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Old July 17, 2007, 09:20 PM   #1
pjn003
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Is this ethical? Bunny hunting?

Dont get me wrong, I love to hunt Rabbits. However, my friends dad wants for me to come over to his house and shoot a bunch of them because they are eating all of his flowers. These rabbits live next to prarie dogs that are infamous for carrying the plague, and i'm wondering if anyone thinks it would be a good idea to eat these rabbits even though they are so close to these prarie dogs and may have diseases (i dont know much about what you can get from handling bunnies/eating cooked meat).

I just have a problem killing things and not eating them, ya know? Even if it is a stupid little rabbit. Also, this is somewhat of a residential neighborhood so i cant be using anything but a pellet rifle. Will this get the job done?
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Old July 17, 2007, 09:28 PM   #2
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Don't know about the plague thing, whether the fleas bite the rabbits as well or not. But, a pellet gun with enough velocity that you're not trying to use at ridiculous ranges will take out a rabbit with the right shot placement - closer is better and head shots are best.
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Old July 17, 2007, 09:38 PM   #3
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Rabbits are very susceptible to bubonic plague and there are documented cases of them vectoring the disease to humans that have handled carcasses

The disease is transmitted through direct contact through he typical bodily fluids that one would come into contact with while cleaning the animal
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Old July 17, 2007, 10:11 PM   #4
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I don't know if this will help much, but here are 2 email replies I got from a U.S. biologist and a Texas biologist. I will bold the first one, and underline the 2nd.
Of the parasites that afflict the cottontail, "bots" are probably the most well-known. These worm-like parasites are actually the larval stage of the bot fly. The fly lays eggs on the fur of rabbits. When these eggs hatch, the immature larvae bore into the skin of the rabbit. They develop there just under the rabbit's skin until they are approximately
1.5 inches long. They then burrow out of the skin and fall to the ground, where they burrow into the soil, pupate, and later emerge as adult flies. Infestations are greatest in warmer weather and usually disappear by late fall or early winter. The parasite is not harmful to the rabbit, in most cases, and is not dangerous to humans. Hunters will
often discard rabbits that are infested. However, there really is no reason to do so. The larvae are restricted to the skin and do not damage the muscle tissue or otherwise affect the edibility of the meat.
When you examine the outside of a rabbit you may notice wart-like growths found primarily on the feet and legs. This is a tumor of fibroma. It is caused by a virus transmitted by the mosquito. These tumors are not fatal to the
rabbit and are not harmful to man. When cleaning rabbits you may notice white, bladderlike cysts inside the body cavity. These cysts contain larval dog tapeworms which are not harmful to man. It is important that you do not feed raw rabbit meat to your dogs or cats.
Of course you will also have ticks and fleas attached to the rabbit as well. They will abandon the rabbits body as it cools for the nearest warm-blooded host.
A disease that is deadly to rabbits is tularemia. Tularemia is caused by a bacterium, Pasteurella tularensis, which is transmitted to the rabbit by ticks or fleas. A number of wildlife species and humans can contract the disease, but it usually occurs in rabbits and rodents. The disease
is always fatal to the rabbit, with most succumbing to the illness within 10 days following onset. As mentioned, humans can contract the disease. However, it responds quickly to antibiotics and is not considered a serious health threat if treated promptly. The following precautions will greatly reduce your risk of exposure:
Do not harvest rabbits that appear sluggish or do not run.
Wear rubber gloves when dressing rabbits.
After removing the gloves, wash your hands with antibacterial soap.
Cook rabbit meat thoroughly. Do not eat rare or undercooked rabbit meat.

In Texas there is no closed season on rabbits. While a lot of folks say don't hunt rabbit until a freeze this is a fallacy. It does not decrease the parasites or potential diseases that affect rabbits. The precautions listed above should be taken no matter when rabbits are hunted.



Sincerely
John H. Young
Mammalogist
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
3000 IH 35 South Suite 100
Austin, TX 78704
Ph: 512-912-7047
Fax: 512-912-7058


AND
I apologize for our delay in responding, your request was initially sent elsewhere in CDC and we just received it yesterday. The finding of white spots on the liver of a rabbit may be indicative of tularemia; however, not all rabbits infected with tularemia will have these white spots. In addition, rabbits without the white spots may be infected with other organisms. For example, people have gotten bubonic plague in the United States when skinning rabbits. We would recommend taking appropriate precautions, including wearing gloves and eye protection when cleaning hunted rabbits.

I hope this answers your question. Please let us know if you have additional questions or concerns.
Sincerely,
Kevin Griffith
Bacterial Diseases Branch
CDC
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Old July 17, 2007, 10:14 PM   #5
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Makes your mouth water just thinking about it, huh.
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Old July 17, 2007, 11:14 PM   #6
oldbillthundercheif
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Cook the hell out of them and there will be zero chance of catching anything from eating the meat. I usually toss them in a big ceramic deal with a bunch of beer, onions, pepper, and a few other things, and let it cook at fairly low heat for most of a day.

I bet the gloves are a good idea for cleaning them, but nobody I know does this and none of them have ever caught the plague. We mostly use the slice-and-yank method, though, and it may be hard to get a solid grip on the hide when you go to rip their skin off while wearing rubber gloves.

