How to Clean a Squirrel

Bushy-tails are just like other game — the meat on the table is only as good as the care taken in preparation.

The drawings below will help you skin a squirrel properly.


Step 1

Soak or spray the squirrel with water and pluck the hair from the base of the tail. Removing the hair at the beginning makes the following steps easier.

Pluck hair from the base of the tail
Mark Raithel

Step 2

Cut through the base of the tailbone being careful not to cut the hide on top of the rump. Cutting or pulling the tail off will make this process more difficult.

Cut through the base of the tailbone, but not through the hide on top of the rump
Mark Raithel

Step 3

Place the back legs on a board, stump, or flat rock. Place your foot on the squirrel’s hind feet and extend the cut toward the head about ½ to 1 inch.

Squirrel Skinning 3
Mark Raithel

Step 4

Make an angled cut in front of each hind leg down toward the belly.

Squirrel Skinning 4
Mark Raithel

Step 5

Pull up on tail.

Squirrel Skinning 5
Mark Raithel

Step 6

Peel the hide toward the head exposing both front legs to the foot joint.

Squirrel Skinning 6
Mark Raithel

Step 7

Stand on the tail and pull the remaining hide down from the belly to the back feet. Pull the front legs through to the foot joint and cut the front feet off. Remove the head and both hind feet.

Squirrel Skinning 7
Mark Raithel

Step 8

Make sure the carcass is free of hair. Start between the hind legs and cut along the center of the belly continuing to the neck. Be careful not to cut the entrails.

Squirrel Skinning 8
Mark Raithel

Step 9

Remove the entrails and wash the body cavity.

Squirrel Skinning 9
Mark Raithel

Cooking and eating

Here is your reward after that hard work. These are some ideas on how to cook your skinned squirrel:

  • fried and served with biscuits and gravy
  • prepared with dumplings (this is a great way to serve older, tougher squirrels)
  • removed from the bone and cooked in a squirrel pot pie (another good way to prepare older squirrels)
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