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Thread: Time frame for eating rabbits

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    Member wldboar's Avatar
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    Question Time frame for eating rabbits

    Ok, I have a question. I have always hunted for rabbits after first freeze or around 2nd week in October. I was up in Unit 13 last week doing some hunting and some people were taking rabbits. I thought there was a parasite or something if you take them too early. What do you consider to early?

    By the way, tons of rabbits and I even got a few grouse.

    Thanks for the help.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wldboar View Post
    Ok, I have a question. I have always hunted for rabbits after first freeze or around 2nd week in October. I was up in Unit 13 last week doing some hunting and some people were taking rabbits. I thought there was a parasite or something if you take them too early. What do you consider to early?

    By the way, tons of rabbits and I even got a few grouse.

    Thanks for the help.

    Dad always used to say they were safe to eat if taken during the months with "r's" in them so September through April. We sure used to shoot a bunch of hares in September as kids.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I've taken a pile of hares in September. The parasite you mention is probably tularemia or commonly called "rabbit fever" and is actually a bacterial infection. Tons of info on the net about it.

    I always take precautions when dressinig hares (ie.surgical gloves) as there have been a few cases of rabbit to hunter transmission during field dressing. I'm not totally convinced the cold weather actually stops the bacteria but probably kills off infected animals faster.

    I also tend to cook hare a little more done than I might normally.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    rule of thumb... dont eat brown bunnies. they turn white when the skeeters die off
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Default confusion

    hmmmm.....so don't eat brown bunnies...or just cook them real well?

    Anyone know of any concrete info on the bacteria/parasite they carry? If it's just 'rabbit fever' I've been told simply cooking will kill it off.




    Jon
    Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

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    Member wldboar's Avatar
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    At least I am not the only one. I think I will just wait till October like I usually do.

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    Member aufevermike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    rule of thumb... dont eat brown bunnies. they turn white when the skeeters die off
    They don't turn white because the mosquitos die, they turn white due to the decrease in daylight. I have alway gone with the "R'' in the spelling of the month thing and have yet to have any problems.

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    Member aufevermike's Avatar
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    Then again if a rabbit has it, it has it. The colder weather does not kill the parasite within the rabbit. It is a parasite that attacks the rabbit's spleen. So if you take the precaution of wearing gloves while dressing out the rabbit and thoroughly cooking the rabbit you won't have any problems. Cooking will kill the parasite.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aufevermike View Post
    They don't turn white because the mosquito's die, they turn white due to the decrease in daylight. I have alway gone with the "R'' in the spelling of the month thing and have yet to have any problems.
    perhaps i mis spoke... when the skeeters die off it is cold enough for the rabbits to turn.. my entire life here i have herd the same thing. eating bunnies in the summer could POTENTIALLY get you sick.. it has something to do with the mosquito and the liver... and spleen. for the same reason we all cook pork well done and don't eat bear livers. so hence the rule of thumb don't eat brown bunnies. by the time they are white the skeeters have died and the germ, fever, parasite,, what ever it is has died off... as always cook them all well.

    i do know folks that hunt them in the spring and summer and do fine.. personally i can not..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member wldboar's Avatar
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    You guys are making me hungry for some rabbit pot pie!!!! Might have to change my weekend plans

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    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Ehh I'm heading down Kenai way this weekend. If I say a bunny I just might have to try some rabbit.

    (Gotta say that pot pie sounds GOOD)


    Jon
    Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

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    Member wldboar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akhunter3 View Post
    Ehh I'm heading down Kenai way this weekend. If I say a bunny I just might have to try some rabbit.

    (Gotta say that pot pie sounds GOOD)


    Jon
    I was heading to Kenai Sun to chase silvers or I would be heading up north. Going next weekend. See you live in Anchorage, I will hook you up with a pie when the slaughter happens next weekend. PM sent.

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    I have heard of guys who wait till the first frost so that any lice or other such parasites are killed off on the bunnies. But with the cool, wet summer I am not sure how much of problem lice would be this year.

    I will be out looking for some moose this weekend, but will take some hares if they cross my path.
    Just a bitter Alaskan clinging to his guns and religion.....

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    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wldboar View Post
    I was heading to Kenai Sun to chase silvers or I would be heading up north. Going next weekend. See you live in Anchorage, I will hook you up with a pie when the slaughter happens next weekend. PM sent.



    Tasty



    Pm replied. Good luck with your fishing!



    Jon
    Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

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