How to Clean a Squirrel

Bushy-tails are just like other game — the meat on the table is only as good as the care taken in preparation.

The drawings below show you how to proceed.


Step 1. Soak squirrel in water or spray and pluck hair from the base of the tail. After wetting it, pluck hair from the base of the tail as shown. Hair removal makes it easier to do the next step.

Step 2. Make a cut through base of tail bone — don't cut hide on top of rump. If you cut or pull the tail off, you've got problems.

Step 3. Place the back legs on a board, stump or flat rock, then place your foot on the squirrel's hind feet and cut toward the head about 1/2 to 1 inch.

Steps 4 and 5. Make a cut in front of each hind leg and pull up on the tail.

Step 6. Peel hide toward head, exposing both front legs.

Step 6. Cont'd

Step 7. Stand on the tail and pull hide down to back feet. Pull the front legs through to the foot joint and cut the feet off. Remove one hind foot, then the head and the last hind foot.


Gutting and washing

Removal of entrails, steps eight and nine, involves a fair amount of blood, which is sticky. Saving this step for last prevents spreading hair over the skinned carcass.

Steps 8 and 9. Make sure carcass is free of hair, then remove entrails, and wash the body cavity.

Cooking and eating

This is the best part. Squirrels can be fried and served with biscuits and gravy, cooked and prepared with dumplings (a fine way to serve the older, tougher squirrels), or cooked, removed from the bone, and prepared as squirrel pot pie, also a good way to prepare older squirrels.

Key Messages: 
Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish.