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Dangers of Rabbit hunting.

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posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 01:06 AM
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Another survival discussion made me think of the dangers of Tularemia. Thought I'd post a separate thread, for notes from posters various health threats that might be important for survivalists to know about.

Here we Go: Tularemia (from the Utah department of health)

Basically, Tularemia is common to rabbits, especially cottontails. It can be spread by touching their pelts and paws, or by eating improperly cooked rabbit meat. Ticks are a disease vector.

If you plan on feeding yourself by trapping or shooting rabbits in North America, you should familiarlize yourself with this disease.

Several articles I'll link say that incidences of tularemia are in decline. I attribute this to the fact that fewer and fewer people consume wild rabbit meat in the US (I still do, several times a year).

Basically, the CDC says you shoult use a deet-containing insect repellent, and consider wearing rubber gloves when skinning rabbits.

The author of this beagle hunting website states that he has never seen an animal with a diseased liver or other signs of tularemia, and that he thinks the disease is relatively rare, but you should be aware. He suggests stopping and searching for ticks every couple of hours, as a way to avoid the ticks.

I grew up hunting and eating rabbit; it was an important part of our diet during lean times. I was taught to gut and skin a rabbit by breaking off a rear paw and using the claw to cut the centerline. Then, using a thumb, you'd loosen the guts, but not remove them. Holding the carcass by the ears, you sort of flick it behind you, and the guts go flying, without getting any blood on anything but your thumb. The problem with this method is that blood and paws are major sources of infection.

I also was taught after this to hang the rabbit for several days, to let maggots, ticks and fleas to desert the carcass. you only do this in cold weather, which in Texas means after a snowstorm.

I don't know if he was right, but my grandfather told us only to hunt rabbits in the desert in the snow

-fresh snow made for easy tracking
-he claimed there were fewer ticks, and they weren't as "jumpy"
-the lean fodder of deep winter means that most of the sick ones already have died.

Unlike the author of the second webpage, I have seen a diseased animal liver. It was shriveled and wrinkled, and had little yellow spots or pustules on it. My uncle made us back away, and use all the water in the canteens to wash our hands repeatedly.

My grandfather claimed you could spot any diseased animal by looking at the liver, and you should always look at the liver before you ate anything. So when you fling the rabbit guts to clean it, don't flick too far!

I still hunt rabbit when I've gotten some pheasant. Pheasant is dry meat, and rabbit is frequently sort of greasy, so "pheasant/rabbit stew" is a great way to equal them out. I actually prefer it over everything besides smoked pheasant, with some good gravy.

I don't know that this thread will be very prolific, but I felt like survivalists who haven't depended on rabbit meat need to know wha they are in for.

.



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 07:53 AM
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thanks for that,

here in the UK we have our own problem with rabbits called mxymatosis (sp ?) do you have it in the US ??

i know they have it in Australia as it was intoduced by man to kill off the rabbits.

snoopyuk



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 08:09 AM
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Good info there, Doc.
When discussing rabbits as a survival food, though, rabbit starvation should be mentioned.

Rabbit Starvation

This trouble is worst, so far as North America is concerned, among those forest Indians who depend at times on rabbits, the leanest animal in the North, and who develop the extreme fat-hunger known as rabbit-starvation. Rabbit eaters, if they have no fat from another source-beaver, moose, fish-will develop diarrhea in about a week, with headache, lassitude, a vague discomfort. If there are enough rabbits, the people eat till their stomachs are distended; but no matter how much they eat they feel unsatisfied.



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 09:30 AM
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Wow two great post. I feel that Rabbit is the most universal survival food there is. Almost every continent has them, so information on them should be committed to memory.
When I was at Ft. Benning part of the training wascatching and eating rabbits. Even the United states military knows the value of the little creature as a survival food.

You wanna see a funny site try watching a city boy do that for the first time. I had been trapping/hunting rabbits almost all my life at that point so I was old hand at it. I never laughed so hard in my life.



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 09:34 AM
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Hey Doc, I've always wondered if you can eat jackrabbits? Do you know anything about the meat?

Peace



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 09:42 AM
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Jackrabbits = tough and stringy. Especially older ones.

You can do a jackrabbit stew in a pinch tho. I imagine any slow braise would work, too.



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 10:10 AM
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speaking of Rabbits OMFG take a look
big bunnys

Meat for a week of one of these monsters



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 10:13 AM
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Subject X: believe it or not, I think I've had that! (rabbit starvation) I almost posted that if you eat rabbit for more than a week, you'll get the runs something awful! Funny that I never heard about it growing up, from people who certainly must have recognized it for what it was. Maybe they didn't want to label it or something.



