Thats right, Squirrel Jerky, this isn't your average Beef Jerky!
No more store bought brands of Beef Jerky sealed in their little plastic bags.
Jerky was originally a survival food, not a snack for low carb losers looking to stuff their face while driving to the next fast food restaurant in their Prius.
Jerky, or dried meat, was a preservation method used to stretch out food supplies into those leaner months when food was scarce. And it wasn't always made out of Beef, any available meat could be dried and cured into jerky, hence the term jerked meat.
For the majority of us urban dwellers Squirrels represent a significant source of wild meat. Therefore it makes sense to plan for making Squirrel Jerky in case of some emergency, i.e. long term blackout that leaves refrigeration and cooking a distant memory.
Before we get to the Squirrel Jerky recipe lets talk a little about catching squirrels, or a little something I like to call...
Fishing for Squirrels
Fishing for squirrels is just that, fishing.
- Fishing Pole
- Fish Hooks (duh)
- Peanut Butter
- Baseball bat or heavy club
- Pillow case
Squirrels love peanut butter.
So throw a little on a fish hook and cast away into the center of a cluster of squirrels. Just like fishing you let them take the bait and pull to sink the hook, now just reel in your squirrel.
This is where the baseball bat comes in, a quick, debilitating hit to the squirrels head and into the pillow case he goes.
Collect as many as you think you'll need for your families food supply.
While there are many other ways to catch squirrels, the ladder/noose trick for instance, fishing for squirrels is quick and easy without having to worry about failed traps or other predators stealing your squirrels.
For your own safety do not use Roadkill.
Squirrel Jerky Recipe
Squirrels, like many small animals, can easily be dried and cured for ease of storage and later use as a food source. Drying saves you from having to refrigerate the food as long as it is kept in a semi cool dry place.
Unlike traditional Beef Jerky we will not be making long thin strips of jerky for you to eat but will be drying the squirrel whole.
In a survival situation using excessive salt in the drying process can not only decrease the food value but make it virtually impossible to live off of the dried meat alone. Not to mention the fact that salt may not be available.
First gut and skin the squirrel (I also remove the head, but this is a personal preference), the ribcage is then broken open by cutting through the breast bone. The ribs are propped wide open, breaking the back bones, to expose the inner area of the squirrels body cavity to the drying process.
The squirrel is then dried, either by laying out in the sun or by suspending it near a small campfire. (More traditional methods such as a Beef Jerky Dehydrator or an Oven Beef Jerky Process can be used if available.)
Once the first stage of drying is complete the entire squirrel is pounded until all of the bones are broken up into very tiny fragments.
The squirrel is then dried again to completely dehydrate the marrow and ensure that all of the moisture has been worked out of the Squirrel Jerky.
Using Squirrel Jerky
Squirrel Jerky can be easily added to stews or boiling water to stretch supplies. The Jerky can also be heated over a campfire and eaten as is, bones and all. The bones should have been pounded down enough to make digestion easy.
It can also be eaten as is, much like traditional Beef Jerky.