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live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

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live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

Postby Big_Sister » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:45 pm

After a summer of discussing/complaining about the bunny-glut almost every time I chat with the neighbors, finally the bunny-glut issue has converged in my mind with my old-east-side-hippie (but obviously not of the great tribe Veggie) frugalista imperative, not to mention the numero uno food fetish of the current nano-second, "local".

So....

1) Is it legal?

2) Is it reasonably safe, ie, do bunnies carry any un-circumventable parasites?

3) Regardless of the legality or not, does anyone do it, know anyone (in town) who does it or claim enough knowledge to discourse on the subject?

Besides meat, making hats and mittens of that nice soft fur for that "other time of year" sounds like a good idea.....

Any info, insights, links, etc would be interesting.
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Re: live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

Postby grumpybear » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:13 pm

I'm not saying it's legal, safe or wise but I do know a certain small, near-eastside apt. complex that could use a culling of the herd. There are 3-4 adult bunnies and at least 3-5 wee ones. When I moved here 10 years ago, I might see one bunny a week. Now I have to watch my step every time I traipse cross the lawn.
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Re: live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

Postby Sandi » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:30 pm

Mmmm rabbit! **mouth waters**

I used to buy rabbit sausage at a place on hwy 59 just east of Milton.
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Re: live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:54 pm

While their meat tastes like chicken (they used to serve bunnies when I was in the Navy), rabbit fur sheds.
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Re: live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

Postby rabble » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:14 pm

I have hunted rabbits and kept them for pelts and meat when I lived in the Tomah/Warrens area.

I don't know if what you describe is legal. It's probably legal to live trap them. It might be illegal to kill them afterwards.

I know Madison has a regulation that you can't butcher chickens out of doors. That probably applies to rabbits.

Fleas and ticks might or might not be present. The colder it is, the less likely. All it means is that you'd want to butcher - or at least skin them - away from your living space. The bugs will leave the animal almost as soon as it dies.

There is the same chance they're carrying internal parasites as that pork you get at the deli counter. Proper cooking takes care of that just like every other meat.

The only other thing I can think of that might give me pause would be the rabbits' diet. Are they eating the grass of treated lawns, in parks where they've sprayed weed killer, things like that.

That's the same sort of worry I have with eating fish caught from any of the lakes, where they have those warnings about how much fish you should eat in a week, pregnant women none at all, et cetera, et cetera. I would treat city rabbits much the same way.

Rabbits are easy to skin. A dying rabbit often squeals so be quick about it. I quit raising them because killing them at regular intervals was extremely depressing and I couldn't justify it. Which also caused conflicting emotions because it was the whole family's favorite meat.

There are ways to tan a rabbit pelt so all the fur stays on. It's difficult. We traded ours to a guy for tanned pelts. I think it was three to one or something like that.
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Re: live-trapdnr.wi.gov/fiping, butchering & eating wild rab

Postby snoqueen » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:19 pm

Thought I'd look this one up.

First off, there is a small mammals gun season in WI, same as for other game:

http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/dates.html

The southern zone season this year runs from noon Oct 19, 2013 through Feb. 28, 2014 for rabbit. You are required to have a small game hunting permit, and from what I can figure out that would cost $3.

The details are here, if you need 'em:
dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/wm/WM0430.pdf‎

Growing up, the main thing I remember being told about rabbits was some carried tularemia. From what I am reading now, this is rare, and is a threat to the hunter only if he or she is barehanded when dressing the rabbit.

Wild rabbits are an accepted food source. I agree about the lawn chemicals caution, but can't find much on info on that part. If we are higher-on-the-food-chain predators, it stands to reason we might be at risk from what our prey has been eating. On the other hand, if all the rabbit ever ate was your organic lettuce....

You can't shoot stuff in the city of Madison, so if you're in town you're gonna have to find some other way to get your rabbits. For that reason, I looked up the regulations for trapping them, and found something interesting:

Landowner Provisions: The owner or occupant of any land and any family
members* who live with them do not need a license to:
• trap coyote, beaver, fox, raccoon, woodchuck, rabbit, and squirrel on
the land year-round (see ‘Beaver Damage Control’ on page 18 for more
information).
• live trap with cage or box traps for beaver, coyote, fox, woodchuck, rabbit,
raccoon, and squirrel on their land at any time in cities, villages, or other
areas where the discharge of firearms is unlawful
. Live-trapped animals
must be either humanely killed or released on unenclosed private land with
the landowner’s permission within 24 hours. Note: Live trapped animals
cannot be released on DNR owned and managed lands.


dnr.wi.gov/files/pdf/pubs/wm/wm0002.pdf‎

There ya go. No season restrictions, no nothin'. Live traps are available at Farm n Fleet. Have at it.

There are a ridiculous number of rabbit recipes on one Google search, but that's enough research for this vegetarian. You are on your own from here.
Last edited by snoqueen on Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

Postby john_titor » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:20 pm

Right on Sister!

Eat them. Eat them all.
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Re: live-trapdnr.wi.gov/fiping, butchering & eating wild rab

Postby rabble » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:32 pm

snoqueen wrote: I agree about the lawn chemicals caution, but can't find much on info on that part. If we are higher-on-the-food-chain predators, it stands to reason we might be at risk from what our prey has been eating. On the other hand, if all the rabbit ever ate was your organic lettuce....

And the hungrier one is, the less important that reason becomes.
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Re: live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

Postby msnflyer » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:33 am

Tularemia aka rabbit fever.

Dad wouldn't let us hunt rabbits until there had been a couple of hard frosts. On occasion Woodman's would sell fresh rabbit. Yum!

If you need more, they're taking over my 'hood. Maybe I need to take up falconry.
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Re: live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

Postby fennel » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:56 am

Fun Facts on Tularemia
If I rembember right, rabbit populations are cyclical on about a 5-year basis. I remember they were everywhere in my hood in 2009, after which they tapered off. Now they're back but not in huge numbers.

I recall a certain meal of lapin à la moutarde in Aix-en-Provence years ago ...
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Re: live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

Postby Huckleby » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:21 am

Rabbits is good, but I'm more of a possum man myself.

Image
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Re: live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

Postby baked goods » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:09 pm

The coop should have a "local and sustainable" rabbit festival.

If you show me your snare, I'll show you mine.
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Re: live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

Postby rabble » Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:55 pm

Huckleby wrote:Rabbits is good, but I'm more of a possum man myself.

I recall discussing that quote from Jed one evening in a backwoods bar somewhere between Warrens and Black River Falls. Everyone there was familiar with cooking and eating both rabbit and possum. Not a one of us could figure out what the hell he was talking about. We finally decided that a Kentucky possum had to be an entirely different breed from a Wisconsin possum. We thought about maybe doing a catch and release project so we could have good possum for cookin' around here too but it never got off the ground.
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Re: live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

Postby Huckleby » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:35 pm

Possum Pot Pie

1 c Glazed huckleberries
3 Shots gin or moonshine
1 Possum
1 Pie crust with top
Sliced carrots & cabbage to taste

Cover a pan (or any implement you can put in a fire) with the bottom of your pie crust and place the possum in it. Add the huckleberries and carrots, and shred the cabbage over it. Close up the pie and bake. Remove from fire/oven, slice and enjoy.
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Re: live-trapping, butchering & eating wild rabbits

Postby ilikebeans » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:37 pm

Huckleby wrote:Close up the pie and...

throw away. Do the three shots, then put a frozen pizza in the oven.
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