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Tips from the Air Force: How to Field Dress a Rabbit Without a Knife

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May 24, 2013
Tips from the Air Force: How to Field Dress a Rabbit Without a Knife - 8

This image comes from AFR 64-4, the Air Force's manual on search, rescue and survival training, Volume 1 (July 1985).

The book contains information on everything from shark identification to the psychological aspects of being taken prisoner. It also has a pretty interesting section on trapping and preparing wild game.
 
The illustration above describes how to field dress a rabbit like an overzealous long snapper. Without a knife it still only takes three easy steps: 1) Grasp tightly with both hands; 2) Squeeze tightly towards the stomach; 3) Squeezing tightly, fling carcass between your legs.

The takeaway? Squeeze your bunny tight! Theoretically, the innards will be flung from the rabbit and you'll be left with a field-dressed carcass. I've seen some creative methods for cleaning and butchering game, but this one is new to me.

Have any of you guys tried this before? Does it work?   

Comments (8)

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from schmakenzie 5/26/2013 at 08:30am

hbhunter, please direct me to a good source were it claims not to eat the kidneys and liver of a rabbitt. Most would also consume the heart. Everything I read says it is fine to do. Some even call the liver the best part. I think if I was in a survival situation, I would cook those three parts up and eat them.

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from HBhunter 5/25/2013 at 12:51pm

schmakenzie,
It's not recommended to eat 'innards' at any time! They're generally loaded with parasites. Although some organs would definitely be palatable.

Captain, I laughed at that, no worries.

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from spudheadarcher 5/25/2013 at 08:25am

Or you could just do it the way I have always done it. TEAR the rabbits skin off. It is paper thin. PULL out the guts and wash the carcass in a creek. Caveman style never fails and won't sling guts up your backside.

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from The Captain 5/25/2013 at 07:43am

Good stuff HBhunter. Please know it is all in good humor. Thanks for your service. I will have to try the technique.

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from schmakenzie 5/24/2013 at 06:51pm

If I was in a survival situation and needed food I would eat most of the innards and not throw them.

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from HBhunter 5/24/2013 at 11:40am

I'm an Air Force Vet, and have done this. It works like a charm! It's not mentioned here, but you should use your thumbs to press hard on the bottom end of the rib cage, forcing the innards rearward. (the second photo shows roughly how the hands should be positioned)

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from kdavids 5/24/2013 at 11:29am

I have seen something like this work before. A friend of mine took a rabbit, held on to the ribcage tightly, and wrapped the rabbit around a fencepost at a high speed. The centripetal force did cause the innards to be expelled. The downside (for my friend anyway) was that the fencepost he chose was of a diameter smaller than desirable. The innards bounced nicely off of his chest. The rest of us found that very humorous. Sceptical about this Air Force method as it does not provide a "stopping point" to allow the ojects in motion (guts) to stay in motion while the rabbits body stops.

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from The Captain 5/24/2013 at 01:38am

Weak stuff Air Farce... in the Army we use this technique with elk!

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from schmakenzie 5/24/2013 at 06:51pm

If I was in a survival situation and needed food I would eat most of the innards and not throw them.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from schmakenzie 5/26/2013 at 08:30am

hbhunter, please direct me to a good source were it claims not to eat the kidneys and liver of a rabbitt. Most would also consume the heart. Everything I read says it is fine to do. Some even call the liver the best part. I think if I was in a survival situation, I would cook those three parts up and eat them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from The Captain 5/24/2013 at 01:38am

Weak stuff Air Farce... in the Army we use this technique with elk!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kdavids 5/24/2013 at 11:29am

I have seen something like this work before. A friend of mine took a rabbit, held on to the ribcage tightly, and wrapped the rabbit around a fencepost at a high speed. The centripetal force did cause the innards to be expelled. The downside (for my friend anyway) was that the fencepost he chose was of a diameter smaller than desirable. The innards bounced nicely off of his chest. The rest of us found that very humorous. Sceptical about this Air Force method as it does not provide a "stopping point" to allow the ojects in motion (guts) to stay in motion while the rabbits body stops.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from HBhunter 5/24/2013 at 11:40am

I'm an Air Force Vet, and have done this. It works like a charm! It's not mentioned here, but you should use your thumbs to press hard on the bottom end of the rib cage, forcing the innards rearward. (the second photo shows roughly how the hands should be positioned)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from The Captain 5/25/2013 at 07:43am

Good stuff HBhunter. Please know it is all in good humor. Thanks for your service. I will have to try the technique.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from spudheadarcher 5/25/2013 at 08:25am

Or you could just do it the way I have always done it. TEAR the rabbits skin off. It is paper thin. PULL out the guts and wash the carcass in a creek. Caveman style never fails and won't sling guts up your backside.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from HBhunter 5/25/2013 at 12:51pm

schmakenzie,
It's not recommended to eat 'innards' at any time! They're generally loaded with parasites. Although some organs would definitely be palatable.

Captain, I laughed at that, no worries.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):