Long gone are black-and-white televisions, whistling to the “Andy Griffith” theme, and eagerly waiting to see what trouble Beaver Cleaver stumbles into next. We no longer turn cranks to start cars, stoke wood-burning stoves to make dinner, or grab our bows and arrows to hunt our own food as seasoned archery hunters.(If you’re an exception to that last one, let us know about it by posting proof and tagging it #360ArcheryHunter).
But no matter the era, three things remain constant: squirrels, cast-iron skillets, and a hearty “What’s for dinner?” greeting.
Given today’s need for instant gratification, why not combine those three constants?
8 Reasons Eating Squirrel Meat is “En Vogue”
“Duck Dynasty” star Kay Robertson might be wrong to assert, “Squirrel brains make you smart.” Nevertheless, if Miss Kay has mastered one skill, it’s cooking. Ladies and gentlemen, straight from the “Duck Dynasty” kitchen in Monroe, Louisiana, I bring you Miss Kay’s Squirrel and Dumplings.
“Squirrel and Dumplings” is only the appetizer. This year’s World Championship Squirrel Cookoff will be held Sept. 13 in Bentonville, Arkansas. The thought of competition has “Man vs. Wild”star Bear Grylls thinking…
Then, there’s Steven Rinella, author of “Meat Eater: Adventures From the Life of an American Hunter.” He raves about squirrel meat, writing, “Done properly, it should pull away almost as easily as hot wings, though the meat of a squirrel tears a little differently.”
Rinella also wrote, “Sometimes I get such a craving for squirrel meat that I’ll go to extremes to get it.” Thankfully, that need can easily be met, given the U.S. squirrel population. In fact, squirrels are so plentiful in America that 1.7 million hunters pursued them for a combined 20.2 million days in 2011, according to the most recent National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. And, yes archery fanatics, small game like squirrels can be pursued with bow and arrow. It’s a great way to source your own food, prep for bigger game and experience what it means to be self-sufficient.
I guess you could say squirrels are so plentiful they are…
Even as Americans look to benefit from their squirrel population, The New York Times reports the British are hunting gray squirrels for a different reason. They want to “cull out” what they deem “North American interlopers.” They intend to save Great Britain’s beloved native red squirrels. Sources also note the natural process of producing squirrel meat is more sustainable than agricultural methods for producing beef.
To that we say…
Actor Chris Pratt, from the hilarious “Parks and Recreation” TV show, takes squirrel eating further yet. During a “Tonight Show” interview, Jimmy Fallon asked him about hunting and eating squirrels, Pratt said, “I always eat a piece of the heart raw of anything that I’ve killed.”
Shortly after the video went viral, Outdoor Life magazine interviewed Pratt about his love for “Hunting, Tanning, and Squirrels.”
Female celebrities want a piece of the pie, too. Wendy Williams indulged in some delicious fried squirrel on her morning show. Who knew you could eat a squirrel while wearing a dress, much less on national television?
Plus, with more people committing to The Paleo Diet, it’s surprising we’ve heard so little about squirrel meat’s high protein and iron content. With increased muscle mass and energy from eating squirrel, we’ll be able to channel Katniss Everdeen and enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
If you can channel Katniss and master small-game hunting, maybe you’ll also learn to stop big game in its tracks.
If you’re now ready to start hunting small game, but aren’t sure how to begin, check out this story.
But first, just one question: “What’s for dinner?”