Hares

Discussion in 'Livestock' started by paladin562, Dec 18, 2010.

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  1. paladin562

    paladin562 Member

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    Does anyone out there eat Hares (Snowshoes or Jackrabbits)?? If not, why not. We have them all over out here, very few cottontails. If you do eat them, how are they? Never tried it myself but in an emergency, why not?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2010
  2. sunny

    sunny Well-Known Member

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    Don't know about in Montana but here the jack rabbits carry diseases that can be passed to humans, Tularemia, Encephilitis, Q fever, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If you decide to try them please, wear gloves when handling them to prevent the lice, mites, fleas and ticks from biting you and cook very very thoroughly. I've heard that you have to boil them for 6 hours before you can chew them anyway.;)
     

  3. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    Snowshoe hares are decent eating. I personally believe cottontails taste slightly better but the difference is slight. Those I've eaten were tender and took no extra preparation. The snowshoe hares are larger. With rabbits and hares always check the liver for color and spots. If it has white spots don't eat the rabbit. Other than that take the same precautions you'd take with any other meat. I've found that disease is most prevalent when the rabbits are at their peak cycle. Also, if one was diseased usually most in the area had the same problem. I've had times I shot ten or more cotontails out of the same corner of a field and had every one of them be diseased yet those I killed a mile down the road were fine.

    Jackrabbits are decent eating. I've heard people say they were tough but those I've had were fine. (But I haven't eaten many of them so maybe I got lucky?)
     
  4. sunny

    sunny Well-Known Member

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    I think there's something about the fat on the back of the neck being yellow also? Or is that only home bred rabbits?
     
  5. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    MMM hit it out of the park with the seasonal variance (usually parasites :eek: luckily there are visual clues, and common-sense precautions are very helpful in preventing spread to you)
     
  6. sunny

    sunny Well-Known Member

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    So, hunt them after the first hard freeze? That would break the life cycle of the parasites and kill off alot of the sick ones, right?
    Darn, now I want to try one.
     
  7. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    Don't count on a freeze making it safe. I've killed rabbits in the snow and still had some with tularemia (rabbit fever). When hunting look over the general condition of any animal you kill or see. If they're lethargic or sickly looking (generally dull fur, listless, open sores, eyes matted or running, etc.) go somewhere else. When dressing them out always check the liver for color and white spots. Any doubts, throw it out.
     
  8. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    the many of the parasites live inside the animal... so, unless the rabbit froze to death (solid) you have to worry, but Late Fall & Winter rabbits ARE better/safer (last week of October to thru 2nd week February) IMO
     
  9. paladin562

    paladin562 Member

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    If you did eat a sick rabbit what would be the symptoms?
     
  10. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    "The incubation period for tularemia is 1 to 14 days; most human infections become apparent after 3 to 5 days.[13] In most susceptible mammals, the clinical signs include fever, lethargy, anorexia, signs of septicemia, and possibly death. Animals rarely develop the skin lesions seen in people. Subclinical infections are common and animals often develop specific antibodies to the organism. Fever is moderate or very high and tularemia bacillus can be isolated from blood cultures at this stage. Face and eyes redden and become inflamed. Inflammation spreads to the lymph nodes, which enlarge and may suppurate (mimicking bubonic plague). Lymph node involvement is accompanied by a high fever. Death occurs in less than 1% if therapy is initiated promptly."

    Tularemia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    This sounds bad but the incidence rate of tularemia is less that one in one million. When you learn all the different sources from which you can get it, hunting plays a minor role. Cases (and one death) were documented in Martha's Vineyard where they became infected by mowing the lawn. (Good argument to not mow the lawn, right?:eek:)

    The absolute best thing a person can do with any meat is thorougly cook it. Heat kills most of the bad guys.
     
  11. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

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    Slightly off the subject, but most rodents (rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs, etc) have a lymph gland under each arm pit. It is greyish brown and sticky/fatty. When cleaning, bend the forearm back and pinch the node between your thumb and knife blade to remove. Much of the "gamey" taste comes from those nodes, particularly with ground hogs. I never had jackrabbits or hares, but I'd guess they are the same.
     
  12. paladin562

    paladin562 Member

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    What about dogs can they catch tularemia from eating sick rabbits.
     
  13. sunny

    sunny Well-Known Member

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    Tularemia (Rabbit Fever) in Dogs

    It's not very common and doesn't effect dogs as badly as other species. Also, a PMR raw fed dog passes his food within 4 hours not allowing bacteria to grow in his system. Probably part of why they are such good carnivorous scavengers. Inappropriate ingredients (grain, vegetables, etc) slow digestion causing over-growth of bacteria.
     
  14. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    Boiling and stewing are good ways to cook meat but to go so far as saying they are "the only ways that make sense" is stretching it a little. Sure you lose a little more of the nutrient value other ways but some people like them better fried or barbecued and different cooking techniques can add at least a little variety to the menu ... even if the main dish is the same.