Jackalope Crossing

Caution: Jackalopes!

There are some wildlife facts and hunting regulations that most people know, even if they’re not hunters, and then there are those points that many of us would have never guessed.

I’m only using myself as a case in point, because, had I not studied up about certain wildlife matters, I would have guessed wrong.

For example, most people probably realize that there is no closed season in Texas for certain animals, such as rabbits and squirrels. But you do need to have a valid and current hunting license in order to take these animals, unless they are causing loss or damage to personal property.

You may not know, though, the traditional rule of thumb about the best part of the year to eat such rodents. Although, with proper cleaning and cooking, they are said to be safe throughout the year, the rule says that September through April, or all months with an “r” in their name, is the period when these animals are generally free of parasites.

Also, did you know that, in addition to feral hogs, there is no closed season or bag limit in Texas for exotic animals and fowls?

What about the fact that, although rarely sighted, mountain lions are not protected from hunting or with closed seasons in Texas?

Such is not true of the rarely sighted black bear in the state.

With either animal, however, state wildlife authorities insist that you report any sightings.

There is also no bag limit for fur-bearing animals in Texas, although valid hunting or trapper’s licenses or the “nuisance” clause concerning personal property damage does apply.

Finally and sadly, there are no real jackalopes, but have you heard of a practice called “snipe hunting?”

Well, as a kid, I was once taken on such a jaunt--complete with spoons, pots, and pans--by my brother-in-law, but in the right parts of the state, very real snipe are regulated and hunted.

Did you know?

I have a passion for writing about a growing variety of topics and have enjoyed pursuing this passion through personal projects, various blogs, and as a correspondent covering Coryell County for Killeen Daily Herald.

(6) comments


Have been having a hard time getting my comment to show up.
Ah, snipe hunts! A favorite from the past! But what do you mean there are no jack-o-lopes?!?! So what, if some do not believe, does that make the truth of any less effect?!?! (Lol)

Shawn Paul

I'm sorry about the posting troubles, crios, but yes, either kind of snipe hunt can be a lot of fun, at least for some involved. I did forget to mention the paper bag needed for the lightly armed version. You must have a way to collect them! As for jackalopes, who knows? There's still folks chasing that elusive chupacabra. Thanks for the comment.


Ah, "snipe hunts!" A favorite from the past. But what do you mean, "no jack-o-lopes?" What if some do not believe? Does it make the truth of any less effect? lol


Ah yes, the "snipe hunt!" A favorite of the past.


I have never hunted wild rabbit before. I may have to give that a try. What's your take on squirrel hunting? They say wild hogs have so many diseases that they are unsafe to consume. I have eaten wild hogs and haven't been affected by anything. Could age be a factor on eating wild game?

Shawn Paul

Rabbit hunting can be a lot of fun, but it's very challenging, and you have to stay on the move. It can be very fast-paced. Squirrel hunting is challenging as well, but it tends to be a little more laid back. With squirrels, you have to be a little quieter and move a little slower; planning out your next move. Unlike rabbits, squirrels are good climbers and spend a lot of their time in and around tall trees. Most of the other differences between hunting these two animals results from that fact.

I've heard those stories about feral hogs myself, but have never heard of anyone I know getting sick from the meat. If the meat is cooked properly, and for long enough, most any animals are safe to eat. As far as the age of wild game, the quality of cuts, tenderness, and even taste of the meat of younger animals tends to be better than in older ones. Thanks for your comments, awilson.

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