It’s -10 degrees…

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And what the heck is there to do? I have to admit that the older I get, the less tolerant I am of bitterly cold temps. However, allowing ol’ man Winter to keep you house-bound is a sure-fire way to catch a big dose of cabin fever, as well as slap on a few unwanted pounds. One good cure for this malady is rabbit hunting.


Everyone does it a little different. Some cannot fathom hunting cottontails without a beagle or two. I’ve tried hunting behind some Snoopies a few times, and it has been an enjoyable experience. But even as a lover of most all canines, I confess that I lack the passion for this style of hunting. My preference is to spot-and-stalk bunnies with a rimfire, primarily because where I hunt rabbits the country is pretty open. Perhaps if my bunny-hunting country was briar patches, I might be more enthusiastic about having a beagle or two along. Too, I can make a rabbit hunt more pleasant by breaking it up into manageable time units—read: When my butt gets cold I can retreat to the truck for a warm-up.


I handle rabbits the same way I now take care of pheasants and such. It’s quicker and cleaner to simply skin them and bone out the meat. Gutting is unnecessary. I then vacuum seal the meat until I am ready to cook it. Cottontails can be rather bland. I’ve tried several recipes involving a variety of sauces and marinades, and here is one that I am currently fond of.


Take your boned-out rabbit meat and marinate it in a 50-50 mixture of Teriyaki and pineapple juice. Teriyaki can be awfully salty, so the pineapple juice attenuates the saltiness while adding a hint of sweetness to the meat. You can bake it after marinating, but I prefer kabobs on the grill with some bell peppers, mushrooms and sweet onions. Make absolutely sure you cook the meat thoroughly, as rabbits carry tularemia. It isn’t necessary to burn them, though. If you are not comfortable in judging whether meat is done by its looks, invest in a meat thermometer (about five bucks) and check the larger pieces are at least 160 degrees internally.


OK, it doesn’t have the excitement and prestige of 200 inches of antler growth, but it beats staying inside for three months!


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