If you’re a food enthusiast, who loves to taste every other new food, you may be curious what do eating squirrels taste like. And what better than the squirrels in my backyard and why not to use them, in fact, they are similar to rabbits. Just like you take down chipmunks, can you hunt and eat squirrels legally from your backyard, and do people eat squirrels. Here’s how you can.
Eating squirrels isn’t as easy as it used to be, and it takes more than shooting a squirrel from your backyard and putting it to skewer stick. There are a couple of consequences and considerations which need to be taken first as it differs for every person. Since every person live in a different state and applies different laws, different types of hunting, different types of squirrels, and a few more stuff.
All of those sums up in these things.
- Reasons to eat squirrels
- When, where, & how to hunt squirrels
- How is it safe to eat squirrels
- Cooking ideas
In this article, we’ll go over how to catch and kill squirrels legally from your backyard, what things are required, is it safe to eat, and cooking ideas for a delicious dish and do people eat squirrels.
Yes, people do and you can hunt and eat squirrels legally from their backyard but requires a permit. You may get the permit from the State Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) department and then shoot squirrels. Squirrels are nutritious and contain proteins and vitamins and also helps cure some problems like
Why Eat Squirrels?
You’ve eaten beef, chickens, and sheeps dishes for so long and are quite old, so why not try something new. And perhaps squirrels come in front of you, so why not try this. So let’s elaborate on why or why not to eat squirrels.
While it’s not so common to eat squirrels in most states here in the US, however, there are some states which eat squirrels. But in general, everyone would like to try something out. Suppose you would like to taste or for whatever other reason you would like to eat squirrels as they seem delicious and in fact, they’re pretty nutritious and protein-rich than beef and chicken. In addition to a new experience, squirrels are also found to have iron and B6 and B12 vitamins, mineral, fat similar to rabbits.
There are probably some downsides to it. Squirrel’s meat contains diseases and negative effects than rabbits or other rodents. Some of the known diseases are worms, pesticides, skin infections, bacterias, and more. But there’s quite more to it, and that’s why it is known for carrying pests and disease that affects other animals and pets. Though people eat, not in the US much but in the world, no cases were reported of squirrels meat. However, it may be bad and harmful for other illnesses or cases but for a normal person, it’s of no harm.
Overall, it’s pretty tasty, nutty, and healthy meat. If cooked correctly, it’s delicious than rabbits and a little bit like pork.
Do People Eat Squirrels?
Yes, people do eat squirrels from their backyard and also from restaurants and as well as from the shops where squirrel’s meat is sold. It is more consumed in southern states and cities and is also available in some restaurants especially in rural areas like Florida.
Speaking of overseas, they are commonly consumed in Southeast Asia like Malaysia, Indonesia. It is found in many restaurants and also locally and they also use rats. People do eat squirrels differently with different dishes they make.
Is it Legal to Hunt Squirrels From Your Backyard?
In most states, it is illegal to hunt squirrels from your backyard however, others may also require permits which is a bit easier than this. Here’s how to deal with it.
How to Hunt Squirrels in Your Backyard?
Hunting squirrels is more than just taking a gun and shooting squirrels into head. In fact, it’s more dangerous than hunting in the wild. Also, you can’t hunt squirrels anywhere in your property or out of your property. More importantly, in most states, it isn’t legal to hunt squirrels which comes to the first step which is to get permit.
Unlike rabbits, hunting squirrels doesn’t come into a legal case automatically not even in the hunting season. You will need to obtain the permit. However, the type of squirrel you want to kill and eat differs. Like red and flying squirrels can be shooted in year-round seasons while instead, gray squirrels are eastern North America native and are honorable in a few states.
That’s why gray squirrels are excepted from hunting but not from nuisance wildlife. This means, if squirrels have done some damage to your property, you can kill them but not without a permit. You should prove the damage with the evidence, take permit, and then shoot in the instruction of the Department.
You can also shoot gray squirrels in the hunting season and off hunting season, but goes back to the permit point. Also, you need to complete the permit requirements first.
The next challenge is location. This could be divided into two parts, urban and rural areas. In most populated areas, which include cities, you can’t shoot squirrels easily. You will definitely need permits, despite that, you will need to comply with more caution and orders. And that is somewhat different for each city.
