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What do you guys do if you gut shoot a cottontail and there are stomach contents and poop everywhere inside? Obviously don't want warm poopy meat to sit around for a few hours before getting it on ice. It seems possible to cut off that shoulder and thigh limb/meat sections without having having to open the belly. But what about the saddle?

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We always field dressed rabbits immediately after shooting cause they basically fall out of there skin. If one got a bit shot up, snow or nearby creek was used to wash out insides and into the plastic bag it went. I never wanted to carry those things with the hide on. Too many fleas in Wisconsin. Hide off, guts out, and meat in plastic bag before it went in my game vest.
 

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Field dress ASAP If possible let the rabbit hang the fleas will jump off as the rabbit cools. We skin and quarter back at the truck. Funny watching a guy stuff a freshly killed rabbit in his game bag, then itch and twitch when the fleas start crawling.
 

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Meat will be fine! Treat small game like fish, if it is dead clean it while it's fresh. If gut shot just rinse it well and soak in salt water. I soak all my small game in salt water, it pulls more blood out. I have heard it helps if you freeze it too, because the cell linings rupture and release more blood. Personally I don't have the patience to wait for them to freeze! They go in the salt water bath. As soon as I have enough to fix something with, we eat them.
 
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