my new goal is a squirrel cozy for the minivan.

Once again: dead rodent photography below the split. Proceed only if dead rodents, and discussions of the killing thereof, don’t bother you.

Squirrel Hunt 007

Do I have enough for a stew yet? 

All fell to CB .22 Shorts.  The one at the bottom was the only one whose noggin I missed…the shot went through the shoulder and came out at the neck.  Still, he got his furry little wings pretty much on the spot.

Today, I’ll try my hand at cleaning and skinning.  Anyone have any good recipes?

Update:

Damn, it’s like self-delivering dinner around here.  They just won’t stop running into my bullets. 

Also: I’m going to have to clean up by the bird feeder.  It’s starting to look like someone popped a deer out there.

Squirrel Hunt 010

45 thoughts on “my new goal is a squirrel cozy for the minivan.

  1. BobG says:

    Nice haul. Squirrels are harder to skin than most small animals; for some reason their hide doesn’t like to come off too easy, at least on fresh kills. As far as recipes, just treat it as any other small animal with low fat content.

  2. Jay G. says:

    Oh dear Lord. Marko’s gone native.

    “Mistah Kurtz… He dead”

  3. Eric says:

    One more and you’ll have a squirrel hockey team!

  4. Pol Mordreth says:

    Marko,
    Squirrel, if not prepared right, can taste absolutely awful. 2 basic ways to make it:
    Soup: prepare it like you would a whole chicken for soup. Quarter it and boil it until it falls apart, then strain well – it’s disconcerting to be munching through vertebrae. Make sure you get rid of all the foam you can while its boiling – thats mostly blood, and it will taint the flavor.

    Use it in something with a heavy sauce, like fajitas or tacos. Clean and seperate the meat from the bones and offal (but save them – that stuff makes decent fertilizer for non-root plants). Soak the meat overnite in a brine solution @ 1 Tbsp table salt to 1 C warm water and add 1/4 tsp marjoram per cup brine. Marjoram will pull a lot of the gamey flavor out of the meat. Prepare as you would chicken.

    Enjoy!
    Pol

  5. NYEMT says:

    Are those really all red squirrels, or is it the photography or lighting? I have hundreds (I suspect) of squirrels nesting in a BIG maple tree in my yard (no bird feeders here – they fend for themselves), but they’re gray squirrels. I had a red one in my attic a few years ago, though, and he did a startling amount of damage.

    My animal-control buddy said that’s normal around here – the gray squirrels are ten times more common, and the occasional red one is ten times more destructive.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Yeah, they’re all reds. Part of the reason for the new “shoot on sight” policy is the fact that they nest in the crawl space right above our bedroom now.

      • lenf says:

        You DO have a problem. Didn’t you just have a new roof installed? Where are they getting in? Unless you close it up permanently (and when you are sure it’s empty) others will be back. At first I thought that was a lot of reds for one location at one time, but you’re feeding AND housing them. I suppose subsidizing them provides a target rich environment. It’s great fun isn’t it?

      • Justthisguy says:

        See! Like I said, they’ll eat yer house!

  6. David says:

    “it’s disconcerting to be munching through vertebrae”

    That is just highly appetizing, right there.

  7. Snake Eyes says:

    Marko–I saw a squirrel skinning video some time ago, I believe it was linked from THR…of course, I’m too lazy to go find it for you (I haven’t read MSTS yet!)

    Essentially, if I recall correctly, the process involved an incision in the hide from the bung to the noggin, transverse the belly. Then stand on the rodent’s hind legs and grasp the tail firmly. In the video, one sharp jerk zipped the squirrel suit right off the rat.

    Seemed pretty easy, and precisely the kind of procedure that would result in squirrel guts all over the ceiling if *I* tried it. Good luck.

  8. Check out the hunting section at http://www.rimfirecentral.com

    Lots of serious squirrel hunters there, all of whom have recipes and skinning techniques to share.

    (BBQ squirrel: Mmmm, mmmm, good!)

    -=[ Grant ]=-

  9. I read a tail about hunting in cold weather. The bit to take away from the story is to not let the recently harvested meat to freeze before rigor mortis sets in.

    It seems that the enzymes or something work to break down the meat, and freezing stops that action. This is the same thing at work when they age beef in a meat locker.

    Hanging a pheasant from the neck until it falls, though, seems to be too much.

  10. Kristopher says:

    Heh. I know a person at local Rendezvous who has a revenge coat made of several raccoon pelts.

    Damned things kept breaking off the vines at the base in his vineyard to get at grapes.

  11. Vaarok says:

    Big thing is make sure you remove all the glands, or they’ll make it taste musky. Squirrel stew with cheese and rice is delicious.

  12. lenf says:

    Looking at the photo again and I’m wondering what the black nuggets are on the little guy on the right. Capers? Raisins? Chocolate Chips? Squirrel turds?

