A little gamey…

squirrelFor some time I have been joking with my wife and kids that I am going to kill some of the over-populated squirrel in the backyard. Unfortunately for me and the children, my wife’s objections have been very voice-full and we have not obtained the game we so desire.

As a boy, we went small game and big game hunting in the same day. Deer stands called our names for dawn and dusk and the smaller prey during the midday sun.

On one occasion, my dad stopped by the grocery store on the way to our camping spot and bought some 4″ round steaks for the trip. When I inquired as to why, he responded, “so we will have something to eat tomorrow night”.

I was shocked! We were going hunting! He had taught me how to catch, shoot and also clean game. I was not about to eat COW when I desired the taste that a Squirrel, Rabbit, Quail or Dove could provide, even if they all had to go into a game stew. Game stew, by the way, is popular if you only have a small number of game. You can add potatoes and a little wild onion to a pot of boiling water and throw the cleaned game in. I also threw in a few acorns and pecans. Let it simmer and add a little salt and pepper. YUMMY!

After voicing my opinion about his purchase, my dad quickly revoked my “privilege” to eat any steak at all and retorted that I better come up with some game or I would be eating potatoes, wild onion and one of the granola bars I brought. I decided I would “show him”.

We hunted the stands in the morning and no deer even began to show. There weren’t even any tracks to be found. However, the middle of morning came and the sun started to reach its apex before descent. I grabbed the shotgun and off I went for the dinner that, according to my dad, “would be lucky to find”.

Several hours went by and I returned to the camp. My dad was just starting to put the pot on to boil for drinking water and was getting ready to build the fire for the skillet steaks he bought for “himself”, when I threw three squirrel, two rabbits and 3 quail up on the truck bed. Needless to say, outwardly he was beyond angry because I proved him wrong, but I know inwardly, he was as proud as a peacock that his stubborn and also prideful son provided the food that he, too, desired.

I quickly skinned one of the rabbit and my dad snatched up the rest and proceeded to gut them. It was that moment I decided to share my quarry with my dad and we ended up eating so much we didn’t return to the stand that evening for the bigger game. For those of you wanting to know, Yes, the next day we were able to provide larger amounts of meat for the freezer.

Needless to say, I miss those days and the tasty morsel that is squirrel. City life seems to have crowded into the brains of me and my family but as a friend of mine stated recently, “you can take the boy out of Alabama but you can’t take Alabama out of the boy”. I know that my youngest child will absolutely pitch a royal fit the first time she sees me bring in a dead squirrel but I will have that desired taste of grilled squirrel or squirrel pot pie soon. Heck, I may even make me a game stew just out of squirrel. Of course, I have seen a rabbit or two around here.

A final word of caution, squirrel have been known to carry diseases and rabies. Be cautious of the ones you kill because they might kill you. You want to catch and kill the ones that are in the more rural areas and even some suburbs. DO NOT kill the ones from urban America. Some city parks use poisons and the squirrel do eat the poisoned plants.

I will, when I set them, post about the different snares or traps that I have used to catch my precious prized protein meal.

Until then,

Use your instincts to survive