View Full Version : Hunting Rabbit...?

April 14, 2008, 02:58 AM
I've never gone hunting before. But I'd like to start some time. I think "Hunting Wabbit" would be a great place to start. Plenty of meat on them, there are alot of them around, and they are easy to find. I live in Colorado.
So, I've got a few questions. Would it be better to just use a shot gun? Or should I go for a close range head shot with my scoped bolt action .22lr. Also, is there any reason to fear disease from eating rabbit? Do I need to cook it really well, or worry about handling it with gloves or anything silly like that? Also, even though I'm not sure if this forum is the place for it, I'd love to have someone explain to me how to properly skin and gut it... and cook it for that matter. Last thing I need to know is what do I need to make it all legal? Do I have to take a hunters safety coarse? Do I get a small game hunting license? Where is it legal to actually do my hunting? (I live in a suburban area, not lucky enough to be a country man)
Thanx for any help! :)

April 14, 2008, 09:46 AM
Okay, first things first. You need to be aware of "Tularemia" and what to look for in an animal. Understand that I'm not a Vet. and there are a bunch of Wivestails on this subject. I look for lathargic acting animals. Some you can kick over and they will not move much. Put this poor animals out of their misery. Do not handle them. If you shoot one and are cleaning it, make sure you don't have any cuts that blood can get into. I also check the liver and if it has white spots, I pitch it. When you have one opened, use you nose and if it smells like kerosene or a strong chemical, pitch it. Look for tumors or bad spots on the skins. Another important point, is that I don't hunt rabbits till the second hard frost as that seems to kill the desease. by now you might ask if is worth it and the answer is yes !!! .... ;)

Shoot whatever you want but I use a 20Ga. with 6". Hard to hit a running rabbit with a .22.

Start at the back of each back leg and pull off the skin like taking off a glove. Workk down to the front legs, pull them through and cut off the head with the whole skin on. "Hard to explain" !!!

Hunter Ed.
Depends on how old you are and every state has their own Hunter Ed. program. Regarless, I suggest you sign up for a class as you live in Colorado and eventually you will need it.

I hunt Nebraska and the Colorado foks can be of more help to you on particulars.

Be Safe !!!

Ralph Allen
April 14, 2008, 01:01 PM
Rabbits are small game, so yes a license is required. When you get your license, get a booklet as this will explain seasons, etc. We used to say if the month had an "R" in it, we didn't hunt rabbits (tuleremia).

April 15, 2008, 05:48 AM
Here is a good place to start.

You said you are in a suburb. If you are in a area where there are houses close by, you may want to consider a GOOD pellet gun. The Germans have been hunting with them for years. Make sure you have a strong gun(pressure wise) and use the good pellets. Don't use the cheap lead pellets.

If you are going to hunt them, you should take the hunter safety course(probably required) If you ask at the local stores that carry hunting supplies they will be able to tell you.

If you are just wanting to get rid of them, because they are eating your new garden. There is probably a stipulation for protecting the garden(BUT ASK)

Sorry to spoil all your fun.

Rabbits are fun to shoot and good to eat. There are loads of recipes on the web. Or just fry it up like chicken.

B. Lahey
April 15, 2008, 06:37 AM
That "chemical" smell just means the rabbit has been eating pine needles. Hunt at a christmas tree farm sometime and you will find a 100% stinky-guts population of bunnies. They taste a little different than your average rabbit, but the bad chemicals in the pine resin don't make it to the meat in any real amount, I suspect. I grew up eating pine rabbits and I turned out ok, anyway.

Good lord they smell like hell, though.:D

April 15, 2008, 09:22 AM
Good lord they smell like hell, though. :D:

I come to this forum to share and learn. After all these years, I finally know why they sometimes stink so bad. Now I recall that the smell is simular to Turpentine. Thus, Trees. Have also noted that some rabbits taste better than others. "Pine Rabbits" !! How bout that!! I've hunted mountain rabbits, swamp rabbits, barn rabbits and now, Pine Rabbits !!! Wait til I clean rabbits with my buddy and find a stinky one!!!
I find late season rabbits very tasty. Again, I thank you for enlightening me.

Be Safe

April 15, 2008, 12:11 PM
Youths under age 18 can buy a youth small game license for $1.
All youths must meet hunter education requirements. Those under 16
must be accompanied by a mentor while hunting. Amentor must be 18
or older and must meet hunter education requirements. Mentors aren’t
required to hunt. While hunting, youths and mentors must be able to see
and hear each other without binoculars, radios or other aids.So yes, you need a license and yes, you need hunter's education (which is generally a good idea anyway).

a. Rifles or handguns allowed for blue (dusky) grouse and
b. Shotguns cannot be larger than 10 gauge. Shotguns cannot be
capable of holding more than 3 shells in magazine and chamber
c. Hand-held bows and crossbows.
d. Pellet guns and slingshots.
e. Hawking.So yes, you can use a pellet rifle if you have one. However, a good pellet rifle can cost more than an average quality 22 rifle, so use your head on this buying decision.

I would suggest finding a mentor (someone to teach and direct you) that already hunts or is willing to learn. This will make it much easier to get out to areas where there is game and will allow you a bit more freedom and quality of hunting.

If you are living in a congested area, it would be a good idea to wait until you can find a way to get away from houses and other people (at least a mile from houses).

April 15, 2008, 12:57 PM
They taste a little different than your average rabbit

Funny you should mention it, but the same with squirrels living on a diet of pine nuts.....