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Any other hunters/shooters here?

Definitely my favorite hobby. Actually hunting got me into cooking.

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  1. No, not too practical in my neck of the, um, woods. But I forage.

    What do you hunt? And what do you do with it?

    1. I don't hunt or fish (although fishing was a childhood pastime that I enjoyed.) Deer ate my blueberries. Does venison (farmed) with a blueberry sauce sound good?

      Oh, and mama deer left her "blueberries" all over that part of the lawn. Lovely. :)

      1. I grew up in a family of hunters. I thnk I probably went duck hunting with my dad and brothers when I was 8 or 9 years old. (I had a pop gun. I don't think I was allowed to shoot the .410 until I was ten or eleven.) We hunted deer and pheasants as well. Before I was old enough to hunt, I remember my dad bringing home so many pheasants that my mother made him give many of them away because she was tired of them.

        I don't hunt waterfowl anymore, but we hunt grouse and deer in Minnesota.

        I bought a KitchenAid mixer with the meat grinder attachment years ago just so I could make venison sausage.

        Where do you hunt and what kind of game do you pursue?

        11 Replies
        1. re: John E.

          Deer & turkey primarily. Occasionally antelope & elk. Venison jerky, bacon wrapped fillets, dried venison, turkey "tenderloins", turkey sausage, and ground venison make up 90% of my protein diet.

            1. re: Winny94

              I've made jerky but what is dried venison and how do you make it? What do you do with it? What cuts do you use to make it?

              1. re: divadmas

                Years ago we took our deer to a meat locker who processed our deer into sausage, steaks & chops, pepper sticks, jerky, and dried venison. It was all great food, but we decided to make our own sausage and have been butchering our own deer for over a dozen years. Dried venison is just like dried beef. It is sliced thin, brined and dehydrated. Think of beef used in making SOS (a dish I've never eaten, I'll have to make it some day.)

                Oh, I have no idea what cut of venison is used to make dried venison. There are so many muscles on a deer and we just seem to separate them and remove the fat and the silver skin. I save the loins whole and the rest is ground for hamburger and sausage.

                1. re: John E.

                  A friend of mine shot a couple of deer and chicken fried the tenderloins for a Super Bowl Sunday. Mighty fine dining.

                  1. re: James Cristinian

                    Does 'chicken fried the tenderloins' mean pounding them, flour, egg, crumbs, and pan frying like schnitzel? I have to do that at deer camp in November. We remodled our kitchen at our deer camp and added a new, cordless propane range.

                    1. re: John E.

                      When I chicken fry it's just double pounding and flour, but it's all good.

                      1. re: James Cristinian

                        Chicken fried deer is a true pleasure. One of my favorite meals from a hunt in Texas.

              2. re: Winny94

                Your post sounds like you live in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, or western South Dakota, or at least travel to those locations to hunt. Am I close?

                I've always wanted to do a mule deer/elk hunt, but I guess family life got in the way and it hasn't happened yet.

              3. re: John E.

                I, too, grew up hunting, but mostly fishing in Mn - partridge, trout, walleye, scooping up smelts in the spring & ice fishing in the winters. Dad, uncles, bro & male cousins brought back the venison. Folks made great venison sausage every year - always took as much as I could get away with back to NE after Xmas & restocked my supply of wild rice.

                1. re: Taralli

                  Did you grow up in northern Minnesota? It sounds like Duluth (I lived there for a while) or somewhere near the North Shore (the trout and smelt gave it away).

                  Although I'm a native Minnesotan, I never really got into the ice fishing thing.

                  We eat wild rice quite often. My grandfather actually harvested, parched, and processed his own wild rice. By the time I came along, he had not done it in decades. He harvested wild rice and hunted and fished to feed his family during The Great Depression.

