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Posted: 6/15/2009 1:09:19 PM EST
My dad and grandfather used to say rabbit season was in the winter because the cold killed off sick and diseased rabbits.

So why isn't that true of all animal seasons?

I thought I had read that there was a rabbit disease or parasite that was intolerant of cold weather,
and so hunting after it got cold would increase the chance of good meat.

I can't seem to find any link between the winter hunting season and any rabbit diseases.

Does anyone know more than this?

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:11:11 PM EST
When you shoot mommy or daddy bunny, you're not leaving baby bunnies to starve as they're all growed up.

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:13:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By DDiggler:
When you shoot mommy or daddy bunny, you're not leaving baby bunnies to starve as they're all growed up.



Tularemia

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:14:05 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:16:40 PM EST
Originally Posted By mark75101:
Tularemia ?


Yes, but, I can't find anything that says Tularemia is WHY the government decided to have rabbit season in the winter.

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:17:15 PM EST
I was always told any time but winter they carried worms.
The winter would kill them off i don't know if its true but.
Im sure that's not the reason its in winter but the only
time i would hunt for them.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:18:18 PM EST
The parasites in their fur die of after the first frost
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:19:09 PM EST
bot flies or wolf flies
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:20:12 PM EST
It's not for me
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:21:23 PM EST
I recall recently reading an article that VA DGIF decided to move the squirrel opener back a few weeks last year. Seems there's this botfly that likes to lay eggs in old bushytail's skin, the larvae happily hang out until they mature and exit the host.

VADGIF found that by delaying the opening of the season by a few weeks it would ensure that all the flies hatched out and left the host, thereby reducing the wastage from folks chucking their kill due to the botfly larvae (which, BTW, represent no danger to either the hunter or the meat, they just look gnarly).

Might be similar.

But the real reason, IMO, is that allowing harvest after the juvenile period promotes the species as a whole.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:21:56 PM EST
As I've stated before, I've shot sick rabbits in winter and healthy rabbits in summer.

I would imagine though that the REALLY sick ones die in winter, but I have no proof.

(by "sick" i mean rabbits with a lot of fleas and/or white spots on the liver. I don't care to clean a flea ridden rabbit. I leave it for the yotes.)
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:23:32 PM EST
From the Wiki page.

F. tularensis was discovered in 1911 during an outburst of rabbit fever, when the disease killed a large number of ground squirrels in the area of Tulare Lake in California. Scientists determined that tularemia could be dangerous to humans; a human being may catch the infection after contacting an infected animal. The ailment soon became frequent with hunters, cooks and agricultural workers.

This might have a reason for the push of a winter hunting season.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:24:36 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:29:20 PM EST
Originally Posted By streetfighter:
You have a rabbit season?
We shoot them all year round


With slingshots?

You have to have an open season to ever get a chance to eat one.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:31:40 PM EST
ive heard worms, but im not sure.

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:36:11 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:36:11 PM EST
I was always told worms. We waited until the first frost.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:41:14 PM EST
Originally Posted By neverenough:
I was always told worms. We waited until the first frost.


+1, always thought it was because of worms, I hadn't heard of this tularemia, as mentioned above.

As far as hunting them, I never really cared for the taste, so I stopped hunting them. Now pheasant, that is one delicious game animal.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:43:47 PM EST
cold weather kills parasites that made rabbit meat unattractive (but still edible)

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:43:47 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 1:45:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Originally Posted By mark75101:
Tularemia ?


Yes, but, I can't find anything that says Tularemia is WHY the government decided to have rabbit season in the winter.



Not all states have a rabbit season. Texas considers rabbit to be non-game and they can be legally hunted year round 24/7 with any legal firearm, crossbow, trap, snare, etc.

TRG
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