Eating Squirrel

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.

Tree squirrels are as good to eat as they are fun to hunt. (If you know how to prepare them.)

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.)

My father knows how to cook squirrel. Its somethign I look forward to every hunting season.

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.


About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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3 Responses to Eating Squirrel

  1. RG says:

    I hunt, eat and very much enjoy squirrel and I grew up in Colorado! I live in the South now though.

  2. Dale Roberts says:

    Hey Richard. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. I have a squirrel recipie that will make your mouth water just thinking about it. It’s a crock pot recipie and it is really good. I’ll share it with you next time we meet. I had asked the gunwriter assistant if he liked to hunt squirrels and I received a resounding YES. I invited you guys to my spread down here to have at them. They are quite abundant in spite of my son Ryan. He has
    developed into a squirrel hunter extrordinare. He is the Micheal Waddell of the Squirrel world. LOL. He scores only the Boars and uses , uhh, shall we say , “unconventional methods ” of rating the big boys. hahaha. He is good at it and I love the dinners we enjoy from his expliots. I am hoping he doesn’t go the way I did now that he has found Bowhunting. I sort of forgot the squirrels for a few years. They will teach you and make you a better hunter all around in my opinion.
    Take care my friend. I really enjoy the reads.


    • gunwriter says:


      Bat and I would really enjoy a hunt with you. He really likes you and he and I both think you did a great job this year. At his age its not about winning, its about kids having fun and developing a love for the game. Bat did both. I don’t think he will play next year if you are not coaching.

      As far as the hunt, my schedule is crazy through hunting season. Maybe we could do something late season if we catch a warm day. Otherwise, you are welcome to come by and visit anytime. I usually have a pile of gun magazines someone needs to read.

      Stay in touch and let me know how the photos turned out.



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