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Small Game, Predator and Trapping From shooting squirrels in your backyard to calling coyotes in Arizona. This forum now contains trapping information..

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Old 10-04-2011, 08:17 PM   #1
Spike
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Default Checking squirrel and rabbit for dieases

Hello everybody, I'm new to the forums and new to the whole hunting scene. I own a Remington Vantage .177 (Air Gun) that I'm going to use to hunt squirrels and rabbits. With that said, before I start shooting and skinning/preparing, how do you check the animal for possible diseases and illness? Any tips on what to specifically check for?
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:12 AM   #2
Fork Horn
 
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Make sure you wait untill after the first hard freeze of the year to kill any small game. Check for things like cists or boils on the skin while your skinning. Rabbits can carry some nasty stuff so try not to get the blood into an open wound or cut. I like to wear gloves while skinning animals because my hands tend to be always banged up...


Over all my years of hunting i havn't found very many animals that had something wrong with them. The only thing i can think of is finding "wolves" in squerlls but they will go away after a good freeze. Also some ducks carry a parasite referred to as "rice breast" which is pretty nasty looking.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:10 AM   #3
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yeah kind of like alpine said....if something doesnt look right to you about the animal or it has a bad smell when you clean it, then probably better safe than sorry and chuck it. Ive always heard to wait after the first frost on squirrels but ive taken them before and after and never noticed a difference. They say the wolves dont hurt anything and you can just cut them out, id prob chuck it tho
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:19 PM   #4
Spike
 
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Thank you for the replies. I personally don't want to hunt an animal and be "unsure" and take guesses. Cruel for the animal, and can be hazardous to yourself if your not completely educated. Thank you for clearing it up for me. I'll keep this in mind when the small game season is here next week.

I also read somewhere that while clearing out the guts its a good idea to check the liver and kidneys for any possible hidden illness. Anyone else have a second opinion on this?
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:36 PM   #5
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i understand your point on wanting to be sure. I personally have always only hunted for animals i was going to eat (or if it was being a nuisance/pest and had to be eradicated), never killed things just to kill them. Unfortunately i dont think theres really a way to be "sure" an animal is ok without inspecting it, and to do that of course youre going to have to kill it usually (although you might spot something in a scope that could stop you before you pulled the trigger). I cant comment on the entrails.........ive seen the insides of many but wouldnt know what i was looking for, other than something thats abnormal.
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