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Old August 21, 2008, 01:21 AM   #1
J270
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Convince me to eat some Jack Rabbit (are they anny good)

Now that my deer season is over I started to do some rabbit hunting.
I shot my first rabbit (ever) last night about dusk. I brought her home to skin htheer out.

My wife loves the fact that I'm getting into rabbit hunting because she has our dogs on a raw diet. When I showed her the rabbit she was very happy, I guess that rabbit is not cheap to buy and its a protein that our dogs have not had.

We are both standing on the deck looking at this thing and she said, "Well get started..." I told her that this was the first rabbit that I have ever shot and wasn't to sure how to exactly go about it.

5 min later my wife had the rabbit skinned out, that's a biology teacher for you. She made me look bad so I had to gut it to get some manhood back.

I went out this morning and was abble to get one more. Theise little buggers are kind of chalanging with a .22 single shot, but a real kick in the pants.

After skining theis babys out I was Impresed with the way the meat looked.
Instead of quartering and puting in the frezer for the Labs I going to leave it hole until I decide if and how I can eat it.(T-Bone does not like this idea)

So if some one can tell me if their worth eatin I would love to know, because Saturday morning me and the Montgomory Ward Thumper Buster are going to ride agin
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Old August 21, 2008, 01:27 AM   #2
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son! rabbit and biscuits and gravy (rabbit gravy) is about as good as it gets with someone who knows what theyre doing in the kitchen. Now im talking eastern rabbit, i dont know about jack rabbits or long eared rabbits or none of that crazy stuff.......but if it looks like thumper it is definitely a treat. Look up some southern recipes and have at it
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Old August 21, 2008, 02:02 AM   #3
J270
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Yes theise are Black Tailed Jack Rabbits(Lepus californicus) and Ive ben doing some reserch on them, they come with stigma of being nasty, boily, tularmia,guder bunnys.

The ones that I shot were flawless , and meat was nice looking stuff.
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Old August 21, 2008, 02:24 AM   #4
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Almost every Black Tail I have ever shot had some kind of serious parasite, or cancerous issue. Because of that, my family started to just leave them where they lay. The energy required to clean and inspect them was being wasted on diseased meat.

However... If you have managed to find a few clean ones; go all out. Cook them up, and have a nice, tasty dinner. It is some good meat... if it isn't diseased.
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Old August 21, 2008, 03:16 AM   #5
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Jack rabbits are tough and stringy.
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Old August 21, 2008, 05:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
every Black Tail I have ever shot had some kind of serious parasite, or cancerous issue. Because of that, my family started to just leave them where they lay. The energy required to clean and inspect them was being wasted on diseased meat.
My wife's grandfather almost died from eating rabbit. This was an Eastern Rabbit not a Jack Rabbit but the same goes. Be careful and be sure they are clean and well done. Lots of people love them but I don't care for them enough to take the chance.
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Old August 21, 2008, 06:25 AM   #7
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Not sure on Jack rabbit, but here in MO. it's a rule of thumb that ya don't eat rabbit till the first hard freeze. Rabbits are diesease infested. The freeze kills quite a few of said bugs.
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Old August 21, 2008, 08:26 AM   #8
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always thought the rule of thumb was to wait until after the first hard frost\freeze?
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Old August 21, 2008, 08:45 AM   #9
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The tularemia thing is why it's advised to wait until some freezing weather before shooting rabbits for food. And, cook well done--which makes tough meat even tougher.

Grubs under the skin don't hurt anything.

I've had reports from folks who've tried Texas jackrabbit, and the consensus is that it's not worth the bother.
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Old August 21, 2008, 09:54 AM   #10
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I don't think it freezes where J lives, does it?
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Old August 21, 2008, 10:21 AM   #11
J270
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dav it does freez,and we even get a lite dusting of snow once in a wile.

Im defintly going to put anny bunny carc. I plan on maybe eating in the deep freez for at least 2-3 weeks, that should do the trick.

I need to do something so we dont eat up all buck meat by October
I find that hunting is way more fun than going to Safeway
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Old August 21, 2008, 11:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Not sure on Jack rabbit, but here in MO. it's a rule of thumb that ya don't eat rabbit till the first hard freeze. Rabbits are diesease infested. The freeze kills quite a few of said bugs.
I always assumed that Missouri's rabbit season (runs from Oct 1-Feb15) this year was set up specifically for this reason.

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Old August 21, 2008, 11:26 AM   #13
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Will kill, won't kill...

Freezing won't kill germs reliably. Heat will. You cook rabbit until the meat is DONE, and the germs are dead. This "don't eat rabbit during the summer" thing lasts and lasts, though--I had a 90 YO neighbor whom I could not convince that the bunnies he shot in his garden in summer were just the same as the bunnies he shot hunting during January. Oh, well, he gave the summer bunnies to me and I stewed 'em.

Before bacteria were understood it was thought that freezing would kill diseases in meat--Like during the Civil War! Since the time of Pasteur and Lister, we know better.

As to parasites, "worms," etc, same thing applies--you cook it well, it's dead. Between killing and cooking, you refrigerate if the weather is warm, otherwise the meat spoils, and if outdoors, tends to become maggot-infested. Back in the Civil War, there was no refrigeration, either.

Intestinal parasites don't inhabit muscle meat. Don't migrate there. Don't worry about 'em, unless you plan on eating the guts. Muscle cysts are, again, killed by cooking.

