Contributors to this thread:
Now that archery elk and deer season is over, is anyone else excited about rabbit hunting? I am very excited about roaming around with my recurve chasing bunnies tomorrow morning!
What is people thoughts on Tularemia when rabbit hunt? Especially early in season before a freeze.
I only hunt the snowshoes in the mountains and I usually wait till first part of November, just don't get excited about cottontails anymore. I also inspect the livers, no issues so far! I have a deer tag for the plains starting tomorrow but I have mando overtime tomorrow:-(
Good luck on the plains hunt!
I've always heard no rabbit hunting until after a hard freeze.
Tularemia can be contracted from handling or eating under-cooked rabbit. Wearing gloves, cooking all the way through and avoiding fleas and ticks from them reduces the risk to extremely low. Waiting until after a frost doesn't really kill the bacteria but it does reduce the parasites. White spots on the liver are a sign of it but aren't always there.
I handled and ate a lot over the years and never wore gloves while dressing but do make sure its cooked all the way through. I also like to let them sit a bit before picking them up to give the fleas a chance to jump ship as they cool.
Leatherneck grandpa on here is the rabbit master. He has some great stories and unorthodox methods for cleaning huge batches of them. The CDC probably wouldn't approve of them all.
Never see fleas or tics here. The cottontails are tough, they get crooked well for a long time in a stew. Got the few out of the freezer from last season thawing now. Going to make a stew with wild rice tomorrow. I think we may use some smoked broth my wife made from the fall turkey I got for the stock.
Rabbit master? Ha! Thanks, Glunt for the high praise.
Yeah, between myself and my 2 boys, and a nephew and a couple grandkids, and an occasional guest, we probably average between 300 and 400 rabbits a year in the cooler. That doesn't count the "down" years, tho. And you gotta know where to go, of course. No shortage of rabbits over there.
Great place to take kids and newbies.
And by the way, bathtubs aren't only for taking baths!
First one of the season with a bow, and first kill with my Maddog Mutt.
You guys taste any difference between snowshoes and cottontails? Here in northern MN, the cottontails have a much better reputation.
When I was a kid in Minnesota in the 70's, we shot very few cottontails, we shot mostly jack rabbits. The jack rabbits were a lot tougher, but we still enjoyed hunting and eating them. The huge grey squirrels were tasty also.