View Full Version : Have any of you ever eaten a Jack Rabbit or a feral pigeon?

Big Bill
March 9, 2009, 06:40 PM
Have any of you ever eaten a Jack Rabbit or a feral pigeon? How was it?

March 9, 2009, 06:50 PM
Feral pigeon, IMHO, are just large doves with larger breasts and taste the same if shot off the farms where they eat grain and corn...

March 9, 2009, 06:59 PM
where i hunt there are no jack rabbits but everything i HEARD (not saying its true) is that the meat is just so tough and stringy that even after long slow cooking it still is terrible. However i've also heard deer is gamey, that searobin's (a "trash" saltwater fish around here) is boney, and there is only a small amount of meat in the tail of it.

well i can tell you the deer i got this year (first one, still excited months later haha) was delicious. and that searobin's taste quite good, not boney, and have flesh throughout just like a regular fish. So hopefully you get some honest answers from someone that actually tried to eat a jack rabbit...and tried to cook it right!

I think many times its the fact that it isnt cooked right. such as squirrels, if you take a regular adult squirrel and bread and fry it, to me at least...its like eating a car tire. has to be slow cooking/low heat. i think that alone may tarnish the reputation of some animals. Its looks ect.

sorry to go off on a rant... continue....

March 9, 2009, 07:09 PM
I agree with hogdog about the pigeon. as long as they are grain fed just a big o dove. not too sure about the jackrabbit. i wouldnt eat them

W. C. Quantrill
March 9, 2009, 07:19 PM
Jackrabbits--get the young ones in late spring,,,,almost full grown. They are good eating. Once they mature, they get tough and you run the chance of tuleremia if they are not cooked properly.

Big Bill
March 9, 2009, 07:30 PM
Can't you also get tularemia eating cotton-tails?

Cottontails Are Vermin: Support Your Local Raptor

Provided by: Stock.

Contributed by: Amy Fast on 2/15/2007

I know you can see my smiling face in the corner of this screen. I don't look like a bunny hater. I look like the woman up the street who feeds the bunnies, puts out seeds for the birds and thinks her dog and cat really are best friends. Looks can be deceiving.

This principal applies to our fluffy little cottontail friends. Recent visitors to my house commented on the "cute" bunnies romping across the front yard. My only comment resulted in a few puzzled looks of horror as I described how my dogs tag-team the rascals like a pack of hungry wolves, catch them and eat them in a spectacularly primitive manner. It's usually followed by, " if I owned a shotgun I would reduce the population myself."

There is no doubt these animals have a right to exist. My home on the range was their home first however, if you've ever had to rid your pet of parasites, particularly bot flies and roundworms, it doesn't take long to build distain towards these furry prairie critters. Cottontails carry a variety of disease, parasites and protozoa. These are often harmful if not fatal to humans and domestic animals.

Tularemia: Also known as "rabbit fever" or "deerfly fever". Humans and dogs can contract this bacterium when an open sore or wound comes into contact with a rabbit carcass, or, uncooked meat of a rabbit is ingested. Ticks and mosquitoes also carry the disease, however, rabbits are the most common form of transmission. Untreated, Tularemia has a 15 percent mortality rate. http://www.kcom.edu/faculty/chamberlain/bioterror/tularemia.htm

Bot Flies : These are gross little skin burrowing worms appearing in early-midsummer, affectionately called Cuterebra emasculator Fitch. The bot fly lays the eggs around the outside of vermin holes, and when then unsuspecting rabbit passes through the hole, the larvae attach to it's new host. They burrow under the skin and form a warble where the larvae develop and then "exit". Want to vomit ? Try digging those same worms out of your dogs' belly after they brush past a tree or rabbit hole and get those same larvae on their skin. It looks like a mosquito bite at first - but a week later you know it's NOT a mosquito bite. If you can stomach it, visit this link http://botfly.ifas.ufl.edu/index.htm . Pets.coloradosrpings.com also had an Ask-A-Vet column concerning bots, you can read it here : http://pets.coloradosprings.com/vet_fullstory.jsp?id=4946 .

Coccidia: This is a common parasite living in the intestines of mice and rabbits. Dogs pick this up by eating mice, rabbits or their leavings. I am sorry if you think your Fido or Princess would never do such a thing. Dogs are dogs, and once upon a time (or now, in the case of my dogs), canines used to eat rabbits and mice to survive. I won't go into the details of what happens when they get infected, but if you've ever heard a human describe having Giardia, it's about the same. There are species of coccidian that can infect people.

