This video just came out. For you folks who squirrel hunt, you'll enjoy this. He explains how he cleans one up and makes a deeper tail cut before pulling the skin. He also ages the vacuum sealed squirrel in the fridge for a week....I never thought about that. He makes a killer fried squirrel in gravy and outstanding pan biscuits. This will probably work for rabbit too.
Man, I love fried squirrel with potatoes and gravy. Used to never miss an opening day. Haven't squirrel hunted in many years even though every year I swear I'm going to take a day in October and sniper some tree rats. .22 rifle....head shots only!
Same here, Nick! Always easy to remember when opening day was years ago. September 16th, which was my brother’s birthday. The young ones were delicious. The old males went in my grandma’s pressure cooker and made into noodles.
Yep, crock pot the old boars. The younger reds and greys were breaded with flour, fried in a cast iron skillet, then put in the oven with a little water until they were tender. Gravy made from the drippings in the bottom of the skillet. SO good!
For you real men who aren't afraid of eating squirrels, try brining them in salt water overnight. It improves the flavor and makes them more tender, just like it does for wild game birds. If you're in a hurry to eat them, soak them in buttermilk for 3-4 hours before cooking.
Around age 4 or 5 some of my earliest and fawndest memories of hunting was following behind my Dad with his Winchester 16 gauge single shot that his father had bought him for his twelfth birthday... A couple years later he let me shoot my first squirrel (grey squirrel with a hickory nut in it's mouth)... Was my first firearm kill and I can still see that squirrel coming down that tree and him whispering in my ear, just look down the barrel and put that little bead on him... Boom, and the squirrel fell dead...8^) I had no firearm training before that, that was my first shot ever...8^)
Ironically my Dad just gave me that gun the other day, it's setting 10 feet from me right now...
I can relate. My most prized firearm is my Father's first gun. It's also the first gun I ever shot. It's a J. Stevens Model 44 22 L.R. that he bought in the 1920s He killed thousands of squirrels with it. The thing is heavier than a modern-day muzzle-loader. I fondly remember he and I target practicing with it in the basement of the house I grew up in. ;-)
Cool video. I love to squirrel hunt and usually get out for a couple hours 2-3 times a week in January and February. I do fry them sometimes, but usually braise them and add 'em to various soups and stews.
My first hunt back in 55 or 56 with my dad and my little brother we did it for years. I always swear I’ll do this year but have not in a very long time.Squirrel gravy is unparalleled it’s that good I prefer it over rice or biscuits but that’s the southern in me.Just might do it this year.Good luck Lewis
I have skinned squirrels like the video all my life. My grandfather taught me when I was a kid. It used to be if you got a tough one you had to boil them before frying but now I cook them in a crock pot and the meat will fall off the bone. BTW I have never shot squirrels with a shotgun. I only use a Bow, 22 rifle or pistol. Have killed quite a few with an air rifle. The rifle in the picture is an M&P 15-22.
Staple here in the south as you can tell from Joey’s pic. I prefer rabbit just because there’s more meat. Hunt if you are serious I’ll trade you a hardwood squirrel hunt for a western hunt of any flavor! I’ll even throw in a nighttime coon hunt with hounds??
I spent a fall trying to kill a black squirrel with my bow (ruined a few arrows while trying). He hung out where I was deer hunting and we had quite the cat and mouse thing going. He won that fall and wasn't around the next yr. I've never had an animal mounted and he was going to be the first.
Yeah Catscratch , black phase grey squirrel... Dead one pictured above is jet black, as most of the black ones are, but some are different "shades of black"...8^))) Seriously though, some are charcoal colored, some with silver tipped guard hairs similar to a silver fox color, some have rust colors, some black bodies with rust tails, and visa versa as the ones pictured here...
I love to hunt and eat squirrel .The .17 mach 2 is the best round ever for them,.22 longrifle necked down to .17 cal .Like shooting a laser beam! 70-100 yard shots in the open Indiana hardwoods are pretty normal...very accurate round.Just an absolute riot to hunt with! If I could have my grandma back for one day...I would want to sit at her table while she fried my squirrels...Oh,and I would want her to pray......
Z my first gun was a model 37 20 gauge full choke it was stolen many years ago loved that gun but rabbits squirrels and grouse hated it.A lot of memories just came flooding back thanks for posting that.Lewis
Melanistic (black phase) eastern gray squirrel are common in my area, (although they were nonexistent when I was a kid), but now are more common in town than the gray phase. When I was a kid we had only the little red (pine) squirrel in town, and gray squirrels and red phase fox squirrels outside of town. Black squirrels were unheard of back then. Rumor has it, Kent State students brought a couple or so of the black phase grey squirrels from Niagara Falls 30 or 40 or so years ago and release them and the rest is history.
