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Old 03-23-2019, 06:40 PM
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I've grown up hearing that ya don't eat squirrel until after a frost to kill parasite/whatever else.

We really don't have hard frosts down here anymore in South Georgia. Are they fine to eat after a good cleaning and thorough cooking? I've never eaten squirrel but they are everywhere since I started feeding the birds.

Paranoid question...no need to flame. I didn't know if this should be in the food section or here.
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:56 PM
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Always check the liver and kidneys to see if they look healthy. Don’t eat the tree rat if the organs are spotty, gray or nasty.
Ton of cooking options out there on YouTube, cooking sights etc. Including how to brine them before cooking if you wish.

Not a dumb question at all.

Happy hunting. I use a 410, 28 gauge or 22 myself. A 12 gauge hardly leaves much.
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:57 PM
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They don't call them tree rats for nothing. I'd eat them if there wasn't anything else. I can tell you they are really attached to their hide. Pliers help with skinning them.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
They don't call them tree rats for nothing. I'd eat them if there wasn't anything else. I can tell you they are really attached to their hide. Pliers help with skinning them.
Ya just gotta get their jammies off
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:09 PM
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They don't call them tree rats for nothing. I'd eat them if there wasn't anything else. I can tell you they are really attached to their hide. Pliers help with skinning them.
definitely what they're called around here.

I don't want to get them in the house so I figured I needed to shoot a few but I hate wasting an animal without attempting to use it in some way.

I'm a big softy with critters.

If all else fails...dog's can eat prime meat.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:19 PM
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Squirrel's body temperature is always above freezing so any parasites don't know or care about the temperature outside as long as they're living inside.

Cook the meat thoroughly and any parasites (if there even are any) will not be alive to hurt you.

We usually eat squirrel the first time some kid shoots one and wants to try cooking his catch. After the first time, curiosity is usually satisfied and we just get a burger.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:30 PM
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I think that the after frost thing has a lot to do with warbles?sp? its a maggot like thing that is under the skin with a hole to the outside ,,,by "frost" they have matured and left the host,,its not just squirrels that get them ,,,have seen them in rabbits [both domestic and wild] and cattle
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:31 PM
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If your worried about parasites, use magnum 3 inch bird shot in a 12 gauge, and it will take care of them.
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:17 AM
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I like stews. By boiling in water even the toughest meat will turn edible.

When frying it is possible to burn the meat if you are not watching it closely. When boiling meat it will never burn.

If the meat has a strong flavor, that flavor will dissipate some into the water. And the spices and herbs that you include in a stew will provide flavor into the meat.

If you boil something so long that the meat literally falls apart into a broth, that is still okay. Add potatoes, carrots, celery, and parsnips they will make any broth a meal.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:36 PM
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There's a saying I've heard since a kid, "only eat rabbet during months with a "R" in them (SeptembeR, OctobeR - ApRil). I've always associated squirrel with that to, was always told it had to do with parasites but cooking should alleviate that.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:19 AM
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mainteneceguy pretty much nailed it.

Cooking to 165F should kill any nasties.

1 possible reason for hunting small game after a frost..you can see them in the woods..trees lost the leaves,grass and vegetation dies off..you can see them against snow..or if no snow..the rustle of them moving in dried litter in the ground.

Kill a rabbit and clean it when its 10F below,you still get fleas on you,so for sure any internal parisites will survive.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilderness bushman View Post
I think that the after frost thing has a lot to do with warbles?sp? its a maggot like thing that is under the skin with a hole to the outside ,,,by "frost" they have matured and left the host,,its not just squirrels that get them ,,,have seen them in rabbits [both domestic and wild] and cattle

This. It is a bot fly larva. Actually you can eat them even if they have the larva, just clean around the area where it was found. Think like squeezing a big zit with a worm in the middle of it.

Now notice I said YOU could eat them, because I sure as Hell wouldn't. Unless starving and that is a whole 'nother critter.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:39 PM
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I love squirrel and never worried about the first frost. I live in South/North Carolina border and it never gets cold with heavy frost.
I have seen bot fly and never eat the meat. I take the tail and the meat after being skinned it cook and given to the dogs.
Never had a problem with fleas or ticks and never saw any parasite inside them.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp frog View Post
I've grown up hearing that ya don't eat squirrel until after a frost to kill parasite/whatever else.

We really don't have hard frosts down here anymore in South Georgia. Are they fine to eat after a good cleaning and thorough cooking? I've never eaten squirrel but they are everywhere since I started feeding the birds.

Paranoid question...no need to flame. I didn't know if this should be in the food section or here.
I thought that was because of the mites in the skin. Cold weather will not kill any internal parasites. All wild game should be cooked well done. Squirrel is ok for eating what you kill or if you are hungry enough but squirrel alone is not to to my taste. Now my mother-in-law could make any game good.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:17 PM
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The old sayin about not hunting squirrels til after a frost has to do with Warbles. Parasites that live just below the skin. So skin your animal, cook it and enjoy. Do look at the entrails though and by pass any that have abnormalities there.
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp frog View Post
I've grown up hearing that ya don't eat squirrel until after a frost to kill parasite/whatever else.

We really don't have hard frosts down here anymore in South Georgia. Are they fine to eat after a good cleaning and thorough cooking? I've never eaten squirrel but they are everywhere since I started feeding the birds.

Paranoid question...no need to flame. I didn't know if this should be in the food section or here.
When growing up in Missouri, I never seen a problem with squirrels as season opened in August, but my kin here in Indiana warned me about early squirrel hunting and here is the reason. I harvested a few squirrels with these, and I tossed them, but according to this article, they may have been good to eat. ugh
https://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/portals...lth/pub322.pdf
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truck Vet View Post
If your worried about parasites, use magnum 3 inch bird shot in a 12 gauge, and it will take care of them.
I once shot a squirrel with a GP100.
I found the tail but no parasites
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:14 PM
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We shoot them with 22’s. Bring them home and skin them. Gut them, as long as no strange looking problem with guts then we boil them. Usually get the water boiling then throw the tree rats in for 8 to ten minutes. You’ll get a brown froth on top, I just scrape it off. Then I take the squirrels and dump them into a skillet and pour sweet baby ray bbq sauce all over them. Then me and my boys eat them. It’s like eating bbq wings the meat falls off the bone. But if you want a meal you better shoot a bunch of them.
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Old 04-02-2019, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by buckhunter View Post
We shoot them with 22ís. Bring them home and skin them. Gut them, as long as no strange looking problem with guts then we boil them. Usually get the water boiling then throw the tree rats in for 8 to ten minutes. Youíll get a brown froth on top, I just scrape it off. Then I take the squirrels and dump them into a skillet and pour sweet baby ray bbq sauce all over them. Then me and my boys eat them. Itís like eating bbq wings the meat falls off the bone. But if you want a meal you better shoot a bunch of them.
What's the deal with the checking guts? Is there something specific I should look for or just weird in general?
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Old 04-07-2019, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scallop View Post
This. It is a bot fly larva. Actually you can eat them even if they have the larva, just clean around the area where it was found. Think like squeezing a big zit with a worm in the middle of it.

Now notice I said YOU could eat them, because I sure as Hell wouldn't. Unless starving and that is a whole 'nother critter.
Cuterebra = warbles = botfly larvae Not too tasty!
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Last edited by Woodchuck; 04-07-2019 at 03:51 PM.. Reason: spelling
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