Rabies: Ninety-ninepercentof all cases of rabies are fatal. Fortunately rabbits are not the biggest spreaders of this disease. Bats and raccoons are the most common culprits. Some people have phobias about needles, stinging bees or heights. My freak-out switch comes with the word "rabies." If you'd like to learn more about why this used to be one of the top public health threats in the world, visit http://www.rabies.com/

Plague: Rabbits can carry plague infected fleas, like many ground-dwelling rodents. Plague is especially deadly to domesticated cats.

Roundworms: For people whose dogs aren't around any kind of wildlife, they are less likely to pick up these annoying and gross parasites as healthy adult dogs. Dogs like to chase and sometimes catch rabbits, squirrels, mice, voles, and ground squirrels. By ingesting parts or the whole carcass of these creatures, they are at significant risk for picking up larvae that can develop into harmful parasites. Thankfully the solution is simple. If you have dogs who are around wildlife or encounter it in an eat-or-be-eaten situation, ask your vet about an appropriate de-worming schedule. You will be glad you did. Again, if you can stomach it, this is an excellent link .

Fortunately veterinary medicine has come a long way for domesticated rabbits. There are vaccines to help protect them from the most dangerous of illnesses and to protect the people who keep them as pets. Wild rabbits are not the only carriers of disease along the front range. Coyotes, for example, carry parvovirus which is a life-threatening intestinal disease for your dog. Deer, rabbits, domesticated cows along with a whole host of other animals can carry giardia. One of my veterinarians said that the particular protozoa is present in 80 percentof the water sources in this state.

Rabbit infestation is a common problem, even if you live in town. Most of the animals who eat rabbits such as coyotes and raptors are not likely to dwell in heavily urban areas. Out on the plains, we have a few particularly well-fed hawks who unceremoniously leave rabbit leftovers on our fence posts and sometimes on the hood of an unluckily parked vehicle. At nighttime, the owls take over culling the population. It doesn't seem to matter how many predatory birds there are, there are always 12 to 15 rabbits in my front yard when I leave for work in the morning, leaving their pestilent little pebbles all over the place. If it were not for the fact it would deeply disturb my neighbors, I'd be picking them off and leaving them for the coyotes!


March 9, 2009, 08:37 PM
Ever ate a rock cornish game hen? Tastes like pigeon :D

Yeah,I have eaten pigeon.Its fine,but I would avoid urban pigeons as I hear they can carry TB.

Some friends had quite a jackrabbit hunt and wasting them seemed wrong.They lived in an old farmhouse.Somehow they got tuned to a green chilie in a big old messhall pot.Another one was full of pinto's.Was a lot of tortillas and a couple of kegs.Word of the party got out downtown,pretty soon the place was overrun with designer jeans,heels,gold lamme miniskirts,etc.All the jackurritos got ate up and those disco folks seemed to like it fine.

Been known to check a roadside deer carcass to see if it was still warm and loose,too.I pass up the stiff ones.

If a piece of hardtack doesn't seem like good groceries,wait a while.

March 9, 2009, 09:09 PM
Never a jackrabbit but plenty of pigeons which basically are just big mourning doves.

March 9, 2009, 10:03 PM
Get the jacks when they are young, March or April, they are OK to eat. Pigeons are pigeons, doesn't matter whether they are wild or tame, they're good. Shoot 'em and cook 'em.

March 9, 2009, 10:20 PM
Get the jacks when they are young, March or April, they are OK to eat. Shoot 'em and cook 'em.
And how two weeks past April them little buggers start getting lean muscle and no matter how you kill it, there is the taste of adrenalin. Good eatin when you get them early.
Tree rats are my favorite. (squirrel)
Squirrel ka-bobs marinated in fresh garlic and ginger, a little dash of black soy sauce, crushed black pepper and dab of salt. Man that's good stuff.:D

March 9, 2009, 11:16 PM
Jackrabbits are gooooood eatin :D I shoot them in the desert here all the time. Take them home, skin and wash them, throw it in a roasting pan with some garlic, oregano, sage, toss in some taters and carrots and put it in the oven for a bit. The meat has a texture like chicken, not tough or stringy at all. Kind of a mild chicken-like flavor, but not the same as chicken.

March 10, 2009, 12:07 AM
i have eaten jacks before and as said if you catch them young they are rather good other wise your gonna have to make jerky out of them. Now that is some good stuff:D

March 10, 2009, 12:10 AM
I've had some squab. Just dove in a ticked jacket. Nice pounded thin and wrapped around a jalapeno with a bacon shell. Mmmm

March 10, 2009, 12:32 AM
Yep, the pigeon taste like dove. I've shot a lot of Jack Rabbits, but just as targets. I was told when I was little that they weren't fit to eat and the meat was tough and stringy. So I never tried them. Cottontails on the other hand are pretty tasty, squirrel is good too.

