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Got My First Jack Rabbit... Finally!


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#1 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 03:10 PM

Well, I worked a half day on Friday, May 25 so I went to my hunting spot for Jack Rabbits. Big mistake! The wind was kicking everything up and nothing was out and about. After a good deal of frustration, I called it quits and went home Friday night. :(

I didn't think I was going to get to go again until next weekend, but since Monday, May 28th, is Memorial day, I decided to take a half day off in the morning (I don't get paid holidays) and head back out to my Jack Rabbit spot. I made sure the night before to look at the weather dot com website so that I would know how windy, cold, hot, etc that it might be. It showed that it would be not to cold in the morning and would warm to around 72 degrees in the afternoon, so I decided that it sounded like it might be a good day.

I headed out early Monday morning at 3:45am, gassed up and got on the road. I arrived at my spot right around 5:00am, just in time to get out and start walking around as the sun was making it light enough to see. I got out the gear (took my .25 Marauder this time because I know it is dead accurate) and headed down a trail. I went to a spot that I though might be good to sit and watch. Bad choice. There wasn't any action there like last time. So I got up and started walking to another area.

As I walked along I was doing my best to keep my eyes looking for anything moving or that didn't seem to belong. Bingo! I see a cottontail bouncing along. Can't get it yet, but wait! Following around the Cottontail is a Jack Rabbit! I move myself behind a bush and attempt to get closer without making a sound or being seen. As I reach the bush and carefully move to look around to where I saw the Jack I don't see it. Then it pops out from behind a rock and is looking away from me. I guess that the Jack Rabbit is about 37 or so yards away (I didn't want to take the time to range it with the rangefinder only to have it run off). I was holding the rifle offhand as I put the crosshairs on his head and slowly pulled the triger... "Bamph!"......"Thwak!" The Jack goes straight down and twitches a little and is out for the count. I was ecstatic that I had finally bagged my very first Jack Rabbit after four previous attemps/trips out to get one (or more). I had a big smile on my face, until the sun came out and I got hot. I ranged the distance after the shot and it came out to be 35 yards.

I tried to get another one, but only saw one other and it saw me and booked it out of the area as fast as it's legs would carry it. I had to leave around 11:30am to get home to do some work, so I didn't get to spend as much time as I might have liked out there. I got home and clean it up and now it's in some brine in the refrigerator. I think I'm going to try and make some Jack Rabbit Stew with it. I can't wait to get back out again. :D I want to thank Crazyhorse for all his great advice that has helped me to bag my first Jack Rabbit! :good:

Here's a couple of photos of the Jack Rabbit:

1st Jack Rabbit with my .25 Benjamin Marauder:
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1st Jack Rabbit all by itself:
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#2 ratassassin

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 03:21 PM

Congrats on your first jack. Nice shooting.

#3 Single Six

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 03:33 PM

Congrats!

#4 Brant

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 03:35 PM

Great shot. Holiday stew! :drool:

#5 rws fan

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 03:51 PM

Nice shot. I also went out for a few hours yesterday. I seen like 7 jackrabbits and a nice, healthy coyote but they wanted no part of me lol. The time that a jackrabbit stayed still it was 62 yards away when I decided to take a stroll around my friends property and I didn't have my gun or camera to shoot it with ..

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#6 screwwork

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 04:28 PM

Congrats on the Jack Rabbit ARH, some days you have to be a ninja to get the rabbits :ph34r:
I cannot wait until cotton tail season this year. Papa needs some new bunny slippers! LOL

#7 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 04:38 PM

I can't wait either! Just thinking about cooking up some Cottontail for Lunch or Dinner makes me hungry for it already. :drool: I'm counting the days until July 1st ;) .

#8 screwwork

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:12 PM

Between you and Crazyhorse I have the 25. cal m-rod fever.
I got to get me one of them for rabbits and other same game, just the $$$ are hard to let go of.

#9 Bisley

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:25 PM

Nicely done ARH. One thing's for sure about you boys with the air, you definitely earn them :good: . I'm still holding out for July 1st, I prefer the rabbits that can just be cooked without all the prep work to make em tasty B) .

#10 rustygun

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:38 PM

Congrats on your first Jack. Really got to put the sneak on im with airguns. Now you will be hooked for sure.

