Can you eat squirrels from your backyard safely? 2021

Squirrels in Backyard

The world is full of animals. There are plenty of them. You can find different types of animals having unique body features, unique appearances, and many more. We generally do not know even the round off the value of the total number of animals. According to scientists, we have discovered only a part of an animal’s existence. There are many more who have not been discovered yet. You might see in the news and the newspaper about the finding of a very new species of animals. We are still in search of animals. The most undiscovered part of our world is the ocean. Still have not found many animals in the ocean. Therefore, we cannot tell the exact number of animals present.

There are different kinds of animals which we have seen, or we usually see in our daily lives. Most of the animals are kept as a pet also. There are some pets which are kept by us just because we like it while there are some pets which we keep so that we can have their benefits. Their owners keep most of the pets just for their products. There are some animals which we can eat, and there are some also which we cannot eat. But, the rules of what we can eat and what we cannot change country by country.

Squirrels, for example, there are some countries where you can find their meat while in most of the countries people hesitate to eat their meat. Therefore, the legality of killing an animal for our purpose changes country by country. Therefore, in this article, we are going to discuss the various topics related to squirrel meat. In this article, you will get the answers to the questions you have in your mind when you think about eating squirrel’s meat. Let us start now.

Is it legal to hunt squirrels?

Before we start discussing our main topic, which must get you here, we should discuss the first and essential step which you will take before eating squirrel’s meat. Yes, it is hunting. Before you stand up and just go out there looking for a squirrel to eat, make sure that you are doing legal work. It will not be helpful if you get caught up by the local police while hunting. Make sure that you have a legal weapon.

Whether it is a shotgun, a pistol, or any kind of gun, it should be legal and licensed. Then comes the next important part, the legality of hunting. Hunting is not a small concept. In our case, we want to hunt down a squirrel so, we should know where we can find them. If we want to get squirrels from our backyard, then we must have the right to hunt at our backyard. Therefore, make sure that this is not an illegal activity.

To know this, you can go to the local police station or department of conservation to get your answers about legality. Once you come to know about the legality of your work, you are ready to go. There are some states which will allow you to hunt down an animal but not in your backyard while there are some states which do not allow hunting anywhere.

Ways to kill squirrels in your backyard

After you get the permit to hunt at your backyard, the next step is to get the squirrels. We all know that squirrels are very fast, and it is not going to be an easy task to get them. Therefore, we must make a plan or have to put bait so that we can get them quickly without wasting our time and effort. You can use a licensed weapon to shoot down squirrels. This may seem an easy task, but it is not. This is challenging work. If you are not good at aiming, then this is not for you.

Because if you missed the shot, the squirrel would go away from there, and you will not be able to see them in your backyard very soon after this. Therefore, be attentive. While aiming at squirrels, make sure that you hit them right at the head and not on the body. If it gets hit at his head, then it will die on the spot. Body shot will damage the meat. The second method is the bait or trap. To set up a trap of bait, make sure that it is legal too. Bait and trap are not very favorable and acceptable as it is also a threat to other animals as well.

Therefore, do this only when your state’s department allows it otherwise to use some other method. Bait is not considered a correct way to kill an animal, especially if your bait is some chemical. Because the animal will die after some time and away from the bait, this makes it more vulnerable to other animals as well. They may become prey for other animals as well, and the chemicals present in them can affect the predators also, and the chemicals will be passed on to other animals as well. This is not a good thing for our ecosystem.

Is it safe to eat squirrel’s meat?

Once you get the squirrels and you are feeling proud of yourself, sit down for a moment and think about the safety of their meat as we all know that everything has advantages and disadvantages. Similar is the case with squirrel’s meat. The squirrel’s meat has become a trendy cuisine. Many restaurants have squirrels on their menu, and people are ready to eat it as well. This means that it is not so bad for you. But this also does not mean that it will not have harmful effects on you in any way.

Since we are going to have a backyard squirrels, we are concerned about the disease they may carry either directly or indirectly. They fall into the category of rodents but, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, they do not carry rabies, fortunately. There is a certain disease that we can carry from them after consumption of their meats.

Salmonella and some tickborne disease such as Lyme disease are just the names of diseases we can carry from squirrels. Another thing to worry about is pesticides. There are chances that the guy next door may have rodent problems and therefore have used some pesticides to keep them away, and the squirrel you will have may have eaten those pesticides. This can harm the target as well as the animals which will eat them.

Benefits of squirrel’s meat

If you have become more scared after reading the disadvantages, then you may feel a bit relaxed after reading the benefits of a squirrel’s meat. The disease we have discussed is not sure that it will happen to you, but the nutrients in squirrel’s meat are guaranteed to have benefits for your body. Squirrel’s meat is said to be the mix between rabbit and chicken. The meat of squirrels is very lean, and its texture is also smooth.

The taste of squirrel’s meat tastes somewhat like the meat of a wild rabbit, but the squirrel’s meat is a bit sweet and is more delicate also. This can be the result of eating nuts all day. If we talk about the nutrients, then it is also nutrient-rich meat and has a beneficial impact on your body. A standard of a serving of a squirrel’s meat has more protein content than the meat of chicken or beef.

It also has some essential nutrients and vitamins as well, like vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, and besides, it also has some beneficial compounds as well, like iron and niacin, which helps to maintain our body healthily and active. But, if someone has heart disease or has intolerance towards the consumption of cholesterol, then they should avoid it as much as possible because the meat of squirrel has high cholesterol, which is not a good thing to have, especially if you have heart-related problems.


After some research and study related to the squirrels, we have concluded that it is safe to eat squirrel’s meat for the majority of the people but not for all people because it’s meat has some demerits as well which we have discussed in our above sections. There are not many things to worry about a backyard squirrel’s meat as it is familiar to our surroundings, and it doesn’t eat bad stuff much rather, they eat from the tree and the feeder most of the people keep for them.

As it has benefits as well, it has been served in restaurants around the world in many cuisines. People have also come out in their favor and have accepted the squirrel’s meat for its taste and healthy nutrients and vitamin content. If you are a fit and healthy person, then it is not going to affect in any way, but if someone has some health problems, then it is better to avoid it. Make sure that you are safe while hunting a squirrel, especially when you are skinning them.

Wear gloves, and you are ready to go. It is advised to eat squirrel’s meat, especially in the winter season, as in this season, and they are less prone to get mites, lice, and ticks. If you are not a good hunter but want to eat squirrel’s meat, then it will be better if you go to a restaurant.

Steven Bourdain
Steven Bourdain, has made his mark in the writing and has equally contributed in the culinary aspect. His journey in the field began over two decades ago, marked by his diverse experiences in various prestigious kitchens. Steven joined our team in 2015, bringing a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective on culinary arts. His background includes travel journalism and hosting popular cooking shows, which adds depth to his writing. When he's not exploring new cuisines, Steven enjoys photography and martial arts.

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