Discussion in 'Turf and Surf Hunting and Fishing' started by dan69, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. dan69

    dan69 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Please excuse if this has been covered before.

    I am, unfortunately, a bit of a city boy. I have spent, however, a good amount of time in the high desert, and will be moving there shortly. While up there, I've done more than my share of rabbit hunting, both the jackrabbits (more common) and cottontails (less visible).

    I have always been put off of eating what I take (usually, the hunt was to keep the rabbits from eating the trees/crops) because I've been told that the jackrabbits were dirty/diseased, and infested with fleas. But I have a hard time believing that they are all diseased, and all inedible. I would like to eat what I take, if at all possible, but I haven't got much experience with cleaning/cooking.

  2. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I have killed literally thousands of jackrabbits, but I never been hungry enough to eat one of those flea infested nasty things. Cotton tails would be a lot better option for the plate. If you were starving sure, then jackrabbits are fair game, but for me that would be the only time.
  3. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    It's not the fleas that are bad, it it the worms and other parasites that are the problem. That is why there is a hunting season for them and it usually revolves around cold weather when parasites are gone. If you hunt an area that never gets cold enough to cause the parasites to drop away, then I would be leary, but if you are in an area where you get sustained cold, then you should be fine. When you shoot a rabbit, primarily look for worms when you are skinning the animal out.
    Deer are just as bad, but the cold weather knocks the fleas and ticks down to nill.
  4. dan69

    dan69 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Thank you for the replies. It seems that the rumors were well-founded--nasty, flea-infested things. Was just wondering, because I'm not a big fan of shooting a creature and just letting it lie.

    As for cold, yeah, up there the high desert gets down past freezing for the winter. Easier to shoot them in the snow, too. :D Maybe I'll try a couple out of the cold, and then decide if it's worth the effort. Lord knows there's millions of the damn things.
  5. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Find someone with a good recipe, they are awfully gamey tasting to me.
  6. meyah

    meyah Monkey+++

    hogs, bears are infested with worms, too.

    Just be sure to cook the meat well, and it's a non-issue. Rubber gloves while butchering, tho. Tularemia is a real threat. dunno about Lyme's disease from rabbits, but ticks can be anywhere. Fleas=plague, sometime, but if need the meat, hey.... A bigger problems is rabbit's lack fat, and shtf will mean all the animals will be gone, anyway. Best quietly pop a cow, jerk the meat, first few nights of shtf. Ditto grabbing a couple of big sacks of grain, finding-digging a hidey hole. then you can just stay out of sight for nearly a year, let everyone else die off. If you then have some non-hybrid seeds, you will be Mr Crusoe.
  7. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Lots of small white spots on the liver indicate tularemia.
  8. meyah

    meyah Monkey+++

    a little LATE to notice by then,

    if you have no rubber gloves on your hands, eh?
  9. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    feel for lumps under the chin is one way, guess a guy can pack rubber gloves with himself all the time.
  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    As far as cleaning them its pretty easy. The skin is fairly loose so if you are not trying to save the skin the easiest way is to grab the loose skin on the back with one hand toward the front and the other toward the back, if you want you can slice the skin around the middle but it can also usualy be torn with little trouble then its just like takeing a shirt and pants off. When you get to the ankle joint break them off or cut through the joint and the same with the head. Then you slit them from the rectum to the throat and pull the insides out and your ready to do it like a chicken.
    One way that is really good for cooking rabbit is to lightly sautee an onion and an apple then add this to bread crumbs and a bit of chicken broth and stuff it and bake it.
  11. ChemicalGal

    ChemicalGal Monkey+++

    My mother in law who cooked a lot of rabbits (wild not tame) said to wait until after the first frost and then you didn't need to worry about the disease. And never shoot (one to eat) that didn't act normally. After cleaning we soaked them in buttermilk overnight and then breaded & fried. Great eating that way too. Going to try monkeymans baked on my next rabbit.
  12. ricdoug

    ricdoug Monkey+++

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