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Old July 18, 2016, 11:13 PM   #26
xandi
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Its a waste if your hunting
However if your keeping them off the house then that's another
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Old July 18, 2016, 11:52 PM   #27
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I personally hunt squirrels and have never eaten one. for the most part I hunt ground squirrels but every once in a while the tree rats provide an opportunity as well which I try to take when possible. the tree squirrels are annoying for one, and can damage human property if left unchecked(yes, squirrels will ruin a cabin if you let them) and cows can step in ground squirrel holes and break a leg. so from a purely economic standpoint, a person could justify population control of squirrels. if a person has no livestock or cabin they fear ruining, one can safely say that it is pretty hard to harm a squirrel population(not impossible, just hard), killing off the majority only lasts until the next spring when they are back after a hard winter of humping. as for helping scavengers, carrion is known for spreading disease so I don't exactly strive for helping them out, however if a coyote that gets to feast on dead squirrels is less likely to be snatching up fawns and turkeys then I count that as a win for future hunts that actually yield meat.
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Old July 19, 2016, 12:52 AM   #28
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Arizona, squirrel meat has a bit of its own flavor. My kids are young so I mostly I boil it and then pull the meat off the bone. At that point you can do anything with it. Gravy, dumplings, soups, tacos, gumbo is a soup, or you can fry it on the bone. If you fry it make sure you double batter it with well seasoned flour. There is no fat in squirrel meat so it's best cook it in a liquid, otherwise it dries out really fast.

I live out in the country and I try to help out all the senior citizens I can in my area. Some of these old timers really get excited if you bring them a mess of squirrels or a mess of fish. They can't physically get out and do it anymore but they sure love to eat them. The first time I took a fresh killed wild hog to church after I processed it only two of the elders wanted some of the meat. After these lady's cooked it and brought it back to the church for the rest of the congregation to try, I can't kill them fast enough. I get fresh cobblers and pies all the time for my troubles.
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Old July 19, 2016, 05:59 AM   #29
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squirrel

last squirrel i ate i cooked on a grill. shot 3 2 of them would melt in your mouth the 3rd was an old boar and i believe it was the toughest meat i have ever eaten. flavor was great.
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Old July 19, 2016, 06:20 AM   #30
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I think if you are going to hunt and kill squirrels, they should be eaten. You or your friend don't have to eat them but you need to find someone who will.
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Old July 19, 2016, 07:34 AM   #31
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I've trapped and killed a number of pest squirrels that made it into live traps in my garage and garden. I've been informed by local law enforcement and wildlife officers that consuming their meat out of season constitutes poaching, hunting inside city limits, or similar and they must be thrown away.
You didn't mention where this is, but I highly doubt it is accurate information.

Most states require some type of nuisance permit to trap or kill animals out of season, which is what makes it poaching, and not what you do with it. I also find it difficult to believe that any state or local law says that as long as you don't eat it, it's not "hunting".

Where is this?
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Old July 19, 2016, 08:43 AM   #32
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I for one will not hunt with someone like that. A squirrel is a game animal, not a pest in its natural habitat. It's not very hard to find folks who would love to have the days kill if you don't want it. Simply drive to the nearest town, stop at a busy gas station and ask around. It won't take long and someone will take them off your hands. Or find a willing recipient BEFORE you decide to go out. As for eating them? I LOVE EM! I soak them in a salt and brown sugar brine solution for a day, then I batter ( House Autry Medium hot breader) and fry them. Make gravy with the drippings and friends that's some fine eating.

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Old July 19, 2016, 09:39 AM   #33
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My personal view, as someone who does not hunt, but is planning too, is that to kill for the fun of shooting a living thing is a bit sick, frankly.

If you shoot an animal
-for the food and products that result from its death,
-to put an animal out of suffering,
-to help with an environmentally necessary cull of a particular population,
-to kill a diseased or dangerous animal,
then fine.

Killing something just for the sake of it as I took it to mean in the OP?
Not cool, in my view.

If we preach an ethical kill (as we should) where the animal is made to suffer the least possible, that should extend to not shooting something that doesn't need to be shot.
My 2p.
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Old July 19, 2016, 09:58 AM   #34
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Wow, thinks for the feedback I thought I’d only get one or two responses. Also, I’m glad to see there’s pretty much of a consensus that my coworker’s behavior is wrong and it confirms my first thought on the matter. As I said I hadn’t hunted in a while and thought maybe the thought process had changed from what my Father taught me, but I’m glad to see it has not.

