Monday, 26 December 2011

Bow Hunt Giant Rats?

Morning all, hope you're not feeling too rough after yesterdays excesses, At the shindig I went to while the family were gathered round a copy of the saturday paper was being passed round to squeals of delight, it contained a review of the hilarious book [and website]  Awkward Family Pet Photos  needless to say this handsome beast was my favorite, although no family member was able to answer my questions:
What is it? Where can I Bowhunt it? What do they taste like?

I've loved hunting and eating squirrel's, Mr. Bojangles has reported on eating Rats in Senegal, could this be the next stop for the Rodant Carnivore?

Any pointers, and/or invitations gratefully received

Your pal

PS For news of the UK's Trophy Rats click here


hodgeman said...

Oh yeah! This is worthy adventure...that's a nutria, an invasive and highly destructive aquatic rodent, found widely in Louisiana, parts of Texas and Florida.

Most commonly trapped or hunted at would be a real challenge to shoot one with a bow. I think our mutual pal Jack Landers shot a few for his last book.

LongSword said...

Looks like a giant Coypue to me matey. Get you bow out! Merry Merry. Hope to see you up North in 2012

All the best


Keith said...

There was a time when I was a kid that I heard the Coypu was moving further south, & I had thoughts of being able to hunt these animals. However, I was very young, & had not realised that they were not talking about the South of England!!!
Now though I don't think I would want to hunt such an animal unless they were in pest proportions & there were plenty of them. Whilst there is still plenty of other small game to hunt I see no point in hunting the Coypu.
Regards, Keith aka Le Loup.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


I always imagined nutria being a lot smaller, I've seen pix of chaps hunting them with .22's I'll ask Jack


The Suburban Bushwacker said...


Coypue did spring to mind but this thing is very big for one right?

See you very soon I hope


The Suburban Bushwacker said...


It looks like this is a Coypue/Coypu or nutria so where they come from they are plentiful and everywhere else a highly successful invasive. Good eating too.


hodgeman said...

Coypu and Nutria are the same critter...just called nutria (or some variation thereof) in the Americas.

Nutria/Coypu can reach some pretty decent dimensions...adults in excess of 20lbs are not uncommon. I do think there is a little bit of photographic trickery going on in the photo but, nonetheless, they are a big darn rat that run nearly the size of beavers and I've personally pulled 40 pounders from traps so an outsize 30lb Nutria isn't out of the real of possibility.

PBurns said...

That's not a Nutria or Coypu, which only get up to about 20 pounds or so. That's a Capybara and they can weigh more than 200 pounds, though 100 pounds is more normal.

See >> for more information.

For pictures of pet Caybaras, see >>

hodgeman said...

The other possibility for your mystery critter is a Capybara... 200lbs or so and readily adaptable to captivity. Can't tell- close photo of a big nutria or a capybara size XXL.

Get a ticket to South America and you're in luck to find out for yourself!

On the positive side- the meat reportedly tastes like pork.

tai haku said...

This is a young capybara rather than a coypu/nutria - the size is too big and the lack of whiskers and a big tail are giveaways. Capybara are ok eating, nice flavour, a little stringy but I suspect that was the treatment it got,

Mark said...

A nutria looks like a beaver with a rat tail, and is smaller than that. That is a capybara, the largest living rodent. Related to the agouti and guinea pig. Note the family is holding guinea pigs in the background.

They are native to South America, I believe there are escapees in Florida, don't know if you can hunt them.

ATW said...

Great Post!! Its a Capybara. The Largest Rodent on the Planet. They live in South America and very Aquatic. Nutria don't get this big. Im a falconer in the states and would love to get my hand on a Nutria.. would love it more to get my hand on a Capybara. The meat is extremely nutritious for birds of prey.

Hippo said...

Looks to me like Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Capybara, the largest rodent living.

South American origin, semi aquatic and they have been seen wild in Florida wheere, I would imagine, they would do rather well. You would need to speak to Rasch.

In Belize I used to go out with some of the Ghurkas and hunt Gibnut (Agouti paca) also known in Belize as the Royal or Queen's Rat. It is considered a delicacy in Belize so when the Queen visited belize for the first and only time in the mid eighties (I was the young officer nominated to throw my body between her and any assailant) she was served Gibnut. Much to the appaling dismay of the Belizeans, the next day's headline in the Sun was something along the lines of Belizean Nig Nogs Feed Our Queen Rat.

With typical stoicism and wry sense of humour, the Belizeans renamed it Royal Rat.

We used to look for their trails through the bush and down to the water and then we would stake the trail out and during the night you would get them. The Gurkhas leapt on them and used trip flare piquets to stab them to death and they were singularly and collectively far more successful than I was with my rifle and when I switched to my shotgun they drew the line at being in close proximity to a young officer loosing off with live rounds at night in the jungle.

The curries they made out of them were delicious, the texture of suckling pig but with a beautiful gamey flavour enhanced with the delicious chutneys and pickles they would knock up with the local fruit.

I have a mate in Belize, I first went hunting with him 27 years ago. If you are prepared to really rough it, have a real jungle experience, he'll take you Gibnut hunting.

Holly Heyser said...

Hunt it hell! Throw a saddle on that thing and ride it!

South Texas Deer said...

It is Capybara right.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


I reckon you've nailed it, Capybara thanks for the links

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

So its a Capybara: native to South America, 100 - 200 pounds, aquatic, tastes like pork (if not handled right can be a bit stringy), if fed to members of the royal family known to provoke race hate outbursts in tabloid journalists and possibly a viable mount for very short legged jockeys.

Obviously the trusty .275 Rigby or anything from the 6.5mm stable, but I'm still thinking bowhunting from a 'bushcraft doughnut' would be the way to go

Nice one everybody, always good to cram a bit of education in,

Aquiles Stoeger said...

ITS A FISH... and the catholic church said so way back when... surely it must be as the capibararra lives most of its life in water... this decree was made in order to keep the peace and allow natives to observe the tradition of eating fish on Fridays and continue to eat their main source of protein in the llanos of Venezuela.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Ducks and beaver were fish here in Blighty too for the same reason, too many holidays and not too much protein

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