For many hunters and outdoor enthusiasts, squirrel hunting is a popular pastime. However, once you’ve caught your prey, the next step is to clean and prepare it for cooking. Cleaning a squirrel can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to hunting or have never done it before. In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean a squirrel, so you can enjoy a delicious meal with your hard-earned catch.
Gather Your Supplies
Before you begin cleaning your squirrel, you’ll need to gather a few supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A sharp knife
- A cutting board
- A pair of pliers
- A bucket of water
- A container for the cleaned meat
Make sure your knife is sharp, as this will make the process much easier and safer. You’ll also want to have a clean workspace, so use a cutting board that’s easy to clean and sanitize.
Remove the Fur
The first step in cleaning a squirrel is to remove the fur. This can be done by making a small incision at the base of the tail and then pulling the skin down towards the head. Use your pliers to grip the skin and pull it off the squirrel’s body. Be careful not to tear the skin, as this can make the process more difficult.
Once you’ve removed the skin, use your knife to cut off the squirrel’s head and feet. You can also remove the tail if you prefer.
Gut the Squirrel
Next, you’ll need to gut the squirrel. Make a small incision near the anus and use your fingers to pull out the intestines. Be careful not to puncture any organs, as this can contaminate the meat.
Once you’ve removed the intestines, rinse the squirrel thoroughly in a bucket of water. You can also use a hose to rinse off any remaining fur or debris.
Cut the Meat
Now it’s time to cut the meat. Use your knife to make a small incision along the squirrel’s belly, and then use your fingers to pull apart the ribs. Cut the meat away from the bones, being careful not to cut through any bones or tendons.
You can also remove the legs and shoulders by cutting through the joints. The meat from these areas can be used for stews or soups.
Clean the Meat
Once you’ve cut the meat, it’s important to clean it thoroughly. Rinse the meat in a bucket of water, and then soak it in a solution of water and vinegar or lemon juice for at least 30 minutes. This will help to remove any remaining blood or debris.
After soaking, rinse the meat again and pat it dry with paper towels. You can now use the meat for cooking or freeze it for later use.
Cleaning a squirrel may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done quickly and easily. Remember to always use a sharp knife, and be careful not to puncture any organs or bones. With a little practice, you’ll be able to clean a squirrel like a pro and enjoy a delicious meal with your hard-earned catch.