Bunny season coming up July 1 2020. Who's going out? Who's waiting till it cools off in the fall?

spectr17

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Bunny season coming up July 1 2020. Who's going out? Who's waiting till it cools off in the fall?

Desert cottontail near Redlands CA from a Browning Strike Force game cam

desert_cottontail_rside_edit.jpg
 



sportyg

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will be out for coyotes but going to wait on rabbits.
 

WrstQuailHntr

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My son just finished his hunter ed course, got him a license, and purchased a Ruger 10/22. Other than finding non-lead .22 ammo we are ready to get out there!
 

judas530

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Im right there with WrstQuailHntr. Son just got his first Belated hunting licence so we will be heading out before first light on July 1st to get a Cottontail or 2. Will be hunting shotgun only area so we will be using a pair of Mossberg 500 20 gauges.
 

Archer82

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Hi, im from the san gabriel valley area and i just went on my first scouting trip out in the desert. I found a few rabbits so i plan on going opening day with my bow. Im gonna try two different blunt tips snd see how well they hold up to each other.
 

judas530

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Well we went out this morning and saw 6 or seven Cottontails a few does and a bunch of Quail but the rabbits either gave us less than a second to mount and shoot before they disappeared into the brush or saw us coming from too far off.
So nothing in the pot this time out but the boy got to see a few rabbits and showed excellent gun safety, learned a bit about game sign and how to distinguish different scat and tracks and cant wait to go out quail hunting later this year. He also got a kick out of hearing his dad holler obscenities at a rabbit that dashed into cover before I could get my gun up.
All in all a great day and the kid had a great time. When we got home we deticked and he ate a huge meal took a bath and slept the rest of the afternoon. Poor kids in better shape than me but was flat tuckered out. Great experience for both of us.
 

Archer82

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I didnt get to head out unfortunately. I had some plumbing issue arise and you know how that goes.
 

judas530

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Went out for the 3rd time since the season started, this evening. Got 2 and thought I had a third by the way he flew up in the air but he got into the bush after the shot and got away.
Both had a single bot fly larva on them. I am so glad I saw a picture on these forums before I found one on a rabbit or I might have tossed them without realizing that they are harmless to the meat. Weird looking though. All my past rabbits were taken later in the season and never saw a larva before.
Since it was pretty warm I decided to gut and skin them before going home, to get the meat cooling and of course their was a couple fishing across the river. Only other poeple within a mile. Had to listen to the woman freak out as I did my work. Poeple just don't get hunting anymore even though her fishing was no different than my hunting. We were both harvesting wild resources but I guess my resouces were socially unacceptable to her. People are strange. Anyway all and all a great trip.
 

Archer82

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Sounds like it was a successful hunting trip with a bonus story ha ha.

Have any of you heard of the "pop method" when gutting/skinning a rabbit ? I recently listened to a podcast, FROM FIELD TO PLATE, and the host described a gutting procedure that he said is very effective when hunting rabbit it the warmer season. He said you squeeze the guts out the back door of the animal by collapsing the rib cage and pushing out the innerds. I've never seen this done but am interested to learn more about the method. The host, Jeremiah Doughty, said in the podcast that its a pretty clean process. Have any of you done this in the field ?
 

judas530

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Never heard of this. What would be the benefit of this as opposed to just opening the stomach cavity and letting everything fall out?

I like to get the stomach cavity nice and clean when field dressing and Id be afraid of rupturing the intestines when collapsing the breastplate and it tainting the meat before I got home.

Not saying its not a good way just trying to wrap my head around the technique. Any chance at a link or at least an episode # so I can check it out? Im always willing to learn a better way.
 

judas530

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Ok nevermind. After 30 seconds of searching I found multiple videos abour this method. I was skeptical at first but this looks like it would be a great technique to get the guts out right away if you want to hunt a bit longer before field dressing and getting all bloody.
Ill try this next time. I hate hunting in the california sun with downed game in my vest that still has the guts. Im always worried If I dont get to it quick that the meat will suffer. This method could bring a bit of peace of mind if I want to push on a bit before stopping to clean. Thanks Archer.
 

Archer82

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Yeah I was a bit skeptical about the method as well until I watched some youtube videos. It looks to be a nice efficient way to gut a rabbit. I was hesitant about hunting in 100 degree heat, but If i can utilize this technique then I feel it would give me more time to get back to the ice chest.
 

judas530

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Quick update. I went out last night and got 1 female. I tried out this Pop Method. It worked for the lower cavity ie Liver, intestines but didnt do anything for the upper cavity with the lungs.
I When I got home about an hour and a half after the shot I cleaned it and noticed that the upper cavity was still intact and the lungs were beginning to smell a bit.As easy as this method is I dont think Ill use it again as I want all internal organs out and leaving the lungs in to breed bacteria seems like a really bad Idea. From now on Ill just stop the hunt long enough to clean and skin and get them in a plastic baggy before the hunt continues. Thanks for the tip Archer think Ill stick with the tried and true methods though.
 

Archer82

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Thanks for the update Judas530. :) Thats good to know. I was thinking the same thing as far as the process you went through. I thought to myself that if for some reason the pop method does not work Ill just stop the hunt, clean the rabbit, get it in the cooler, then head back out. I want to head out to hunt rabbits asap. You mentioned you went in the evening, What time did you head out ? Im trying to coordinate my hunt during the week and am trying to figure out what time works best (early morning or evening).
 

judas530

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Sorry it took so long to get back to you Archer. Last couple days were hectic. I live about 20 mins from the area that I hunt so I usually go out right after dinner for the last 2 hours of the evening. Ill go out at 7pm and be done at dark which has been about 9pm lately.
I also go out from time to time in the morning and have had luck but prefer sleeping in so I do more evening hunts. IF hunting first thing I like to go in at first light and hunt for 2-3 hours. Thats enough time to cover a few miles and by that time Im usually ready for more water and either Ive found rabbits or Im ready to call it a day. If I had to drive long distances to hunt Id probably hunt longer but I can hunt whenever I want if the urge hits me and the weather isnt 110 degrees out. I usually go 1-3 times a week if the weather permits and Im not busy with other stuff.
The most important thing is finding an area with rabbits.You can hunt them all day if you want, especially if you have dogs. I just tend to see alot more at the start and end of the day. They tend to venture out alot more at those times, just like deer. GL man.
 

Archer82

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Thanks for the info, I appreciate it greatly.
Im hoping to try this with a jack rabbit.
 

Richmonder

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I'm hoping to hit Grizzly Island before they close at the end of July, but having pulled a hamstring tendon last week, that may or may not happen...
 

judas530

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That looks tasty. Just a tip, not sure about Jack Rabbit but with cottontail it really helps to cook them low and slow. If you cook them fast over high heat they are super tough. Slow cooking them helps break down all the connective tissue and makes them soften up.
I dont have any experience with jacks but here is a recipe thats popular for them and Ive heard works well.


GL. Hope it works for you. Im curious about Jacks. I was always told not to waste my time because they are full of parasites but after learning Botflys attack cottontails and deer too and hearing others say that they are good eating, Im reconsidering.
If you get a chance can you add an update on how you meal comes out when you get one. Id like to know if you liked it and any tips you discovered in the process. Thanks and GL on the hunt.
 

Archer82

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Will do. I too have been told over the years that rabbits in general were not a good idea to eat due to ticks/parasites. But after doing more research myself I found that if you cook them about 160 degrees you kill off all the parasites and bacteria. I guess we'll find out ha ha. If I dont reply with an update this year, you all know what happened ha ha.
 


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