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Morning Sun
  • DABLEMONT: The benefits of hunting, eating rabbits

  • It is snowing up here on this wooded ridge-top where I live and work. First time this year we have had a real snow — maybe four inches or so, and still snowing heavily toward noon. I have fed my Labrador puppies, anred filled the bird feeders and intend to go hunt rabbits with my good friend and his beagle, before the season ends in a day or so. 

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  • It is snowing up here on this wooded ridge-top where I live and work. First time this year we have had a real snow — maybe four inches or so, and still snowing heavily toward noon. I have fed my Labrador puppies, anred filled the bird feeders and intend to go hunt rabbits with my good friend and his beagle, before the season ends in a day or so.  
    By the time you read this, the snow will likely be gone, and I will have eaten the last fried rabbit of the winter.  If you don’t eat a fried rabbit or two each winter, you aren’t living right. There were so many of them when I was a kid, and from December until February, rabbits and quail kept many a farm family well fed.
    Eating rabbits makes you sharp-eyed and hones your reflexes.  Rabbit meat makes you more resistant to the cold, and it makes your legs stronger. We were watching a college basketball game the other day and you could tell that those players descended from rabbit-hunting families.  If you see really short-legged people who can’t take the cold, it is because they haven’t hunted rabbits enough.
    I can’t see as well as I once could, I can’t walk nearly as fast or as far, and my reflexes aren’t as good.  I blame that on the fact that each year I hunt and eat fewer rabbits.  Correspondingly, I think eating more fish, as I seem to be doing as I get older, gives a person arthritic elbows and sore shoulders.  The fish I catch are awfully big! I have noticed something about my fishing buddies — the more they fish, they more they stretch the truth.  I think eating fish causes that too, but it hasn’t happened to me yet.
    Up here on Lightnin’ Ridge, where I live, there is a little rough-edged road coming up to my house.  As I drive up that little rocky hill, I have a garden off to the left of the drive, about the only open place on this whole oak-hickory ridge-top.  At night this time of year, especially when there’s some snow, I often see four or five cottontails cavorting and playing around my garden, getting ready for the mating season.  In the moonlight, I sometimes watch them running and jumping over one another. That isn’t necessarily because they know they’ll be eating my green beans in a few months.  That leap-frogging is a mating ritual, indicating how close spring must be.
    There are more rabbits here because my Labradors, in kennels close by, keep coyotes and foxes and bobcats away from my place.  
    A great horned owl is not so leery, and he quite often roosts in a big oak right beside my office.  I lose a rabbit or two to that owl and his mate, and they get some flying squirrels too.  But it is the way it is.  God created all things, great and small, gentle and fierce, and he sees value in all wild things.  That gives me hope, as I used to be a little wild.  But not anymore; I have quit howling at the coyotes and shooting at house cats and I haven’t been out running and jumping in the snow in quite a few years. I envy those rabbits!
    Page 2 of 2 - My email address is lightninridge@windstream.net, and the regular address is Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613  See my website at www.larrydablemontoutdoors.blogspot.com.
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