Eating a squirrel requires you to consider a few factors that include the legality of eating squirrels in your region, the methods of hunting or trapping them, and the extent of safety of the meat. Let’s look at each of these factors one by one in detail:
The Legality of Eating Squirrels in Your Region
A few places require you to get licenses or permits to kill the squirrel in your backyard to eat. However, some places exempt the landowners from these requirements.
Getting in contact with your state DNR or conservation department is recommended to verify your rights and get other details on the same. The black or white Eastern Gray Squirrels are found in some areas. Some towns protect these variations because they are rare. Hunting is not allowed in such areas.
Methods of Hunting or Trapping Squirrels
You can either shoot or trap them. The number of squirrels that you can bag depends on factors like seasons and the environment of your backyard. A tip you can use to attract more squirrels is to place a handful of groundnuts, peanuts, or sunflower seeds in shady areas or trees in your backyard.
Is It Safe to Eat Squirrel Meat?
When you consider the squirrel in your backyard for eating, the main concerns that follow are the diseases that these squirrels might be carried directly or indirectly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rabies is mostly not concerned with small-sized rodents.
However, diseases born from ticks, such as Lyme Disease, are a concern that you cannot neglect. You can still contract the diseases by only coming in close contact with the ticks, even before consuming the meat. The same is the concern with flea-borne diseases.
Parasites is another risk. However, it can be fixed by cooking the meat thoroughly.
Another risk that the squirrels might be carrying with them is the risk of pesticides. Such environmental toxins are hard to get detected and can have an impact on human health. So, if you live in an area where the use of herbicides or pesticides is common, then be careful with squirrel meat.
Another thing to be considered is the handling of the meat. Make sure that you cook the meat thoroughly. The heat should discard most of the above-mentioned risks. If you are going to store the meat, ensure it is refrigerated properly.
It is particularly unsafe to eat squirrel meat in summers due to the high risk of mites, lice, ticks, and other similar parasites.
So, if you are carefully taking into consideration all these factors, eating squirrel meat is not a problem.
Now, let us Have a Look at The Nutrition Provided by Squirrel Meat
Squirrel meat can always be used instead of chicken in various recipes. It is very scrumptious and mild. The nutritional value of squirrel meat is as follows:
A 3.2 ounce of squirrel meat consists of 172 calories, 30 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 0 carbs, and various essential minerals.
So, on days that you are o a low carb and high protein diet, squirrel meat would make for a perfect choice.
To conclude, it is safe to eat squirrel meat. However, the points stated above must be considered meticulously.
Save this article for when you decide to try squirrel meat.