Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?



Author Topic: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?  (Read 3137 times)

Offline pyroboy33

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Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« on: June 23, 2012, 08:54:04 PM »
Just had kind of a bet with my mom that I would like some of you more expirienced hunters to clear up. The story is two days ago I shot I nice fat wild rabbit with my disco. I figured he was a keeper so I checked the eyes for swelling or irritation, and the annal cavity for the same. He turned out to be nice and clean. Next I skinned him and once again checked the liver for spots or just plain ugliness  :P everything looked good so I soaked him in brine solution overnight than cooked him up the next day. If everything on the rabbit looks healthy is it okay to eat one in the summer?
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Offline SquirrelSniper25

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 09:21:52 PM »
Of course! I think they may taste different than a rabbit killed in the dead of winter because of the change in diet, but they should still be safe.
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Offline Hunter45

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 09:27:42 PM »
I have never experienced a problem with rabbits harvested in the summer.  Warbles may be an issue like they can be in squirrels, but I have never seen a rabbit with them.
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Offline longislandhunter

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2012, 09:55:53 PM »
I've eaten many a summer rabbit and they're just fine  :)

Always good to check them like you did, summer or winter, but as long as they're healthy the summer ones are perfectly fine to eat.

As for warbles...... I've only found a few in all the years I've been eating rabbits.  While they are indeed nasty looking things and tend to make most people throw out the entire carcass, the truth of the matter is that if you cut out the warble and the surrounding meat the rest of the carcass is perfectly fine for eating.  That being said I can still understand why most people discard the entire carcass as they are really nasty looking things....

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« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 09:58:18 PM by longislandhunter »
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Offline yoshi800

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2012, 10:17:37 PM »
Rabbit season in CA (Brush, Cottontail and Pigmy Rabbits, and Varying Hare (Snowshoe)) starts in July so lots of people are eating them in the summer.  Others in CA (Jack Rabbits, Black-Tailed and White-Tailed.) are taken all year round.  But yeah check the liver for white/yellow spots- if you find them throw that rabbit out.
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Offline Nate the airgunner

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2012, 11:12:42 PM »
hmm, didnt know that I could eat summer rabbits, looks like I will start now :)
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Offline Regular Guy .25

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2012, 12:34:42 AM »
The honest truth about meat, is that as long as you cook it thoroughly enough, almost any of it is safe to eat.  Even road kill, even if it smells rotten.  You just gotta cook the *(&^ out of it.  But personally, unless I were starving and too sick or hurt to get something better, I'd still. still prefer to be on the safe side and discard anything questionable.  As for summer rabbits-  where I'm from it rarely, if ever, freezes and I have been occasionally eating rabbit pretty much my whole life.  Never got sick from it.  Probably my favorite game meat...
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Offline ogre8472

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2012, 02:53:50 AM »
I agree with the others and give a thumbs up fir the plate :)
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Offline American Arms

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2012, 03:08:26 AM »
If smell bad don't eat because heat or cooking can kill the bacteria but not the toxin that is Poison, and can kill you in less than 24 Hours, causing a disease  called botulism a grain of bad ground beef is enough to get somebody really sick even die.
botulinum is an anaerobic, Gram positive, spore-forming rod. Botulin toxin is one of the most powerful known toxins: about one microgram is lethal to humans. It acts by blocking nerve function and leads to respiratory and musculoskeletal paralysis.

In all cases illness is caused by the toxin made by C. botulinum, not by the bacterium itself. The pattern of damage occurs because the toxin affects nerves that are firing more often. Specifically, the toxin acts by blocking the production or release of acetylcholine at synapses and neuromuscular junctions. Death occurs due to respiratory failure.

All toxin are protein and any organic Poison is a protein but not all the poisons are proteins (Chemical Poisons) Example a Rattle Snake Poisson is a protein, Cyanide is a chemical poison, etc.
Always treat food serously.

« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 03:09:58 AM by American Arms »
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Offline QVTom

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2012, 04:34:20 AM »
Quote
The story is two days ago I shot I nice fat wild rabbit with my disco.
Should be Ok.  Two days ago was still officially spring  :D ;D ;)
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Offline john

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2012, 10:48:48 AM »
Here's a good review:

edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs104

which reads in part:

... Processing
Cooking food thoroughly will eliminate the C. botulinum and its toxin. Foods that are served uncooked like fresh vegetables will obviously not benefit from the cooking process. For these items, other factors such as sanitation, worker hygiene, and proper storage take on much greater importance (Food Code 3-401.11 and 3-403.11).     
-Cook fish, meat or foods containing these items to an internal temperature of 63C (145F) or above for a minimum of 15 seconds.
- Cook ground meat products to an internal temperature of 69C (155F) or above for a minimum of 15 seconds.
- Cook poultry to an internal temperature of 74C (165F) or above for a minimum of 15 seconds.
- Reheat previously cooked material to an internal temperature to 74C (165F
).[/b]
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 10:50:38 AM by john »
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Offline bradyman1

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2012, 10:53:51 AM »
Rabbit is fine in the summer. Jeff told you all you need to know.