In some places around the country like Kansas, squirrels are quite honorable and admired, meaning you can’t shoot squirrels in these states.
There’s also a certain season when you can hunt squirrels but not everywhere and not every variety of squirrel. You can get the most accurate and determined answer to all the questions of the legality and shooting ways, instructions from the department of wildlife, or DNR.
Those conditions passed, you may have now the right to do what you’re supposed to, but how.
There are two effective ways to accomplish this. If you’ve found you can use a gun, it may be somehow easier if done properly, but it can also be very dangerous if you made wrong attempts. That may injure or even kill other animals or pets if hit badly.
If you’ve found you can use traps, but not guns, there are, however, some lethal traps that do the entire job. However, those are a few and may be difficult to find. You may use typical traps which only catches squirrels but you may need to do the killing part yourself. That can be done with several things like bow, arrow, knife but not drowning, firing. But remember to kill the squirrel with the thing which you’ve been permitted for.
You can also do a mix of both which would be catch squirrel with a trap and then shoot it with a gun if you’re allowed to do so. We assume you don’t want to get rid of squirrels by killing, if you do so, you can probably get rid of squirrels without actually killing them.
Anything in which squirrels suffer is not only humanely but also not legally allowed. If you trap and put the squirrel into the fire, you are basically out of law and will be charged if caught.
Where to Find & Shoot Squirrels?
This may be probably your backyard, but can be wherever on your property. You can shoot, trap squirrels as long as they are on your property and this only applies to you and your family member.
When you’ve decided which method to go with, you can now chase the squirrels. What this really refers to is follow up where squirrels appears frequently that is likely to be bird feeder or the special feeder you may feed squirrel to. You may also find them with their sounds as they make different sounds. That can be anywhere in your property. You can also give some food out to make them appear where you want. Squirrels come to know about food very easily and also they travel miles away for food and water (Here’s where do squirrels get fresh water from).
That determined, you may now get prepared for the shoot. When ready, get as near as possible until you don’t scare it, then sit down, set the target, and ready, steady, shoot!
The next possible way to do is to trap. It’s also similar. Just chase where the squirrels are seen usually and place the trap. You can also place some food inside which will attract the squirrel easily. Once trapped, kill the squirrel with the weapon you’ve been permitted to.
However, its way easier to kill domestic squirrel which you’ve grown up, but we suppose you don’t want to use it.
Remember to only shoot the squirrels which you’re permitted to, and not violate it.
When to Shoot Squirrels?
There is no perfect timing for catching squirrels, other than directed by the department. But you may find squirrels active during early morning. In terms of squirrels age, young squirrels are tastier and more delicious than old ones. The younger the squirrel, the tastier, and easy to cook. The older, the hard to cook. This also means, baby squirrels that leave the nest are quite delicious and that’s true.
Where to Get Squirrels Meat?
You didn’t get the permit or your backyard squirrel might have eaten some dirty things or maybe poison which you don’t know. You don’t want to hunt but get squirrel meat just like other meat, its probably doable
The easiest approach would be the local butcher shop from where you usually get your meat. More often, they won’t hang squirrel’s meat with other meats. You can get any variety of squirrel meat including grey squirrels but a bit more expensive than other but is definitely tastier than regular meats.
If they don’t find, you may ask and they will bring in. Else, there are many online shops where you can buy squirrel’s meat. They’re perfectly cut and packed to serve.
Tips For Getting Squirrels Easily
Squirrels are like naughty kids which likes to moves every second. You will never see them in one place for a few time. And this makes it difficult to shoot or catch them. In fact, they are really smart and wise than dogs and cats. So you would never want to suspect or aware of what you’re going to do.
The most difficult part after getting the permit is to chase the squirrel. However, if you have permission to trap by law, you’re more likely to do it successfully without any fault. If you don’t or don’t want to do it and want to do it directly instead, you can shoot it but its gonna take more time and care. But with these tips, you can make your task easier or at least better.
- Getting squirrels needs to chase squirrels on the right spot. This would be bird feeder or anywhere that they find food. That’s also place where squirrels poop the most.
- Don’t over look at squirrels otherwise they would probably know you chase them just like they chase each other. Instead, watch after but not very carefully or you can do it from a hole or from window or from home.
