October 30, 2012
Kill the Wabbit
In Idaho, generally speaking, if you ask a hunter about going after certain game, like rabbits, they just stare and look at you funny.
I've been excited about the prospect. It has been 13 years since I got to Kill a Wabbit. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not some sadistic SOB that gets off on killing small animals. I do like to hunt and I like to eat....I really like to eat game. My general rule is I won't shoot something I won't eat, so hunting is not just a "sport" for me.
The last rabbit I had to kill was in survival school. Yes....I "had" to kill a rabbit. In the Air Force Survival School they give your group a live rabbit to care for while you are out in the field. Usually on the last day or so you have to kill the rabbit and then cook it. My group consisted of an officer and several enlisted guys from my career field.
Pretty much every guy in every group liked to be full of bravado and talk big about how they were going to be the one to kill the rabbit. I don't get it, this odd chest-puffing about such a small, yet huge act, but it was what it was.
Fortunately for me I didn't have to listen to the Airmen and this brave talk for too long. Our group's field instructor, a SrA (Senior Airman) wanted us to kill the bunny at the end of the first day, instead of having to care for it all week. Our survival class was in mid-July and having enough food to eat wasn't an issue. The most important lesson we were supposed to take from killing the rabbit was generically how to kill any animal.
The instructor wanted one of us to take a big stick and give the rabbit a good whack at the base of the skull, the generic way to kill just about anything. I was not comfortable with this. When hunting, if the rabbit was just wounded I would normally kill it quickly by hand, using its own body weight and a quick motion to snap it's neck.
When the time came to kill the rabbit, of course nobody actually stepped forward. All the tough-talk was for nothing and the NCO (me) was forced to do the deed. I grabbed the rabbit like I normally would, but the instructor stopped me. I "had" to use the stick to dispatch the bunny, something I did NOT want to do.
I gave the rabbit a good, strong whack.....and nothing, nothing but screaming. If you have never heard an injured rabbit, consider yourself lucky. An injured rabbit screams like a toddler who wants his toy. I was pissed! It took a second whack to kill the rabbit, which, in my opinion, was two whacks too many.
There is no reason to make an animal suffer, even if you are killing it to eat.