Small Game Meat Care???

ChrisS

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What do you guy's do with your rabbits and squirrels to ensure they taste good? Is gutting and skinning them then freezing them in a zip loc bag the best way? I learned a good lesson about not gutting your rabbits right away last year. Had a couple in the vest pouch for longer then they should have been and my hunting partner told me they tasted awful!
I guess gutting right away is the way to go. Any recommendations on good care is greatly appreciated!
 

gc4279

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I don't think gutting them is as much an issue as not letting them spoil from the heat. I've always waited until I got back to the truck to clean my rabbits that way I have some water to rinse and clean them off. I make sure that I cut away any meat that has been shot up or contaminated by the guts. Then I get them on ice to cool them and keep them from drying out as much as possible.
 

tony270

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I would say gut them and cool the body cavity down as soon as possible. Meat that is contaminated by fecal matter and urine should be cut away and discarded. Use as small a shot as possible and take the shots as far away as possible. Small shot size and taking longer shots will cause less damage to the internal parts. You may need to learn how to clean the animal without cutting the entrails. On rabbits and squirrels I make an incision in the back, large enough to put a couple of fingers form each hand in, then I pull the skin away (be careful when you get to the groin area). With the belly skin exposed and without damaging the entrails I make my incision near the private parts.

To do this without damaging the entrails I make an incision large enough to place my index and middle finger from one hand in. With my fingers in the hole pushing the intestines down, I place the knife in between the fingers so that the blade won’t cut the intestines when I start to make the cut up towards the head. I’ll say one more time, “my index and middle finger keeps the intestines away from the blade while I run the blade up to the chest. Cut all the way through the breastbone and stop at the neck. I cut the head off at this time. Now I hold the animal up, feet down. I start with the windpipe and pull it down while collecting the heart, lungs, stomach and so on. When you get down to the private parts cut around them carefully as to not spill the urine and or fecal matter. The entrails should come out as one big unit, at least the stomach, intestines and privets parts. Now I wipe out the blood and keep as cool as possible.
 

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Shot

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With small game, it is important to get the blood out of the meat as much as possible. I usually let them stay in cold water (ice chest) to allow the blood to come out as much as possible untill i get home (also the icy water won't let it spoil). Since its cold water, not all of the blood will drain out of the meat. Then next thing I do, either before freezing or before cooking, is let the meat stay in warm to slightly boiling water for 15-20 mins before cooking. This allows for the rest of the blood to come out. I have noticed a big difference in the meat taste by doing this. On way to see if this method works is, do what I told you with some of the meat, and then compare the smell to the untouched meat. You will notice what I mean and this leads to a better taste (not so gamey).
 

Pasco

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Tony270...

The use of color is stupendous!

The bold lines and fine detail is reminiscent of Picasso!

The fluidity of motion is breathtaking...

I bid FIFTY THOUSAND!!!


(hijack off)
 

tony270

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I had to use my mouse in MS Paint to do that, but you get the picture. I'm actually a good artist it runs in my family, but without the tools you get what you get.

SOLD hehehehe
 

Pasco

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Glad you took that in the good humor it was intended. I had visions of coming home from work tonight and finding 100 posts chastising me for poking fun and being generally cruel. I'll try your method, sounds like it may be cleaner than my reach in and pull method!
 

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