- The most helpful tip would be to place some food, that can be nuts, fruits or vegetables in a place where you would like to shoot. They will likely come in the morning or evening. They can also be there at other time. If you didn’t find them once, put some food another time, and you should see them there.
- Take care of the direction where you shoot and you don’t want to shoot in your neighbor house or somewhere else where you don’t want.
- Always shoot from the nearest point and sat down. And never shoot another time if you missed one. One perfect shoot is better than 10 shoots.
- Shoot to the head as it will definitely kill quickly.
- You can also shoot when they are on the trees but be careful as you don’t want to put fire to the trees.
- Take care of your pets and children and don’t them go out when shooting.
- You can use soundproof or silencer with the rifle, it will not improve the shooting but will definitely help you and your neighbor won’t disturb.
Is it Safe to Eat Squirrels? The Risks
Squirrels are pretty much known for carrying disease when it comes to safety. And they actually do but quite a few of them are dangerous to us. Some are tularemia, plague, pesticides, tularemia, bacterias, and worms. They can be transferred or infected to humans and pets either by contacting them or through bite according to the CDC. In fact, squirrels spread disease pretty easily to each other and if contacted by us, it may also reach us.
- There’s also a risk of what squirrel has eaten, which can be poison. This risk can be eliminated either buying from a local or online shop which are checked, or at least looked over by them that they know.
- In other situations, it may have pox, or red dots, or anything that doesn’t seem to be fine. However, if you can’t figure out from far away, you may better catch the squirrel in a trap and then check it properly. Diseases often affect skins which can be seen.
- The bubonic plague is found in most ground squirrels. Not only that, but they can also have pox and cause skin disease that may be cured automatically, but can also be spread and over time develop a non-cureable disease.
The reason why these diseases appear in squirrels is mainly for two reasons. They don’t reject anything means, they eat almost everything just like raccoons, which includes insects, dead bodies, bones, and waste. It can also enter other squirrels which might come from another animal or if one has some diseases or as simple as bitting insects them.
Tips to Prevent The Risks
- Coming to finding out whether it’s safe or not isn’t quite difficult from outside. You may monitor the steps of the squirrel and watch if it acts properly and isn’t itching or going after water a lot or anything like that that isn’t normal.
- Another step to make sure you’re safe is to wear rubber gloves and mask when contacting, cleaning, cutting, and even cooking. But after it’s cooked, it won’t have those risks involved if you’ve considered those steps.
As a result, if you check squirrels which seems healthy, you can definitely shoot and eat it out so it makes us pretty much safe to eat. Otherwise, you may avoid those.
In general, cooking squirrel completely whether it be frying or in dish, cook it up completely until it softens and feels like. The squirrels meat is a bit harder than chicken and beef. It will keep away from diseases and might even kill the disease.
With these precautions and cooking squirrels completely, you minimize the risk of transmitting those diseases.
Cooking Recipes & Ideas
Just how squirrels are really tasty, they are fairly eaten in Southern areas of the country. And they fit in almost any dish that rabbits and beef come in. The taste and look vary on the type of the squirrel and how you cook, but it looks grayish before cooked. However, without any argument, it’s pretty tasty when fried and especially deep-fried. It wins in taste over rabbitd, beef, and chickens. It is a little bit tough and tight because of its nature that it climbs, digs, and moves very quickly just like rabbits.
Squirrels are nutritious and also tasty due to its fact that they consume peanuts and nuts the most, which are high rich-protein and useful ingredients. It’s no surprise that squirrels are small and have less meat, but is purely natural and delicious, unlike chickens which are nourished with chemicals and syringes.
If you want to put more meat for your family, you may shoot more than one, and probably two or three squirrels. However, they aren’t mostly together in a group, but you can probably shoot one by one.
The cooking doesn’t really differ when it comes to squirrels varieties. A common difference is the gray squirrels are bigger than red and flying squirrels. But in terms of meat, they are pretty much the same. It mostly depends on what they’ve consumed, which is also not different from other squirrels.
How to Cook Squirrels
Just like installing a program on the computer, you need to start the process and start making squirrels ready after you’ve had kill. Killing squirrel isn’t the half part even, and you need to do the rest to make it happen.
As simple as it looks like, you need to gather and wear gloves, mask. Place two sharp knife, one for cutting soft meats and one for bones, cutting pad and you’re good to go!
