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Discussion in 'Hunting' started by lizziedog1, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. lizziedog1

    lizziedog1 Well-Known Member

    I mention rabbit shooting in another thread I started about a gun. I want to talk about rabbit hunting here.

    I was raised eating domestic rabbit. My dad raised butcher rabbits. My mom made a mean rabbit stew. We would tell unwary guests they were eating chicken. They did sometime become suspicioius when they encountered four drumsticks and no wings.:D

    I have never shot a rabbit in the wild, not the cottontail type anyway.

    One reason is all the stories I hear about their meat isn't always safe to consume. They are suppose to have some sort of parasites. Then I hear that they are Kosher to consume only after the first snow of the year.

    We haven't had a snow flake yet this winter. Things are really dry. But, we are having cold nights. Low teens and single-digit night time temperatues have been the norm for the last several weeks.

    Some folks are telling me that it has been cold enough to render rabbit consumption safe. Still others insist I wait for snow.

    You guys, what is the truth about cottontail consumption?

    How does it compare with eating domestic rabbit?
  2. Clipper

    Clipper Well-Known Member

    Cold weather in general usually kills off bunnies with rabbit fever, but the easy way to determine if they're healthy is to check the liver of any you kill. Diseased rabbits have lesions on the liver.
  3. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    Actually the disease will kill the bunnies with rabbit fever in just a few days after they contract it. What the cold weather does is it kills the fleas and ticks that carry the disease. Once the fleas and ticks are gone the chances after a week or two of finding a live rabbit with Tularemia is rare.
  4. lowerunit411

    lowerunit411 Well-Known Member

    always made a habit of not taking rabbits till after the first hard freeze
  5. Maple_City_Woodsman

    Maple_City_Woodsman Well-Known Member

    If you are worrying yourself over Tularemia ("Rebbit Fever"), then there are some things you need to know:

    First off, its obvious when skinning the animal if it is infected.

    Secondly, thoroughly cooking of the meat kills the infectious bacteria.

    Thirdly, common and plentiful antibiotics are effective at treating tularemia.

    Basically, worrying about it is silly. The risk is almost non existent. Go shoot some wild bunnies and enjoy them! It is my own tradition to shoot a rabbit before thanksgiving, so that I can have rabbit stew as part of the holiday meal.
  6. lizziedog1

    lizziedog1 Well-Known Member

    I have eaten domestic rabbit, never cottontails.

    How do they compare?

    I love domestic rabbit.
  7. Maple_City_Woodsman

    Maple_City_Woodsman Well-Known Member

    Haha, I have never eaten domestic rabbit - only ever had rabbits that I have taken from the wild.

    To my tastes wild rabbit tastes somewhat like squirrel, but more 'like chicken' in the fact that it is not quite so strong as the rodents.
  8. joebogey

    joebogey Well-Known Member

    My Dad always insisted that I never shoot a sitting rabbit only one that would run. A sitting rabbit could mean that the animal was sick.
    Either way, I love it when they run. :)
  9. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Well-Known Member

    Rabbits and squirrels both get what we in the south call "wolvers". It's a worm infestation of the skin. You can easily see them when you get the rabbit. They appear to have little "boils" on the skin and it is very visible. First FROST kills them. They go away the same time the fleas and ticks go. Rabbit Fever is an EXTREMELY rare thing to find since, as buck already pointed out, rabbits die within 2 or 3 days of contracting it. No need to wait on snow. Just wait on the first nighttime with temps below 40 and go hunting.
  10. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    I always loved wild rabbit stew.......till I raised domestic rabbits. Wild rabbits have a lot less meat on them and the difference in taste is about like comparing prime beef to a old ruttin' buck. I still eat wild rabbit, but I also eat old ruttin' bucks, but neither is my preference.
  11. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Well-Known Member

