Rabbit Hunting photo

A swamper is a big bunny, easily twice the size of a cottontail. That means twice as much meat, and twice as much reason to hunt these little-known animals. Dressing a rabbit, be it a swamper or no, isn’t difficult, and this is about as straightforward a process as I’ve seen: Grab, pluck, twist, pull. One hint: Hang a freshly killed rabbit in a forked tree branch for an hour or so. When you come back to retrieve it, any fleas will have hopped off the carcass.

  1. Grasp the rabbit by a hind leg, and pinch the hide firmly at the knee joint. Twist and pull the hide toward the back. Repeat with the other back leg.

  2. Continue to pull the hide down toward the head. Try to turn it inside-out so that hair stays off the meat.

  3. Pull the front legs through the hide, as though you were removing a jacket. Twist or cut off the head, then discard it and hide.

  4. Snap each leg at the knee or elbow joint, and cut all the way through with a knife.

  5. Gut the rabbit as you would any mammal: Open up the belly to remove the viscera and pull out the lungs and heart.

  6. To remove the tail, use a sharp knife to cut a slanted notch on each side of it. These cuts should meet in a V at the base of the tail. Then remove it.

  7. Rinse well and get your bunny on ice.