2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

More on jacks – rabbits, that is

Published: June 3, 2014, 2:05 pm, by Bill Radford

My column on jackrabbits spurred some readers to share their memories. Alan Nanninga, who grew up in the 1930s on a farm in northern Kansas, said he and his brother used to kill jackrabbits and regular rabbits and sell their pelts for a dime each. They kept the rabbit meat for eating; the jackrabbit meat was chopped up and fed to the hogs.

“They didn’t taste good,” he said of the jackrabbits.

Jane Shepherd, though, told of her father, a mess sergeant in World War I who, when faced with a lack of supplies after a long train trip to Texas, called on his unit’s best sharpshooters to go out and kill  jackrabbits. The soldiers weren’t keen on the idea of eating jackrabbit, but Jane’s father told them, “If you’re hungry enough, you’ll eat jackrabbit.” They came back with their catch and he made a jackrabbit stew that the soldiers later fondly recalled, Jane said.