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 Squirrels and such
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billmc
Senior Member

510 Posts

Posted - March 30 2017 :  11:01:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Over in the Rimfire room, you guys are having a discussion about flattening .22LR rounds for hunting.

I've said before that I grew up in the city. When I was 19, in the Air Force, I briefly dated a girl from LA. I spent a couple of weekends at their family home. One weekend, her brothers took me squirrel hunting, they gave me a shotgun to use (don't really remember what it was, but I'd guess a 20 ga). They got several squirrels but I didn't get any. They brought them home and cleaned them and they were put into the freezer. That night we ate raccoon, fried like chicken. I remember it tasted pretty good. (I was being polite and never would have considered eating raccoon.)

I have never eaten squirrel. Unless forced to, I don't think I ever would, unless you could convince me otherwise. Squirrels look like rats with fuzzy tails and I can't imagine why you would want to eat a rat.

Can someone 'splain to me the attraction to eat squirrels?

gauchobill
Senior Member

965 Posts

Posted - March 31 2017 :  07:16:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
They are abundant and fun to hunt in most timbered land. I started squirrel hunting when 12 years old and it taught me a lot about stalking quietly through the woods with usually abundant leaves on the ground to make crunching noise. I have eaten them fried like chicken, stewed with swamp cabbage (heart of sable palm) and cooked in rice (like chicken) seasoned with lots of black pepper. A few years ago I shot one in the head with my 226 Sig .40cal, fried it, and ate it while my wife made faces. It carried me back to my youth.
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Russ Larges
Moderator

USA
2169 Posts

Posted - March 31 2017 :  07:44:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
[quote]Originally posted by billmc

Over in the Rimfire room, you guys are having a discussion about flattening .22LR rounds for hunting.

I've said before that I grew up in the city. When I was 19, in the Air Force, I briefly dated a girl from LA. I spent a couple of weekends at their family home. One weekend, her brothers took me squirrel hunting, they gave me a shotgun to use (don't really remember what it was, but I'd guess a 20 ga). They got several squirrels but I didn't get any. They brought them home and cleaned them and they were put into the freezer. That night we ate raccoon, fried like chicken. I remember it tasted pretty good. (I was being polite and never would have considered eating raccoon.)

I have never eaten squirrel. Unless forced to, I don't think I ever would, unless you could convince me otherwise. Squirrels look like rats with fuzzy tails and I can't imagine why you would want to eat a rat.

Can someone 'splain to me the attraction to eat squirrels?



They just plain taste good
Russ

The pistol, learn it well, carry it allways. Jeff Cooper
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ASCTLC
Senior Member

597 Posts

Posted - March 31 2017 :  09:03:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It seems like many who don't like wild game do so for self-envisioned reasons, not because there's any actual experience or even documented risk of eating that animal.

Squirrel spends all day foraging on nuts, seeds, etc... They have been known to eat meat but I don't know that that is very often at all though.

My wife can be that way but good on her for knowing it and fighting it getting in the way of trying something. She really didn't want to eat the bear meat I brought home because they eat rotten dead stuff sometimes and it looked too much like a human when it was laying out skinned (it actually did in the picture I took). She tried it and said it didn't taste bad but 'felt' weird (mentally) to eat, the second time she said it was pretty good but still messed with her mind, third time she said I can bring home bear meat anytime I want.

It wasn't "greasy" as so many claim on the internet. It was one of the most tender meats we've ever had. The point being, she knew she preconceived the aversion to the texture, taste, and thought of eating that meat in her mind and not for actual experienced reasons.

If people put as much negative thought into the other foods they eat as they do simply by the looks of something like squirrel and rabbit they'd be just as capable of grossing themselves into an anorexic condition.

eta: I didn't do much to promote the squirrel with my response, did I? Aversion to squirrel typically references it's tail. A cow and a pig both have thinly skinned tails but those don't gross people out, so neither should it for squirrel.

Now aversion to a opposum for the rat resemblance on the other hand....

Edited by - ASCTLC on March 31 2017 09:11:58 AM
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Pop Pop
Senior Member

USA
536 Posts

Posted - April 01 2017 :  10:42:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The squirrels, in my neck of the woods, have been foraging on my R V plastic tanks(1000.00 to repair), my gas line on my truck(400.00), on my house, and in my garage. I have been forced to eliminate my problem of over population by means of a Marlin mdl 60 w/ a scope.

The TWRA officer, I called about this problem, said I could eradicate them if they were being a nuisance, but could only eat them during hunting season. I quit counting at 400 in about 7 months. I have a family of foxes that are fat and slick.

My friend's insurance company has spent 9,000.00 + putting wiring harnesses on his Ford truck last year. We had a drought and they did not have sufficient forage for them last year.

Pop Pop
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Russ Larges
Moderator

USA
2169 Posts

Posted - April 01 2017 :  8:50:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
[quote]Originally posted by ASCTLC

It seems like many who don't like wild game do so for self-envisioned reasons, not because there's any actual experience or even documented risk of eating that animal.