  13. nylarthotep says:

    I’d have said leave the bodies as warnings to the other squirrels like my mother does, but you have way too many for that.

    Frankly I can’t stand red squirrel. Taste awful. Greys are better, but still nothing to look forward too. I’ve never curried them, so maybe that is a solution.

    In any case, nice shooting.

  14. Reuben says:

    Keep it up Marko, next level you’ll be able to cast frostbolt.

  15. Reuben from Texas says:

    Two dishes my father cooked after a good squirrel hunt was squirrel and dumplings or fricasseed squirrel. Cook just like you would the chicken versions of those dishes. Replace the chicken with the squirrel.

    If you have a nice young tender squirrel, BBQ can be a good option but if your quarry was the former chief of the squirrel clan, I’d pass on the BBQ option.

  16. Heath J says:

    Claymores made to squirrel scale, and you won’t have to be there with the rifle or clean up any mess😉

  17. El Capitan says:

    Speaking of Squirrel Claymores… Here’s a post done a year or so ago on that very subject…

  18. anonymous says:

    Where are the munchkins philosophically/emotionally on this harvest/eradication?

    I know you’ve exposed/educated them as to firearms, but this use of the tool is a different kettle o’ squirrel. Are they advanced enough to absorb the logic/need/reality of this thinning of the forest herd?

  19. ibex says:

    Please be careful, or you may incur the wrath of Squirrel Girl!

    I’m such a geek.

  20. Breda says:

    Put those tiny little heads on pikes as a warning for their buddies.

  21. j t bolt says:

    Good shooting. What shootin-arn you sending those .22 shorts downrange with?

  22. j t bolt says:

    Good. If you were shooting them with a pistol, and offhand, and scoring that well, I’d feel a bit inadequate in the marksmanship department. But a rifle? I can almost shoot that good with a rifle.

  23. Cato the Elder says:

    With a pile of them, you can soon tell the diff. between old and young squirrels. The older, larger ones will have really rough feet – look for that if you’re not certain how old they are and address them accordingly. Young squirrels can be parboiled and then dredged in egg wash/flour and pan fried, they’re a rich meat (from all the nuts they eat) but I find them delicious, serve w/hash browns or american fries.
    Old squirrels should be stewed, the meat picked from the bones and the broth/meat added to your favorite veggies as for a chicken stew or chicken pot pie recipe. My grandmother made squirrel and dumplings the same way she made chicken and dumpling.

    I always brine wild game, soak the carcass in brine (3 Tblspn salt/1 quart water) and if you hunt w/a shotgun the paler, brined meat will show ‘shot trails’ that let you retrieve any shot before you cut up the critter to eat. I use a large nail with the last half an inch or so pounded flat on the side to form a ‘shot spade’. Push that in along that shot trail, twist and retrieve the shot. Saves a lot in dental bills.

    The cheeks of a squirrel were particularly prized in my part of the Ozarks, think ‘Squirrel McNugget’ pre-marketing jive. Worth the retrieval, but head shots negate their value. Old timers back home often heart/lung shot them for that reason. Squirrel brains were also a prized bit, but ‘mad cow’ disease put an end to that. Dear Leader currently provides all the brains in this outfit. God help us.

  24. Patrick says:

    I prefer my squirrel marinated in Teriyaki sauce and grilled.

  25. Windy Wilson says:

    With neighbors 10 feet away on either side, and squirrels running across the roof at 6 am, this post is just torture!🙂

  26. john b says:

    we tried out rats that had got into a grain silo.
    And ‘cos I’m an evil bastard, we served up small rabbit’s legs in Buffalo (NY) sauce, when our book club read King Rat by James Clavell.

    For real Hippie reactions though, 6 week old Billy Goat…

    Windy: There are traps y’know!

    • Justthisguy says:

      And Kitties. Miss Lucy, a cat I had when I lived in Atlanta, would bring squirrels into my bedroom. She would drop them on my chest, they still twitching. I would say “Good Kitty!” or something, and go back to sleep. A bit later, she’d wake me up again and drop a squirrel liver on my chest. Good Kitty!

      She always discarded the tails, and only into one corner of the bedroom. I had quite a collection, before I had to clean the place up for landlord and visitors.

  27. UTLaw says:

    Squirrel and Dumplings is the only dish I have tried. My dad bagged a few squirrels when we were on a Scout camping trip.

    We cleaned and boiled the squirrels, picked the meat off the bones, and then re-boiled it in the broth with some biscuit dough. Those who would try the dish loved it.

    One piece of advice: make sure you thoroughly rinse the squirrels after skinning and beware using either the foamy surface water or the dregs of the pot from boiling–it’s amazing how little hairs can find their way into the stew only to be discovered in the last couple of bowls.

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