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Thread: Jack Rabbits good to eat or not?

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    Default Jack Rabbits good to eat or not?

    So I have heard that jack rabbits are prone to diseases in the desert areas and that most hunters only shoot for sport. I have nailed a few this week but was told to leave them in the fields due to disease. For those of you who might be upset to hear this, I did shoot with intent to eat but received "emergency" info telling me not to bring them home. I have seen posts with recipes and posts with health warnings. I am hunting in and around the San Jacinto Wildlife area. The few I have shot looked very healthy, does anyone have any advice for or against eating these little guys?

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    SHOOOOT!! then eat em. Get a supply of nitrile gloves, or even thick latex.
    There are different ways of cleaning them as there are people. skinning it, then quartering and cutting out the backstrap. I generally don't mess with the tenderloin though on jacks it is a significant piece of meat. We generally do big loops out into the sage and back. We clean what we get each time we come back.

    If you do gut the animal and you see spotting on the liver, chuck it. or if you see things in the meat. Bot flie larvae aren't a health issue, just icky and the meat is still good. Good hygiene from start to finish will keep you safe. And cook the meat thoroughly.

    Cottontail carry as much or more disease as jacks. In summer/ early fall when jacks are at their peak, your chances of getting a sick one are higher. And sick ones are the slower moving ones. IF someone goes out and shoots a bunch of the slow ones and finds they are diseased, his impression is that all are like that.

    You can still find sick ones in the winter, but generally the severe weather knocks them out. Big older jacks do run stronger in flavor and are a tougher meat. But marinade and brine will tame most if not all of that. As a kid we left them then a buddy IO hunted with later on ate them and chastised me for not eating them, Since then I eat the majority of them or give the meat to my chickens, then eat them. I do not suggest just cleaning them and putting them into the oven or BBQ as you might a cottontail unles you shoot little ones. I can almost guarantee you will not like the taste of the jack them.

    When you getting an animal that will give you a pound of meat and then you shoot a dozen on a weekend trip, your into a lot of healthy protein.
    Judge Gideon J. Tucker, wrote in a 1866 ruling that "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session."

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    I've never had a bad jack. I mainly get mine in the central coast area around Lake San Antonio and Lake Nacimiento.
    We just got 6 last weekend and I'm cooking them up today for a Sunday school Christmas party. I use gloves when cleaning them or any other game for that matter.
    Always check the livers, I have yet to see a diseased one.
    I always take some hand sanitizer and use it a lot when handling and cleaning game.

    I clean them up, cook them well and find them to be excellent table fare.

    I keep the front legs, back legs, and all the back meat which is really good on jacks.

    Follow my directions in the other post called "my jack rabbit dinner with lots of photos and recipe"
    Proverbs 12:27 The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

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    It is illegal to shoot them and leave them to rot in the field. That is Wanton Waste. They are a Game Animal, not a varmint like a ground squirrel.
    Yes they are good to eat. There are tons of good recipes out there. GDarcy's looked great in the thread he posted.

    http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/...os-recipe.html

    http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/...ard-times.html

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    I cooked up 6 Jack's for tonight's Christmas party. We had a bunch of none hunters and people who are squeamish about food. They loved my Jack rabbits. I had a few of the guys and a couple of the ladies who came up multiple times saying how good it was. We had a bunch of high school and college aged kids there and they loved it.
    The best part....the heart. I saved the heart from one of the jacks and cooked it up. It was by far the best part.

    SAVE THE HEARTS

    My friend who is a chef shared the heart with me and we both agreed it was the best part by far.
    Proverbs 12:27 The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

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    True, jackrabbits are just as good to eat as any other animal. If you find one that you think is not fit to eat, (because of gutshot, botfly larva/wolves, or whatever) then cook it up and feed it to a dog or cat.

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    Don't chuck the ones with botfly larvae. There' nothing wrong with 'em. I recently found two in a cottontail. Just discard the larvae. I read somewhere that Native Americans would munch on the botfly larvae when they found 'em in game animals. mmmmm, botfly larvae.

