Some people might baulk at the idea of eating a rodent, but the squirrel’s cousin—the rabbit—is widely eaten. There are those who can’t get past the rabbit’s fluffy pet-ness, but plenty can, and in our age of financial severity should we be considering the potential epicurean values of something that is, quite literally, everywhere? Could it be the ultimate free-range meat?
The Abert’s squirrel (also known as the Tassle Earred Squirrel) is confined to the Colorado Plateau and the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico; its range extends south in the Sierra Madre Occidental to Chihuahua and Durango in Mexico.
Albert’s squirrels are 46–58 cm long with a tail of 19–25 cm. The most noticeable characteristic would be their hair ear tufts, which extend up from each ear 2–3 cm. They typically have a gray coat with a white underbelly and a very noticeable rusty/reddish colored strip down their back (Calories You Need to Survive).
The Abert’s squirrel typically builds its nest in the branches of the ponderosa pine in groups of twigs infected with dwarf mistletoe. The Abert’s squirrel does not store its food like other North American squirrels.
Red squirrels can be easily identified from other North American tree squirrels by their smaller size, territorial behavior and reddish fur with a white venter (under-belly). Red squirrels are also somewhat larger than chipmunks.
American Red Squirrels are widely distributed across North America. Their range includes most of Canada, and extends into the United States in the Rocky Mountains, the North Central and North East. There are 25 recognized sub-species of red squirrels.
The eastern gray squirrel, or grey squirrel (depending on region), (Sciurus carolinensis), is a tree squirrel native to the eastern and midwestern United States, and to the southerly portions of the eastern provinces of Canada. The native range of the eastern gray squirrel overlaps with that of the fox squirrel with which it is sometimes confused, although the core of the fox squirrel’s range is slightly more to the west.
As the name suggests, the eastern gray squirrel has predominantly gray fur but it can have a reddish color. It has a white underside and a large bushy tail.
Cleaning And Cooking Squirrel
Cleaning a squirrel after you have trapped or shot it is a very simple process. Prior to cleaning any animal, ensure that you have any open cuts on your hands covered so that you don’t get an infection of some type. First thing to do is to cut the feet off at the first joint from the toes upward toward the body. Then remove the head. Next, cut around the mid section of the hide around the diameter of the body as shown in the diagram. Place two fingers under each side of the cut and pull the hide outward toward both ends of the body. This should remove the outer hide like pull off a glove. Next, cut down the center of the belly side from groin to neck. Remove the innards. You can eat the heart and liver. Ensure the liver has a smooth wet deep red appearance. Any other color may mean the animal is diseased and should be used as bait for larger prey or discarded. Next, wash the carcass if water is available. When eating meat in a survival situation, it is important that you have water to help digest the meal. You can then cut the meat into large chunks to make a soup or stew or you can cook it over an open fire like a shishkabob. It takes about three squirrels to make a full meal with addition to whatever plant food you can find.
Stay Prepared! Stay Alive! Charlie
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