Friday, 29 May 2009

Squirrel Pie and other delicacies...

I just stumbled upon this news article. A while ago I saw a TV programme about Paul Parker and he came across as a scary squirrel-nazi (it was genuinely quite disturbing!) but I *am* intrigued by the idea of trapping common wild "pest" animals and eating them for my dinner. This would include rabbits and American crayfish, as well as grey squirrels.

The thing is, I'm not convinced I could actually kill a cute furry animal. I realise, of course, that I do this by proxy every time I buy meat - I'm just not sure I could do it with my bare hands. Perhaps I'll start with a crayfish license and work my way up!

Any advice on such matters, particularly in terms of legalities, would be much appreciated...


  1. I think you'll need to get permission from the landowner you plan to trap on, but then, I can't immediately see any problems.

    Tasty little things, but a pig to gut and skin.

  2. There used to be a bounty on grey squirrels. So much per tail reward but they got rid of it.

  3. Been reading your blog for a little while now as I'm trying to get into .

    As far as skinning etc is concerned, it's a good idea to search for guides online to get some idea of what you're up against and make sure you have good sharp knives and you know how to tell for signs of illness. Prior to starting on a small mammal the first thing to do is to empty their bladder, it's a simple enough process, if a little bizarre. Find photos of the stages etc and if they put you off then maybe it's best not to worry about the mammals.

    If you're going to work up to something I suggest you go for rabbit last, if at all because it smells the worst and the smell hangs around for ages, it's a real stomach turner. You could try cutting a cigarette in half and stuffing the halves up your nose but I don't smoke so haven't tried it myself.

    As for trapping you should avoid any of the more dangerous forms such as deadfall and you should put them where other animals etc might not stray into them. Best way is probably with a little patience, an air rifle/pistol and a headshot really (Don't try it with the crayfish though.)

    Finally concerning crayfish; I've found the best way to catch them is to fish with strawberry laces (the sweets) if you tie them together and dangle them where you see crayfish/crayfish signs, you'll find that they have a hard time resisting pinching them when you wiggle them and then you can just pull them out as they don't let go.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Thanks all for useful advice/comments.

    I'm not squeamish so skinning/butchering shouldn't be a problem, but I really do need to buy some decent knives! I think I'll start by buying whole rabbits etc and preparing them myself - something I've been meaning to do for ages anyway.

    Fishing with strawberry laces sounds like great fun! :)