Besides that, I can clearly see what would happen the first time I broke out the rubber gloves to clean rabbits...

"Look! Bill's afraid of a little rabbit blood!"
Everyone would then laugh and try to smear blood or fling guts on me. Things like this are the downside of hunting with coonasses.
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Old July 17, 2007, 11:19 PM   #7
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haha, i sure hope that not all game is this dangerous to eat. thanks for all of that information though.
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Old July 17, 2007, 11:21 PM   #8
pjn003
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haha thanks bill that recipe sounds great
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Old July 18, 2007, 12:12 AM   #9
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Uh jeez just blow em away and leave em there.

I shoot rabbits with a .270 or a shotgun. Not much left but hoooooleeeeeeee its fun.
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Old July 18, 2007, 01:05 AM   #10
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Its not ethics, its varmint removal and dinner.

As for what could be in it... Thats why we cook it. YUM!

Skin it. Gut it. Behead-and-foot it.
Stick it in the fridge for three days, salted.
Butcher it.
Merinade and freeze/cook it.

If my Grandfather and Great-Grandfather could do it, so can I.
Obviously it works or I wouldn't be here.

Hi.
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Old July 18, 2007, 01:34 AM   #11
pjn003
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yea i kno, lol i put that "is this ethical" cause i thot it would make more people look at this thread and put in their 2 cents.
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Old July 18, 2007, 09:10 AM   #12
oldironman
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Quote:
haha, i sure hope that not all game is this dangerous to eat. thanks for all of that information though.
Actually, I think most of it is. Just like the chief says cook it good and all is well. I hunt and eat rabbits (and hogs and exotic deer) all year long in Texas (for many, many years) and I have never been sick. But you can always feed them to the coyotes. They need love too (or just fatten THEM up for the kill )
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Old July 18, 2007, 12:47 PM   #13
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Doesn't seem to matter what you decide to hunt, there is always someone who comes up with a reason not to eat it. There isn't a single desease that comes from a wild animal, that you can't get from a domestic animal, and out of the millions of animals that are eaten every year, someone is going to die from it. I cook about everything in the state that can be eaten, every year, and so far, I haven't found any left-overs at the end of a cook-out.

I agree with the chef, cook it well, and keep good cleaning practices, and your chances of getting anything are a lot less than dying from lighting strike.
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Old July 18, 2007, 01:03 PM   #14
Redneckrepairs
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Ok from an uneducated farm perspective ..

First off i only shoot rabbits i eat , lets get that clear . Second off according to old " farmer wisdom " you only eat rabbits in months with an r in them ( September tho march ) or after the first hard frost. I think that this originates because the cold nights likely will kill any sick rabbits out there , so what is healthy enough to appear normal is safe to eat .
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Old July 18, 2007, 04:29 PM   #15
oldironman
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Quote:
Second off according to old " farmer wisdom " you only eat rabbits in months with an r in them ( September tho march ) or after the first hard frost. I think that this originates because the cold nights likely will kill any sick rabbits out there , so what is healthy enough to appear normal is safe to eat .
I had heard that too, but the mammologist above said that is just fallacy.
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Old July 18, 2007, 05:43 PM   #16
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A half-dozen spayed cats kept outdoors and only fed once a day (near the garden) will eliminate the rabbits in the garden in short order.

I only say spayed because you don't want 100 cats.

In the absence of predators, shooting them is probably way too time-intensive to really solve the problem. Predators are constantly on watch.

Don't pet the watch-cats.
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Old July 18, 2007, 07:12 PM   #17
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They're awfully fun to whack w/ a 22-250 loaded w/ a 45gr hp traveling about 4200 fps. Problem is, you need really good periphery vision, if not, you may nail one and never know it!!!
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Old July 18, 2007, 08:23 PM   #18
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It's not as much fun as hunting them and of course there's no possibility of dinner but if protecting the flower patch is a priority hot pepper oil or wax applied periodically will take care of the problem. It has the benefit of running off the rabbits that come to pick flowers in the middle of the night while you are asleep. There must be dozens of plant supply and seed companies that sell it and similar repellents over the I-net. Do some Google-ing.

But...close up, a pellet to the CPU will sure work.

Best

S-
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Old July 18, 2007, 10:07 PM   #19
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I'd say yes, it's ethical. If they're a nuisance then shoot em. If they don't harm you then leave em alone.
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Old July 18, 2007, 11:59 PM   #20
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Kill them all, heck, I'll help
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Old July 19, 2007, 12:27 PM   #21
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I use a 22 rifle with CCI's CB Cap ammo. Just as quite as a pellet gun, but with more power and accuracy.
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Old July 24, 2007, 07:28 PM   #22
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A good .22 pistol or revolver would make it more fun!
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Old July 24, 2007, 08:56 PM   #23
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A pellet gun works very well on bunnies. They have very thin skin. Just pump it up good and it will get the job done.

If you want to eat 'em and cook them properly they should be fine. If you're concerned about disease wear rubber / latex gloves when you clean the critters (or even if you pick 'em up to dispose of them for that matter)
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