              4. I'm just the wife of a hunter/fisher... Northeastern La- Deer, squirrel, bream mostly...

                1. There are many CH's who hunt and fish.
                  The only big game animals I don't hunt are bear b/c I don't care for the meat and mountain sheep>Too much time, work and money to bother with for a not so tasty meat result.
                  In sixty years of hunting big game and birds of all types the only reason for me has been to fill the freezer. I think 'trophy' hunters/fishermen are sickos and they've never been a part of any hunting party I've been on.
                  A few years ago I was offered 8 thousand dollars to be part of a four man, five day hunting party in which a US bank owner wanted to shoot a 'Rosie' elk near Powell River. All the guy wanted was the rack/cape.
                  I said no thanks.
                  He did shoot a trophy 'Rosie'. All up cost to him was around sixty thousand dollars Can. including the tag.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Puffin3

                    Right on, trophy hunters make me sick.
                    What does a mountain sheep taste like? Super mutton like?

                    1. re: Puffin3

                      <the only reason for me has been to fill the freezer>

                      I've never known any hunter (I've known a few) who didn't enjoy the hunt, even though it's 'just for the meat'.
                      The same goes for the trophy hunter…they're just doing it for different reasons.

                      1. re: latindancer

                        "enjoying the hunt," is not the same as "getting off on killing," as you said earlier. I think you have a very narrow minded view of hunting, and this is coming from somebody who has never hunted.

                        1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                          "Enjoying the hunt," ah the crack of a gun, the kick on the shoulder, the smell of gunpowder on a cool, crisp fall morning, although I no longer hunt that is what I miss, not killing. I do still enjoy catching and eating fish, which entails killing, OMG.

                          1. re: James Cristinian

                            'Cool, crisp fall morning is how I prefer to hunt deer. Sometimes it's 'frigid, cold as hell, fall morning'. Several years ago I remember getting a deer at -5°. Do you remember the Star Wars scene where they sliced the beast open to stay warm? That's what field dressing a deer is like at -5° with the wind blowing. (I no longer go out hunting when it's that cold.)

                            1. re: John E.

                              Cool is about all we can hope for in SE Texas in the fall. I do remember laying on frozen water in a rice field with temps in the teens and winds in the 20's on a goose hunt. That's about as cold as it gets around here.

                          2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                            Actually, I don't have anywhere near a 'very narrow mind' when it comes to hunting.
                            I know trophy hunters and hunters who hunt 'for the meat' and I've known both all my life.
                            One likes to be viewed as different from the other but…
                            In the end they're all killing, just for different reasons.

                      2. My husband is. I just enjoy the spoils lol.

                        1. Hunter/Fisherman/Shooter here. I'm an outdoorsman. I hunt and fish for the table and freezer. I own a lot of land, and am a good steward to the land and the wildlife that live there. Don't need a bear skin rug on my floor, nor a Zebra head on the wall to prove my manhood. Also am a recreational shooter and reloader. ~~~ “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after"...Thoreau

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Uncle Bob

                            Bob, if I may ask, what part of the country do you live? My family has a couple hundred acres in northern Minnesota. The best part about our buying that land 15 years ago is that my dad has spent a lot of quality time with his grandsons.

                            1. re: John E.

                              Deep South John. I hang out in Mississippi and Louisiana.

                          2. I love to fish, sometimes I even bait the hook.

                            1. When I was a teen but it isn't something that kept my interest. However, my family and many of our friends are avid hunters.

                              Growing up, venison was a staple in most homes. My grandmother was a fantastic cook and made all sorts of wild rabbit, pheasant, duck, etc. dishes.

                              1. I used to bow hunt all the time. I was really into archery for several years when we lived in the country and used to shoot every time I had the chance. Traditional longbows and recurves to the latest greatest flat shooting compounds, I phased in and out of each. I shot 3D comps but to me hunting was the closest thing to a religious experience I've ever had. It was my time alone in the real world away from all the things people have turned it into. It's one of those things you either get or you don't get. I don't think I've ever successfully explained it to someone who didn't.

                                ETA: I had one of those Li'l Bear red fiberglass bows when I was little and used to hang out in the woods a lot, I think it imprinted archery into me so when I bought a bow on impulse later it was like an old pair of comfortable shoes or something. If that makes any sense.

                                1. I can't imagine shooting/killing any living animal and then eating it.
                                  When I was a child someone rung a chicken's neck and expected me to eat it when she fried it up.
                                  No way.