Most of the melanistic squirrels in my area are jet black although as said above we have some unique colors running around with all shades in between the gray phase.
Have counted as many as 22 at one time in the winter out back... I think there is about 15 in this picture...
Just the other day seen a real unique colored one, looked similar to piebald markings red and black... Was on my way out when he run across the yard, didn't get a good look and didn't have time to go back and get a camera...
Squirrels are one the most common animals to show different melanistic phases. We have only fox squirrels where I am at in central Iowa. My job entails working outside in towns all over the Midwest. I’ve seen several variations in both fox and grays, including bright orange, pale yellow, normal color with black bellies and faces, normal colored with a white tail, off white, etc. Oddly enough, I’ve never seen a pure black one where I live, yet they are very common in SW Iowa.
A buddy and i used to have a system where if we found a squirrel nest,one of us would shoot the nest while the other was on the ready for the escape. No kidding. We had 10 squirrels come out of 1 nest once ,we killed 6. Pandemonium at its finest...
The last savage, my cousin and I used to do the same thing. I would make a bunch of arrows and fletch them. Sometimes I would use a flu flu with a 38 cal case on the end instead of a broadhead or field point. I would shoot a squirrel nest and quite often there would be squirrels inside. Have had to climb a tree from time to time to get an arrow back. We did kill squirrels. We did it in the winter when the leaves were all off the trees and in an area where there were no real big trees. His dad had a cornfield with a thicket where we had the best luck. The blunts worked great on the rabbits too.
In some areas they have long poles to poke squirrel nests. That makes for some tough shooting. My woods is full of squirrel nests but a lot more live in hollow trees. When it has been a cold winter and then it warms up, coons will climb trees to lay on top of squirrels nests.
Times have changed since I was a kid following Fred Bear. Fred used to just try to get an arrow into an animal. Same with Howard Hill. Fred actually shot an arrow at a deer that was on the other side of a hill. He could see the antlers and arched an arrow over the hill. Howard would shoot at running animals. Today both would be considered unethical. I grew up following these guys but today the bowsite would consider them outlaws. BTW I made my own arrows and fletched them with Howard HIll's design. I have a book from him showing how to burn the feathers. I have been to Fred Bear's exhibit with all the stuff he killed.
I'm quite disappointed. The way some of you guys go on about how good eating squirrel is. Then I watched that video and find out it takes so much work I could made a 2x4 taste good after I've done all that. I grew up killing squirrels to save my mom's songbirds and the wood ducks.
^....you can throw them into a slow cooker and when done (overnight) pull the meat from the bone and have a decent plate of bone free meat. I made squirrel stroganoff and it came out real good. Very easy to do.
The crock pot is the answer to any tough meat. When I pick up the hind leg of a squirrel it falls right off the bone. I used to just try and shoot young squirrels and let the big ones live due to how tough they would be. No more, age doesn't make any difference in the crock pot.
Adam, I would never go through that much work for a squirrel dinner.
Roll the pieces in flour or bread them like he did, brown them in a little oil in a cast iron skillet, add a little water to the pan, then braise them in the oven until tender. Make gravy from the drippings. Super simple.
Or crockpot until the meat falls off the bone like mentioned above.
I skin mine different than him, too. When I hunted them, I carried a couple gallon ziplocs, a small Ziploc with a damp wash cloth in it, a pair of side cutters, and my knife.
I skin the squirrel in the field shortly after shooting while they're still steaming hot. I make a slit in the skin just below the shoulder blades big enough to get 2 fingers in. I brush away any loose fur I cut, then insert 2 fingers of each hand into the slit. I then pull in opposite directions, one hand toward the tail, one hand toward the head like you're ripping it in half. This will pull the skin down to end of the legs on each end. Brush off my hands of any fur and work the skin down to each ankle, the base of the tail, and the neck.
Then I grab my side cutters and snip off the back 2 feet and the tail, then the front 2 feet and cut around the neck before twisting it off. Next I just gut it, throw it in the gallon Ziploc, and wipe off my hands with my damp wash cloth. Ready to sniper the next squirrel! Super quick, easy, and little to no hair on the meat.
I always skinned and gutted rabbits while in the field, too. I hated coming home with a pile of ice cold carcasses to deal with. When I get home, all I have to do is throw them in the sink, wash and cut up. The rabbits I had to hang the hide and guts up in brush and trees so the beagles didn't come back and eat it!