Florida Squirrel Hunting

Biggles101Biggles101 Lake City, FLPosts: 12 Greenhorn
Hey y'all,

I live on 16 acres with my in-laws and squirrels keep eating up the asian pears in the garden. Sohow can I hunt squirrels with a .22 here? The trees never lose their leaves here on the property. Should I just be baiting them with corn or peanut butter onto the ground so I can shoot them there?

Also, what's the best way to cook squirrel?

Thanks you guys

Replies

  • James243James243 Posts: 698 Officer
    Right no we they are not in season as game, but you might be fine dealing with them as pests. Baiting them with corn or bird seed to a convenient kill spot will help. But getting rid of them will probably be kind of hard. 

    My favorite way to cook them is to quarter, season and cook with some onions etc. in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes then batter and pan fry for some color. 
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,371 Officer
    dig some small holes about 12 inches from the pear tree.  Add some cracked corn.  When squirrel comes to eat corn shoot in head.  Put squirrelly in hole if it did not fall in and cover.  Wait a few months and eat more pears.  Indians used fish but squirrel can be a good substitute.  Just could not help myself.
    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 1,867 Captain

    There are 5 of us who, for years, have held an annual squirrel hunt on a South Georgia Plantation where I managed the timber and wildlife for years prior to my retirement. We spend one long week-end a year up there, and we clean up on squirrels! But we have rules that must be followed and are!

    Only weapons allowed are muzzleloaders, either caplocks or flintlocks! (I use my .32cal flintlock.)

    Only head shots are allowed, and probably 3/4ths of the kills are from a patched roundball hitting the squirrel in the front legs area and forward from there.

    This is hunting at its best! I can easily put 10-12 squirrels on my squirrel hanger and carry them with me through the woods----as long as Publix sells grain-fed Black Angus roasts and steaks, I ain't dragging no darn deer out of the woods!  

  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 1,957 Captain
    Squirrel hunting is one of my favorites...learn to clean them the right way (not like skinning a rabbit but with a V cut at the tail and put boot on tail and pull up on hind legs..you can skin one a minute when you learn....as the "kid" during our Arkansas White River hunts it was nothing to have 60 squirrels piled up for me to skin!)...I shoot them with a rifle or shotgun...Cooking squirrel....my favorite is "fried chicken" style...just soak the pieces in salt water over night, favor lightly with Worchester  sauce or recently I have been using La Choy Soy Sauce...batter like fried chicken and fry....I like some bacon grease in the grease....make a milk gravy...make some bisquits...serve with mash potatos and fresh green beans or corn...
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,371 Officer

    Newton I will have to get you to teach me.  Had 22 to clean one day and it took me forever cutting the back and pulling both directions. 

    Some friends put them in crock pots and slow cook them.  Then pull meat off bones and freeze in smaller batches.  When they have a dish that needs meat they pull out a bag and heat it up. 

    At a local church wild game cookout there is a guy that does squirrel and rice.  He constantly has a long line of people. 

    Squirrel hunting with a 22 sure can teach you to wait and pick your shots carefully.

    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 619 Officer
    edited June 15 #7
    I have to admit, as kind of a 'city' guy, when I started hunting a couple years ago, I had no interest in squirrel.  Grew up with a popular opinion that squirrels are rats with furry tails.

    Now, I'm a bit embarrassed by it.  To have been such a snob.  To have been ungrateful of or dismissive of, an opportunity to eat!  But as I've said before, the experience of hunting has 'opened my eyes' to many truths that eluded me previously. 

    With 2 full seasons behind me, and no harvest of deer, turkey, fowl or pig, my girlfriend is certain I am compromising (aka getting desperate) lol  But next season, I look forward to getting me some squirrel.  I definitely know I can do that lol  And my gf will be convinced otherwise, when I do it after harvesting a deer this archery season!!!

    The idea of crock potting and freezing in batches sounds great!  Is the soaking in salt water overnight to help with the gaminess?

  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,371 Officer

    spangler when I see you at the commission meeting we can see if we can set up a time to get you out to hunt a pig. 

    There is also a group called Trinity Sportsmen Ministries that put on a bow hunter certification class.  This class will get you a FWC and other State recognized bow hunter certification card.  Many States are requiring it to bow hunt.  Class runs about $45 dollars and they have been taking the participants out on a optional free hog hunt after completion.  http://www.trinitysportsmanministry.com/

    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 853 Officer
    bgeorge said:

    spangler when I see you at the commission meeting we can see if we can set up a time to get you out to hunt a pig. 

    There is also a group called Trinity Sportsmen Ministries that put on a bow hunter certification class.  This class will get you a FWC and other State recognized bow hunter certification card.  Many States are requiring it to bow hunt.  Class runs about $45 dollars and they have been taking the participants out on a optional free hog hunt after completion.  http://www.trinitysportsmanministry.com/

    That is awesome. 