                                  52 Replies
                                  1. re: latindancer

                                    So you're a vegetarian?
                                    Or you just like the disconnect and styrofoam trays at the supermarket?

                                    That chicken sounds great to me.

                                    1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                      <So you're a vegetarian?>

                                      Yeah, yeah…that old argument about about the hypocrisy of eating meat and dissing hunters. I get it. You got me.
                                      I'm not a vegetarian although I eat less and less meat as I age…not at all relevant to the thread.
                                      There's just something I find repulsive about shooting an innocent animal and then eating it….like a deer. I'd been playing with that chicken right before she rung its neck and fried it up.
                                      Bleh.

                                    2. re: latindancer

                                      What I can't imagine is someone who eats meat but is unwilling to kill and dress an animal before cooking and eating it.

                                      1. re: John E.

                                        Yeah, that's mostly why I want to go hunting. I've been begging a friend to take me duck (or some kind of water fowl) hunting for a while, hopefully it happens soon.

                                        1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                          You should check with the department of natural resources in your state to see if a gun safety permit ia required. My brother has been teaching gun safety classes for 25 years, but now online tests are available in my state with an in person final test and gun handling instructions.

                                          1. re: John E.

                                            I'm pretty familiar with firearms and safety, I just haven't shot any animals yet. I'll definitely go with experienced hunters and learn the basics first. My buddy came back with an Elk this winter and it was delicious, someday I'd like to try that as well.
                                            When is duck season? Or is there more than 1/depends on state?

                                            1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                              Waterfowl seasons vary from state to state.

                                              1. re: John E.

                                                Makes sense. Looks like it's late October- late January here in WA. Coming up.

                                                Do you think duck and waterfowl in general is a good place to start (it's probably what I am most interested in eating currently)?
                                                I have more experience with shotguns than rifles too. Shoot clay pigeons a lot with friends and seem to do better than most of the ones who hunt regularly so I figure the general idea will be similar with regard to shooting. Obviously the actual shot is just a tiny fraction of duck hunting, but still.

                                                1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                  My first experiences hunting was in a slough hunting ducks with my father and brothers. Trap shooting is something I used to do quite a bit, not so much now, and yes, if you're pretty good at hitting the clay pigeons, you'll be able to hit a duck (although the ducks don't always cooperate as much as the clay targets do.)

                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                    Cool, thanks for the advice. I'll have to post a picture of the final dish I make with the duck and compare it to duck from the butcher.

                                                  2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                    I used to just use a shotgun and lead to get ducks in Colorado. But here in Washington they seem more serious with boats , blinds, decoys, dogs, 3 1/2 inch shotguns since lead is illegal for waterfowl. Seems like a lot of effort and I much prefer commercial duck anyway. Wouldn't mind getting a goose though. Hey it just started raining. My bil is over on the peninsula scouting for deer season. London broil is on sale at safeway so I'll have them thin slice it for jerky. Maybe get my nil to donate some deer to the jerky cause.

                                                    1. re: divadmas

                                                      Yeah, we may actually hunt in CO since we both like to travel there a lot (mostly to ski). Interesting about commercial duck, I've heard that from quite a few people. Maybe I should go for some water fowl that is hard to find in a store or at a butcher.
                                                      I have a dehydrator as well, I'll have to use it for some jerky when my friend bring back an elk this winter.

                                                      1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                        Now that I think about it, I can't remember anyone cooking wild duck. I wonder if the birds don't yield enough meat for the effort. I'll have to ask about this. I had Canada goose several times and it was tasty.

                                                        1. re: cleobeach

                                                          I've always just heard in some areas the ducks can taste kinda funky because of what they eat. I've never had goose (besides the livers) but it is very high on my list of things I want to try. Seems rare to find it on a restaurant menu.

                                                          1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                            When my friends make Canada goose, they cube it and marinade it in something (I know red wine is involved) and they do the cubes on the grill for one-two bite cocktail nibbles. The meat is very rich and it more like beef in taste and consistency than fowl.

                                                            I grew up eating farm-raised goose and the Canada goose is very different.