Squirrel spends all day foraging on nuts, seeds, etc... They have been known to eat meat but I don't know that that is very often at all though.

My wife can be that way but good on her for knowing it and fighting it getting in the way of trying something. She really didn't want to eat the bear meat I brought home because they eat rotten dead stuff sometimes and it looked too much like a human when it was laying out skinned (it actually did in the picture I took). She tried it and said it didn't taste bad but 'felt' weird (mentally) to eat, the second time she said it was pretty good but still messed with her mind, third time she said I can bring home bear meat anytime I want.

It wasn't "greasy" as so many claim on the internet. It was one of the most tender meats we've ever had. The point being, she knew she preconceived the aversion to the texture, taste, and thought of eating that meat in her mind and not for actual experienced reasons.

If people put as much negative thought into the other foods they eat as they do simply by the looks of something like squirrel and rabbit they'd be just as capable of grossing themselves into an anorexic condition.

eta: I didn't do much to promote the squirrel with my response, did I? Aversion to squirrel typically references it's tail. A cow and a pig both have thinly skinned tails but those don't gross people out, so neither should it for squirrel.

Now aversion to a opposum for the rat resemblance on the other hand....




Speaking of rats I do have a fondness for muskrat. I did some traping when I was more moble and the whole family enjoyed them.
Russ

The pistol, learn it well, carry it allways. Jeff Cooper
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
4733 Posts

Posted - April 01 2017 :  10:07:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So...is it too early to start sharing squirrel, coon, muskrat, and pigeon recipes? Ace

'A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.' Marty King
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billmc
Senior Member

510 Posts

Posted - April 02 2017 :  12:16:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ace

So...is it too early to start sharing squirrel, coon, muskrat, and pigeon recipes? Ace



Wish I could but I never asked for the recipe. They didn't carry raccoon or squirrel at the commissary, so I didn't figure I needed it.
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ASCTLC
Senior Member

597 Posts

Posted - April 02 2017 :  10:30:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Russ, I recall fondly my trapping days for muskrat but I never ate it. Didn't become a "foodie" until my late 30's and would not hesitate to dig in to muskrat today.

I've got one for ya Ace. One of my wife's and my favorite recipes for grilling meat that has flavor. It's actually a recipe for chicken thigh called West African Chicken Thighs from an old Weber's Big Book of Grilling. Tried it on chicken breast and it was absolutely horrible because there's just not enough flavor in breast meat vs legs and thighs. While rabbit and squirrel don't taste like chicken, there's flavor to that meat unlike chicken breast.

1 1/2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbl canola oil

It'll make a thick paste. Rub it (don't cake it on, just a good rub of it) on the rabbit/squirrel/dark meat chicken and let sit in fridge for 4-8 hours. Then simply grill it.

Andy
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9120 Posts

Posted - April 02 2017 :  12:07:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have never found a way to prepare squirrels to my liking - save one.

I've tried them fried, I'f tried them baked, I've tried them in dumplings and in gravy.

They taste OK to me but they always turn out "rubbery".

The one exception, so far, is that the son and I like to fix them in the field over a small cooking fire - then they come out juicy and tender - just salt and pepper to tastes.

This year I started using a pressure cooker - so far everything I've tried comes out tender - I need to try some squirrel in that!

Jim

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LittleBill
Advanced Member

3456 Posts

Posted - April 02 2017 :  4:07:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some of the best meals I can remember having were cooked over a campfire.

Hard to know if it was the food, or the 'ambiance'.....


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point."
C.S. Lewis

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
4733 Posts

Posted - April 02 2017 :  4:40:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My Daddy used to boil the old ones, with a couple of whole onions, until the meat came easily off the bone; then he'd make a pot pie, mixing it with vegetables, salt'n'pepper, in a little flour thickening, with those store-bought canned biscuits on top as a 'crust'.
Young ones were cut up and fried, with a coating of seasoned flour. Whatever seasoning was in the cabinet worked; I'd like to try it with that Cajun seasoning, Tony Chechere or something like that. Ace

'A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.' Marty King
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bandaidman
Advanced Member

USA
1237 Posts

Posted - April 04 2017 :  03:33:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Had an uncle who worked for the railroad,he would take his vacation during the winter when work was slow and supliment his income by trapping. This was in Idaho and Montana, he told me that he especially liked Beaver tail while he was trapping very tender and not a gamey taste. He likened it to cow tongue, which I hadn't tasted at the time but have since with A1 sauce great as a sandwich. Out west we don't see squirrels like you guys in the east, we have a variety of names for prairie dogs,and ground hogs but I don't want to try any for dinner

they are canablistic even though they are herbavores and do major damage to crops.

