How much meat is really on a squirrel

Hunting season here opened a week or two ago and I am 3 squirrels in to the season so far. I’m pretty new to hunting squirrels, I tried in college and never seemed to be able to find them. I got one or two and grilled them and they were some of the toughest meat I’ve ever had. When I moved onto this property I decided to take advantage of one of the few food sources it seems capable of reliably sustaining: wild game (mostly turkey and squirrel).

I’ve not eaten too many yet, but of the 5 or so we’ve eaten we have found that boiled or crock pot squirrel with taco seasoning is a family favorite. My daughter LOVES the meat (not in taco form, just plain meat), my son likes it, an my wife is getting used to it. She liked the taste, she didn’t like the thought of the cute animal. Still, she has eaten it the last couple times. Next time I have one or two I am going to try deboning it before cooking to see how difficult that is.

So I thought I’d do a short post on what you can actually expect. If you boil or crock pot the meat will be quite tender. Fall off the bone tender. If you used whole squirrel, the bones will also be fall off the bone tender, this is an annoyance. You end up having to shred the meat by hand and pick out the tons of rib bones, vertebrae, etc that fall apart and into the meat. Inevitably, you will NOT get them all and somebody will bite down on it. If you are being careful you won’t break a tooth, but it is still a pain!

So how much meat is really on a squirrel? The last two I got were a fox and a grey. The fox squirrel carcass (no tail, no head) weighed 17 ounces, the grey squirrel weighed 12 or 13 ounces. When you boil them and shred the meat and get every scrap you actually end up with a pretty big pile. Unfortunately I did not weigh the meat, but I’d guess the 17oz squirrel yielded 13-14 oz and a similar ratio for the smaller squirrel. What it ended up being was a plate that was mostly covered in meat (not piled high, if you piled it it was more like half a plate). If you are using it in tacos or with something else that will provide bulk, one squirrel may be enough for a family of 3-4 people. If you make it like a burrito that is filled only with meat it would be enough for 2 people.

I imagine if you are trying to eat the meat off the bone (grilled or what-not) you’ll end up consuming MUCH less of the available meat. In that case you’d want 1 squirrel per person or maybe 2 squirrels for 3 people. But as a topping/side/accent a squirrel easily takes care of 3-4 people.

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