rabbit hunting question

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by kuntry816, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. kuntry816

    kuntry816 G&G Newbie

    rabbit season opened fri here in missouri and was wondering as a kid i remember always being told i had to wait til first hard frost to hunt rabbit or the meat would make you sick is there any truth to this or just outdated advice from my grandfather
  2. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    Altho I doubt that it is nearly as dangerous as has been publicised long before my time it was believed that rabbit fever could be contracted by handling or eating infected rabbits and that all infected rabbits died after the first freeze.We were never allowed to hunt rabbits until after the first "good" snowfall.After reading about tularimia or "rabbit fever" I honestly believe we were in more danger from insect bites during deer fly and tick season than if we had taken and used the rabbits.Altho we never broke the old,old rule I knew lots of people that did handle and consume rabbits before any killing freeze with absolutely no bad results.In fact I heard horror stories but never knew personally anyone that contracted the disease.It is a terrible disease to get,but also very treatable.Outside of bug bites,poorly cooked game is the easiest way to be infected,but this is true with several diseases such as trichanosis from bear meat.(or domestic or wild hogs) Here is an article on rabbit fever:Tularemia Fact Sheet

  3. SwedeSteve

    SwedeSteve Freedom Zealot Forum Contributor

    Honestly, I never heard of this when growing up, but learned of it later in life. We didn't get any real freezes growing up in SoCal. So I cannot say if its true anywhere else.

    But I can say we never handled any guts or anything as we used to squeeze the rabbit around the chest and squeeze everything down like a tube of toothpaste until everything was sitting low down in the rabbit. Then raise the rabbit up and with a motion like chopping with an axe, sling the rabbit down forcefully and between your legs. Everything comes out of the rabbit, lungs and all !!
  4. Mainly it has to do with warbles. The larva from the botfly. The first hard frost is supposed to kill these.
  5. kansascoyote

    kansascoyote G&G Newbie

    I have been hunting rabbits with my hounds for 35 yrs and have never got a bad one . As samual says cooking them is the key make sure the meat has reached an internal temp of 170 degrees . I smoke rabbits 8 or so at a time they are the best eating you will ever have in my opinion . Alot of folks fry them that is how I grew up eating them but as I get older I stay away from the fried food if I can . If you don't have a smoker try them on the BBQ they are really good that way to . Cook them with the same care you would a chicken and everything will be ok .
  6. kuntry816

    kuntry816 G&G Newbie

    thanks for the answers havent been rabit hunting since i was a kid and never questioned why i was always told that
  7. big shrek

    big shrek G&G Evangelist

    Try living where there ain't snow...it's not snowed & stuck here since 1973.
    Florida...land of Bikini's.

    You just use gloves in cleaning/prep and everything gets cooked to well-done.
  8. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    The larvae that mouser868 mentioned is what I was always cautioned about.