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    jacks meat is tougher than cottontail. I usually par boil it for a coupleof hours in seasonings then fry and smother in gravy over rice.
    Introduce our youth to the outdoors

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    I don't care for the taste of jacks, they have a distinct aroma to the meat. I have tried BBQ, stewing, and the crock pot and I can't get them to taste good. However, my dog loves it. I just clean them, try to cut and pull any silver skin, and chewy bits off. Then I run the whole thing through the meat grinder, brown it in a big electric skillet with garlic and oil and then put it in the fridge. Mix it with some steamed rice and raw egg, and your dog will love it.
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    Going hunting Thursday. Never hunted rabbits with my bow but, I'VE got a ton of old arrows, (just in case I lose one). IS IT LEGAL HERE IN CALI TO HUNT RABBITS WITH YOUR BOW? My Matthews is calling me to Harvest something. Can't wait for Turkey Season.
    "When was the last time you did something for the 1st. Time?"

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    311. Methods Authorized for Taking Resident Small Game.
    Only the following may be used to take resident small game:
    (a) Shotguns 10 gauge or smaller using shot shells only and incapable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined. If a plug is used to reduce the capacity of a magazine to fulfill the requirements of this section, the plug must be of one piece construction incapable of removal without disassembling the gun;
    (b) Shotgun shells may not be used or possessed that contain shot size larger than No. BB, except that shot size larger than No. 2 may not be used or possessed when taking wild turkey. All shot shall be loose in the shell.
    (c) Muzzle-loading shotguns;
    (d) Falconry;
    (e) Bow and arrow (see Section 354 for archery equipment regulations);
    (f) Air rifles firing pellets and powered by compressed air or gas (0.20 caliber minimum for taking wild turkey); and firearm rifles and pistols for taking rabbits and squirrels, except in Los Angeles County, in addition to the methods listed in (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) above;
    (g) In San Diego and Orange counties only, rabbits may be taken at any time during the open season by means of box traps. Such traps shall not exceed 24 inches in any dimension, shall be tended at least once every 24 hours, and shall show the name and address of the trap owner. All rabbits taken under this section shall be immediately killed and become a part of the daily bag limit;
    (h) Electronic or mechanically-operated calling or sound-reproducing devices are prohibited when attempting to take resident game birds;
    (i) Coursing dogs may be used to take rabbits;
    (j) Archers hunting during any archery season may not possess a firearm while in the field engaged in archery hunting during an archery season;
    (k) The use of live decoys is prohibited when attempting to take resident game birds;
    (l) Pistols and revolvers may be used to take sooty and ruffed grouse in those counties only and for the season described in Section 300(a)(1)(E).
    (m) Crossbows, except for provisions of Section 354(d) and (g).
    (n) Dogs may be used to take and retrieve resident small game.
    Amended 2009.
    311.6. Prohibition of Rifles and Pistols in Picacho and Providence Mountains State Recreation Areas.
    The use of rifles and pistols to take any bird or mammal is prohibited in Picacho and Providence Mountains State Recreation Areas.
    Amendment of NOTE filed 9-16-81; designated effective 9-26-81.
    311.7. Use of Rifles and Pistols in Los Angeles County.
    In Los Angeles County the use of rifles or pistols is prohibited in the taking of rabbits.
    New NOTE filed 9-16-81; designated effective 9-26-81.


    Looks like you're good to go!
    Last edited by palladin; 01-05-2011 at 11:55 AM.
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  12. #12
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    You are the man!! Thanks, anyone that wants to go harvest a few WUSKY WABBITS, just let Ol' Griz know. I am going just on the other side of Folsom. Some of the guys at work told me that during Turkey season in the spring they are running everywhere. Can't wait.

    Don't know what hunting does to ya but, best darn THERAPY a person can get.

    Need a couple of young hunters to help flush them out of the thickets. Any volunteers, let's go. Just let me know what day and I'll check schedule. Great recipes on this forum also. Can't wait to try them.
    "When was the last time you did something for the 1st. Time?"

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