View Full Version : Cottontails and fleas

March 8, 2009, 10:47 PM
Hey everyone, i was out this weekend and shot myswlf a pretty decently sized cootontail for the pot. But i was looking it over and it had fleas ALL over it and was just wondering if there were some nasty sicknesses that those things carry. i was told by my old man that i should leave it i hated the thought but didn't know what to do... I live up in montana and any suggestions on how to cook or take measures to prevent gettin sick would be appreciative..

March 8, 2009, 10:57 PM
I'm so good that I shoot the fleas off 'em before I kill them. don't worry about them hurting the meat. The meat is fine, just wash all the hair and fleas off the meat, quarter, and fry.

Smokey Joe
March 9, 2009, 10:53 AM
Shot a flea-infested cottontail once myself. Picked it up after shooting and was surprised to find a horde of fleas leaving the rabbit and working their way up my hand and wrist.

Dropped the bunny quick; brushed all the fleas off myself that I could; finished up with thorough shower & change of clothes on return home. Isolated and thoroughly washed the clothes, too. That seemed to end the problem.

My solution was to leave all subsequent bunnies lie until their body heat had mostly left--the fleas seek the body heat apparently. That did the trick--no fleas on further bunnies. (Unless, of course, the first one was the only one with fleas anyhow!)

Now, fleas can carry bubonic plague, so it's a really good idea to avoid them. As to eating the bunnies, thorough cooking kills bacteria so cook 'em up and enjoy.

March 9, 2009, 11:09 AM
speaking of rabbits, i saw one in my side yard yesterday. huge. i figure it must be pregnant. is it rabbit baby season already? this one looks like she is about to explode.

March 9, 2009, 11:16 AM
Early in the season, it's quite common to run into Fleas on Squirrels. We don't hunt Rabbits till after the second frost and don't see them much during this time. Regardless, no need to panic. They mostly go to the groin area where it stays warmer.
That is the groin area of the game. :rolleyes:
As stated, a good shower is in order that evening. A bigger concern is Deer Ticks. Most of the ticks we run into, are Wood Ticks and they are okay but the Deer Ticks are another matter. Don't pass up a good meal because of Fleas.

Be Safe !!!

Smokey Joe
March 9, 2009, 11:24 AM
Ilbob--Cottontail rabbits bear their young mostly March to May, according to my Peterson Series Field Guide to the Mammals. So, yes, you might have seen a female about to give birth at this time of the year (early March). She'd be among the earliest, but somebody always has to lead the pack.

March 9, 2009, 04:40 PM
[ That is the groin area of the game ] Pahoo,Glad you clarified that. I`ve never heard the other called fleas before:eek::D:D:D

March 10, 2009, 12:01 AM
thanks for all the advice, now i can go out and shoot me a couple this weekend so that i can get the gf to try it

Smokey Joe
March 10, 2009, 12:28 AM
Hammer 1 Down--Pan-fried rabbit. Hasenpfeffer. Rabbit stew. Pot roast rabbit, with carrots & celery & potatoes & mushrooms. Old ones? Cook 'em down to rabbit gravy & serve over baked potatoes. What will you make for yr gf? I'm salivating just typing it!

March 10, 2009, 01:09 AM
Fleas are usually on milky does. I had a few with fleas the other night, i have found over the years that milky does can be covered. They cause no concern for the meat, once they cool down they leave the carcus.

James R. Burke
March 10, 2009, 03:23 PM
Just make sure you cook them good. They are all right on there post. Seems in warmer states there is more of a problem than colder states. I really dont like eating rabbit or cleaning them so I just leave them alone.

March 10, 2009, 09:43 PM
i was actually gonna make a stew for her that a friend and me concocted whilst out camping. It had some chilli, chopped fresh onion, johnny's seasoning salt, and three very freshly kilt cottontails. we cooked the rabbit seperately and added it to the already cooking chilli with all the other ingredients and it was unbelievably tasty.:D:D