#11 ShooterJohn

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:50 PM

That's good news Ray! I know you've been gunning for one hoping to get one. :good:

#12 KNOCKED UP

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 07:28 PM

Congrats on your first jack. I can see that you are very excited, Good on you. Throw that jack in the pressure cooker for about 45 minutes, he will be Tender enough to cut with a fork.

#13 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 08:47 PM

Nicely done ARH. One thing's for sure about you boys with the air, you definitely earn them :good: . I'm still holding out for July 1st, I prefer the rabbits that can just be cooked without all the prep work to make em tasty B) .


Thanks guys.

Bisley, what kind of prep work will I need to do to make the Jack Rabbit tasty? I want to get it right the first time so that my wife won't give me the sour face and reject the meal after I cook it. :wacko:

#14 Bisley

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:04 PM

Your asking the wrong guy, sorry. I have tried it thrice, and disliked it twice. It may have been the food supply (they were taken within 50 miles of each other) but there was little done to it but cook it the first two times. Just not for me. The third time it was cut and cubed up so small and drowned in a tomato sauce/salsa-like mixture and was edible, but it could have been a cardboard box and you wouldn't have tasted it for all the other ingredients. I am way more just the throw it on an open flame or crock pot it guy with little or no seasoning. I am a big guy, but I sure didn't get that way from my own culinary skills, thus why I stick to the easier to prepare meats. And is also why I rarely hunt jacks anymore. The guy that drowned them in sauce would take as many as I could give him, but he is no longer local, and my slaughtering days are over. Yeah, it was nothing for my dad and I to each take a dozen or two a day in the mid 2000's. I miss those trips :504:

But don't let my opinion to it turn you off though, try it at least once or twice and see if you like it. Of the three regular hunting buddies I got, none of us really much cared for it though. I am pretty sure it is SJ that likes them (the younger ones I believe) so maybe he can chime in and let you in on his secret to cooking them. Be sure and tell how you did or didn't enjoy it. Only one way for you to know, that's for sure B) . And again, way to go, you surely earned that first one :good:

#15 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 02:59 PM

Ok Bisley. I don't mind experimenting with cooking techniques or spices and sauces, so I'm going to try to cook it a different way each time I get one. That is unless I start getting alot and I find one recipe that I really like.

I went ahead and cut up the back straps to cook them. I cut them into 1" x 1/2" cubes and I put almost all of the pieces of the back strap in a Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce and Pace Picante Sauce (both mild) after brasing them and I'm going to let thim simmer for about 2 hours. I'm hoping it turns out good, kind of like a Jack Rabbit Chile Colorado. I'll let you know how it goes.

Four other small pieces (maybe 1" by 1/2") I put a little salt, pepper and garlic power on and tossed them into a frying pan with some olive oil. I cooked them up so that I could taste more of what the Jack Rabbit meat tasted like. It was very tender and actually if I hadn't known what it was I'd have said it looked like beef. Texture was like a fillet mignon, but the flavor was, well, closer to a very, very mild beef liver flavor (I'd say that was most likely due to the Jack Rabbit's diet out where it was living). Actually it kind of reminded me of how Mourning Dove tastes.

Now I'm not a fan of liver (most liver taste like meat dirt to me), but since the flavor was so very mild (perhaps because I soaked it in a brine of water, salt, vinegar and soy sauce overnight) that I really don't think I would mind eating it just fried up in olive oil with a few spices and maybe throw in some cubed potatoes.

While it definitely doesn't taste like Cottontail, I don't think it taste as bad as some have described it on other forums. To me it is way better than eating liver and while it might take me a little more time to acquire a taste for it, I'm going to give it a go because I figure if I'm going to take the time and spend the money to go hunt them I might as well add them to my staple of recipes. ;)

#16 Hotchkiss

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:13 PM

Nice Jack rabbit Air rifle hunter. I can't wait to get m first Air gun rabbit too.
As far as the cooking. I cook the jack rabbit couple of times. I chop up the meet and wash off the blood. then soak them into water mix with rice wine . ground ginger .for one hour.
wash off again then per-pan fry the dice garlic, ginger. green onion for couple of mins, then put in the meet. chile. soy sauce. wine and some sugar. Cook it for 15 ~20 mins with medium heat. turn the oven off and cover it for 10 mins. The dish came out very good. You can give it a try .