Heart and liver--GRRRReat if handled right, but there again, refrigeration and thorough cooking are the key. With liver it's tricky--you pan-fry it until it is grey all through (done) and not one second longer, or it turns tough and chewy. There's a knack to it, kind of like not burning toast. Heart is just another muscle; nothing tricky about it.

[ETA--If the meat is tough and stringy, long, slow, moist cooking (crockpot for example) will take care of that.]

One more time: Refrigeration. Thorough cooking. Period.
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Last edited by Smokey Joe; August 21, 2008 at 11:30 AM. Reason: The usual--Had another thought.
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Old August 21, 2008, 11:35 AM   #14
J270
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Hey Smoke should I put them in the fridge, for a day or so before throwing in the freezer
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Old August 21, 2008, 11:48 AM   #15
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Storing...

Quote:
Hey Smoke should I put them in the fridge, for a day or so before throwing in the freezer
Certainly won't hurt, but I wouldn't bother. If you're going to use 'em in, say, inside of a week, just refrigerate. If you're storing them for longer than that, freeze ASAP. Don't stint on the freezer paper and/or plastic bags, either. It's exposure to air while frozen that freezer-burns meat.
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Old August 21, 2008, 11:56 AM   #16
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When I was a kid, my father used to shoot jack rabbits and just leave them except for the young ones. The young ones are very good. From March until May, they are clean and generally safe to eat. Jack Rabbits are really a hare (don't live in burrows, raise their young in small depressions in the ground), and the females set their young out by a bush or some form of shelter from the sun and come back to feed them every hour or two. If you walk slowly in the areas you hunt during March, you will see some that look like full-grown jacks, but smaller. Those are the young of the year. Take those.

Tularemia is spread by delta-winged flies. These flies hatch out in April-May, so take your jacks before they are out and they're good to eat. Blow-flies and bots are also a warm-weather phenomenon, so if you don't like grubs or boils on your rabbits, get them early.
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Old August 21, 2008, 02:24 PM   #17
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Long while back some friends had a successful jack shoot and decided to cook them up.They made a burrito grren chile concoction with refrieds,bought a keg or 2.Word got out there was a party,and there were dance club queens in mini-skirts and heels skarfing down Jackurritos with gusto.
I'd agree with the cold weather idea,and I also agree jacks always look rather rough.I don't shoot at them these days,seems the coyotes keep them under control.Kind of fun to see a jack jump up once in a while.
Beware of fleas.Its a bubonic plague thing.
Skinning,if you just make a starter cut on the back,you pull the hide with your hands in opposite directions,kind of like if you were pulling some tight sweatclothes off them.Then clip the feet and head off.It will all stay pretty hair-free.In the field,make a cut that,on you would be below the belly button,theough the abdominal wall.With your left handsqueeze the bunny just behind the forlegs.With your right handsqueze just behind that one.You are now holding the rabbit like a baseball bat,with its innards forced to the rear.Swing him like you were knocking one out of the park.The rabbit will be gutted. Carry surgical gloves,and wear them.Look at the livers,reject rabbits with spotty livers.Wash your hands.
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Old August 21, 2008, 03:21 PM   #18
davlandrum
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Texas jack rabbits are just too ugly to eat. They were as big as the deer at times.....

I became convinced while stationed in San Antonio that the freakin big Jacks were actually keeping deer away from the feeders....
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Old August 21, 2008, 05:53 PM   #19
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meat and not meat

years ago on the rio grande about half way from del rio to sanderson, i was shooting in the pasture when i saw a couple of men up on the windmill turning the wheel. i walked over and spoke with the men who were on their way to san angelo. other than a bunch of dried chiles' they had no food and needed water. while taking them up to the house, i saw a jack take off. the jack stopped after a short run and i shot the jack making a good shot. i picked up the rabbit and offered it to my new friends. i will never forget being amazed that they declined this offering explaining they only wanted the cotton tails. it was explained the cotton tails were considered meat and the jacks were rabbits that could not be ate.
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Old August 21, 2008, 06:11 PM   #20
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It makes good jerky.
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Old August 21, 2008, 06:31 PM   #21
Pat-inCO
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Convince me to eat some Jack Rabbit
Convince me I should.
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Old August 21, 2008, 07:07 PM   #22
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FYI, tularemia is a problem with rabbits in general, not just jackrabbits. Actually, it can be carried by just about any vertebrate and well as many non-vertebrates. It was named for the outbreak at Lake Tulane in California that killed off a lot of ground squirrels.

You are also apt to get this bacterium via ticks or deer flies. It is through the tick population that tularemia remains endemic in the US.

Tularemia is NOT just a rabbit issue.
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Old August 21, 2008, 07:14 PM   #23
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living in san antonio for years heres what u do, shoot those jacks and leave em for the buzzards, they gotta eat too u know!!
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Old August 22, 2008, 06:31 AM   #24
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We can hunt jacks year round in western S. Dakota. But they're no good to eat after the prairie grass turns from green to brown. I don't think this is related to grass color but rather the change of seasons.

I simply skin out the jack to neck and cut out the back straps with my fillet knife. The hind legs are removed with wire cutters. Then I soak the meat in salted water in the refrigerator overnight. Rinse and cut up for cooking. We like to eat rabbit in chili or stew.

Most of the time, I hunt jacks with my 22 MAG rifle. Shots of 50 yards or farther is common. The faster 22 MAG shoots straighter in the gusty prairie winds conditions than 22 LR. Head shots or through the shoulder makes no difference - jacks go down quickly.

Jack
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Old August 22, 2008, 09:29 AM   #25
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Jack rabbits are tough and stringy.
And tastes like sagebrush. :barf:
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