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Old wives tales on off-season rabbit and squirell

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Lethal Farce, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. Lethal Farce

    Lethal Farce

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    I remember my Dad and other old timers saying you can't shoot and eat rabbit/ squirell in the summer. Had to wait until after the first frost. Any science behind that? I am thinking it was just a way to keep us kids from wiping out nursing females and the juveniles. I do remember hearing something about growths in the necks????? Maybe a Bot Fly larvae wiggling under the skin freaked someone out. Any knowledge on this out there?
    LF
     
  2. isp2605

    isp2605

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    The theory was that sick animals, which you wouldn't want to eat, would be killed at the onset of cold weather and only healthy animals would survive.
    True or not? Haven't a clue.
     

  3. thetoastmaster

    thetoastmaster NOT a sheepdog!

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    My dad told me it was because, at least in Arizona, rabits had worms, ticks, and other parasites in the summer. Even in the winter, he taught me to check a rabit's guts for worms when I skinned it. I never did find any, but always checked.
     
  4. TexAg

    TexAg

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    Rabitts carry Tularemia which is transmissible to humans. Basically if you wash your hands and use gloves you're not going to get it. You can apparently look at the liver for any signs of white cyst-like spots that would indicate the rabbit has it, if it does, toss it, according to Butchering, Processing and Preservation of Meat by Frank Ashbrook.
    And yes, I think the idea of only killing and eating rabbits after the first frost is that the weak ones with disease will die.
     
  5. noway

    noway

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    {rabits had worms, ticks, and other parasites in the summer. Even in the winter,}

    same here, or the country term was rabbit fever as what we used to call it, which is the same thing as what tex Ag posted. Probably with that rabbist and birthing, rabbits produces litters thru out the year and not just when the 1st frost comes. heck I have had plenty of rabbit and it never stopped me from eating them summer/winter/fall/spring. So I do believe it an Old-wives tale ;)
     
  6. tjpet

    tjpet

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    A lot of tularemia in my neck of the woods. We always wait for the first frost or cold spell to hopefully kill off the sick(weak) ones.

    As mentioned earlier it's always a good idea to wear rubber gloves when cleaning bunnies. I've seen infected livers fairly often over the years although the disease seems to run in cycles.
     
  7. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

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    An old hunting buddy of mine from PA used to say his dad told him to only hunt/eat rabbits during the months that had an "R" in the month's name. I always wondered where that came from...
     
  8. noway

    noway

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    I heard that also, btw you are not going to get sick off rabbits with rabbit fever "IF" you wash the meat good, wash your hands after handling the rabbit and cook the meat good.
     
  9. Lethal Farce

    Lethal Farce

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    Lots of good inf, thanks. It sounds like I am able to shoot /eat healthy looking squirell or rabbit all year other than prescribed by local game laws.
    LF
     
  10. bustedknee

    bustedknee The Snowflakes have invaded GT

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    They have Warble Worms in the summer.
     
  11. groundhawg

    groundhawg

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  12. 49hudson

    49hudson

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    It has been my experience that all cotton-tail rabbits have tape worms. You have to open the intestines to find them.
    They don't cause any problems as long as you wash the rabbit's abdominal cavity good and cook them well done.