                                                          2. re: cleobeach

                                                            Plenty of meat on a wild duck. Depending on what duck eats its taste will vary. surprisingly seldom bite a piece of shot though there is over a hundred in each shell.
                                                            Elk is very good and a little will fill you up. Haven't had the Roosevelt elk here in Washington though. Was just talking to a guy planning a trip up to bc to get a moose.

                                                            1. re: cleobeach

                                                              I've had tons of wild duck and it is delicious, but it has to be cooked correctly. I've had it in restaurants where it was disgusting. Only certain ducks are good; puddle ducks are good to eat - mallards, pintails, teal, wigeon, etc. Diving ducks taste strong and fishy. If oven cooked, it must be rare (preferably blood rare) because it tends to dry out easily. I live in the Pacific Flyway where there are ducks by the thousands. When we have shop parties, most of the meat is wild game except for the ribs. Ducks are best cooked in a “Chinese Cooker”, which is essentially a big smokestack over a wood fire where the meat is hung on hooks. The results are unbelievably juicy cooked meats. Wild turkey is my favorite and is far superior to store bought turkey. We also serve pheasant, quail, dove, elk, etc. Goose meat is a problem; it’s strong and tough and is best marinated then cooked or smoked for jerky. Many years of visiting France have given me a taste for domestic duck, so I appreciate both.

                                                  3. re: John E.

                                                    State gun handling instructions? I was grandfathered in by my Dad, uncles, and cousin in the 60's before state regulations. We graduated from walking along in the woods and fields, to BB guns, single shot shotguns, semi-automatic shotguns and rifles. Safety was paramount and we didn't need the great state of Texas to teach us, but I see the need for state intervention today. Pretty fair wing shooter by the way, can bring down a darting dove at distance with a tailwind. No longer angry at birds and small mammals, but speckled trout, redfish, and flounder tick me off and I willingly catch and release in the frying pan, with an occasional redfish on the half shell.

                                                    1. re: James Cristinian

                                                      Minnesota has had a Hunter Education and Firearms Safety Training program since 1955. In 1991 I think is when a law was passed that anyone born in 1979 or after must take and pass the course. If a now 35 year old wishes to purchase a hunting license in Minnesota they have to have taken and passed the course. I took the class as a kid and also took the snowmobile, and boating safety courses. The DNR also offers an ATV safety course.

                                                      (Frankly, I think all youth should be instructed in the safe use of firearms. It would cut down on negligent gun use.)

                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                        One of my uncles was so gun safety conscious he wouldn't let his kids have toy ones. I took a US Coast Guard boating safety course and frankly believe nobody should be allowed to operate a boat before taking one.

                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                          I don't know if it is a Washington state rule but you now have to pass a course to operate a boat. I think even the old timers who were grandfathered in are phased in and have to pass.

                                                2. re: John E.

                                                  I don't like killing anything…I don't understand the mentality or the necessity.
                                                  I think that's where a hunter and I part ways. The predatory aspect of it eludes me.
                                                  I can purchase any type of meat or fowl I prefer, amazing taste and quality, so it's not like it isn't available. So, to say there isn't some sort of sport involved just isn't accurate. Hunting/gathering isn't quite part of the social norm anymore. Man vs. the beast…and where's the level playing field? One has a gun, the other doesn't. I suppose as long as there're Homo Sapiens there'll be this aspect of our population.

                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                    Of course you don't have to like hunting, but to be critical of hunting while still eating meat is a conundrum for me.

                                                    Hunting certainly is 'part of the social norm' in many areas of the U.S. In some school districts in Minnesota, schools close on the Friday before the deer opener so families can go hunting together. I remember being released from school to go hunting with my family.

                                                    (Arming the deer would not be helpful because they do not have opposable thumbs.)

                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      My school had off the Friday before buck season and the first Monday and Tuesday. Also had off for the first day of doe season. It was perfectly acceptable to take additional days off for hunting as well.

                                                      When I went to college, my fellow classmates could not wrap their head around hunting, let along the fact that almost everyone I knew kept guns in the house!

                                                      1. re: cleobeach

                                                        I had both a rifle and a shotgun in my dorm room (during hunting season) when I was in college (I was not breaking any rules. Liquor was against the rules however.) Now the schools have lockers in a storage room for storing guns. This is at colleges mostly in the northern part of the state.