If you ask me though none of the above beats Bob White quail. Diamondback rattle snake is close to as good as Quail, but you have to pick around a lot of bones. :)

Big Bill
March 10, 2009, 12:41 AM
Has anyone here eaten rock chucks? I hear they're good. I don't know what they call em back east in Kansas and Oklahoma, etc. But, here we call em rock chucks. Ain't he cute? Seriously, I don't think I have the heart to kill one.


March 10, 2009, 12:50 AM
-CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- IS A ROCK CHUCK? I thought a rock chuck was a busted windsheild on the schol bus?

March 10, 2009, 02:01 AM
Rockchuck+marmot,a varmot.I have shot a few,but not ate them.Likely similar to a woodchuck? A rat bigger than a prairie dog.I heard of an old traditional recipe where you use a noose and line to fish prairie dogs,then roll them around in the hot ashes of a fire till they pop like a bratwurst.Ain't tried it yet.
Came back into camp once and a camprobber(canadian Jay) was eating my cookies so I whacked him.Brother said"You shot it,you eat it"
Couldn't let him win,so I did.

Had some Mountain lion sausage dove season,which is true,but I'm inclined to make a joke that it tasted like....
BUT,this is a family site:cool:

March 10, 2009, 11:58 AM
Has anyone here eaten rock chucks? I hear they're good. When I lived in Reno, NV, I knew an old guy who had recipes for just about anything (coots, skunks, raccoon, muskrat, beaver, you name it), and he told us the young rockchucks were good to eat. We shot some, skinned them, and cooked them over hot coals like he said. One of them caught fire and burned like a torch, he had so much fat in him. The others cooked OK, but lost about 1/2 their weight from the fat cooking out, and when we ate them they were pretty greasy. Don't know what they tasted like, they were that greasy. Wouldn't do it again.

March 10, 2009, 12:10 PM
I would certainly shoot a rabbit and eat it up, just the other day I shot a nice big robin in the bush, plucked it got the breasts and cooked it up. A pidgon? yeah why not Id eat that too.

Brian Pfleuger
March 10, 2009, 12:15 PM
Is there such a thing as a non-feral pigeon?:eek::D

March 10, 2009, 12:16 PM
Sure Pizza, there are domesticated pigeons. They taste just fine too.:D

March 10, 2009, 02:36 PM
We used to shoot 60 pigeons in a day. We hid behind the rails, they flew in to eat the horse feed at the stables. The rancher was glad for us to do our work.
Grain fed, they tasted good!
We popped out the breasts, and wrapped the breast with a piece of bacon and barbecued them on the grill.
Good eating!

March 10, 2009, 06:53 PM
Have eaten pigeon and jack rabbit, they are just as good as any other game animal. Follow the rule "try anything atleast once" and you would be surprised how many "disgusting" things are good. The one I get the most reaction out of is, mountain lion, It is also one the better "weird" animals I have tried.

March 10, 2009, 09:39 PM
you should try gopher it is really good cooked over an open flame (skinned and cleaned) on a stick with some butter and spice to flavor. I was surprised on how good it really was.:cool:

March 11, 2009, 05:14 PM
I have eaten a blue jay and I have eaten wild rabbit. They were both good. I may have a new project (eat a pigeon). I will have to wait until the next time I am out west to bag a jack rabbit. I figure that when hungry enough a person will eat anything though.

March 11, 2009, 08:27 PM
guess i will try one been thinking about it. got plenty of them around here

Big Bill
March 11, 2009, 09:05 PM
guess i will try one been thinking about it. got plenty of them around hereLet us know if you live through it - OK? :cool:

March 12, 2009, 03:47 PM
we raised pigeon for training bird dogs. tasty!

ive also eaten tons of jack rabbit, it can be tough, we always use a crock pot, and cook a mess of them all day.

March 12, 2009, 04:00 PM
Never had either. My wild game dining experiences have been limited to pheasant, deer, caribou, elk and moose. I think that's it.

March 12, 2009, 04:09 PM
Haven't eaten Jack Rabbit. Pidgeons are edible enough.

Don't much care for California Condor, though it's better than Bald Eagle. Neither are as good as young California Sea Otter.:D

March 12, 2009, 04:18 PM
raised partly in West Tx was always told that jackrabbits were full of worms if not killed young so stayed away from em. Anyone ever eat a crocagator? Croc head on one and gator head on the other, MEAN suckers too, they cant poop!!

March 12, 2009, 08:46 PM
I shoot them in the desert here all the time. Take them home, skin and wash them, throw it in a roasting pan with some garlic, oregano, sage, toss in some taters and carrots and put it in the oven for a bit. The meat has a texture like chicken,

Man your maken my hungry.

Your jack rabbit sounds like our Hair, tough and stringy.

