Relocating to New Hampshire Small Game Hunting Sullivan County New Hampshire Part 3, the cottontail rabbit is one of the most common small mammals in a lot of Sates. The cottontail rabbit is seen in semi-open areas that have thick, low cover such as brush piles and hedges. The cottontail is a favorite food of many predators.
A general description: This small grayish-brown mammal has a white (cotton-colored) tail and a rusty patch on the back of its neck. Its belly, chin, tail and inner legs are white.
Length,cottontail rabbits are between 12 and 16 inches.
Cottontail rabbits weightaround2 to 3 pounds.
Sounds:None, except a high-pitched squeal when it is attacked.
Relocating to New Hampshire Small Game Hunting Sullivan County New Hampshire Part 3, reproduction of the cottontail rabbit is a prolific animal. A female may give birth to a litter of four to six young and within hours after giving birth, be bred again. Three weeks later she will have another litter. The young of the first litter fend for themselves when the second litter arrives. Rabbits are hairless, sightless, and virtually helpless at birth. They weigh about an ounce at birth and are no bigger than a person's thumb. To keep them warm, the mother digs a shallow saucer-shaped nest in the ground and lines it with grass and her own belly hair. Baby cottontails leave the nest after three weeks.
Food, cottontails eat green plants, twigs, tree bark, and sometimes their own vitamin-rich droppings.
Predators of the cottontail rabbit, includes rattlesnakes, hawks, mink, foxes, bobcats, fishers, weasels, coyotes, dogs, cats, skunks, raccoons, and wolves eat cottontails. Some people hunt rabbits for their meat.
Habitat and range of the cottontail rabbit, throughout the year, cottontails are found in brushy areas such as woodlots, shelterbelts, and even around shrub and conifer plantings in suburban areas. During summer they feed on grasses and clovers, but in winter they eat twigs and bark, especially of fruit trees. Large tree and brush piles are popular shelters for rabbits. The range of one cottontail is no more than five acres (about the size of five football fields). They run along trails within thick brush to escape predators.
The real magic of rabbit hunting is its simplicity. It takes some work for rabbits, but it's not as hard as for some other game animals. There's no need to build blinds or stands. It's not imperative to be out at daybreak, and fancy, high dollar equipment isn't needed. Just find the rabbits, and the fun comes naturally.
Relocating to New Hampshire Small Game Hunting Sullivan County New Hampshire Part 3, shooting tips, learn to snap shoot. Rabbits in heavy cover seldom offer more than an instant in which to make your shot. There's no time to swing through your target. You have to locate the dashing rabbit, shoulder your gun and shoot all in one motion.
It pays to be ready for a cottontail's fleet rush from cover. Rabbits are adept at making their move when you and your partners are chewing the fat and let your guard down. Don't prop your gun over a shoulder or cradle it in your arm. Keep your firearm in the ready position, with your trigger hand on the grip and your index finger on the trigger guard. You'll miss too many shots if you parade around like a soldier with your gun pointed at the sky.
On the rare occasions when a rabbit bolts across open ground you'll do well to ponder your shot, but not very long. On pass shots, swing through the body and beyond the head, shooting just as the bead clears the rabbit's nose. When your target is running straight away from you, don't draw your bead on that cottony-white tail. Instead, swing through the rabbit, centering your shot just beyond the head. The result is a fast kill and undamaged meat.
Fun facts, Cottontails are nervous animals that may die of shock if handled or caged. Cottontail meat is tasty favored by gourmet chefs who often cook it fried, in stews, or braised with herbs and vegetables.
Field care and cooking cottontail rabbits, few wild game meats are as delectable and versatile as rabbit. The flesh is delicate, white and lean, with just a hint of gaminess. It can be cooked in every conceivable way, from simply fried, baked or roasted to stews, casseroles and pies. The taste is comparable to that of chicken, and recipes for the two are interchangeable.
Wear disposable rubber gloves when dressing rabbits to avoid the possibility of contracting tularemia or other diseases cottontails occasionally carry. Use a sharp knife to skin and gut the rabbit, and remove the feet and head. To prepare the rabbit for cooking, cut the forelegs from the body at the shoulder, and then cut and remove the hind legs at the hip. Separate the rib section from the loin and you're done.
For delicious fried rabbit, cut a rabbit into serving pieces and parboil in a pot with enough water to cover plus one hot pepper and four sliced cloves of garlic. When the rabbit is tender, remove from the heat and drain off the water. Combine 1 cup milk and 2 slightly beaten eggs in a shallow bowl. Dip the rabbit pieces in the egg mixture, dredge in plain flour seasoned with some salt and pepper, and fry the pieces until done to taste in 1/2 cup shortening heated in a skillet.
Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire
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