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Author Topic: Cottontail edible?  (Read 1923 times)

Offline Jordanskylery

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Cottontail edible?
« on: September 18, 2012, 05:06:09 AM »
Have plenty of opportunity to shoot some fatty cottontails but only care to do so if I am able to eat them.

I have read mixed reviews.  Some say wait until the first freeze to kill parasites and diseases.  Others say they are fine as long as you cook them. 
Mind you I am talking about just the issue of eating them, I understand the risk of disease transfer without the use of gloves during skinning and such.

Just wanting to get some local viewpoints from people that actually hunt and eat these in western washington. 

Are these good for supper if you cook them long and good or is it best to wait til colder weather? (I haven't paid much attention but don't usually see them once it gets colder)

Offline ICEMAN

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Re: Cottontail edible?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 05:12:37 AM »
Eat them up!
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Offline FALFire

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Re: Cottontail edible?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 05:54:09 AM »
When I was a kid my dad and I would go out rabbit hunting but it was always after the first freeze and we had a little snow on the ground, easier to find that way. We always ate them but boy do they stink when cleaning them little boogers.
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Offline AWS

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Re: Cottontail edible?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 08:03:18 AM »
When I was a kid my dad would give me a nickle a rabbit, I trapped, snared, shot and clubbed rabbit.  It was pretty comon fair on our table, stewed with onion and servewd with dumplings and sweet/saur german redcabage was pretty impressive eats.  We never hunted them till after the first frost.
After the first shot the rest are just noise.

Make mine a Minaska

Offline BiggLuke

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Re: Cottontail edible?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 08:54:26 AM »
As long as you skin 'em right as soon as you kill 'em in this warm weather, you wont need to worry about parasites..... except the occassional flea.   lol.

I've taken a new hunter out this year and we've gotten 3 snow shoes all ready.
Got him to skin 'em and we put 'em on ice within minutes.

Tasted great!

Good luck!
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Jimbo: "That's right, Stanley. Animals are much easier to shoot in the morning."

Offline Jordanskylery

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Re: Cottontail edible?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 10:46:54 AM »
What is the proper way to skin the rabbit to ensure good safe eating?

Offline BiggLuke

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Re: Cottontail edible?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 01:19:06 PM »
Do your best not to get hair or dirt on the meat when you skin it.
Stan Marsh: "My Uncle Jimbo says we gotta get up there early. Right Uncle Jimbo?"

Jimbo: "That's right, Stanley. Animals are much easier to shoot in the morning."

Offline Pallindrome

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Re: Cottontail edible?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2012, 01:48:48 PM »
A good way to tell the health of your rabbit is to first inspect eyes, they should be clear. check the coat, it shouldn't be missing patches, or unusually thin, as these are signs of disease. check the anus, swelling or scaring are signs digestive issues caused by disease. if the rabbit passes external inspection, skin and gut it. look at the liver, spotting is caused by tularemia http://www.beaglesunlimited.com/rabbit-hunting/tularemia-rabbit-fever . if the rabbit doesn't pass these criteria, i don't eat them. if they look healthy, then they look good on my plate  :IBCOOL:


Offline Kowsrule30

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Re: Cottontail edible?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2012, 02:10:28 PM »
We eat them... Damn things are all over my yard and gave my dogs fleas.... (atleast that is what I'm blaming it on)   :chuckle:

Offline h20hunter

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Re: Cottontail edible?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2012, 02:16:34 PM »
On the topic of bunnies if anyone is close to Snohmish County and has an abundance just shoot me a pm. I'd be happy to bring out my boy and our .22 and pop a couple.
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Offline Ducknut97

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Re: Cottontail edible?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2012, 08:48:35 PM »
Eat 'em, they are always good to eat.

Offline MadHatter

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Re: Cottontail edible?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012, 04:29:12 PM »
I eat the healthy ones, and share them with my dog... The sick ones that are thin, and have eyes that are not clear and bright and just over all sickly I use for coyote bait.  While some might consider it wasting them, I am taking them out of circulation and hopefully preventing them from passing on what ever they have to another rabbit in the area.  Out of the areas that I tend to hunt rabbits, if I see a sick or diseased rabbit I usually try to take them out of the herd, even if I am not actively looking for rabbits for food. 

Of course I also happen to have a LOTS of rabbits running around that are "domestic" rabbits that have been turned loose, which is a whole other can of worms.  They always appear to be in good health, and I have yet to run across one that is sick.  Those I will take from my back yard and have them skinned and cleaned and on the BBQ in 30min for dinner...

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