When you or your family is hungry, just about anything that moves become food. Squirrels are a plentiful and abundant source of protein. This video and instructions below show you a simple fast way to skin and clean your squirrel. I hope you didn’t forget your A1 sauce.
Learn how to skin a squirrel in one minute. Realtree.com’s Will Brantley displays his squirrel-skinning prowess. Want more how-to information on cleaning and cooking your game?
- Start by getting the squirrel wet. To keep hair from getting on the squirrel meat, wet down the fur. Do this by either placing the squirrel in a bucket of water, or dousing the squirrel with a hose.
- Leave the tail intact, you will use it later to help remove the pelt.
- Make incision under the tail. Lay the squirrel belly-down on a flat surface. Using a sharp knife or razor blade to cut a horizontal slit 1.5 inches (~4 cm) beneath the base of the squirrel’s tail. This slit will be below the anus running horizontally across the butt. The incision should be shallow, only deep enough to penetrate the skin, not the underlying flesh.
- Make incisions on the hindquarters. Holding the squirrel, carefully extend the original incision along the back of the hind legs (rump). The incisions should be shallow, only deep enough to penetrate the skin, not the underlying flesh. You will now have a long incision running up the back of both legs and across the butt, under the tail and anus.
- Pull the pelt off. Rest the squirrel on a flat surface that is clear of dirt and leaves. Grab hold of the hind legs, step on the tail and pull the squirrel out of its skin by its hind legs. Think of removing the skin as you would a sweater. The pelt should come off the torso in one piece. Stop when you get to the front legs.
- Remove skin from the hind legs. Holding the squirrel by the tail, separate the pelt from the flesh of the the hind legs. To do this work your fingers under the pelt and separate the muscle from the skin. This can take a little time, just be persistent. Do not try to speed up the process by using a tool. A tool is more likely to damage the skin, just use your fingers.
- Remove skin from the front legs. Separate the pelt from the flesh of the the front legs. To do this work your fingers under the pelt and separate the muscle from the skin. This can take a little time, just be persistent. Do not try to speed up the process by using a tool. A tool is more likely to damage the skin, just use your fingers.
- Continue skinning. Continue to pull the pelt until its around the squirrel’s neck.
- Remove the squirrel’s head, hands, and feet. Use a sharp and sturdy knife to slice through the muscle and ligaments of the hands, feet and head of the squirrel. Then with your hands twist and crack off the appendages. You may find pliers helpful for removing the hands, feet or head. Do not try to cut through the bone. This will dull your knife and splinter bone into the meat.
- You have successfully skinned a squirrel. Next gut it.
Method 2 of 2: Gut the Squirrel
- Make the incision . Turn the squirrel over with its belly facing you. Pinch the stomach and make an initial small incision. Use a sharp knife or razor blade to do this and keep the cut shallow. Insert your blade into this initial incision, cutting edge up, and run your knife blade from the pelvis to the bottom of the rib cage. You want to cut through the muscle and underlying membrane but not into the guts themselves, especially into the intestines or bladder, which can taint your meat. If done right there will be very little blood.
- Remove the innards from lower abdominal cavity . Spread the back legs, like a butterfly, to open up the belly area. Reach in and pull out the intestines, liver, stomach, kidneys, and visceral fat from the lower abdominal cavity.
- Inspect the liver before you eat the meat. If the liver looks pale, off-color, or spotted, do not eat the meat. If the liver is deep, dark red and looks healthy, the meat is fine to eat.
- Remove the innards from upper abdominal cavity. Next, return to the main carcass. Use your knife or cooking shears to cut the ribs along the breastbone. Spread the ribs and reach into the chest cavity; and remove the heart, lungs and diaphragm from the carcass.
- Rinse. You now have an intact skinned squirrel carcass ready for cooking. Rinse it with some clean water. Then immediately cook it, or refrigerate or freeze it for longer term storage.