Them Grey Tree Rats

E A Hunt

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Honestly now.....

Are tree squirleees good eating ?

I was deer hunting this weekend and as i sat the woods came alive with those barking tree dogs.

Are they good table fare? If so how about a good way to cook them.
 

fowl Shooter

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Fry the young'ns and stew the old ones. I used to hunt and et'em quite often while going to school in Missouri. I took a summer job at the state cancer research facility preparing Rats for samples and started noticing how close they resembled them naked tails and quit cold turkey. Same with bears , I once had a bear roast for dinner and totally enjoyed it. I took a mammology class and a human anatomy class and damned if they didn't look alike when skin was removed. No wonder the native americans think the bear is our brother. I'm sticking to wings and hooves,lol.
 

2curljohnny

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NO... they're horrible, and let the rest of the city boys know it also:moon: seriously, i think its darn hard to beat and no doubt makes the best gravy. pay attention to skinning them to keep the hair off the meat. don't wash them in the field,instead towel dry them clean, they'll spoil fast in hot weather when wet.i like soaking them in milk over night. light breading and fry em or look in the dove recipes here and try mine  with your squirrel 1/4 in pieces. you've just found one of the lord's true wild culinary gems. good luck :wink-yellow:
 

Speckmisser

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Sounds like I won't have much to add.  Used to eat them all the time back east.  Haven't found a decent huntable population here yet, but I hear they're all over some spots.  
Load up the 22 (or a slingshot if you're deer hunting) and let's get dinner!
 

E A Hunt

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If it's hot this weekend I'll blow off the deer walk and sit for the grey dogs.

Got any detailed ways to cook them ?
 

Speckmisser

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EA,

The easiest way is to quarter them, roll them in flour with salt and pepper (and other spices if you like), then pan fry them with some olive oil (corn oil works too, but I prefer olive oil).  This is especially good with the young ones.  Older squirrels might be better if you parboil them first.  

As they're about done, reduce the heat and pour in a can of cream of mushroom soup and a little water to thin it... let this simmer for fifteen or twenty minutes (or until the squirrels are done).  Pull the squirrel quarters out, add a little flour or corn starch to thicken the gravy if necessary.  Serve with rice and homemade biscuits...

A down-home, southern variation on this is to use bacon grease instead of olive oil.  Warning here: This makes a REALLY rich gravy, and unless your system is used to greasy food, you will want to go easy.  This can really lubricate the "plumbing".  The upside is a truly wonderful flavor.  

Any recipe that works well with doves or rabbits will work with squirrels.  
 

fowl Shooter

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If you get some of the older generation. Cut them up, roll in flour and some salt & pepper. Brown them in a skillet. Cut up some potatoes,bellpeppers , Carrots and onions. Combine everything in a crock pot and add some Indian curry. Slow cook until tender. Thicken gravy with corn starch before serving over a bed of rice. My staple during my undergraduate years.
 

db 183

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When you need meat for camp or your kid is learning to hunt, squirrels are just fine....

I like to season them with salt pepper, garlic salt etc, wrap em in bacon, put em in some foil and cook em over the fire. When they are about done, remove the foil to brown them.

Serve them with a baked potato or french fries and some corn.

Very tasty.

P.S. I have found that like most small game, the quicker you clean em, the better tasting. I usually clean them and cool them as soon as I harvest them. Sometimes it helps while waiting for that buck to come by.
 

E A Hunt

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I think I'll give em a try this weekend. probably take the kid out and let her do the shooting. I'll bring a cooler with ice and clean them in the field soon as they hit the ground.

I'll let you all know how it goes.

Thanks
 

duckman2000

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hey speckmisser areant you going to G-1 ? if so there are pleany there.i shoot mine with a 3 inch 410  #6 shot.we have a least one dinner of them when we hunt G-1 see you there.
 

Speckmisser

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Thanks for the info, Duckman!  I might pack the .22 in case things get slow.  Haven't had squirrel for dinner in a long time.  

Hope to see you there too.  Don't have my schedule planned yet, but will likely only be making the weekends.  Used up all my vacation time already.  
 

E A Hunt

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You can tell their age by the size of their nut's.

The older ones have larger nuts.  If you get a oppertunity to watch 2 or more at the same time look at their nut's and you'll see what I mean.

I've see some with nut's the size of a walnut.

The younger tender one most of the time a packin small nut's usually the size of a small peanut or pistachio.


So when your in the wood's just remember. The older tougher ones are bigger then the yearlings so they have the abbility to carry bigger nut's around while foraging.

The little younger ones are smaller and only have the ability to carry small acorns and other little nut's back to their den.






Pretty close to gettin ten minutes in the corner for thinking bad thoughts there huh Mr. Moderator
 

jackrabbit

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I can understand about them carryin' bigger nuts -- guess they're different from us old dudes!  But what about the female squirrels?  Does the nut carryin' size rule count for them too?  Let's see now, I need a young and old male, and a young an old female -- hmmm, four of 'em.  Is the bag limit still 2/day and 2/possession?  Or is it four/day now?  Maybe I'll just have to chase 'em down and check 'em out before I shoot 'em.  Could be fun I guess!
 

Sporty

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Never hunted them but after reading this post now I want to. Couple of questions though.
1. How do you skin 'em and gut 'em?
2. How many do you need to make a meal for 2 or 3 people?
3. What are the bag limits?
Good luck to all,
Sporty
 

Speckmisser

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Skin them just like you would a rabbit.  I like to make a cut in the skin across the back, about halfway their body, then just pull the skin apart.  It usually comes right off, down to their feet, tail, and head.  Cut the head, tail, and feet off, and the skin goes with them.

To gut them, cut the abdominal cavity open carefully (just a thin membrane, really), and pull the guts out...just like with a duck.  If you're familiar with skinning/gutting big game, it's really the same on a smaller scale.

One full-grown squirrel will feed a person OK.  The ones I've seen here in CA are pretty danged big.  If you have hearty eaters, then maybe one and a half will fill the bill.  
I can't recall the bag limits off-hand, but if you go to the DFG site you can get that info...or get the hunting booklet at your local sporting goods store.  
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/regs.html
 

Kentuck

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One trick to skinning them if you get to it within a decent time of the kill is to split the skin down the back of each rear leg, then cut through the tail to the skin on the back, carefull not to cut the tail off, then hold the squirrel by the back legs and step on the tail and pull up on the rear legs. The skin will come off in a case this way. then just cut the head and front feet off and you are done.
 

grizz

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The limit is four, four in possession, page 14 mammals & furbearers 2001.  I gald I looked I though it was five.
We get a few each year while sitting in the duck blind
they are good eating.
 

andrew

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What time of the year is the best to get them. Whe do they taste the best?
 

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