View Full Version : quick question: wobbles???

06-22-2005, 10:37 PM
My grandparents used to talk about rabbits having "wobbles" and to be careful to watch for it, and not eat any so affected.

I am just curious as to whether this is true, or superstition, and can't ask them anymore as both have passed on.

I saw some we hunted in ft. hood in the mid/late 80's, that when skinning they appeared to have this layer under the skin, that looked almost like cottage cheese, 1/8-1/4 inch think, and all internal organs were larger than normal on the ones we saw like this, could this possibly have been what they ment???

06-23-2005, 04:59 AM
They were most likely talking about warbles. It's a parasite that is somewhat common in rabbits and squirrels. They burrow under the skin and create what appears to be lumps on the animal. Any game that has any abberations in appearance or internally isn't worth the risk of eating.


06-23-2005, 06:07 AM
Yep, them is warbles..you can find em in just bout anything..real common in pigs..and deer too. They say that the first frost will kill all the warbles..so its common practice round here to wait till then to start huntin. Well..by Sept..I'm all rarin to go huntin..and too impatient to wait till first frost (which is usually the middle of October)...so I just cut around the warbles and pluck em out.
I aint dead yet..so I reckon it works..lol.
They dont ruin the taste of the meat either.

They look more like spots under the hide..a lil white, round lump so to speak..you'd be surprised how many times I've found warbles cut up in bacon you buy at the store. Most of the city slickers dont even know what they are..so they wind up eatin em I reckon. They aint dead yet either I reckon lol
You caint miss em when you see em..

06-23-2005, 10:28 AM
Also called Wolves down here (Yup just like Canius Lupus). In Texas we don't get them in squirrels, just in rabbits. Rule of thumb here is don't kill and eat a rabbit in any month that don't have an R in it.


06-24-2005, 06:35 PM
thanks fo rthe info,
we never kept any of them that looked wrong in any way.
burned them in a diesel barrel and buried the remains.

was just curious cause i was talking with my cousin the other day and remembered that.

thanks again.

Mickey Rat
06-25-2005, 01:43 PM
Originally posted by GoodOlBoy
Also called Wolves down here (Yup just like Canius Lupus). In Texas we don't get them in squirrels, just in rabbits. Rule of thumb here is don't kill and eat a rabbit in any month that don't have an R in it.

Same here in SE Alabama. Same rules. Month with R.

07-08-2005, 09:00 AM
Found this article today as I was surfin' the 'net.

Expert:Ben G.

Hi Ben- last season I bagged a squirrel with some kind of a larva in it's coat. It came off with the skin so I guess there was no harm done. An old hunter told me that he always waited until after the first frost before Squirrel hunting because of these things. Any ideas what they are- or if it makes any sense to wait for the first frost? I hunt in North-central Kentucky. Thanks!

Hello Corey. What you found was a "warble," or the larvae of a Bot fly. They are relatively common in squirrels during the late summer/early fall when squirrel hunting season is open in most places, and they are not harmful to humans.

Squirrels and other rodents are the primary carriers of warbles but rabbits can carry them too, as well as cattle and they have even been known to sometimes infect children. What happens is during the summer months, the female bot fly will lay her eggs near or inside the den of a squirrel or other carrier. The carrier will come into contact with the eggs and have them in its fur. After the carrier grooms itself, its body heat coupled with the moisture causes the egg to hatch. The larvae then penatrate's the carrier and buries itself just under the skin, cuts a "breathing hole" and continues to grow.

Warbles usually look like a boil on the squirrel. They are pretty disgusting but they are not harmful to humans. Just the same, I usually throw away any squirrels that I find have the warbles. Most of the squirrels I have found only have one or two warbles at most, but it is possible for them to be infested pretty bad.

The reason some people wait until after the first frost to hunt them is that by that time, the warbles have dropped out of the squirrel and buried themselves into the ground, where they pupitate until the following spring, when the bot fly emerges and the process repeats itself. Once the warble exits the squirrel, the squirrel will recover with no last affects.

Personally, I don't wait until after the first frost because by then, the best squirrel hunting is over. And although I have done little hunting in Central Kentucky, I do hunt squirrels quite often in upper central Tennessee along the KY border and have found the warbles to exist in no more than around 10 percent of all squirrels I kill.

By the way, you'll also hear these warbles called "wolves" by many hunters.

I hope that answers your question. If I can be of any other help to you, just holler.

Good hunting, and have a good weekend,

Ben Garrett

Hope it helps a bit more.


06-26-2006, 07:19 PM
Kind of an old thread to respond to, but I've always been led to understand that anything a rabbit gets will cook out ... including tularemia (an infectious disease transferable to humans by blood spores). Honestly, though, I let the coyotes have the gross ones.

06-27-2006, 09:14 AM
Well the problem with cookin out a wolve is that the sappy nasty gummy crud it leaves when you cook the rabbit can and will make you sicker than a dog. I watch an old boy one time who ate a rabbit in this condition suffer for a week with symptoms not unlike scurvey. He finally went to the hospital and the doctors there kindly fixed him up for a nominal fee. . . . . . They also informed him had he waited another few day he probably would have died of dehydration.

Anyway no thread is too old to reply too if somebody feels like they have something of vaule to add. And I think you did. It is true that most other things you get in rabbit will cook out if ya get it hot enough.

mmm mmmm blackened rabbit cajun style


06-28-2006, 08:03 AM
Good Ol Boy, I remember your advice about any month with a R in them. Where I was born and raised that was the guide lines for taking deer. Except our local calender had the months of Juner, Julyer, and Auguster.

06-28-2006, 08:39 AM


09-27-2006, 08:47 AM
I go along with LIlred, except I aint eating no squirrel that had a warble in it. Seems like to me, that warbles kind of appear in a given area, and not in others. If I kill a few at one place and they have warbles, I move to another location until after the first frost.

09-27-2006, 10:14 AM
Thats very true, my personal taste is that I just don't do it. If there is a warble I will toss the squirrel to the dogs (after all they gotta eat too)