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I am really new to hunting and am interested in learning more. I know everyone is going to tell me not to eat them because of talmeria. I checked the livers and there were no white spots and they looked to be good animals.

One of the rabbits had a few ticks on it. Can you eat animals with ticks on them? Should I toss them because they had ticks on them?

Do you eat deer or elk with ticks on them. Please let me know i am interested in your comments.
 

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Well first off, how many legs did they have? Ticks have 8 legs, there is a bug called a "Ked" that most people mistake for a tick, it looks similar but has 6 legs. They are roughly the same size.

Tick:



Ked:



With that out of the way, yes I eat deer with either. Either type come off with the hide, I'm just careful to not get any of either kind on my person while skinning.

For rabbits, alot of people do eat jacks, I never have though personally. I like cottontails though. I'm surprised you didn't find fleas on the jacks... last few I've shot were absolutely infested with fleas.

-DallanC
 

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It may just be me but I wait until a couple of hard freezes before I start eating rabbits which usually means after October. I would never consider eating a jack that was shot during the summer, and since cotton tails are out of season I'll leave them along until November.
 

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Post edited to remove opinionated knee jerk reaction. If you're going to do jacks, it's probably best if you skin and clean them at the kill site and definitely only handle them with latex or vinyl gloves. Put them in a bag, maybe ziploc and then in the cooler while you hunt.
 

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I am really new to hunting and am interested in learning more. I know everyone is going to tell me not to eat them because of talmeria. I checked the livers and there were no white spots and they looked to be good animals.

One of the rabbits had a few ticks on it. Can you eat animals with ticks on them? Should I toss them because they had ticks on them?

Do you eat deer or elk with ticks on them. Please let me know i am interested in your comments.
Welcome to the Forum; great first post.

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A tinch off but I have had to travel back east a few times this last month or so. From the looks of the highway- the area around Rawlings is having a banner year for jacks- possibly skunks, deer, antelope and an occasional Badger also.
 

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Rabbit populations have been up for several years, in many locations, concurrent with deer populations.

Rabbits are rabbits, you can get Tuleremia from all rabbits, ticks, fleas, deer flies, and muskrats as well. It is the insects you probably need to be the most worried about. And the presence of those on the rabbits you harvest would increase the risk that they carry tuleremia. But as has been mentioned before good field dressing, and hygiene is paramount with rabbits. Side note on gloves, I recommend at least 7mil nitrile gloves, they are more durable but give you the dexterity of latex. I go through a few hundred pairs a year. 10mil are great for jobs involving bearing grease.

That all being said I eat deer and other animals with ticks on them.
 

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I have seen a big increase in jackrabbits this year.
I also eat the deer and elk that are covered with ticks.
 

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Saying goes hunt and eat rabbits in months that end in r. September October November December. Have no idea why. Maybe it has to do with the tick, flea cycles.
I've only eaten cotton tails and they were pretty good. Let us know how the Jacks taste Smile Snow Dog People in nature Carnivore
 

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I ate a jack rabbit once... well just the hind quarters... well just a couple bites. Those couple bites took a long time to chew. For the rest of dinner we finished the beer that had made eating a jack rabbit sound like a good idea in the first place.

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I think that I would stew a jack if I ever decided to eat one of them.

Where I hunt javelina in Arizona they have a large jack rabbit that they call a antelope jack, they will stand up on their hind feet and run instead of hopping. Anyway quite a few locals eat them, usually the backstraps and hind legs but as I said they stew them to make the meat tender.
 

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I've eaten a few jacks, but only those harvested in the winter. The same for cottontails and snowshoes (Note: Pygmys are illegal.). Jacks are edible but not my favorite. They must eat a LOT of sagebrush 'cause they're strong tasting and tough to chew.

The only issue I have with ticks are those that leave the dead animal when the hide gets cold. They look for a new host!

Finally, I now use cloves on ALL field dressing.
 

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Roomate in college would go over to Pickelville at Bear Lake- shoot Jacks in the winter- just cut off the back - he would par boil then cut into strips- coat and fry- weren't bad for an appetizer.
 

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I've heard people say not to eat rabbits until after a hard freeze to kill the fleas. This doesn't make sense to me because unless the rabbit freezes, the fleas are going to live.
 

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On another note, I know someone who contracted Tularemia from getting a cut while skinning a Mt. Lion. It just pays to be careful with ANY blood.
 

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If there are fleas on the rabbit they will stay on the rabbit.

One thing that I learned to do a long time ago is once the rabbit in dead and you walk up to it is to skin and clean it on the spot, don't wait unless you have another target close by. They way the fleas stay on the skin and on the mountain where they won't bother you.

I remember hunting with a couple of young kids one year and they both came back to the truck packing a half dozen rabbits each. All the rabbits were hanging by a piece of sagebrush that they had broken off a bush so that they wouldn't get any fleas on them. Even their dad found it a very good idea to skin and clean them on the spot and had never done it that way but has ever since, and that was over 20 years ago.
 

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I've heard people say not to eat rabbits until after a hard freeze to kill the fleas. This doesn't make sense to me because unless the rabbit freezes, the fleas are going to live.
bingo

you are wise beyond your years

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I've seen an ocassional tick on jack rabbits, but seldom on cottontails. Most of the cottontails over here have fleas; a few unfortunate bunnies will have bot fly larva.

Seen some really bad tick-infested moose and elk. The worst I ever seen for ticks on a big game animal was a nice bull elk off the Crawfords in Rich County on a January depredation hunt.

Always wear gloves when cleaning critters.

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