    Squirrel gravy and biscuits is my favorite. Not that I could make a good gravy to save my life. 
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 619 Officer
    Bill has over and over again graciously extended his hand to me.  We should all look to his example.

    Thanks man! 
  • GeetchGeetch Posts: 77 Greenhorn
    bgeorge said:

    This class will get you a FWC and other State recognized bow hunter certification card.  Many States are requiring it to bow hunt.  

    Having to be certified to bow hunt is about the dumbest thing I've ever heard. 
  • bgeorgebgeorge Plant City FLPosts: 1,371 Officer
    I first heard of places requiring it a while back. Pa as a state does not require one but they started to require one when they opened up some high population density areas in parks and around housing areas. They wanted to minimize negative public experience of wounded deer. 
    The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Hopefully the next man is not dropping his stones on the mountain you are trying to move.
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 1,273 Officer
    "And now we know the rest of the story". All good stuff. Only thing to add is take fried squirrels from frying pan and place in a pan (roaster works well) with a tight fitting lid. This will help tenderize the squirrels a little. 
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,551 Captain
    I like cutting as much meat as I can off the bones, breading it in flour, salting and peppering, then pan frying them in olive oil so that only half the meat is covered by the oil. Once one side is light golden brown I flip it and cook the other side the same.

    I prefer having them in little nuggets like that for two reasons. First, I'm not reminded that I'm eating a rodent the same was I am when I'm gnawing on a squirrel bone. Second, it seems to tenderize it quite a bit.

    In terms of hunting (in season), baiting is a good way to get them coming in to one spot. I use my suppressed airguns and I can often kill a mess out of one tree within a few minutes. When one gets shot, the others come close and look at it out of curiosity and I can pile them up that way. 
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 4,232 Captain
    edited June 15 #15

    That’s funny, when we were kids (me and my brother, who is about 3.5 years younger than me) my dad would take us to Gulf Hammock to hunt squirrels, this was back in the 60’s when everybody hunted that area with swamp buggies, it was a hoot. We came in one afternoon and had a few squirrels to clean and this old guy comes over from one of the camps to check out the city boys and we were carefully skinning our squirrels. The old guy kind of chuckles and says that’s not how you clean a squirrel, let me show you, and he pulls out his Old Timer picks up one of the squirrels makes a small cut in the middle of it’s back inserts a finger from each hand and proceeds to pull in opposite directions stripping the skin right off the squirrel. My brother and I were impressed. Later that night they had a bond fire that was huge and I couldn’t get within 10 feet of it, it was so hot but, this old c.o.o.n hound was curled up right next too it. Those were some good times and memories. Thanks Dad. Haven’t eaten squirrel in many years and the wife said she won’t do it. Oh well.

    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,551 Captain
    surfman said:

    That’s funny, when we were kids (me and my brother, who is about 3.5 years younger than me) my dad would take us to Gulf Hammock to hunt squirrels, this was back in the 60’s when everybody hunted that area with swamp buggies, it was a hoot. We came in one afternoon and had a few squirrels to clean and this old guy comes over from one of the camps to check out the city boys and we were carefully skinning our squirrels. The old guy kind of chuckles and says that’s not how you clean a squirrel, let me show you, and he pulls out his Old Timer picks up one of the squirrels makes a small cut in the middle of it’s back inserts a finger from each hand and proceeds to pull in opposite directions stripping the skin right off the squirrel. My brother and I were impressed. Later that night they had a bond fire that was huge and I couldn’t get within 10 feet of it, it was so hot but, this old c.o.o.n hound was curled up right next too it. Those were some good times and memories. Thanks Dad. Haven’t eaten squirrel in many years and the wife said she won’t do it. Oh well.

    That’s interesting. My family lived in Gulf Hammock since the 1830s and I was taught to clean squirrels the same way. I didn’t live in those woods but that’s where I did all my hunting until the mid 2000s. 

    Now I use the tail pull method. 
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 1,957 Captain
    What's good about the "tail pull" method (an old river rat who lived in a house on stilts taught me) is when you learn to do it right you do not leave any fur hair on the meat....the only problem happens when you have made a bad shot and the squirrel "pulls in two pieces" when you make the hard first pull up on the hind legs (your boot is on the base of the tail)...
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 1,273 Officer
    So true Newton. Or the tail breaks off and you have to take little time to skin out a little of the back to get your boot on. Been skinning them like that since the 50s.
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • HubcapHubcap Posts: 29 Greenhorn
    My first hunting experiences when I was really young were with ducks and geese, but I learned to hunt going after squirrels.  Haven't done it in years though.  Like Surfman, my wife wants nothing to do with them.  She cooks all sorts of game but she says squirrel smells bad.  Doesn't want me to cook them inside either.  Great memories of Mom frying them up right after we cleaned them.  A few biscuits and that's a great breakfast. 
  • creekgeekcreekgeek Posts: 592 Officer
    For best skinning method ....youtube "sarge skins a squirrel "
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