Recipe: Herb- and Beer-Braised Rabbit

Recipe from AllRecipes.com. Original photo courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Beer and herbs add depth and flavor to your hoppin’ game.

Preparation time: 40 minutes. Cook time: 50 minutes. Serves 6; 528 calories.

Ingredients:

½ c. plus 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divide ½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3 lbs. rabbit meat, cleaned and cut into pieces
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 c. onions, thinly sliced
1 ½ lbs. mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 c. amber beer
1 quart chicken stock
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

Place ½ cup flour, salt, and pepper into a plastic bag and toss to mix. Add rabbit meat and toss to coat. Shake off excess and lay meat to one side. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it is lightly smoking.

Sear breaded rabbit on each side until golden brown, then set aside. Pour in remaining oil and stir in sliced onions. Cook until onions have softened, about 2 minutes, then stir in mushrooms and garlic, cooking for an additional 2 minutes. Add thyme, basil, rosemary, and bay leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place browned rabbit pieces into the Dutch oven; pour in beer and chicken stock. Bring mix to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the rabbit is very tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir 3 tablespoons of flour into the softened butter until smooth. Remove rabbit from the broth and set aside. Skim any visible fat off the liquid, then whisk in butter paste. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until thickened, then remove bay leaves, season again with salt and pepper as needed, and stir in parsley. Serve the thickened sauce with the rabbit.

Congratulations Texas, which added hunting and fishing to the state constitution.

Congratulations to Texas, which just officially enshrined hunting and fishing in the state constitution with the passage of Proposition 6 in yesterday’s election!

Texans have always valued their rights to hunt and fish, particularly on private property, which makes up 95 percent of Texas hunting lands. This change to the state constitution makes that a permanent part of Texas law.

“To me, it is a better guarantee; [hunting, fishing, and the taking of wildlife] goes from a privilege to a right,” said Steve Hall, Hunter Education Coordinator with Texas Parks and Wildlife. “We can put away our privileges, but we can’t put away our rights.”

Texas has the highest hunting population in the United States, and is also near the top for fishing, with 1.1 million hunting licenses and 2.3 million fishing licenses bought per year, Hall said. That means hunting and fishing are also big business, creating an economic impact of $87 billion and supporting more than 700,000 jobs nationwide.

By passing Proposition 6 and the other constitutional amendments, Texas residents “are creating an even better place for future generations to live, work, and raise a family,” according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Due to the passage of Proposition 6, Texas now joins the 18 other states that have added the importance of hunting and fishing to state constitutions.

 

Wisconsin bowhunter learned the hard way to respect a wounded doe. What went wrong?

Deer Attacks Hunter

A hunter in Wisconsin got a rough reminder about bowhunting safety on Friday when he was attacked by a deer he was hunting.

The report, making the rounds as a “revenge of the deer” tale, says the 72-year-old hunter was injured when the doe he was tracking while crossbow hunting surprised him and hit him in the leg. He was transported by ambulance to the hospital and his current condition is unknown. The deer got away.

This is a rare and bizarre situation: most of the time, hunters come home unscathed, but incidents like this can be serious if proper precautions aren’t taken.

Let’s look at the safety measures this hunter may have missed:
• He did not approach the deer from behind and above. If he had, the deer would have been more likely to leap away from him, rather than toward him.
• He didn’t make a clean shot, leaving the doe wounded. Proper shot placement is critical; on a deer, bowhunters should aim for the chest cavity, with intent to strike the liver, diaphragm, lungs and heart.

But he did a lot right, too:
• He waited before tracking the deer. It’s unclear how long he waited, but it’s safest to wait at least 30 minutes to an hour.
• Friends or family knew where he was hunting, and were able to help him get out when he was injured.
• He sought medical attention quickly.

It’s important to remember that these kinds of incidents are pretty rare: in 2007 (the last year data is available), there was only one crossbow-related injury reported, according to the IHEA-USA. That’s in large part because of hunter education and safety measures. That said, a lot can happen in the field—it’s wild out there!

If you want to brush up on your bowhunting safety, it’s always good to take a bowhunting education course for your state.

Have you ever experienced “revenge of the deer”? What happened?