Any bowhunters here?
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Dec 13, 2013 at 7:39 am #2053870Ben CBPL Member
Squirrels are hunted and eaten regularly in these parts. I spent a lot of my last backcountry trip talking about squirrel hunting with a couple of friends.
They went out of favor for awhile because of a scare that they caused some disease. I think the theory was generally discredited. Its my understanding they are good to eat as long as you stay away from the brain. Young squirrels are much better to eat. Older ones must be stewed a long time to be very edible. Kentucky burgoo is a traditional stew of the older squirrels.
As to hunting them, a rifle is the preferred method. Backcountry squirrels can be elusive (much more so than suburban squirrels) and are very fast. They are a little hard to get even with a rifle. A bow will be tough but not impossible for a skilled bow hunter.Dec 13, 2013 at 10:32 am #2053949David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
The disease is Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) – a degenerative neurological disorder caused my mis-shapen proteins that is incurable and invariably fatal. I knew someone who died of old-style CJD (not variant CJD from British beef) – it is not a pretty way to go.
From Wikipedia (although I remember the medical-journal article*): In 1997 a number of people from Kentucky, USA developed CJD. It was discovered that all the victims had consumed squirrel brains, although a coincidental relationship between the disease and this dietary practice may have been involved. (Tongue in cheek comment: possibly coincidental because apparently ALL people in Kentucky eat squirrel brains).
*Berger JR (August 1997). "Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and eating squirrel brains". Lancet 350: 642.Dec 13, 2013 at 10:36 am #2053951Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
"As to hunting them, a rifle is the preferred method."
I think a 20 gauge shotgun is the best/easiest, those little buggers really test your marksmanship.Dec 13, 2013 at 11:08 am #2053966David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
Squirrel pot pie is a beautiful thing, though with our little squirrels you need 4-5 per pie.
Hunting them with a .22 and a 4x scope is the most sporting way, but when I want to fill in the corners of the freezer I pack the 16 gauge and #8 shot.Dec 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm #2054025AnonymousInactive
" but rodents are also a major plague carrier in Southern CA and much of the southwestern US. Squirrel is closed year-round in So. CA because of this."
According to this study by the USFS, so are jackrabbits.
http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/animals/mammal/leca/all.html The paragraph below is far down in a very detailed study, so I copied it in for you.
Human Health: The black-tailed jackrabbit is a reservoir for several
diseases transmittable to humans including tularemia, bubonic plague,
and Lyme disease [24,53,81].
Handle 'em carefully, Craig.Dec 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm #2054034AnonymousInactive
"Backcountry squirrels can be elusive (much more so than suburban squirrels) and are very fast. They are a little hard to get even with a rifle."
+1 It's a lot easier to hunt them, at least in forested areas, with 2 people. They will always scurry around to the back side of a tree when they see you, at which point one person goes around to that side of the tree and when they scurry back, POP! And yeah, they make great stew. Remove the hind quarters and simmer the rest of the carcass with onion, garlic, celery, or whatever you like until the bones are soft and what little meat there is falls off the bones. Remove the carcass, add potatoes, carrots, etc and simmer until done, remove veggies then thicken the liquid(lots of ways), return the veggies, correct seasoning, and enjoy. You can cook the hind quarters in the stew, too, but I think they're much better parboiled, dusted with seasoned flour, and pan fried. But that's just personal. At any rate, if you're worried about plague, it seems that all of the small game animals carry it and other diseases. My 2 cents.Dec 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm #2054035Jason ElsworthSpectator
@jephotoLocale: New Zealand
Jakelopes look like good eating http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFsLNK85hPI
I must admit that when I looked briefly into bow hunting it just didn't seem as humane as rifles/shotguns to me. Not trying to start a flame war here. I hunted regularly into my late twenties. However, I would be interested in what people think.Dec 13, 2013 at 2:55 pm #2054036AnonymousInactive
"I think a 20 gauge shotgun is the best/easiest, those little buggers really test your marksmanship."
A shotgun sure messes up a lot of meat, IME.
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