Bunny Busting is great sport and has its tasty rewards. Cottontails are a delicious meal and abundant. In Montana, rabbits are open season year around and have no limits on harvest. Shooting enough for a meal requires marksmanship and great observation skills.
Winter is a great time to hunt rabbits, when they stand out against the white snow. In Spring, the cover has yet to leaf out and rabbits can be spotted with optics. Scan the edges of cover and ditches. Look for a piece of the rabbit. You will at first see a head, ear, or slight movement.
Once located, use a light shotgun or rifle to fill your game carrier. 22 caliber rifles, or pistols, are a great choice. Whether you choose a handgun or rifle, the skill of shooting must be finely tuned. Aim for the head so you do not ruin any of the meat. The more you shoot, the better marksman you will be. Hunting rabbits is a great way to maintain your hunting skills year around.
Clean your rabbits immediately. Gut them by making a cut along the belly to the chest. Swing the entrails out along the ground. Place in a game bag with an ice pack. Add the days harvest to a cooler as soon as you can. Wearing rubber gloves is a good idea when gutting them.
Butchering your rabbits is quick and easy. Pull the skin away from the meat. Quarter the critter as if it were a small deer. Separate the legs at their shoulder and hip joints. Cut the loins away as you would a deer. This leaves 4 legs and 2 loins for dinner. You could place the whole rabbit onto a stick like the cowboys or bake them whole.
Legs serve up great in a soup or stew. Simply poach the meat and pick it from the bones. The loins can be grilled or baked whole. Mushrooms go wonderful with rabbit. Make a gravy or use a Cream of Mushroom soup to add some sauce. Brunswick Stew is traditionally a wild game stew containing rabbits, squirrels, and game birds.
The skills of Bunny Hunting translate to all forms of hunting. Stalking, use of optics, marksmanship, processing, and cooking are all important. In the end, the hunter is rewarded with great table fare.
Hop on over for a great dinner!
For more Montana Grant, visit his website at www.montanagrantfishing.com.