March 12, 2009, 08:55 PM
they can be, they are good with the right care though

March 12, 2009, 09:27 PM
I knew a fellow who had to try Jackrabbit roasted over a fire on a stick. Roasted it for a long time. When he took a big bite, it was still uncooked inside.

March 12, 2009, 10:13 PM
ha ha ha that's tough

March 13, 2009, 09:42 AM
I had a Game Warden try to give me a ticket back in the 80's for shooting pigeons while dove hunting. I had to go to the truck and show HIM they were non native, unprotected birds. Glad I had a copy of the regs with me!
Has anyone tried to eat a crow? I did. Boiled it for an hour and couldn't stick a fork in the juice.

Big Bill
March 13, 2009, 10:53 PM
Has anyone tried to eat a crow? I did. Boiled it for an hour and couldn't stick a fork in the juice.I don't understand why there's a season and restrictions on them here in Idaho?

March 13, 2009, 11:04 PM
apparently crows are considered a migratory game bird, federally. here in NY unlike all other migratory game birds, you do NOT need to shoot them w/ non-lead shot. you can use lead. there is still a 3 shot capacity limit for the shotgun though. apparently them being classified as such stems from some b.s. about how some crows migrate from mexico to the U.S. and vice versa. I'm sure someone will detail the specifics/provide a link.

March 14, 2009, 01:18 AM
Can't remember for sure but I think I heard the us fish and wildlife have a deal or treaty with mexico dealing with crows which is why we have a season on them.

March 29, 2009, 06:11 PM
Wild Jackrabbit (mature ones) makes hands down the finest Chilli con Carne' that you ever put in your face. Clean them and cool them out quick as possible,bone the meat and soak it in butter milk over night in the fridge Then course grind or fine chop and use them like you would hamburger in your chilli! You will never go back to beef!

My pappy tells me that they always had feral pigeons in their grain silos and they encouraged them to nest there, they would wait for the squabs to get almost ready to fledge and then catch them and kill them and eat them either roasted or cooked like quail in gravy and they were very good and also self producing, since the wild birds would lay another clutch almost immeadiately when the squabs were removed.

March 29, 2009, 06:46 PM
i really was getting ready to eat a crow until one morning i was watching one eat. when i went to look it was a very decade rabbit. i then changed my mind.:eek:

March 29, 2009, 07:30 PM
Anyone ever eat a crocagator? Croc head on one and gator head on the other, MEAN suckers too, they cant poop!!

Tastes just like Jackalope.

March 29, 2009, 07:47 PM
My boss was in DC and some homeless guy asked if he could spare some money for food he told him ya see all those pigeons you can eat those they're good i've ate em.:)

March 29, 2009, 07:53 PM

I think there is a restriction on crows is the same there is for birds like magpies (seagulls on the coastal states). There are the clean up crew for dead critters (trash?) etc. The fulfill a role in ridding the carcasses from road kill other causes of death?

March 29, 2009, 08:17 PM
Actually had Jackrabbit on Thursday morning. We normally cook the boys at work a big breakfast at the fishmarket on Thursdays, usually fried fish or some sort of game we've shot.

This week Louann pulled out a few of the pheasants we shot in SD last year along with a couple of grouse and one Jackrabbit. Also had a bit of Golden Tilefish and a soft-shell crab or two.

Pheasants and grouse were exellent, as were the Tile and crabs, but that rabbit was marginal at best. The concensus of the guys at work was that it was not worth shooting and cleaning. I had to agree with them.

March 29, 2009, 11:24 PM
Ferel pigeons are good, but I won't touch a jackrabbit. Do some research on tularemia.

March 30, 2009, 01:30 AM
Never ate winged rat, but jack-rabbit sucks. They're tough, stringy and taste like sagebrush. :barf:

March 30, 2009, 08:34 AM
i have eaten lots of critters. pigon is execelent. jack was ok but only had it twice down at my cousins when i was young. if that rock chucker is like our ground hogs they are great but they have to be done right. my aunts will melt in your mouth, my first several attempts were like eating boot heals and kevlar.had a old trapper friend and his wife cooked coon, opposom, muskrat and they were delisious. some buddies gave me some elk and now i dream of a hunt and all the meat i'll get.

all wild game is good if done right. doing right is the problem as most of the knolagable people are now getting up there or gone. i luckly have lots of old recipies from my great and great, great grandparents. that and granny who is a buddies gramma that lives deep in a holler in west by god. that woman could make delisious soup with a rock and 2 toads.

March 30, 2009, 10:34 AM
Recipe for squab, chicken thighs and other birds.
Salt & pepper to taste.
Roll or dust evenly in Five-Spice Powder.
Saute in butter until done.

You'll be the envy of the camp.