buck rabbit n [Appar from std buck (rabbit) male rabbit, in reference to the larger size of these species. (In fact male rabbits are usually smaller than females of the same species; presumably association with buck in reference to the male of the deer, sheep, and goat has played a part here.)]
1 A jackrabbit n 1 (here: Lepus townsendii or L. californicus). obs?
1874 Taylor World on Wheels 46 eOK, Three or four exaggerated creatures lie in a heap in a corner. They are the half-way station between a large rabbit and a small donkey. They are ears with bodies to them. It is your first sight of a buck-rabbit. 1877 Reading Times & Dispatch (PA) 20 July 1/5 WY, SD, Five of us went ahead of the wagon train, on several occasions, . . to hunt elk, antelope, buck rabbits, owl and mountain sheep. 1915 Daily Courier–Gaz. (McKinney TX)16 Apr 1/3, A big jack rabbit chase will be pulled off on Light’s Ranch, three miles northwest from Weston. . . Mr. Brown says, “Come and lets have another day of pleasure and fun chasing the big buck rabbit.”
1870 Daily Columbus Enquirer (GA) 28 Sept /2, The scene is enlivened late of an evening or early in the morning by the appearance of any quantity of prairie chickens and mule-eared rabbits— . . the latter about as large as the swamp or “buck” rabbit of Georgia and Alabama. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. P30, . . Wild rabbits) Infs GA5, 14, MS60, NJ67, SC3, Buck rabbit; AL28, Swamp rabbit, buck rabbit—same; AL38, Buck same as swamp rabbit, AL53, Buck rabbit—larger [than cottontail]; GA84, Buck rabbits—in swamp areas; MS47, Swamp bucks; MS89, Cane cutter or cane buck or buck rabbit. [5 of 11 Infs Black] 1969 DARE Tape GA 86 , In the swamps you would have buck rabbits, which was a little larger rabbit—some people call ’em canecutters. 1988 Anniston Star (AL) 14 Feb sec B 10/1, “Wayne, how would you like to go with me in the morning to hunt some buck rabbits along Cane Creek?” he asked. “I need to run my beagles a little.” Ibid 10/3, Rick and I began to talk about this unique rabbit commonly called “buck rabbit” or “canecutter.” 2010 in 2018 DARE File—Internet neGA, Running Buck Rabbits (Cane Cutters)— Saturday, Dec. 11 was the Best day, of the week, too run some rabbits. 2014 (2018) AL Dept. Conserv. Outdoor AL 20 Feb (Internet) ceAL [Black], “We kill hill slips and bucks out here,” Collins said, explaining that a hill slip is a cottontail and the much larger swamp rabbit is a buck. “I don’t know why we call them that. We always have.”