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Dec 29, 2011 07:04 PM

Eating local - squirrel

I know the squirrels at my parents' house are well fed on hazelnuts stolen from their hazelnut trees, so I'd sooner eat a city squirrel than a garbage-eating city pigeon. I once met a guy from Alabama who claimed to have eaten squirrel plenty of times - "you just fry 'em up, they're tasty!" but have not tried it myself.

Where do squirrels land on your spectrum of what is fit to eat?

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  1. I would totally advocate it as long as there's some research on the safety of it (seems pretty safe to me so far). Who wrote the book on whats acceptable to eat and not? Think about how weird a cow and chicken would be were they not socially acceptable.

    1. I used to hunt as a teenager quite a bit, small game up to deer and moose. Squirrel isn't considered game in my neck of the woods (southern Quebec), but I did read about plenty people hunting and eating squirrel in the American south. I said what the heck and bagged a couple to try. As in the article, not much different than rabbit. I then added it to my small game prey.
      I don't like the idea of eating city squirrel. I use the term city broadly - I just mean anywhere cohabitating with people (city/town/burg/village). Likely nothing wrong with them, but I prefer my critters from the bush.

      1. I'm sorry - I'm a New Yorker - and to us, squirrels are rats with tails. while maybe edible, definitely not desired cuisine.

        3 Replies
        1. re: brooklynkoshereater

          I'm a Southerner. To me:
          "... squirrels are rats with tails. while maybe edible, definitely not desired cuisine."

          1. re: Rella

            Hmm, I'm a northwesterner, and squirrels are more of a nuisance because of stealing from the garden than anything else, so even though they are in the rodent family I don't think of them as dirty scavengers. I can understand not wanting to eat garbage scavengers like pigeons, seagulls, and raccoons. But if they've been eating fruit and acorns and digging up tulip bulbs... I like rabbit, so if times get tough, I'd totally consider squirrel.

            1. re: babette feasts

              If times get tough, I'd totally consider squirrel, too. They live, play, mate in my yard, fly through the trees and generally have a good life. They plant the walnuts from the trees in the yard and garden aerating it; they eat the bird food, so they are well-fed and probably desirable eating. In fact, my cousin has passed down her son's secret recipe.

              Though some think they are cute and cunning, I do not.

        2. I live too close to a grocery store for me to consider squirrels as good eats...i suspect the meager amount of meat on them would make them more irritating than productive to hunt. Now as for the deer and rabbits in my back yard, well, that's another story...

          1 Reply
          1. re: freia

            You're right, there isn't a whole lot of meat on a squirrel, but in general, thats not why people hunt. Woodcock are less than a half pound on the wing, yet is a popular gamebird.

          2. A southern friend of mine's grandfather would hunt squirrel during the year, freeze them, and then they would have a squirrel feast for Christmas dinner. She said it was really good.

            I'm not sure why it would necessarily be any worse than game like rabbit. Both are small animals that forage for food. It's just rabbit has broad acceptance.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Jwsel

              But why for Christmas?

              The squirrels in late Fall very fat and juicy after feasting on Fall nuts?

              1. re: AsperGirl

                Generally speaking, most hunting gets done in the fall. I assume grandad hunted them in the fall and saved them for their traditional meal of squirrel.
                Where I live, squirrels hibernate in winter. Sometimes banging on the tree will rouse them from their nest, sometimes not, so hunting squirrel isn't easy in winter. Maybe this is why they froze them - not readily available at xmastime.

                1. re: porker

                  My husband wants to teach me some bow hunting next year. Maybe it would be good to start small next Fall. I just asked him, and he said squirrel is good. Now if we can only find some tiny arrows...