As for eating squirrels unless we find ourselves in some post apocalyptic world I’m not sure that’s on my agenda. Also, most of my friends are more likely to eat foie gras in some trendy overpriced restaurant than prepare wild game themselves. Maybe I could develop a taste for them, but truly I see them as nuisance rodents and really just a half step above a rat, so it’s just difficult for me to get excited about eating them.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback and maybe I can come up with an ethically acceptable solution.
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Old July 19, 2016, 10:03 AM   #35
Brian Pfleuger
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I've long pondered the apparent disparity in opinion on the ethics of killing one animal over another.

No one has ever been able to explain in a logical way why one can be killed indiscriminately and another must be "used" for some purpose.

It's kind of funny, in a way.

As near as I can tell, the ethical boundary generally breaks down into "Humans have some use for it" and "Humans don't have some use for it".

If humans have imagined some use for the species, whether as food or pet or some other, then it suddenly becomes unethical to kill it indiscriminately. If they have not, it's completely ethical to kill as many as you'd like.

The "kill all you'd like" category also curiously gets broken down into some imagined sentience of the creature in question. Ants, cockroaches and similar creatures gain no favor. Mice and similar (this would include squirrels) seem to be imagined as "semi-sentient" and so you can kill them but only when you have an actual reason.

Some animals are both, imagined as semi-sentient AND they have some imagined use, so we can have whole entire arguments about whether it's ok to kill them AT ALL and then WHEN.

Long story short, it's funny to watch.

Anyhow, if it's illegal in your state, under some variant of the "waste" laws then it's unquestionably wrong to do it. Follow your state laws.

If it's not, it's up to your own personal ethics and how much self-awareness you ascribe to squirrels. After all, there's no shortage of them (in 99.9% of places) so unless they're sentient, the ethical considerations are figments of human imagination.
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Old July 19, 2016, 10:50 AM   #36
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A time place for everything.

Quote:
I've long pondered the apparent disparity in opinion on the ethics of killing one animal over another.
There are not many animals that I would not kill or have not killed. However, I always have a reason for doing so; even when it's only a slight reason. I do not prefer to kill one animal, over another. I kill for conservation and for food and not for the fun of it. ....

It bothers me when I run over a rabbit or squirrel. I usually get out, pick it up and take it home and burry it. When the squirrel numbers gets to large and they start to become a nuisance, I trap them and take them to my woods.

I teach hunter ethics and although it does sound strange, I don't promote the killing of any animal or firearms ownership. That is a personal choice ..

Be Safe !!!
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Old July 19, 2016, 11:27 AM   #37
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My Dad at one time had a huge squirrel problem resulting from his repeated feeding. For years he though it was nice to sit on his porch amd watch them eat off his homemade feeders. The things grew in numbers and he had alot of them all around his place. They started to chew everything. So he wanted me to do something about it. I tossed it around because these squirrels were used to people and there wasn't much sport in killing them. So I did take a few for the freezer, but the rest I trapped (very easy) and relocated them. My daughter enjoyed trapping and relocating them as much as she did helping me take a few.

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Old July 19, 2016, 11:59 AM   #38
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OK,Barry,I'm not judging you.You do what makes you happy.
Apparently this post indicates your innards are not 100% right with shooting them and leaving them.
Do what keeps you liking the guy you see in the mirror.
Funny you mentioned your friends and fois gras.Livers of force fed fattened geese.
Is the obstacle cleaning the squirrels? I have cleaned geese.To get to your fois gras somebody has to shove their hand into the body cavity of a dead goose and pull the guts out.Kind of nasty work.

Same happens with the skinless,boneless chicken breasts you buy at the supermarket.
Fom the fois gras to the chicken breast,that job of processing is necessary to put it on the plate.
Perhaps the same friends would throw geese and chickens in the dumpster if they had pluck and gut them.

And perhaps they would rave about squirrel if Thomas Keller or Gordon Ramsay prepared it.

So maybe the question is,can you bring yourself to snip the skin on the back of the squirrel,pull the skin like taking off a sock till its to the head and feet,taking a pruning shears to those,leaving a skinned,headless,footless carcass.Open the body cavity and clean everything out.
Wash and pick off stray hairs.
Drop them in a brine for a day.

Try chunking them up and making a ragu.Squirrel,maybe itallian sausage,some chicken thighs,red wine,All that Italian stuff.
A covered Dutch oven or casserlore dish,a couple of hours at 300 f or so.

Make some pasta...a salad.Garlic bread...

Pull the meat out,put it on a platter,have a pasta primavera,.....

If you are going to hunt,it goes with the part about turning it from a dead critter to cookable meat.Whether it is a squirrel or a pheasant.
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Old July 19, 2016, 12:06 PM   #39
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Seems to be a lot of "over-think" when this general subject appears. Folks get nit-picky.

