Got home after a mandatory meeting in Mesquite (grrrrr) and saw a varmint eyeballing my chickens. This particular animal was one of a pack of 5 that killed one of my flocks last year.
I walked into the house quietly and got the Silent Varmintizer, a Benjamin Trail NP .22 airgun.
The critter walked behind an obstacle and left the field with no clear shot to be had.
But I saw a bit of movement to my right; Peter Cottontail sitting in high grass about 25′ off, facing away at an angle. The 14-grain pellet entered his lower neck and went into the head. He ran a few yards erratically and gave up the rabbity ghost; no follow-up shot was needed.
Cleaned the rabbit with a 20-year-old Buck 105 (5″ Pathfinder). The organs looked good; no liver spots or other evidence of illness or parasites. But since you don’t know until you get in there I was gloved up anyhow.
Salted, peppered, and browned the meat before braising:
Turned out pretty good. Here is dinner: one rear leg (deboned) over rice, blanched broccoli with salt and melted butter, and lentil sprouts. Normally I harvest the sprouts before they green up but I had let this run a bit longer. Blanched, cooled, and mixed with about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Salted and peppered.