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Thread: Sickly looking snowshoe hares?

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    Default Sickly looking snowshoe hares?

    Went out to my stand yesterday to check on things and got a rabbit. It was acting slow, was completely soaked, and seemed really skinny. I have noticed the numbers are way down from what they were even at the beginning of the winter. Is this normal right before a crash in numbers? Eaten all the good forage perhaps? Has anyone else noted changes like this in the population?

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    If it was completely soaked it was probably hypothermic, sluggish and dying. As far as skinny, they all are under that fur. Get a big fluffy dog soaked and they skinny up pretty good too. I know about tularemia, but in forty plus years of hunting I've never seen a case of it. Anybody else seen a verified case first hand?

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OATS View Post
    If it was completely soaked it was probably hypothermic, sluggish and dying. As far as skinny, they all are under that fur. Get a big fluffy dog soaked and they skinny up pretty good too. I know about tularemia, but in forty plus years of hunting I've never seen a case of it. Anybody else seen a verified case first hand?

    Have found maybe a dozen cases out of the many many bunnies I've brought out the Knik river valley over the years....... And that's like 1 out of 50 maybe.....



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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    From the ADFG website:

    There are two major cycles of this disease. The first occurs on land. Snowshoe hares are the primary host. The disease is spread from an infected hare to a susceptible hare by means of ticks. Ticks are only present on hares from May through September. The disease essentially disappears from October through April.

    Tularemia causes some internal organs (such as the spleen and liver) to become enlarged. Sometimes, white spots may also be seen on these organs.

    Unless a necropsy is done and the spleen and liver are analyzed, I doubt that verifying tularemia is possible.

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    The white spots are what we look for.... And occasionally find.... Whether or not they are okay to eat with that, we were taught to not eat them, so that's my reasoning



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