However, make sure they are in season. Rabbits breed in spring and summer. Here in Missouri our season runs from October 1st to February 15th. You wouldn't want to shoot a preggo mama or one with babies in the nest.
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Offline AirScopes

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2012, 10:54:36 AM »
If smell bad don't eat because heat or cooking can kill the bacteria but not the toxin that is Poison.
I am not sure, but I do believe that the poison from botulism will break down in heat. On the other hand, botulism is not something you will be getting in rabbits, unless you do something like can the raw meat. Two reasons people die from botulism are not heating enough to pasturize before canning and providing medium that is C Bacillus friendly, and then not heating things up that come in a can where these conditions exist.

I would imagine that fresh kill is OK to eat in most cases as long as it is well cooked. Sick animals should probably not be consumed unless you are really really desperate. Road kill... unless you witness the death... is probably not your best source of food. Anything crawling with lice, larva, ticks, or other pest is likely not a good choice.

Lets all be sensible. Special conditions are required to raise food that is to be eaten raw. Cook it, and you are a lot safer. Know the source, and it is smarter still. We have food regulations to keep people from inadvertently getting sick when it is not necessary.

Read up on food prep and safety or don't put it in your mouth.

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Offline grizzlyadams

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2012, 11:07:34 AM »
the whole hunting season in the fall and winter months started basically out of convenience.essentially it's easier to keep meat longer when it's cool out...if you don't own a refridgerator, as many didn't. if you think abt it. these are warm blooded mammals we eat, and their body temp is constant, no matter what the temp is outside. it's storing the meat that's the issue.heck, they elimination and butcher all year long for human consumption! also closed seasons, no matter when they are, were put in place to control overharvesting and to allow animals to raise their offspring.
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Offline Bullit

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2012, 11:18:40 AM »
Caleb, you did a good job of inspecting the meat.  Congrats on your harvest!
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Offline Jolobolo

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2012, 12:22:56 PM »
We can take rabbits all year round in UK and eat them. The  rabbits eat the farmers crops so we take them good eating year round.
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Offline pyroboy33

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2012, 10:37:05 PM »
Thanks for all the input fellas, I assumed as long as the basic inspections cleared and that the meat was cooked well there would be no problem with what month you ate it in. Thanks for clearing it up  ;D ;D.
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Offline dukemeister

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2012, 10:43:59 PM »
Isn't it duck season?
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Offline Air Rifle Hunter

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2012, 07:04:09 PM »
 Rabbit season is just getting ready to gear up here in California and I plan on getting out on the first day of the season which is July 1st.  :D The whole idea behind waiting until the colder months is that typically there are fewer fleas, ticks and parasites on the animals when it's cold compared to the warmer months. However, unless you live in the higher elevations that suggestion won't make a difference. They say to hunt them during months with "R"s in it like September, October, November, December, January, February, etc.

 That being said, I hunt Jack Rabbits all year round and have taken a few this June. Like you mentioned, always inspect the eyes for cloudyness or scabs and anal cavitiy for scabs or other issues. And also as you mentioned, inspect the liver to make sure it looks healthy. If you do that, you should be in good shape. ;)

 I have found a few warbles in about 4 rabbits this last season. Just take them out, kill the warble and make sure the area that they were at looks alright (no sores or other odd looking occurance). Typically warbles live between the skin and muscles of the rabbit. Just check your rabbit for them thoroughly when skinning and you'll be alright. ;)

 The only other critter to look for when getting ready to put them in a backpack or bag would be ticks in the rabbit's ears. If you see them, remove them and kill the tick so that they don't hitch a ride on you. You don't want Lyme Disease. :( Also, check to see if your harvested rabbit has fleas. If so you can either leave it lay until they jump off (although when you go to pick it up they might be jumping back onto you) or you can put the rabbit in a bag (a large 2 1/2 gallon ziplock, which is what I do) and if you have the opportunity, fill the bag with water and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. This will drown the fleas and other buggy critters and will make it safer for you to prepare your rabbit for the kitchen. ;D

Offline Nate the airgunner

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Re: Eating wild rabbits in the summer months?
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2012, 04:47:25 PM »
Rabbit is fine in the summer. Jeff told you all you need to know.

However, make sure they are in season. Rabbits breed in spring and summer. Here in Missouri our season runs from October 1st to February 15th. You wouldn't want to shoot a preggo mama or one with babies in the nest.
Funny thing is, only time I really see rabbits are in the spring lol.
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