How to Catch Wild Rabbits

Updated April 17, 2017

Many animals live in the wild right outside your backdoor. Even if you don't live on a farm or near to wildlife, wild rabbits may be abundant. You may wish to catch wild rabbits for food, pets, or fun. If so, a live trap can safely catch the rabbit for you when placed correctly. Wild rabbits can carry rabies and other diseases, so always use extreme caution and keep small children away from the traps. If you plan to keep the rabbit as a pet, be sure to take it to a veterinarian for an examination after you've caught it.

Purchase or borrow a live animal trap. These capture an animal safely without hurting it. Usually it involves using bait that triggers a locking mechanism once contacted by the animal. You can buy a wooden box trap or an open mesh trap at a farm supply store. Be sure the trap is the size for rabbits, about 24- by 8- by 8-inches. If it is too big, you may trap unwanted larger animals.

Place bait into the trap and set it. The bait can be anything rabbits eat, such as vegetables and fruit, especially greens. Rabbits may also be attracted to vanilla or apple cider vinegar. Rabbits do not eat meat, worms, or insects. Place the bait in the appropriate place in the trap. Traps are designed to have an open door leading into the box or net containing the bait. When the rabbit enters and begins eating the bait, the door closes or the mesh tightens, and the rabbit is safely trapped.

Collect the trapped animal. Be careful not to let it bite or scratch you. Wear protective gloves and long sleeves. Take the rabbit to a veterinarian to assess its health, if necessary. If you trap the wrong animal -- like a skunk, possum or squirrel -- be sure to use the same caution before releasing it back into the wild.

Repeat the process using the same trap or multiple traps. Set traps far apart from one another for optimal results.


If you are bitten by a rabbit you suspect carries rabies, seek immediate emergency medical attention.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden box trap or mesh trap
  • Bait
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About the Author

Sheila Zahra began working as an editor and writer in 2004. She has edited full-length works of fiction and nonfiction, and has written articles and essays for academic and business clients. Zahra earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and creative writing from California State University, Long Beach, in 2006. She currently lives and works in Eugene, Oregon.