Every now and again I get a weird call. Yesterday while on the way to turn in all the Gunwriter Assistant’s football gear, I received a call from a fellow out in Hollywood. Seems he had been talking with Varmint Hunter magazine editor John Anderson about folks that eat, what he considered to be, things you should not eat; like squirrels.
Anderson had reffered this guy to me and he had some questions. I grew up hunting and eating squirrel, always considering it somewhat of a delicacy. We only ate it once a year during squirrel season and both Mom and Dad could whip up a wicked mess of fried squirrel legs and gravy. If you have never tried fried squirrel and squirrel gravy or broth, over a homemade biscuit, you are missing out on one of the finer things in life. (I firmly believe that you should not be one of those so called food experts on the Food Network if you have not tried this dish.)
At any rate, this guy was a television show producer and was interested in coming to WV to film me hunting and eating squirrels. I sumized this to be some sort of freak show where they want to portray hunters as back country weirdos. Why? He also asked about eating raccoon, opossum (posum) and skunk.
Now, I’ve chewed on a few raccoons. Hell, I grew up hunting raccoons with hounds and a raccoon was the first animal I ever killed. I did not like the taste of it. (Maybe it was not prepared right.) So we boiled the raccoons we killed and fed them to our hounds. I have never eaten a posum and its not on my bucket list. (It may be the nastiest animal in the world.) However, if I was starving to death I would probably chew on a posum too. He asked about skunks. Nope, not chewed on one of those either but I did know a fellow who hunted them for their pelts. He would bury his clothes behind the house and dig ’em up when it come time to hunt them again.
I explained to this west coast inquirer that back in the 30s (and much further back in time when this country was being settled) when most Americans were struggling, folks ate what they could find because they were hungry. In those days deer were almost non-existent and small game was how many kept food on the table.
Its different now. Few of us hunt because if we don’t we will starve, but a lot of us still like the taste of wild game; like squirrel. Call me a red neck or a hillbilly or even a weirdo, I like squirrel and will continue to eat it. Might even eat one of those less appetizing critters if I get hungry enough because I cannot sell an article to anyone.
After all, with enough salt and pepper, it all tastes the same. Right?
Don’t look for me to appear on this television show unless I can be sure it will be done in a positive manner. (The squirrel hunting heritage should not be tarnished.) In the mean time, if anyone wants to go squirrel hunting…Give me a call and I’ll see if I can get Dad to the stove.