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 10:14 AM
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Incidentally, the most efficient way to get rabbit is not to use a .22

Get a gunny sack, and find a stack of pipe; irrigation or oilfield or structural pipe. During the heat of the day, quietly peek down the pipe and find one with a rabbit hiding in it. Put the sack well over one end of the pipe. Walk around to the other end, and gently lift the pipe up until the rabbit runs down into the sack. careful though; sometimes you'll get mice by this method, too.

You can fill your sack in probably 10 minutes, not counting the time it takes to find a sack of pipe. It will feed 8 people for dinner with no problem.



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 10:21 AM
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I grew up hunting and eating rabbit; it was an important part of our diet during lean times. I was taught to gut and skin a rabbit by breaking off a rear paw and using the claw to cut the centerline. Then, using a thumb, you'd loosen the guts, but not remove them. Holding the carcass by the ears, you sort of flick it behind you, and the guts go flying, without getting any blood on anything but your thumb. The problem with this method is that blood and paws are major sources of infection.


Wild I have cleaned many rabbits, never flicked anything behind me, lol,

This takes two people, I usually smoke a cigar while I am at it, stinks,
hold them by the back paws gut um, out with the guts, slice around the back paws pull skin down in one piece over head, cut off head, there is a gland that needs removed in the leg for better taste, soak in salt water overnight




I also was taught after this to hang the rabbit for several days, to let maggots, ticks and fleas to desert the carcass. you only do this in cold weather, which in Texas means after a snowstorm.


Never heard of such, but who knows.

I have lived off game and fish, never caught anything, gotta watch for rabbit fever, never had it.

peace out

Ps, if ya don't have two people nail the back legs to a tree.

same with squirrels



[edit on 27-4-2007 by Stormdancer777]



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

Subject X: believe it or not, I think I've had that! (rabbit starvation) I almost posted that if you eat rabbit for more than a week, you'll get the runs something awful! Funny that I never heard about it growing up, from people who certainly must have recognized it for what it was. Maybe they didn't want to label it or something.




I have lived off game, and never experienced this.

as far as being tough, ya have to know how to cook the darn things, baked is good, but if you fry them,fry them really slow, I mean really slow, on low heat.

[edit on 27-4-2007 by Stormdancer777]



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 10:47 AM
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Fantastic posts. Going to flag this thread. Lots of very vital info in it.

I remember Heinlein mentioning a rabit disease in one of his speeches, but never could remember what it was called, and couldn't find a reference to it later on. The gist of it was that if one didn't know how to spot a rabbit infected with _______, then...something bad... Obviously I paid a lot of attention to this part.

However, Tularemia fits in really well.

I think the comment about the liver is spot-on, since it's the body's natural filter. Funny how Survivor Man never once mentioned rabbit diseases in the episode where he hunted, skinned, and ate one, you'd think that'd be a major warning. I'm going to throw this out there, though, since it worked on the show.

Another method of hunting rabits, if you have no gun, no bow, no bag, and no pipe:

Find a good solid, slightly bent stick, about 2/3 arm's length, and use a rock to flatten out either end as much as possible, making basically a really bad boomerang. Even a little flattening on each end will help make it more aerodynamic, and the bend will give it the right kind of spin.

Then find a tree trunk about as wide as a rabbit, and practice throwing the stick at the trunk from various distances till you can hit it every time.

Then go rabbit hunting. Move as close to the rabbit as you can, and throw at it, aiming just slightly in front of the rabbit. One good hit with the throwing stick should cripple it enough to then catch it with ease. "Should" being the operative word. You might want two bring two sticks.



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 10:48 AM
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Originally posted by Stormdancer777

Ps, if ya don't have two people nail the back legs to a tree.



Assuming, of course, that you live where there are trees.


I've only eaten jackrabbit once, and it didn't come out well. Cottontail live everywhere jacks do, and they are not such runners, and have much softer fur. We collected the hides as kids, and so we wanted cottontail pelts.



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 10:56 AM
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If you are going to chase rabbits on foot, remember that cottontails sort of lay their ears back, just before they dodge right or left. My brothers told me that if you are left handed, throw left of the rabbit; if you are right handed throw to the right.

When the cottontail's ears go back, throw in the direction you've already planned. There's a fifty-fifty chance he'll veer into the spot your aiming for, and you'll get a direct hit.

We did it more out of boredom than the quest for food. But I do remember eating rabbits we'd gotten that way.

The libra is right about the bent stick thing. It is typical among Rio Grande indians to find a couple of throwing sticks in prehistoric burials. So the brave could get some rabbit on the way to the happy hunting grounds.

.