Right after you do, take the squirrels into kitchen and take a knife with yourself.
Cut off the skin not by part but entirely at once by cutting from the tail to the head. And pull it by force to take the skin out just like chicken.
Once that’s finished, cut it into pieces according to your favorite recipe. And then wash it out cleanly as clean as you can with water.
And the fun part is simply cooking it as you would like to.
If you don’t have idea of how or what recipe to make in with. We’ve explained what recipe or dish to make with and what works the best. Despite it, you can definitely make your own dish and those dish which are popular and the one which people eat squirrels. In most simple case, you can use it in place of kitchen, beef or rabbits. However, you may try different things out, so you find what tastes the best for you.
Just like chickens, one of the most popular ways that people do eat squirrels the most is the fried style especially deep-fried. You can definitely put on sauce or vinegar or peeper and salt to it to add to the taste and make it feel spicier.
In addition to it, you can stew squirrels and make a sweet squirrel barbeque. Don’t forget to put some oil on it.
Another dish you can make with squirrels is squirrel stew with paprika and greens. It mightn’t be very popular but people do eat squirrels and indeed its a very tasty dish to eat which contain onion, oregano, sausage, tomato, and more. It requires plenty of things and of course an absoulte instructions but as a result, it becomes mouthwatering dish. I haven’t had a chance to try, but it is definitely delicious.
You may also cook it with other meats either fry or in oven which will create a different taste and feed. But for a pure experience, you may cook it separately even though you want to cook chicken or beef.
Alternative Cooking Recipes
You can make a ton of dishes with squirrels. The popular one is the southern recipe with gravy and biscuits and fried in an oven or fry pan. Another cool cooking recipe is that you can cook squirrels with almost any dish you would cook with chickens or beef. Better than that, you can make braised squirrel, horseradish mash, and add some Mexican flavor to it if you would like some spice in it.
You can also cook squirrels in a simple dish by putting some vegetables, tomatoes, oil, and sausage into a pressure container which will soften it quite quickly and easily.
Another popular yet delicious dish you can make with squirrels meat is buttermilk fried squirrel with southern gray. This particular dish is made of buttermilk, milk, flour, and other tasty items and ingredients. The main part is mixing and dipping those mixture of flavors which makes it so compelling.
Exploring more dishes, you can also make squirrel Alfredo out of squirrel meat. And not only that, you can also make squirrel Casserole which seems like pizza and tastes as delicious as pizza.
Tastier than that, you can always try oven-fried squirrel which is a favorite for most people. Aside that, there’s also Bebrica squirrel (is a name of dish), and is a fun and exciting way to explore this new meat with a new dish. You get the idea of what’s possible and can be done.
There are also many other recipes which are served in restaurants. There is basically no limit to what you can, so enjoy.
Squirrels are actually pretty nutritious and as well delicious than rabbits and beef. However, getting the permit and shooting part is definitely the important section of this job. Do your complete research from the DNR and wildlife department about whether it’s legal to shoot squirrels and how to do it. It’s actually more difficult to do in populated areas.
The way you shoot also matters. In fact, in some places, bows and arrows are allowed, but require permit while in some places, they are banned and may charged with criminal. You can get the most accurate answer from the department.
More importantly, wherever you use, whether it be a rifle, or bow, you can shoot as long as they are on your property. If you’re on lease, you may not be able to do it. The best way to shoot squirrels with more chances is to shoot with a rifle to the head from the nearest point you can. The nearer you are, the more chances you will shoot on the spot. This will make your chances better.
When it comes to the taste of squirrels meat, it is very nutritious and protein-rich than other rodents and rabbits. However, people do eat squirrels across the world especially in the Philippines. Even in southern parts of country, people use it often and also cook it mix it with different dishes without any problem.
However, it has some diseases involved but isn’t very likely to transmit to you as long as you choose the healthy squirrel (at least the one which seems healthy from outside), wear and use gloves and masks, clean it up completely, and lastly cook it up completely maybe in a cooker which softens pretty well.
If you’ve some problem already, you may well not use it because it’s not known yet if it will do good or bad for your current health problem.
There are countless dishes you could make with squirrels. The most popular ones are fried style and deep, like buttermilk, oven-fried, squirrel Alfredo, squirrel casserole, and more. People do eat squirrels and like the fried one the most.