                                                      2. re: John E.

                                                        I would hope that both sides of this debate would be willing to admit there are good points on both sides to be argued.
                                                        I know I would. For a family that can't afford to purchase meat I suppose I could make the argument that there's an entire locker of meat in one animal, so shoot it and eat it.
                                                        Meat hunted/dressed tastes no different to me than the meat I purchase at my butcher…in fact, some of the duck hunted I've tasted isn't even remotely close to the delicacy I've experienced from the butcher.
                                                        Social norms certainly vary in this country but my point, although certainly not taken in the way it was intended, has to do with tribal social norms which considered hunting/gathering part of their heritage. I'm assuming you get my point.
                                                        There's definitely not a level playing field, though, when it comes to hunting. A predator, seeking out an innocent animal who has no way of protecting itself.
                                                        It's fact.

                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                          I don't agree that hunting is inherently wrong. Hunting and actually being successful is not as easy as many seem to believe. I don't mind if people are not in favor of hunting, if they don't eat meat.

                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                            <if they don't eat meat>

                                                            Interesting rationalization but not a legitimate argument.
                                                            To each his/her own.

                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                              I have refrained from using the 'h' word, so I'll just say that I'm baffled by the logic, or lack of logic, on this topic.

                                                              (We ate a vegetarian meal this evening, how's that for irony?)

                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                No 'h' hypocrisy here.
                                                                Love to hear your 'logic' though.

                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                  My logic is that if I eat meat, I should not be critical of the sport of hunting, as long as the game is eaten.

                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                    Okay.
                                                                    Sorry for sounding critical, it wasn't my intention.
                                                                    I just don't understand the hunting world.
                                                                    Enough said.

                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                        Not understanding hunting might be a function of living in southern California and not in an area where there is a tradition of hunting. I know people who could not live in a place where they could not hunt, trap, or fish every day of their lives.

                                                                        (I'm not a fan of the 'enough said' or the even worse 'nuff said' (on any topic)...but, okay.)

                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                Catch and release.
                                                                I've fished alot during my life and I do it for the sport…just like the hunters, although they keep the meat.
                                                                I've always released them, to let them live, even though I love fish.
                                                                I purchase my fish from the best monger I know.

                                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                                  Many released fish die. I keep every legal fish I can and only throw back the ones prohibited by state or federal regulations. What kind of fish do you eat from your fish monger? Fish caught in nets can result in the deaths of dozens of dead juvenile fish, minimum per legal fish plus other species such as turtles. You would be better off keeping those fish you release, less environmental impact.

                                                                  1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                    Barbless hooks is the best way to fish. Easy to release.

                                                                    1. re: emglow101

                                                                      Not if the lure is inhaled or gill hooked. On many occasions I've seen a fish hooked deep, take a couple of gulps, and watched the lure disappear down the throat. Those fish do not survive. The stress of the fight also kills fish, as does poor handling.

                                                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                        Your right with the lures. I fly fish using a single hook barbless. Thanks for the info.

                                                              2. re: latindancer

                                                                Latindancer,
                                                                I somewhat understand what you are saying, however as far as "seeking out an innocent animal", have you ever seen a prep/slaughter line in a meat processing operation? I can most assuredly tell you that as far as being humanely killed, a hunted wild animal suffers considerably less than the meat that ends up at your butcher! Without going into graphic details, it is a fact that many commercial/factory grown animals are alive when the first stages of processing begin. As for me, I always opt for domestic meat animals that are humanely raised and slaughtered, as well as quickly dispatched hunted game.

                                                                1. re: ospreycove

                                                                  Even if you buy humanely raised and slaughtered meat, which it sounds like latindancer does; hunting is still generally a far more humane way to kill an animal. Not to mention, the lives of wild animals are magnitudes better than nearly all domestically raised animals.

                                                                2. re: latindancer

                                                                  Are cows "guilty"? Do they have a better chance of escape?

                                                          2. re: latindancer

                                                            How about those cute little shrimp, clams, and lobsters? Do you eat any of these proteins?
                                                            Give me a couple of meadow reared wild cottontails anytime; braised in white wine w/mushrooms and rosemary!!!!

