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Old March 24, 2020, 07:15 PM   #1
Prof Young
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Cleaning fox squirrel?

Other post about cooking squirrels prompts my query. I used to squirrel hunt a lot, but have mostly move on to bigger animals. However; when I do hunt tree rats I usually avoid shooting the big red fox squirrels because they seem so much harder to clean than the little gray guys.

Is there an easier way to clean the red ones?

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Old March 24, 2020, 07:24 PM   #2
Pahoo
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Does not have to be a problem

Quote:
because they seem so much harder to clean than the little gray guys.
I'd say this is true but don't give it much thought. I do not know what method you use but I use what is called "The Cherokee Method"; it's called other things as well. Also, I wait a bit before skinning cause if you start too soon, you may rip the skin. Now, Deep winter Fox Squirrel are harder to skin. I usually don't hunt them, into late November. A neighbor of once came over and asked me if I would show him, how to skin a Squirrel. His parting words were ……. "Sweet" ……

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Old March 25, 2020, 12:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Is there an easier way to clean the red ones?
I cleaned them like rabbits- split the skin up the back, reach in and pull them out, cut off head and feet, then gut them. I've seen videos of some really cool-looking quick cleaning methods, but I'm not fancy. My dad was an old southern farm boy, any way they got cleaned was good enough.
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Old March 26, 2020, 02:35 PM   #4
Erno86
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A pair of game shear scissors...goes a long way in making it easier to skin squirrels.

It is easier to skin a squirrel shortly after you have shot it.

Pinch together a small portion of the top back skin of the squirrel at the center of the carcass, and cut it off with a game shear or knife. Big enough to get both of your middle fingers under the skin, and pull the skin...one towards the head and the other --- the tail. Cutoff and discard the fat gland under each armpit.

Cut off the feet head and tail with a game shear scissor or diagonal pliers, and field dress the same as you would a deer.

Split the aitchbone with a game shear scissor or diagonal pliers --- or even a knife.
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Last edited by Erno86; March 26, 2020 at 02:50 PM.
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Old March 26, 2020, 07:23 PM   #5
Pahoo
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I'm not from West Virginia

Basically, this is the method that I have used, way back even I as a Day-Old Boot. There are really only two ways and I've used them both. This is the only way I clean a squirrel minus this ole-boy's embellishments. Please note that he mentions the lack of hair, on the meat. Also, how can you get hair on the legs if you skin them first before cutting them off...…

Enjoy and;
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Old Yesterday, 01:01 PM   #6
scottycoyote
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can you not use the cut behind the tail method on fox?

We are just starting to see fox squirrels in my area, so ive never cleaned one, but i love the tail cut method for grays i always assumed it would work
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Old Yesterday, 01:39 PM   #7
Pahoo
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Yes Sir !!!

Quote:
can you not use the cut behind the tail method on fox?
Absotivly;
I'm not saying there isn't a learning curve on this and yes, I encountered some "minor" problems but I'm to a point where there aren't any. I clean them in the woods and the only thing I take out, is a dressed carcass, in plastic grocery sack. The toughest squirrel I ever cleaned, were some Alabama squirrel. They are similar to a Midwest fox with different marking. ….

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Old Yesterday, 02:52 PM   #8
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erno86 View Post

It is easier to skin a squirrel shortly after you have shot it.
^^^^Absolutely. I skin/clean all rabbits and squirrel in the woods as soon as I can. This keep body fluids from heating up inside them and tainting the meat, especially if there are wounds other than in the head. Wait till they cool completely and the skins adheres to the fat/muscle much more firmly, and rigor mortis makes it harder to get the skin from around their legs. As others have said, make sure you get the glands outta the armpits, but otherwise, a squirrel is a squirrel and they skin and clean the same regardless of what sub-species they are.
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