I love to hunt small game, and one of my favorite animals to go after is squirrel. While the animal is abundant almost everywhere, it can be difficult to clean, but by following these tips the process should be much easier.
Cleaning a squirrel is a relatively hard task if you do not know how to clean them properly. First douse them in a bucket full of water or spray with a hose until the hide is soaking wet. After wetting them, pluck their hair from the base of the tail. Then make a cut through the base of the tail bone, but not through the hide on the top of the rump. If you cut or pull the tail off you’ve got problems. Next, place the back legs on a board, stump or flat rock, place your foot on the squirrel’s hind feet and cut toward the head about 1/2 to 1 inch. Then make a cut in front of each hind leg and pull up on the tail, peeling the hide toward the head until both front legs are exposed. Swap ends with the squirrel, but avoid touching the flesh. Stand on the tail as shown in step seven and remove the hide from the back legs. Next, pull the front legs through to the foot joint and cut the feet off. I usually remove one hind foot, then the head and the last hind foot.
Many old-timers ate the heads of squirrels. Some folks still prefer them. The head can be cleaned after the front feet are removed but before the hind feet are cut off. The final cleaning step involves removing the entrails. Removal of entrails,involves a fair amount of blood, which is sticky. Saving this step for last prevents spreading hair over the skinned carcass. This should take about 30 seconds per squirrel once you learn how to do it and get it down.
Photo: imetrax23 on Flickr