                                                            Never do I buy a piece of meat/poultry/fish with that diaper underneath it in the styrofoam boat, wrapped in stretch plastic. I prefer to know where my food comes from. I like to know what the animals that I eat;......... What did they eat..........

                                                            1. re: ospreycove

                                                              Yep. Love fish.
                                                              I don't purchase food that's wrapped in styrofoam…that's gross to me.
                                                              I am very selective where all my protein comes from…just can't stand the thought of killing them myself…
                                                              I leave that stuff to the people who get off on killing.

                                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                                I really don't think that is why people hunt. They do not "get off on killing."
                                                                Seems like kind of a blanket statement that most hunters (certainly all those I know) would take offense to.

                                                                It's fine to feel uncomfortable killing an animal. I think I'll probably be a bit uncomfortable when I kill and clean my first animal too, but I want to try it and step outside my comfort zone at least.

                                                                1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                  <They do not 'get off on killing'>

                                                                  You haven't been around too many hunters, trophy or otherwise, have you?

                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                    A wise person once said "don't feed the trolls," I'm going to apply that advice to this thread.
                                                                    Kthxby.

                                                                2. re: latindancer

                                                                  Nobody that I know "Gets Off" on killing animals; even some Native American tribes give thanks to their God's after "Getting Off", (killing) for food.

                                                              2. re: latindancer

                                                                I can't imagine not being willing to shoot, dress, and cook an animal but are willing to let someone else do it for me.

                                                                (Actually, I can understand not wishing to do all of that work. I cannot understand someone being critical of those willing to do so.)

                                                              3. Here! Tho I believe I'm guessing not many in this group

                                                                1. I own a lot of guns, but only shoot at targets.........so far.

                                                                  1. I have to add my 2 cents. My experience has been that those of us who hunt and fish have a far greater appreciation for the animals we stalk than those who don't. In order to be successful, you have to understand the habits and habitat of the animal. I've come back empty handed more often than not. You come to appreciate the animals in a way that someone who hasn't ever stalked them can't really understand. When you're successful, its not just a hunk of meat that you picked up at the megamart or some frou frou shop. You caught, killed, dressed and prepared it. There is a connection from the animal to the meal that is visceral. That's why the hunt has been celebrated through many cultures over the centuries. Not a lot written about the shoppers of the world.

                                                                    That said, I prefer hunting for gamebirds. A lot less work to carry out a bunch of ducks/quail that packing out a deer miles to the truck. I do love venison though. Never gone after elk. I can't imagine the work that would take to pack out.

                                                                    1. I do not, mainly because I don't know how, but my SO does. The most of I've done was some pheasant hunting when I was 16 in CA. He grew up in Wyoming, so it's pretty much required there :) We live in Colorado now though, and he hasn't had much luck with deer or elk the past few years. I think it's become a bit "trendy" and the season here is very short, so it's hard to get something. Last year, they ran into tons of other people out hunting in the same area, and hardly anybody got anything. Saw a huge herd of elk over on private land next to where they were allowed to hunt though :)

                                                                      Thankfully, he still has lots of family in Wyoming that supply us with their "leftovers". I currently have elk, antelope, venison, and moose in my freezer. He would go hunt there but it costs quite a bit of money to do so since he's now a CO resident.

                                                                      1. My wife and I go hunting/shooting all of the time. I typically hunt feral pigs, dove, and various small game (from the garden to the table).

                                                                        1. Spouse of an East Coast deer hunter here. He field dresses the deer but then we send them to a local butcher. I think the loin is my favorite, but I also love ground venison for chili and "cheesesteak" subs. It is such a lean, flavorful meat. Not too many hunters in our area and the deer population has really exploded; they are everywhere.

                                                                          1. Shooter, yes. Hunter, no. The only things I shoot at are paper targets, clay pigeons and steel gongs.

                                                                            Hunting fascinates me because I see it as a logical extension of meat cooking and butchery. I would love to start (maybe rabbits with the .22 rifle?) but it seems like a closed culture that's hard to break into if you didn't grow up in that world. Also nowadays I am in a big city which kind of limits my hunting opportunities unless we are talking about putting out mousetraps and swatting cockroaches.

