Why Salt a Rabbit’s Tail?

Rabbit, the meat which used to be cheap and disregarded (aside from 4-H’ers, hungry country people who needed to stretch their food budget, and recent immigrants)  is now claiming a new face and a new-found fame on the tables of the dining elite. Rabbit recipes are popping up everywhere, and the price tag of the meat is climbing up right alongside them.

Though considered a ‘game’ meat, even hunters generally prefer to aim their guns at larger things, or more elegant things, it seems. Deer and ducks are drooled over more than the humble rabbit as prey to gloat over out in the ‘wild’ where hunting licenses have to be paid for before the trigger is pulled with hopefully accurate aim.

The postcard above notes that salting a rabbit’s tail is helpful to the would-be hunter. One has to wonder why. Is it for pre-seasoning? Does the rabbit become confused and want to lick its tail, therefore twirling around in stable circles so that the hunter can quickly clip off that shot and be done with it? Does the salt leave a trail more easily followed? I set out to find out. It wasn’t easy. But finally I found the answer, and will give you the link so that you too can share in this wisdom.

The postcard itself is dated December 3, 1911. And here is what our sender writes:

Excuse me fore not writing You know about the job sooner Well it is about the same as McCalls Ferry some can get jobs and some cant they hire and fire a man the same day all of us stands a good chance of getting a job. Wm. Lungren

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6 thoughts on “Why Salt a Rabbit’s Tail?

  1. First I love the new look, sorry I haven’t been here for a few days but I do read from the feed. Love this postcard. Just yesterday my teenaged son said he wants to raise rabbits so he can release them, hunt them and eat them! Yikes. I am ok with hunting but not the raising part. We would get attached. I can say that I have never had rabbit. I wonder what it really tastes like.

  2. rabbit is still a popular meat in crete – hare is the most prized of all; my husband manages to bring one into the house (dead) once a year

  3. I too must say Karen, the new look is most becoming:)

    I’ve actually had rabbit on more than one occasion, although not in the last few years. I guess you could say, I caught my own dinner. I once was an avid hunter. Mostly upstate New York. I’ve heard people say rabbit tastes like chicken but I don’t think so….

    Love the postcard and the commentary! Thanks for sharing…

  4. I’ll have to see if I can find rabbit around here, to cook – I rather doubt it. Maybe frozen. I was actually startled to be able to find the fresh whole salmon yesterday (which will be on the table today at the fb group). As I lifted it I thought how much fun it would have been to actually catch that big fish! I’m not sure I would really feel the same about hunting rabbit . . . it may be that I am more of a wimp than I would like to be . . . ! 😮

  5. This postcard — “Salted” So easy. Put salt on their tails. — must be one of the earliest postcards published by the North American Post Card Company (Kansas City, Missouri), since, per metropostcards.com, the company was founded in the year that the postcard was mailed: 1911. The same source states that many of the images that this company used were photographed by William H. Martin, and, although quite indistinct, it seems that that the text under the caption might be construed to read: Copyrighted Photograph by William H. Martin. This is an interesting example of an exaggeration postcard, since they are not often seen as RPPCs (Real Photo Post Cards). The exaggeration has been done quite professionally. In fact, it is hard to determine whether a shrunken image of a hunter has been superimposed on a close-up of a rabbit, or if an enlarged rabbit has been placed over a scene of a hunter. Perhaps a bit of both. Each rabbit track is about as large or even larger than the hunter’s foot!

    A quick comment, too, on the written text: Do you think that perhaps the word in the opening sentence is ‘letting’ rather than ‘writing’: “Excuse me fore not letting you know about the job sooner”?

    — Leo

    • Yes, to all points, Leo! I can see the last name ‘Martin’ fairly clearly, and now that you mention it of course it is ‘letting’. A closer look at the dates shows that the card was mailed March 15, 1911 – so it may be one of the very first postcards from the company . . . and I’m guessing the date written by Wm. Lungren was written in the European manner, meaning it was written the 12th day of March 1911.

      I love these exaggeration postcards! It was this type of card which originally attracted me to collecting. So amusing! 🙂

      These notes they write on the back – of searching for work . . . of the realities of the day at that time and place in history . . . so touching!!

      Thanks again for your helpful comments~

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