Both species of hare offer a great deal of recreation for the small game hunter, especially in years of abundance. The snowshoe is available to more hunters than the Alaska hare and can be taken near highway systems and in such disturbed areas as mine tailing piles. Hares are best hunted with a shotgun and birdshot, or .22–caliber rifle or handgun. Early snowfalls will often catch the snowshoe hare still in its summer coat, making it vulnerable to the hunter. The meat is quite tasty. Hunters should by alert for signs of tularemia, a bacterial disease found in hares and rodents throughout the world. Such signs include general sluggishness and spots on the liver and spleen. Normal sanitary precautions should be taken when handling hares, and rubber gloves should be used when cleaning and dressing them. The meat should be cooked thoroughly.