                                                                            22 Replies
                                                                            1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                              Rabbits with a .22? Good luck with that.

                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                I once shot a snowshow hare with a Model 94 .30-.30. I got it in the neck, iron sights too, freehand at about 30 yards. I was deer hunting and walking back to camp. I never did see a deer that season.

                                                                                1. re: grampart

                                                                                  "I own a lot of guns, but only shoot at targets.........so far."

                                                                                  I would like to know on what hunting experience you base your statement.

                                                                                  I've seen rabbits slowly loping around grazing on hillsides and haybales. They don't look like especially hard targets for a good .22 rifle.

                                                                                  1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                    Not saying it's impossible. Small game hunting in my youth was always done with a shotgun.

                                                                                  2. re: grampart

                                                                                    I don't every remember having any major issues using a .22 or smaller caliber for rabbits, or any other small game.

                                                                                    Though I will say that when you're hunting in a wooded area using a pistol or a carbine, you may occasionally have issues with the .22 round deflecting off of the undergrowth.

                                                                                    Outside of that, I'll say my favorite two guns for hunting with down here in Florida tend to be my Ruger American .223 bolt gun and my Benelli .16 Gauge Autoloader.

                                                                                    Most of the game I hunt can be brought down either, and they're light, and a lot easier on my shoulder than some of my other guns.

                                                                                    Now if you want a challenge, use a bow for rabbit hunting.

                                                                                    1. re: grampart

                                                                                      SO's 10 year old nephew got 3 rabbits 2 days after getting his first .22. We all ate well that night.

                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                        Very nice and I gave you a plus one but I wasn't allowed to handle a .22 at that age. It has a range of over a mile and that small bullet can be deadly to humans. Please be sure he is supervised.

                                                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                          Oh of course, grandpa and grandma do a good job of teaching him gun safety (grandpa takes him out, his dad isn't around), and also made him clean the rabbits too, so he'd learn shooting animals isn't just for fun.

                                                                                          ETA: This is also in Wyoming.

                                                                                      2. re: grampart

                                                                                        I Use a .22 on rabbits, I hope you do not use a shotgun!

                                                                                          1. re: ospreycove

                                                                                            Hey, I grew up in New Jersey. The only legal way to hunt is with a shotgun. Deer season? No slugs, had to be buckshot.

                                                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                                                              Whoa, that law strikes me as very odd. I know a lot of people hunt rabbits with shotguns but not so many in WA.

                                                                                              1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                Why does it strike you as odd? NJ is the nation's most densely populated state. Bullets fly further than shotgun pellets, possibly far enough to hurt someone.

                                                                                                1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                  I didn't really consider that, totally makes sense though.

                                                                                              2. re: grampart

                                                                                                I looked it up. There are both slug and buckshot zones for the firearms deer season in New Jersey. In Minnesota, roughly the southern half of the state is shotgun only, but slugs must be used. I had never before heard of deer hunting with buckshot, although I do see the irony with the name of the pellets.

                                                                                              3. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                When hunting pheasant with #8 shot and coming across a running cottontail, the rabbit could be dispatched without too much damages to the meat.

                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                  #8 is very small, I think over 2 hundred fit in a shell, compared to 9 or so buckshot.
                                                                                                  If you are too close when you shoot and shot has not had the time to spread out you can ruin meat by the shot chewing it up.
                                                                                                  .22 is labeled as dangerous at a mile though of course you won't hit what you aim at at anywhere near that range, you just have to watch what's past your target if you miss. Very small animals are not killed instantly without proper bullet placement even though a .22 is the size of a cannonball compared to them. With proper placement even an air rifle can be effective. I have friends that hunt squirrels with air guns, though the guns they use are not toys and cost more than firearms.

                                                                                                2. re: ospreycove

                                                                                                  It's just two different ways, no reason for a disagreement.

                                                                                                1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                                                  Agree. I'd like those in my backyard when I grow up someday, just like Hickok45!

                                                                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0gYo...