit and flew away. Maybe it was a little too heavy and the claws managed to tear the head off and dropped the carcass while in flight? I don't know. I'm sort of at a loss to explain it. We have all manner of owls, large and small. We have numerous kinds of hawks and Bald Eagles as well. In my experience, I've never seen anything but owls at night.

I have created some headless jack rabbits which can range from large, to small dog size, but only with a .22. Too dangerous to cut a head off a jack. They carry lots of diseases.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I once found a headless groundhog in my fenced back yard.
Really? Odd isn't it?

I know it's said a dog will kill for fun, but I haven't seen even a stray around here in years. And killing is one thing, ripping off the head and leaving with it another. A coyote would have left with the whole body lickity split. Something hung around by my house long enough, without making any noise, to tear the head off. Kind of disturbing not knowing what it might have been.
 

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We have red tails and the occasional bald eagle, those are the only raptors large enough for rabbit sized game, but I can't imagine one would tear the head off and leave with it. I haven't seen everything though.
The time it would take would be long I imagine. I would have seen it if it happened during the morning. This had to happen before dawn I'm guessing. It's pretty fresh. Do raptors other than owls hunt at night?
The Harris hawks out here leave nothing but a pile of feathers/fur at the crime scene. Doubt it's a raptor. Coyote would have run off with his meal.
 

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I was thinking the bird caught the rabbit and flew away. Maybe it was a little too heavy and the claws managed to tear the head off and dropped the carcass while in flight? I don't know. I'm sort of at a loss to explain it. We have all manner of owls, large and small. We have numerous kinds of hawks and Bald Eagles as well. In my experience, I've never seen anything but owls at night.

I have created some headless jack rabbits which can range from large, to small dog size, but only with a .22. Too dangerous to cut a head off a jack. They carry lots of diseases.
This was killed where it lies. The area is covered in its fur where something must have been shaking it.
 

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This was killed where it lies. The area is covered in its fur where something must have been shaking it.
Then it could have been a raptor that was scared off the kill perhaps.
 

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One of my three cats is comming up on 17 now. He has always been a cat that goes outside. For the better part of his life, cottontail made up a large part of his diet.

When ever I would find them in the bushes in front of the house, they would be headless. In fact there is a nicely bleached bunny skull out there now.

He and the fox have an understanding. Once a week or so the fox would come through and take the left overs. One morning I saw my cat lounging in the middle of the front yard like a lion. The fox was standing in the street watching. When the cat stood up, the fox was ready to bolt away. Clearly the pecking order had been established.

Since he is getting up there in age, he spends more time being the King of pillows, but there was a time when he was king of the neighborhood.

I think your headless bunny is the result of a cat.
 

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Thanks Struckcat. I had no idea a cat could dismember something that large.

Plus there's a crow eating on it right now. I suppose the head could have been there, then got carried off by something else.
 

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We have red tails and the occasional bald eagle, those are the only raptors large enough for rabbit sized game, but I can't imagine one would tear the head off and leave with it. I haven't seen everything though.
The time it would take would be long I imagine. I would have seen it if it happened during the morning. This had to happen before dawn I'm guessing. It's pretty fresh. Do raptors other than owls hunt at night?
Could be the red tail or an eagle. I have had an eagle do this to a very large chicken. Found the body, head gone. Saw eagle on the roof of my pole barn, same thing next morning. Eagle on top of barn again. Got rid of eagle. No more headless chickens.
 

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+1 on the cats. We had one that would leave large headless rats by the back door for years. I saw him one time chewing off the head. He seemed to prefer it over any other parts.:02::puke:
 

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Down here in Florida we have skunkapes. If you were down here I would tell you that what it was.
 
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