Contributors to this thread:
who's squirrel hunting
1st time squirrel hunting this season! Get the seasons started early....so who hunts tree rats? I plan on doing it my first time with a 22 just to feel the waters....after that I am planning on using my bow.
Are they good eating? I heard from 2 different people that they are tasty.
Any tips or feedback. I see 10 of them a day while in the stand during deer season so stalking them shouldn't be that hard im guessing.
It's all in how u cook them! N yes we love squirrels.
Squirrel meat is great. Cook it like chicken.
I figured this was another TBM thread.
Anyway, don't overcook your tree rats. A little salt and pepper and fried till almost done, tasty. Mike
Squirrels are great eating. But, like any other wild game the older ones can be tough. Best way I've ever had them was my Mom would roll them in seasoned flour, brown in olive oil, then pressure cook them. Makes the toughest old boar squirrel fall of the bone tender. She would then make a gravy out of the drippings. Serve with some sweet taters or blackeyed peas, fried okra and slice 'maters and you got a meal fit for a king.
Skinning squirrels can be a major chore. There are some you tube videos on how to do it. You need a VERY sharp knife as squirrel skin is some of the toughest. I've found them easier to skin right after you kill them. The way I do it is grab by the tail and cut through the skin between the anus and tailbone. Cut through the tailbone BUT NOT THE SKIN ON THE OTHER SIDE (Very Important). You have to free the tailbone but leave the skin attached Then I cut a ring around both hams on the back legs being careful to just cut through the skin. Once you got the rings cut, stand on the tail close so where you cut through the tailbone, grab both back legs and pull straight up with a steady pull. It should just peel right off and come over the front shoulders and to the base of the head. Cut off the head and front feet. I use a pair of pliers to "pull his boots" off the back legs. Then you can gut him easy.
Squirrel hunting is one of my favorite things. Stalking them with a bow is a great way to sharpen your stalking skills. I try to get as close as I can. I use a field point with a game stopper on the back. I've used old broadheads before but that tends to tear them up too much and can make skinning difficult. Take lots of arrows and have fun.
If you plan on shooting squirrels with your bow, wait until they a) are on the ground and b)finish a big move like sitting up or dropping on all fours. They are twitchy little buggers and they are most still in the moments right after sitting up or dropping on all fours.
I don't shoot my arrows at squirrels. I am too fond of my arrows. :)
I can't mentally get over eating a rat.
Apauls...then you've never eaten a rabbit, either.
A squirrel is a helluva a lot cleaner, and has a better diet than any chicken ever born.
As anybody raised on a farm, a chicken will follow a cow around all day waiting for a hot lunch to hit the ground. We've had chickens peck at stuff that would make a vulture think twice.
There are some pretty good videos online on how to skin squirrels via Owl's method. I don't think I've met a serious squirrel hunter who doesn't use that method.
This is not me but this is how I skin then.
What "Stinkbait1" said. And no better gravy than squirrel gravy!
writer x2, There is nothing at all characteristically "rat dirty" about a squirrel. Frankly, if you gave it a fleeting thought, you'd sooner eat a dirty rat than a typically raised chicken. They basically live 24/7 in excrement. A squirrel would be infinitely cleaner than both.
BTW, the best way to keep hair off the meat in cleaning is to immerse the carcass in a bucket of water prior to skinning. Hair will be both much less of a factor and easier to deal with once encountered.
Season started today here in Indiana, 45 degrees and no wind...I didnt go out, to much to do as we start setting stands tomorrow.... once stands are up I'll start chasing squirrels in a few weeks....stands come first....at least 12 to go up....
The only thing I would add to stinkbaits' directions would be that there are 2 tendons that run parallel with the tail just under the skin that you will see after cutting through the tail bone. By cutting those & not through the skin, will make peeling him out easier.
.22 for me. They are tough and have run away with too many of my arrows. Tasty indeed, and agreed: No better broth or gravy exists!
Season starts Sept 1 here in NY liberal whack-job country. Can't wait.
Tip: Bird feeders are squirrel fountains….
Taking my 10yr old son, Jonathan in the morning with his pellet gun and I'll carry my 22. Lots of fox squirrels where we're going & he's pretty good with his pellet gun. We should be enjoying some of Nana's squirrel, mashed potatoes and gravy soon :)
I'll try to post up a trophy shot of Jon tomorrow. Pete
Had squirrel last night for dinner am with a friend from PA. Cooked 3 young males! Nothing tastier except frog legs!!
Form Wisconsin, Love a squirrel supper. Nothing better than that. We have family wildgame feeds with everyone bringing, partridge, squirrel, pheasant, rabbits, woodcock, squash, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob. Awesome day. A cold Leinenkugels Honey Wise and wow what a day.