Personal opinion as a person who was "raised country": A couple of categories might help. First is the separation between pestiferous and benign; next is the groupings of edible and non-edible. (Yeah, you could eat a coyote, but that's way outside the norm of dietary choice.)

Where squirrels fit in with the above depends on where you live and how many are in your area--and what laws apply.
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Old July 19, 2016, 02:41 PM   #40
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You didn't mention where this is, but I highly doubt it is accurate information.
It was the information given by those most likely to respond and make a decision on charges if there is a complaint. I believe the point being throwing the animal away makes it clear the purpose is to rid a pest and not "hunt". I can tell you in my experience ODNR really does not seem at all interested in dealing with city squirrels or rabbits instead pushing that off on local police.

As for the garden, once I knew it was squirrels I was dealing with, exclusion efforts were much more effective than trying to figure out a way to exterminate all the squirrels in my neighborhood. I wasn't expecting to find squirrels in my traps. As far as the legality of trapping nuisance animals within city limits generally speaking, I don't know, but my county will lend you a live trap for that purpose.

As far as your concerns about seasons and such, in cases where personal property is being destroyed by an animal I could care less, with the possible exception of an animal that is endangered. If I were to come home tonight and find a deer in my garage it would likely have a very limited lifespan, assuming it didn't quickly find its way outside. Out of season, clearly a valuable game animal, I don't even have a general hunting license let a lone a deer tag for this year. All irrelevant if it is stuck in my garage and kicking around tearing things up. The only difference would be I would call ODNR and ask them what they wanted to do with the carcass.
If it was quite calm I might wait to see if an ODNR officer wanted to come out and then see how they wanted to handle it. My guess is they would offer to shoot it or say they were not interested and to call the local police. I'm not going to push it around my garage and let it tear things up trying to get it out though. Not shooting it with a tranquilizer dart and seeing what damage it can do in the time before it goes out. If that is what they want to do I am going to send them a bill for any resulting damages and bring suit if they don't pay it. If it is kicking around damaging my property when I find it immediately gets put down. If ODNR wanted to pursue that case best of luck to them.

There was a case of a bowhunter living adjacent to a city park shooting a deer that was eating his flowers in my area. I don't think ODNR ended up pursuing charges in that case, although they did charge the man at first. There were several city ordinances that were violated, resulting fines, and, I believe, community service. He was a doctor, so probably had a pretty good lawyer, but I don't think much of anything came of it.

Several here have posted they relocated squirrels. I'm wondering what distances and whether that seemed effective. I have heard of very few wildlife relocation efforts that didn't end to the effect of "..and they beat us home." A possible consideration in the future if you all are having success. How do they react when released? Those i have had in live traps were quite aggressive. Often repeatedly attempting to attack my hand while I was carrying the trap. Not like a rabbit which is pretty easy to release.
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Old July 19, 2016, 02:44 PM   #41
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I doubt that a squirrel is any more related to a rat, than you are to a monkey. You can call them a tree rat if you like, but rats they are not. In my world, squirrels are good guys, rats are bad guys. I don't shoot squirrels or songbirds either. If squirrels become a bonafide pest, it's fine to take some action on the problem. If you are hunting them for food where they are not endangered, fine. But to me, they are marvelous creatures with some admirable traits. I like to have wildlife in the proximity of where I live. They are just trying to make their way in a world of shrinking habitat. Ask yourself, why do you want to kill it? Perhaps you have a valid reason. But to go out and kill perfectly good wildlife with no intention of eating it, is disrespectful, ignorant, and dishonorable. Go shoot some tin cans.
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Old July 19, 2016, 03:01 PM   #42
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I have killed and not eaten animals many times, the animals were a nuisance.

I likely would have killed far fewer skunks if I felt I needed to clean and eat everything I have killed and never trapped rats or mice.
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Old July 19, 2016, 04:11 PM   #43
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Of course, not all situations are equal. There may be circumstances.... I quit shooting with the neighborhood boys that wanted to just, "....go blast some tweety-birds." It just didn't feel right. But when I shot pigeons that were laying waste to our fruit trees, no problem; plus I ate the pigeons.
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Old July 19, 2016, 07:49 PM   #44
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FWIW I haven't eaten squirrels in a number of years and also don't shoot them unless they are trying to get into the attic.

I actually enjoy "feeding" them, fun to watch.



They actually line up to eat.