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by thelibra
Another method of hunting rabits, if you have no gun, no bow, no bag, and no pipe:

Find a good solid, slightly bent stick, about 2/3 arm's length, and use a rock to flatten out either end as much as possible, making basically a really bad boomerang. Even a little flattening on each end will help make it more aerodynamic, and the bend will give it the right kind of spin.

Then find a tree trunk about as wide as a rabbit, and practice throwing the stick at the trunk from various distances till you can hit it every time.

Then go rabbit hunting. Move as close to the rabbit as you can, and throw at it, aiming just slightly in front of the rabbit. One good hit with the throwing stick should cripple it enough to then catch it with ease. "Should" being the operative word. You might want two bring two sticks.


I think I'd go hungry pretty quick!
I was a pitcher in high school and college and I don't think I could pull that off. Getting close to wild rabbits is extremely difficult, at least for me it is.

Here's to hoping I'm never without a gun or bow.


Peace



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by Dr Love


I think I'd go hungry pretty quick!
I was a pitcher in high school and college and I don't think I could pull that off. Getting close to wild rabbits is extremely difficult, at least for me it is.

Here's to hoping I'm never without a gun or bow.


Peace


It's actually easier than you'd think. You pretend you don't see the rabbit, and are just sort of walking past it. Rabbit think they can blend in as long as they are still. you can get within about 10 yards or so. Have your stick ready for when his ears go back . . . .

They are used to hiding from coyotes, and outrunning them. So don't act like a coyote and they won't act like a runner.

I think it's partly because most predators don't have color vision, and cannot see a rabbbit well unless it moves, or they smell it.


.



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

If you are going to chase rabbits on foot, remember that cottontails sort of lay their ears back, just before they dodge right or left. My brothers told me that if you are left handed, throw left of the rabbit; if you are right handed throw to the right.

When the cottontail's ears go back, throw in the direction you've already planned. There's a fifty-fifty chance he'll veer into the spot your aiming for, and you'll get a direct hit.


Brilliant! I didn't know that part. I'll have to remember that part.

Incidentally, do you throw the stick "elbow forward" or "elbow backward"? Logic says "elbow backward" since that's how boomerangs are thrown, but that might just be for booms...



Originally posted by Dr Love
I think I'd go hungry pretty quick!
I was a pitcher in high school and college and I don't think I could pull that off. Getting close to wild rabbits is extremely difficult, at least for me it is.


It's a different kind of throwing, but if you were a pitcher, you've already got a good sense of perception and hand-eye coordination. All you'd need to do is get used to the difference in weight and how it flies, and for that, you use the tree as practice. I bet with your pitching experience, you'd do better than most.

Keep in mind that with a stick, you're talking about a much wider area of potential impact than with a baseball... because of the peculiarities of physics, air resistance, aerodynamics, etc, you can throw a throwing stick with roughly the same impact force of a baseball, while covering a wider area, with the sacrifice being in the speed of your projectile. But since the stick travels at a faster rate than the rabit, you're basically just using that force more efficiently.

I've got a distinct disadvantage due to eyesight problems, but figure I might start attempting primitive rabbit hunting on future camping trips as "practice before the big game" (wokka wokka wokka... triple-entendre-pun, w00t!)



Originally posted by Dr Love
Here's to hoping I'm never without a gun or bow.



Even more so, I hope I'm never without a sierra cup. You can't boil water in a gun... Well, you could, but it'd taste funny.



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

Subject X: believe it or not, I think I've had that! (rabbit starvation) I almost posted that if you eat rabbit for more than a week, you'll get the runs something awful!

Yup, that would be it.
Easily avoided though, by just adding other meat or fish to the diet.
Rabbit is all protein, no fat.



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 11:29 AM
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Throw the stick sideways, bent forward. You cannot make it "come back to you." I have a HUGE suspicion that boomerangers only did the return trick for show. Any force you can put into the stick you want transfered to the rabbit/kangaroo/tourist you're trying to wack.

I think a real boomerang is thrown stick back. I can remember practicing, and that you want to know how to estimate how many revolutions it will take to your target, so the stick gets there with full force.

The best way to practice is on a cold evening when the saturday night dance has been cancelled. Get a friend with a ford pinto, and go four wheeling. have him drive up while you try to whack a bunny with an oversize pipe wrench. good times. But then, that belongs in another thread.



posted on Apr, 27 2007 @ 11:32 AM
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You will decrease your chances of getting rabbit starvation by eating the entire rabbit
liver brains eyes bone marrow and so on I know pretty gross but in a survival situation I rather close my eyes and not chew than die of starvation of any kind.

Later
GEO

[edit on 4/27/2007 by geocom]



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