Ken

#17 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:25 PM

Thanks for the tip Ken. I'll write that down and give it a try one of these days when I get a few more Jack Rabbits. Any measurements/quanities for the ingredients?

When you get your first Cottontails, you are really going to like them. I actually like it better than chicken, but that's probably just my preference. To me Cottontail meat is sweeter than Chicken is. I can't wait for July 1st. :sport037fn4:

#18 Bisley

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 04:53 PM

Glad you enjoyed it. It just didn't do much for us, but I think we are just spoiled from eating cottontail. To me, it is like the hunting Gods sprinkled sugar in the meat when they made cottontails :D . I can pan fry them plain or just crock pot them plain and they already taste seasoned to me :drool: . My kind of food. Guess I also figured we got enough fresh fish and left over birds to eat until July gets here. And now that you know you like them, go out and get yourself some more :good:

#19 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:12 PM

I would agree with you about the taste of the cottontails. The meat is very sweet compared to other white meats and taste good without much work at all. I love them cooked up in the frying pan with a little salt, pepper, oregano (or fresh rosemary, since I have a few rosemary plants in the front yard) and olive oil. Delicious! :drool:

Just thinking about rabbit season has my trigger finger itching to get them in the scope. I'm hoping to do well this season and keep myself well supplied throughout the season with yummy cottontails, if they see fit to stay still for me :lol: . I'll definitely get back out the to harvest some more jacks... as soon as I get some more free time. ;)

#20 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:14 PM

Between you and Crazyhorse I have the 25. cal m-rod fever.
I got to get me one of them for rabbits and other same game, just the $$$ are hard to let go of.


Screwwork,

Definitely save up for one. They are really accurate, hit hard and for the price point they are at, it is hard to beat. I really like hunting with mine. :)

#21 Hotchkiss

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:18 PM

I did cook up some of cottontail last season while out quial hunting, Love the taste too. Jack rabbit has tougher meat and stronger scent than cottontail. That is the reason I soak them into water/wine mix to get raid of the scent.
depent on how many rabbit you cook, I use one whole garlic. chop off. ginger slice ( about 4 oz) , 3 green onion. 4~5 red hot chiles. 3 tea spoon of soy sauce. 1 tea spoon of wine. one tea spoon of surgar. a little bit of salt. you can add some black papper if you like, Per-pan fry the chop off garlic. ginger is very important before you add the meat and all the sauces. I usually put the green onion 3 mins before its done. that is for one whole rabbit. You can add a bit more if you have 2 or more. cut off the meat like 2" a piece. no need to be too small. I like to put some thai basil too with green onion. Let me know if you like the taste if you did prepare. That is better than Kong Pao chicken my friend said.
Ken

#22 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:20 PM

Thanks for the recipe and measurements. I will definitely try it out and let you know what I think. :)

#23 Bisley

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:55 PM

You should see his recipe for quail. This man definitely has some culinary skills!!!

#24 crazyhorse

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:37 AM

Congrats....!!!

Hunting them with a springer is a real hoot......I use to use a R9 .22 cal.....a real pita,...

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#25 tonyd

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 06:45 PM

Excellent, Jacks sure are fun, I've posted this before, but this is my boy with his .22 Beeman shot and LUNCH. The bigger Jack was 7-1/2 lbs.

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#26 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 07:24 PM

Wow! It sure looks like he had a successful and fun time. Also looks like he enjoyed the meal too. ;) Thanks for those photos. It gives me something to strive for. :)

#27 calicojoe

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 02:08 PM

Nice Job on the Jack!! Looking forward to bunny season myself.

#28 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 03:30 PM

Thanks calicojoe. I'm looking forward to "bunny" season too! I've got to be a rabbit ninja - :ph34r:, make the right shot - :sport037fn4: and cook them up right and good :drool:. I've been seeing them running around while I've been hunting for Jack Rabbits and all I can say is they are in for a heap of trouble come July 1st! :D I wish you and all the others here the best in your quests for rabbits this coming season too. :good:




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