My mother has long been a bird watching fan and we always had numerous bird feeders in the back yard. The plethora of squirrels frequently annoyed her, though, because they ate all the bird seed and chased the birds away. My father was often at work, so she delegated the squirrel termination duties to me. Being young and never questioning mom’s orders I thought nothing of loading up the old Ruger 10/22, resting the barrel on the window sill and pop-popping away. This was a virtual daily experience as the squirrel population never seemed to decline. It became so customary that my dog would start whining whenever I brought the rifle out, because she knew there’d be a loud noise followed by the *ting* *ting* of shell casings ejecting into the kitchen sink.
That was many years ago, though. Eventually, as I grew older, I began to question the practice of terminating squirrels just because they were hungry. Then one day I wounded a squirrel and it was on the ground flipping around. I went outside with a Ruger .22 single-six handgun, pointed between its eyes and pulled the trigger. *warning, graphic description* The bullet went right between its eyes and the eyeballs – literally – popped out its head. It was totally gross, and . . . eye opening (nyuck, nyuck, nyuck). After that incident I refused mom’s squirrel slaying demands. Mice, though, I never thought twice about them.
It’s not so much that killing them was the problem, it’s that I was killing them and not doing anything with them. Well, sometimes I cut their tails off and dried them out for bookmarks. In fact, (weird story) I even gave a dried squirrel tail to a high school Spanish teacher once. She loved it! Then some student stole it off her desk – but I digress.
I’d have felt differently about the whole thing if we ATE the squirrels. Then I wouldn’t have felt like it was wasted life. WTSHTF, have no doubt, the squirrels roaming my yard will be in my crosshairs PRONTO! I won’t wait until my food stores are depleted and I recommend you don’t either. Make your food supplies last, and bag the squirrels before your neighbors do. Freeze ’em, dry ’em, eat ’em.
Don’t feel like a low-life for doing it, either. For some people it’s fine dining. Check this action from a restaurant in Great Britain that’s serving up grey squirrels with reckless abandon:
Lord Redesdale’s Red Squirrel Protection Partnership specialises in trapping and despatching greys to protect the reds. The partnership has killed 4,521 greys since January, and Lord Redesdale said: “The problem is that when we catch and despatch greys, there is nothing we can do with them.
“We would like to be a supplier of grey squirrels. With an estimated five million greys in the country, there are enough of them to go round.” James Cookson runs the Flying Fox sales and marketing venture for food and rural businesses, based near Morpeth, Northumberland, which also features the Comfort at Meldon Park restaurant. He said: “Grey squirrels can be eaten and there is no reason why they shouldn’t be eaten. “It makes sense if you are catching something to make use of it. We have some grey traps set at the moment and I would be willing to try it, without a doubt. If we could get enough greys and a suitable recipe then I can see no reason why it shouldn’t be on the menu. Our reds are disappearing, and perhaps the more greys that are eaten, the better it is for the reds.”
Check the full article here. Of course, if you’re a restaurant offering squirrel just know that you’ll likely be the target of the PETA folks. Check this action also from Great Britain:
A new squirrel dish introduced by a restaurant has been taken off the menu after staff were threatened with violence by animal rights protesters. Chefs at the Hadley Bowling Green Inn near Worcester came up with squirrel terrine as a starter this summer, using squirrel and foie gras pate. The restaurant said it is committed to providing fresh and interesting dishes but it is off the menu for the moment. Customers were also threatened with violence.
Check the full article here. If you’re lucky, you’ll even bag a monster squirrel. You could eat for a month off this thing:
Thanks for sending the pic, Rich.
– Ranger Man