“If for a while the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who ever lived.
Jeffery Holland
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

3456 Posts

Posted - April 04 2017 :  07:52:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Buffalo tongue was a favorite among the old-timers.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point."
C.S. Lewis

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9120 Posts

Posted - April 04 2017 :  09:41:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ace

My Daddy used to boil the old ones, with a couple of whole onions, until the meat came easily off the bone; then he'd make a pot pie, mixing it with vegetables, salt'n'pepper, in a little flour thickening, with those store-bought canned biscuits on top as a 'crust'.
Young ones were cut up and fried, with a coating of seasoned flour. Whatever seasoning was in the cabinet worked; I'd like to try it with that Cajun seasoning, Tony Chechere or something like that. Ace



Now that sounds like a plan. I'll have to remember that!

Jim

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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2566 Posts

Posted - April 04 2017 :  10:47:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Squirrels are about the same as rat, so any receipe you happen to have for rat will work well. In some SE Asian countries rats are actually raised for food. I have eaten a few of those. Done 'Sweet&Sour' they're not too bad. But I can truthfully report that they don't "Taste Just Like Chicken"

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
4733 Posts

Posted - April 04 2017 :  1:08:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Haven't had occasion to try prairie dog, and would be a little nervous about it since they're known to sometimes be host to bubonic plague---at least so everybody says, of the people I know who regularly shoot them.
Have tried ground hog, it is a sweet, white meat. Roasted, it was right tasty. Cow tongue was a 'frequent flyer' at our house when I was a boy; boiled and simmered with onion, then sliced and made into little sammiches. Don't recall that we had it any other way.
Beaver, roasted like a pot roast or slathered with BBQ sauce, is almost indistinguishable from beef. I took some to a church dinner once, it was a hit. I only told one old guy what it really was, he took the leftovers home with him. (For a while, some of the church ladies wouldn't eat any meat I brought to the dinners; they were afraid of what they might be eating.) Ace

'A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.' Marty King
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ASCTLC
Senior Member

597 Posts

Posted - April 04 2017 :  3:11:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Used to eat tongue sandwiches at grandma's house when I was just a little squirt. Loved the braunschweiger too.

You heard true Ace, there are cases of dogs catching that plague around here when they tear running around trying to catch the prairie dogs. Have seen warning too on high wind days that stir the dust up from large p.d. towns.
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silverback
Starting Member

USA
41 Posts

Posted - April 04 2017 :  4:23:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well from this hunter/farmer the game i shoot is a lot cleaner than what is raised on a farm,Chicken,pigs, cows ,turkey are the worst.
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
4733 Posts

Posted - April 04 2017 :  7:21:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Something I heard a long time ago: Who was the first person to look at a cow, and say 'I think I'll go squeeze those dangly things on that bag hanging there, and drink what comes out'?
Then, who was the first person to look at a chicken.... Ace

'A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.' Marty King
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Russ Larges
Moderator

USA
2169 Posts

Posted - April 04 2017 :  7:26:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Higginbotham

I have never found a way to prepare squirrels to my liking - save one.

I've tried them fried, I'f tried them baked, I've tried them in dumplings and in gravy.

They taste OK to me but they always turn out "rubbery".

The one exception, so far, is that the son and I like to fix them in the field over a small cooking fire - then they come out juicy and tender - just salt and pepper to tastes.

This year I started using a pressure cooker - so far everything I've tried comes out tender - I need to try some squirrel in that!

Jim




That brings back a memory of squirrel cooking. It seems that some of us got to deer camp early and put a few in the cooler. Tim, our champion cook put them in a pressure cooker and really cooked them. It was bad you could pick the meat off the bone and make a ball with it that would bounce. I have no idea why. Tim did make some with apple stuffing that would cause songs of joy.
Russ

The pistol, learn it well, carry it allways. Jeff Cooper
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billmc
Senior Member

510 Posts

Posted - April 07 2017 :  12:04:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ace

Something I heard a long time ago: Who was the first person to look at a cow, and say 'I think I'll go squeeze those dangly things on that bag hanging there, and drink what comes out'?
Then, who was the first person to look at a chicken.... Ace



I've often wondered the same thing about lobster. "Hey, that thing sorta looks like a scorpion, let's eat it; just be careful of that tail."
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2566 Posts

Posted - April 07 2017 :  07:49:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
IMHO the bravest man in the World was the first man to eat a raw oyster.

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

3456 Posts

Posted - April 07 2017 :  08:34:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Indeed!

Now dipped in batter and fried..... yum!


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point."
C.S. Lewis

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
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wolfgang2000
Advanced Member

USA
3662 Posts

Posted - April 07 2017 :  5:03:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Christian

IMHO the bravest man in the World was the first man to eat a raw oyster.



Or the hungriest.

“The key is to hit them hard, hit them fast, and hit them repeatedly. The one shot stop is a unit of measurement not a tactical philosophy.” Evan Marshall
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gw
Advanced Member

3554 Posts

Posted - April 07 2017 :  7:12:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was a great squirrel killer as a young kid.

I liked hunting more than eating the danged thing, but dad said you kill it you clean it and eat it.

waste not want not....

i quit killing them if they stay out of my tomato patch.

but a good young coon, that's good eating!


"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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