Last month marked the annual opening of rabbit season. Though jackrabbits (Lepus californicus) are open all year, cottontails (Sylvilagus), brush rabbits (Sylvilagus bachmani) and snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) are only fair game during a limited season lasting from July 1st- the last Sunday in January.
My dog had been anticipating a good cottontail hunt since finals week and I was happy to take her along for the ride!
We started out with a little bluegill fishing. She chased fish after fish until she finally began to tire.
As the sun sank low in the sky, she and I headed out for a rabbit hunt.
Along a bank of grass, bare earth, and coyote brush we spotted a rabbit. I loaded my trusty 12 gauge and we crept in and drew a bead. The shot was true and Abalone ran full speed at the rabbit pinning it to the ground.
She was one proud dog, and I was one proud hunter!
We picked wild fennel from a secret spot to use in our dinner and after sharing an appetizer of liver, heart and kidney’s with my quadrapedal hunting buddy, I set to work on the main course…rabbit Tagine!
Tagine refers to both a suite of recipes from the Middle East, and the dish in which they are cooked. The recipe I settled on used tomato, fennel, lemon, garlic, onion, potatoes, olives, parsley (from my garden), my homemade sea salt, and select spices.
It was fantastic! The meat was so tender and the spices complemented this wild game incredibly well. I certainly hope to make this dish again soon!
Well, time to get out foraging again. I will have another story for you next week (a tale of spending most of last month at 5,000 ft, deep in the mountains).
Keep the old ways alive!