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Old July 19, 2016, 08:12 PM   #45
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I've long pondered the apparent disparity in opinion on the ethics of killing one animal over another.
It all has to do with where they fall in sociozoologic scale from society to society. we think of horses as majestic, work animals, pets, serene, in east europe they're viewed the same way as cows and pigs. an eagle and a pheasant are both wild birds but only one is considered edible. some animals are pests, some are helpful, some are pets, some are food, it all varies from society to society, from person to person, from animal to animal. you can't compare one persons morals to another, Ethics only really translates from society to individual, not person to person.
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Old July 19, 2016, 08:50 PM   #46
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I guess a lot has to do with age. If you made it to your mid twenties and still do things like that, you will probably never grow up. I don't doubt this guy likes to brag about how many he shoots.
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Old July 19, 2016, 10:10 PM   #47
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My view points on squirrels are affected by my close association with them over many years. I make my living climbing trees. I'm sure it would sound silly to some here, but I consider Squirrels to be somewhat of a kindred creature to me. We are both tree creatures. I have a respect for them and protect them whenever I can. I have befriended them and rehabilitated their orphans. They are clever and creative creatures, capable of bonding with a human as closely as a cat or dog.
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Old July 19, 2016, 11:31 PM   #48
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Well there are circumstances to everything. But your friend just walking through the woods just blasting squirrels in the countryside not bothering anything, and just leaving them is very unethical and would be frowned upon by most where i'm from.

If they were pests and bothering or damaging something then I could understand.

Every squirrel I have ever killed has got cleaned and eaten.

There are many, many ways to prepare it. Traditional gumbos, stews, fritters, and gravies are all great traditional rural cuisine. I don't really recommend boiling them unless you are doing so in a stew, soup, or gumbo. But if you must do a simple boil then don't just use plain water like everyone else, that sucks flavor out of the meat and just infuses itself in the water which is not good unless you are making a stock or a consomme', thats why people always throw away meats used in making stocks. So if you do boil them make sure you use chicken stock, spices, and a good mirepoix for your poaching broth. This will get the meat very tender and juicy but the texture will be floppy and not very desirable of a texture, as there is no contrast within the texture, as well as less flavorful. Thats what happens when you boil most proteins.

My all time favorite way to fix it though is just a good, simple, basic confit. The best oil to use for your confit is obviously the traditional duck fat, but CLARIFIED butter and peanut oil are great to. But you can use any oil that has a minimum smoke point of 350 degrees as your confit will be cooking at 300 or 325 degrees. Also the best confits are done in the oven and not on the stovetop. And make sure you throw in a sachet of at least fresh thyme and some other fresh spices if you want to. And this is by far my favorite way to eat squirrel.

But there are many many many ways to cook it and if you would like some gourmet recipes to fix for you or your "foie gras" loving friends then just let me know and I will supply you with many upscale and very gourmet recipes for them.
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Old July 20, 2016, 02:54 AM   #49
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It all has to do with where they fall in sociozoologic scale from society to society. we think of horses as majestic, work animals, pets, serene, in east europe they're viewed the same way as cows and pigs. an eagle and a pheasant are both wild birds but only one is considered edible. some animals are pests, some are helpful, some are pets, some are food, it all varies from society to society, from person to person, from animal to animal. you can't compare one persons morals to another, Ethics only really translates from society to individual, not person to person.
Whilst I disagree with the last statement as I believe, first and foremost, that your ethics stem from your family upbringing and not just society as a whole the examples given may well explain why we may be more comfortable with killing one animal over another, but in my view there should always be a valid reason for killing it.

I don't see recreation, as seemed to be the case for the OP's coworker, as a valid reason for killing something.

Some may kill pests and not eat the resulting meat: eg rats as possibly the most derided of creatures and very much seen as pests. That fact is as much an indictment of us as dirty animals ourselves (which we are) as it is them as invaders of our spaces.
After all, the only thing a rat has done wrong is to evolve with a robust immune system, decent intelligence and a high degree of adaptability.

If I have a rat problem, I will try to eliminate the attraction (unsecured food) and any points of ingress that I can find. I may have to set a trap if the rats are persistently getting in from my failing in one of the previous tactics.

What I am not going to do is shoot any rat I see no matter where it is, just for the kicks.
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Old July 20, 2016, 03:24 AM   #50
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What about shooting squirrels as pest control? My sister has a bunch of mango trees and the squirrels take a few bites and leave the mango.

My parents have an iguana problem. They are tearing up their garden and attacking their fruit trees. Iguanas are an invasive species and South Florida. I bought a .25 caliber air rifle to take out the bigger ones humanely, but retrieval is not always possible. My youngest sister did cook a few of them though.
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