We shot three this morning. All came out of shagbark hickories and, unfortunately were way too high for Jon's pellet gun. We still had fun together in the woods! Saw a longbeard, a doe and a small 8pt. The buck gave Jonathan the stare down at about 15yds :)
I'm going to take him out again once they switch from the hickories over to acorns. Should be able to get him a shot when they aren't 80ft up in the canopy!
Got this one yesterday morning.
I consider myself a squirel hunter, with a taste for venison.
Squirrel is the tastiest, leanest meat in the Eastern woods.
Here's a recipie or two:
Squirrel Recipies :
Fried squirrel and gravy (tender):
3 young, tender squirrels, cleaned, cut into primary pieces, soaked overnight in lightly salted water (1 tbsp/gallon) in refrigerator, and drained just before flouring
1&1/2 cup seasoned flour (I like the pre-made “Martha White” brand, but can make your own with 1 tsp black pepper and ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp garlic per cup of flour)
*3 tbsp bacon grease
*1 pat dairy butter (optional)
*1 cup whole milk
¼ cup plain flour
Boil squirrels in lightly salted water 30-45 minutes, covered, until fork-tender but not slipping off bone, remove and let cool 15-20 minutes, drain
Heat skillet with bacon grease, til drop of water sizzles
Dredge just-drained (still damp) squirrel pieces in flour, pressing firmly until coated, add to skillet and reduce heat slightly, to prevent flour from burning, move and brown pieces on all sides, remove squirrel from skillet when brown, add pinch salt, *butter and ¼ cup plain flour, gradually add *milk, stirring with a table-fork, briskly, and breaking up any lumps that form, adjust gravy thickness by adding milk as it thickens, but take care not to thin too much, serve over squirrel pieces with hot *buttermilk biscuits and sorghum molasses on the side
*please note, this is NOT a heart-healthy recipie! You can substitute olive oil, 2% milk, and omit the butter, but I don’t recommend it, sometimes ya just gotta “live a little”!
Brunswick Stew: (tough meat) 6 large, tough (older ) squirrels, cleaned cut in pieces, soaked overnight in lightly salted water, drained
6 large potatoes, peeled and diced fine
3 large onions, peeled, diced fine
6 large ripe red tomatoes, peeled and quarterd, or 2 large cans whole tomatoes
2 cups chopped carrots
1 large can corn or 1 pound frozen off-cob corn
1 can chicken stock
2 tblsp worchestershire
½ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp rubbed sage
Salt to taste
Boil squirrel til falling off bone, cool, and debone, chop fine, reserve 4 cups of cooking liquid (skimmed and strained)
Place broth, meat in large slow cooker or crock pot, add other ingredients, cook on high 1 hour and reduce to low heat, simmer 4-6 hours, serve as a soup, with crackers (for a more lightly-flavored stew, you can substitute 3 skinless chicken leg quarters or 5 skinless chicken thighs, for 3 of the squirrels)
I added a some pig to my squirrel cooking pot.
Season starts september 1 in ct. I can't wait. It's great target practice and even better eating. And I don't even have to leave the house
Gotta wait till oct 1 in ms
I thought this thread would be a waste of a mouse click. I was wrong. I can't think of a better way or place to ponder life's problems than in a squirrel woods with a .22. It is a great place to get to know your kids too. I have spent a lot of times in the woods with my kids this way.
greenmountain, I used to feel the same, when you could still get .22 LR ammo ....
Well after 2 times out....I bagged my first squirrel ever! A nice fox squirrel. They are harder than I thought. I was surrounded by them but moving around to get a shot made them ghosts. The woods are super thick so getting a shot is tough. I think I am hooked! Im about to cook him now for lunch...let you know how it tastes.
I bet it tastes better than the chicken sandwich I am eating right now
Squirrel number 2 fell Sunday morning. Cajan time I'm thinking even if I put a chicken in the pot.
Should I eat the last squirrel I have in the freezer the night before our season opens? like for good luck and such? Since I'm in CT, should I start posting mobile live hunts as well?
Night before the season?
We open June 1 and go through Feb. 28.
This week I talked to a game warden who's worked central KS since 1999, and he'd recently checked his first squirrel hunters in his career.
Both had early limits of five, each.
Gerald Martin's Link
Squirrel #3 this morning.
I can't resist posting up the video of my son's first squirrel hunt from last winter. We used his big fox squirrel as one of the main ingredients in a gumbo and it was delicious.
Best video on Bowsite in quite a while, Gerald.
Love the smile, and the simplicity that brought it.
Squirrels were first on my kid's list of kills, too.
Is danged fine in gumbo, or chili, or on the grill, or fried, or with a box of Chicken Helper, or...