    Don't think I have ever had a "raised rabbit" before. My sister raised them when we were little and lord help any soul that even IMAGINED hurting one of her bunnies.
  12. lowerunit411

    lowerunit411 Well-Known Member

    ive eaten my weight in cotton tails and then some and i find domestic rabbits too fat...i like the wild ones far better
  13. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Well-Known Member

    lower, On the older ones, do you do like I do and make you a meal in the Crock Pot with some carrots, taters, onions, maters, then some fresh garlic cloves, Salt and pepper to taste, Worchestershire sauce, (hell if I know if thats how it's spelled) some Italian dressing and some good BBQ sauce. Quarter up 2 rabbits and soak them in milk for about 2 hours. Mix up an egg wash, then lightly flour them. Get you a skillet with some EVO and get it good and hot. Quick brown the flour dipped quarters then transfer them to the Crock. 6 to 8 hours on low and you got you some of the finest rabbit that will EVER cross your lips!
  14. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Well-Known Member

    tasty recipes posted here. I like to parboil prepared wild rabbit sections until tender and just a tablesppon of liquid left.
    set the sections let cool and dredge in instant pancake mix with some fish breading mixed in.
    then fry in medium heat grease turning after 15 minutes.
    after the frying is done pour off the grease amd make roux with the drippings. then make gravy to have over rice. beets are good w/this or turnips
  15. scramasax

    scramasax Well-Known Member

    Been hunting rabbits from the time I could grag a ss .410. Great uncle used to hunt rabbits with a .22 Colt Target Woodsman, pop them on the fly. Dad always used his A5, hardly ever missed. Never had domestic rabbit except in Germany. Yes we never rabbit hunted or squirril hunted until after the fierst frost. Don't remember exactly when we stopped hunting, due to health issues. Great uncle died of cancer from working on the AB in WWII. That took a lot of joy from both fishing and hunting. Just as well Rabbits are scarce around the farm due to cyotes and the wife is allergic.


  16. lowerunit411

    lowerunit411 Well-Known Member

    Freedom....your killing me here....now im hungry for a bunny!!!!! typically i just parboil em and fry em like a dang chicken but your method sound mighty tasty....i grew up on a farm/cattle ranch so the rule of thumb was...if you can make gravy out of it...its dinner!!
  17. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Well-Known Member

    I only fry the young tender ones. The older "bucks" I throw in the crock! Some fried rabbit, spinach, fried taters and onions, biscuits and gravy! YUM.
  18. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    I've only ever eaten domestic rabbit. When I was a kid, it was all about Shake'n Bake, and you never knew if it was going to be rabbit or chicken in the oven. Since we raised the rabbits, and had to buy the chickens, more often that not, it was rabbit.

    We just didn't tell most visitors that. Had one lady cuss my dad and run out of the house when he told her about the bunnies in the hutch in back.
  19. azwizard

    azwizard Well-Known Member

    I've eaten quite a few of both wild and domestic, Wild rabbit (cottontail) tastes more like squirrel.. Still delicious but different than domestic. Also I always figure 1 wild rabbit 1 1/2 to 2 lbs to feed two people. But most domestic rabbits will weight in between 5 to 10 lbs. and can feed 3-6 people.

    I've also ate a few Jacks both Desert and Mountain and equally as many Snowshoes. Of them the Snoeshoe was the best tasting. Depending on the Jacks diet they have been anywhere from tasty to downright nasty.

    Domestic rabbits we'll either fry with Drakes or make rabbits and dumplings and then a stew with the leftovers.

    Wild rabbits are sometimes a field lunch and therefore spitted with just salt and pepper.
    Roasted in foil and stuffed with marinated articoke hearts or just sent straight to the stew pot.

    Wild rabbits I look for three things: A lack of fleas and ticks, lessions on the skin or spots on the liver.

    An early frost can warm back up again and the flea eggs will hatch so I don't count on the cold killing everything. There are snow fleas also so I just stick to my 3 things to watch out for.

    We've taken wild rabbits as early as September to as late as May some years. My guy I get my domestics from uses cedar bedding in thier hutches so theres never been an issue from them.

    So I say get out and hunt'em. There's nothing more exciting than a good beagle running them. My Dratharr does a pretty good job with them too if they sit tight he'll point them. Or you can just get out after a fresh snow and follow the tracks till you spot him.
  20. Lunie

    Lunie Well-Known Member

    I've heard several variations of the word. They are called "Warbles", I reckon. From Google, I found this: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12150_12220-26354--,00.html Apparently they have them up in Michigan, too. (And probably just about everywhere else in North America.) I've seen them on squirrels, cottontails and livestock.

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