Squirrel is by far my favorite animal to hunt. Not only is the season long, but in my state I believe you can eliminate “pests” within 200 yards of your house year round. I store the little “pests” in my freezer until its time for Brunswick Stew in the slow cooker, or Tree Rat Pot Pie with a super flaky crust and lots of green peas and carrots.
Although I have seen others use various shot shells for hunting, I exclusively use either a 22 LR (in the forest) or a 22 caliber pellet gun (in the backyard – I live in the city). Likely to the chagrin of the earlier commenter who is unimpressed with the use of scopes, I have both weapons fitted with a modest scope – I never miss, and I have more range. I don’t see the problem with that. I’m happy to compete with iron sights at the range, but when I’m hunting I try to use the best equipment that I can afford.
It can taste gamey though – especially if you’re throwing it right on the fire a couple of hours after vanquishing its soul to squirrel heaven. I’ve prepared it a bunch of different ways, but usually let it rest a couple of days in the fridge before freezing and sometimes also soak it (either in just water, or brine. I’m sure there are other good ways). I’ve forced all sorts of people to eat it, and although they generally cringe at the thought of it, they eventually get hungry enough to try it out and I’ve only heard positive feedback.
You don’t need anything more than a .177 cal. air rifle to hunt these tasty little morsels (squirrels) at close range (about 25 yards). When using a pellet rifle you just don’t blast the meat to smithereens. The pellet goes in, does its lethal damage to organs and breaks bones, just not on the scale of rimfire ammo. And, an air rifle is generally more quiet than a rimfire rifle.
One caveat: in my area of Southern California, gray squirrels are strictly off limits, no hunting allowed, for a very good reason. They carry bubonic plague. Rather, just as with rats, the fleas carry the plague. North of here, squirrel hunting is safe and seasons are open. I haven’t researched it, but I think it must be climate. If the local winter isn’t cold enough to keep the flea population in check, then plague and other flea and tick borne diseases can be a problem. This will be a serious issue in any SHTF situation.
Great taste but no fat content. Not the perfect food.
Most squirrels are good eating, but not all. It does depend to an extent upon what they eat. I guarantee anyone biting into a rock squirrel in central Arizona in the desert, is far more likely to eat rocks in the future, and skip that particular type of squirrel. Much of the low desert game eats desert broomweed, brittlebrush and creosote, and the taste is far from palatable. It’s a desperation food here.
Having hunted squirrels for years in Illinois and Michigan, I can attest to their great taste. I also prefer wild rabbit, great nutrition and they are larger than squirrel so there is more meat. I have had the pleasure of eating ground hog and raccoon on several occasions, both excellent if prepared right. Rattlesnake is good as well, but a bit tricky to catch (LOL).
The article is correct about the good eating. having to use shorts instead of long rifles made me laugh. you shoot them in the head period. 22 shorts or BB caps is all that should be needed. The author might consider throwing away the scope, and then when he writes about killing small game animals with headshots he will get a little respect from me. It is a very poor meat hunter that needs more than one shot.
but the article the use of small game meat is right on. If someone knows a muskrat trapper try and beg some of that meat, young coon is also pretty good table fare as long as four small glands are removed from the meat.
After Obama’s civil war, most of his followeres will starve to death. The rest of you folks will find yourself transported back to the time of my childhood 1930-1940. Hard times with hard lessons ‘anything to make a turd’ is a lesson our parents learned and passed on to us, that time is coming again
Heck with ‘survival food’, I’ve been eating squirrel for 40 years and its excellent. Just remember that if there’s been too few acorns and they’re eating pine cones, they’ll taste like turpentine. But in normal years they are darned good eating. There are tiny little lentil-looking glands behind the knee joint and under the armpits that you’ll want to remove, as well as under the skin just where the thigh muscle joins the body near the ribs.
Now, you can eat groundhogs too, and they are also good eating, but like all critters they will taste like what they eat. So leave the big ones to breed as they get tough anyway, and only hunt the younger ones near open fields or places where they’re at least not eating soybeans. Same thing about the glands when you clean them too, only on a ‘hog they’ll look more like grey or tan baby lima beans.
For pure survival situations, you can eat beaver, raccoon, possum, muskrat and pigeons too. And even a barn or field rat – but remember that ‘what they eat’ thing – avoid sewer rats and city pigeons. (Yes, I’ve eaten them all.)
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