I usually keep a judo tipped arrow in my quiver for squirrels. I shoot if they're close and aim for the head.
I been using one of my beak-barrel pellet guns...get one or two every now and then. One this morning.
Every September when it rains I go back to a day when I was little and dad took me squirrel hunting. That was 40 years + ago, but seems like yesterday when I smell the September wet woods and the smell of shotgun smoke.
Teaching a kid to hunt squirrels with a shotgun is getting pretty close to child abuse! :-)
OK, maybe it's fine the first few hunts, for the kid, until they know better.
410 shotgun I was a big boy:)
Thats it. I'm going for squirrels today instead of deer!!!
Gret job 'wolfskin, Love to see guys using the stick for 'em!
I've had too many run away with my arrows, so I stick to the .22.
I see that you don't have that problem!!
Stinkbait1, I would have love to "put my feet" under yo mama's table. She's got the food and the fixins !!
But where are the cathead biscuits? You did not mention them.
OK I have seen people fight over them- who is in on fried squirrel brains?
That'd be a short line Buffalo1.
We'ev had such a sorry acorn crop the last two years, all my squirrels packed their bags and left for parts unknown ! Only the dumb ones are still here. Wait......maybe if I find the squirrels, I'll find the deer !
They serve the squirrel brains and mountain oysters in the same line !! LOL
I love me some squirrel brains. Writer, I started shotgunning squirrels at 8 years old and still love it....
Do the squirrel calls work? We've killed several already this year.
Each year at our deer camp in October a couple of the old camp dogs bring along their .22's and pile up some squirrels for camp meat while the "youngsters" are out chasing the elusive whitetails. That meal gets just as many rave reviews as fresh backstrap night! we give the pieces a good dry rub, grill lightly to get the smoke infused flavor, then stick into a big roasting pan of garlic, real butter, and Stag beer, and let them simmer down to fall off the bone tender. (Rabbits are excellent this way as well) Serve with some smashed or fried potatoes and baked beans and ooh boy you've got some good eatin'!
I'd rather eat a squirrel than a rabbit...much cleaner animal.
I've killed several hundred, not an exaggeration, with calls. Over 200 during a four year period, with a .36 muzzleloader, with a distress call, and occasionally a barking call.
You really need foliage, though. They get a lot more shy about calling attention to themselves when they're butt-naked on a limb.
Wolfskin that amazing with trad or even compound bow boy would tbm be proud of you. LOL!!!.Amazing!!!!!
Tobinghost what kind of squirrels are those look like skunks I've seen black squirrels but not that big. Love to eat them backs though.
bowhunter22 the black squirrels are aberts squirrel i just recently saw one for the first time here in colorado they look like a squirrel rabbit hybrid ha cant wait to taste one
Love to eat aberts!! You're only allowed 2/day but quite tasty. They taste even better than rabbits but we do have fun hunting together.
This year I bought a pack of small-game heads and brought along some cheaper arrows in my quiver of nice deer arrows. I've got a feeder within site of my stand and I've been picking off squirrels from my stand when the hunts have been quiet. Makes a day of getting skunked by deer a bit better when you can sick a tree rat that's been getting fat off the deer corn.
can't wait to get blackout there!!!!
I've been known to hunt squirrels. It's a great way to keep your bow shooting skills honed.
Not much better than walking thru the timber with Judo points!
I hate squirrels! They chew up your trees, eat the seed that I put out for birds and, they eat bird eggs. I have lived in my house for over 20 years and I average between 1 to 4 a week. When we go for a walk I see about 8-10 without even trying to see them. They multiply like rabbits.
Last bowhunt I passed up an eight yard shot at a coal-black fox squirrel. I was on the ground. It was on the ground.
Just couldn't do it. Cool looking animal, and the only one I've seen in that grove of timber.
Don't get the wrong idea, I've killed several hundred limb-chickens in my past. Most were with a .22 or .36 muzzleloader, though. Since most are shot out of trees while coming to calls, it would get a little pricey trying it with a bow.
I will admit I've lost my share of arrows. Probably not a good idea to use really expensive arrows and heads. I happen to have a lot of arrows around my house. Several hundred actually. Flu flu feathers help a lot. Also I find shooting way up in a tree isn't good. I wait for just the right angles and try to get shots with a good back stop behind the squirrel. Quite often I can kill several squirrels with one arrow. Obviously you don't have to use a bow, but personally I find it a lot of fun.
My nemesis as far as tree rats with a bow go, are the black bellied ones! I have killed a bunch of normal colored fox squirrels but the black bellied ones always seem to give me the slip. They used to be a rare sight here, but in the last 5 years or so they seem to be more common.
Never see all black ones here in the central part of the state but in SW Iowa they are very common. I have seen different color variations as well; normal or light colored with a white tail, bright yellow as well as bright orange more so than normal too.
I've read somewhere (maybe on the internet so it must be true) that squirrels are one of the most common animals to show different melanistic traits.
BTW... they are delicious no matter what color they are
We have a lot of black squirrels around where I live. The ones around here are actually grey squirrels, as in black phase grey squirrels. They are slightly smaller than the fox squirrel and larger than the red squirrels.
You are probably aware that we have a lot of Black Fox squirrels living in the towns of Cottonwood Falls and Strong City. I also see a few black ones on Rock Creek west of Bazaar. Many year ago I shot one in western Chase County on French Creek.
My first hunting was done with my Dad in the hills of Missouri for squirrels. I was too young to shoot but got to tag along with him and our squirrel dog. The dog would tree one and he would have me walk to the other side of the tree to move the squirrel to where he could make a head shot. I was happy as a lark when he let me carry the squirrels he had shot.
As I got to be about eight he let shot a few with his 22 Marlin. He would put one shell in the gun and allow me to take the shot. One of my proudest days when at the age of 9 I was allowed to take my 22 and go hunting. I found a Grey Squirrel in a walnut tree and was able to get him. I hurried home, dressed it and took in the house to my Mom.
In those day many years ago we ate a lot squirrel and rabbit and squirrel is far better in my opinion. I am definitely going to hunt more squirrels this year. While deer hunting this year I have been making note of good locations to check later.
You just made me hungry - I think a couple of bushytails are going to wish you hadn't.
Cool memories, twodogs.
I didn't get to go squirrel hunting until I was 16 and could drive myself. I had NO clue what I was doing, especially when I had to skin my first two squirrels. Fortunately, they were grays.
Kansas has some pretty good squirrel hunters. A good friend has taken huge elephant, brown bear and a dozen or so B & C whitetails, and he still finds time to hunt squirrels around his farm in eastern Kansas.
I love squirells--fried--baked ant way. Shot 85 last year
I enjoy squirrel hunting and squirrel eating! My collage freshman daughter has two questions she ask first when she calls home.
How is Rebel? (Her dog)
How is the squirrel hunting going and can we go this weekend?
In that order.
Nice to see so many enjoy it. Perfect time now.
I have been taking the dog out and tryng to teach her to settle on the tree, and bark, fun but not super productive
Do yourself a favor, take a kid squirrel hunting. gets them hooked on the outdoors! !!!!!
Do yourself a favor, take a kid squirrel hunting. gets them hooked on the outdoors! !!!!!
Do yourself a favor, take a kid squirrel hunting. gets them hooked on the outdoors! !!!!!
Some great times ar3e to be found with a kid in the squirrel woods. To be successful you must sit quiet for some minutes. For a kid this feels like hours. You want a clean kill that means close. I like a .22 but I often use an old model 24 savage .22/20ga. My young friend can choose. We normally clean and cook a kid's first kill right there in the woods. As the kids get older I switch them to my cylinder bore muzzle loading shotgun. The smoke and roar make lasting memories.
Happiness is. ...
Happiness is. ...
season is over in Va til June
SO I have some questions. We sued to hunt squirrels when I was a kid, and we killed a lot of them and rabbits, but that was many moons ago!
I live in AZ and the weather can be very warm up through October / November. Is there a time of year that you should not eat them, based on temperature or diseases? Speaking of diseases, anything to really worry about? What temp do you need to cook them to so they are safe for consumption? I know these may sound stupid and I probably wouldn't worry about it if I was back east.
I would love to get back into this, it was a lot of fun!
This guy robbing my compost bin. I hear they do not eat well, taste like pine. They are fun to watch so I leave them alone.
I've never eaten them, but squirrel brains are a delicacy in the south. There are speculations about a disease similar to mad cow that can be obtained by eating squirrel brains. I have no idea wether there is any truth to this.
t-roy.....eating them does make you want to use acornyms more often.....btw :-)
Heard it causes ED too. WTF!
you can eat squirrel anytime they're legal to hunt. in warm weather they sometimes have warbles (a subcutaneous larvae from a biting fly) this doesn't hurt the meat, although they look nasty.
Best thing to start off a youngster. When I take young kids fishing, we go for perch or bluegill to keep the action going. I usually just sit back and watch the fun.....and help bait hooks as well.
Closed Feb. 28th here in NY. Great way to get the kids started!! We have a woods here where I hunt we call the "Squirrel Woods" loaded with Oaks and Beech, plus some hickory and walnut trees in there as well. It is not uncommon to sit there in an evening or early morning and get your limit in an hour or so. Scooby
Agree on the parasite we always wait till after first heavy frost before hunting No experience with warm weather locals I always brine overnight prior to cooking Awesome fun c the kids