Cajun Squirrel and Rice

This is one of my favorite ways to prepare squirrel for the table (I probably say that about every recipe I share). You’ll need a crock pot, some squirrels, beef stock, cajun seasoning, and a dirty rice mix.

I remove the rib cages and use the rest of the squirrel for this recipe. Set the rib cages aside for making soups. Season the meat well with your favorite cajun seasoning. I favor the Big Lots one myself. Place the meat into the crock pot and cover halfway with beef stock. Set the heat on high and allow it to cook until it falls off the bone when poked with a fork.

Fall off the bone goodness!
Fall off the bone goodness!

At this point, follow the directions on your dirty rice mix. I use this one, it only takes a few minutes to prepare:

Cheap, fast to make and full of flavor!
Cheap, fast to make and full of flavor!

While the rice is cooking, remove the meat from the broth. You can debone and add it to the rice, or serve whole on the side. I like to drizzle the spicy broth over the top of the rice and squirrel before serving for extra flavor and kick. Enjoy!

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Daisy 880 Squirrel Hunting

If you watch many videos or read very many articles about airgun hunting, you might become convinced that you need thousands of dollars of equipment to partake in the sport. The reality is if you want to do some small game hunting, you can pick up an air rifle and some pellets at your local store, and be hunting for around $40. Let me tell you about my new Daisy  880 and my squirrel hunting adventures with it.

I live on 4.5 acres of small game hunting paradise:

My slice of the pie
My slice of the pie

It’s mostly oak forest surrounded by farmland. I’ve got a huge population of squirrels, and am close enough to some good pastureland to pick up some rabbits as well. If you don’t have your own property, look into your state’s airgun hunting regulations as well as public lands available for hunting. Where I live, there are thousands of acres of public hunting land. It seems like the only time you ever see people hunting it is during firearm deer season.

I tuned the trigger on my new Daisy 880 the day after I bought it. After that, I spent hours behind the trigger and open sights until I felt quite comfortable. It was getting toward the evening when I noticed a squirrel pulling green acorns off a branch about 20 yards away. I steadied my air rifle on the porch rail, took aim at the chest since I couldn’t see its head, and squeezed off the shot. The RWS Superdome I was using averaged 642 fps at the muzzle and found its mark. He fell motionless to the ground.

My first 880 squirrel kill
My first 880 squirrel kill

I went over to pick up my kill. The pellet did a great job killing this squirrel and was just under the skin on the other side of its chest:

No exit wound here, just a bump where the pellet came to rest
No exit wound here, just a bump where the pellet came to rest

When I cleaned the my kill, the full extent of the damage was apparent. The pellet broke a couple ribs, pierced a lung, severed the heart, bounced off the spine breaking it in the process, angled down through the other lung, broke a rib on the other side, and came to a stop right under the skin.

I took another squirrel this morning. I’ve done some modifications to the 880 since taking the first one, and now had an additional foot pound of energy at 10 pumps. I was resting against a tree watching some squirrels in the distance when I heard some scratching above me. There was a squirrel looking at me and waving his tail about 15 feet away. I slowly raised the 880 and sent a Crosman Destroyer EX his direction. The pellet went in between the eyes and exited the back.

Note the eye bulging out from the shot
Note the eye bulging out from the shot

The pellet bulged one of the eyes out of its socket. Again, I’ve cleanly killed a squirrel with a $35 air rifle using open sights.

The moral of the story? Don’t let your wallet keep you back from enjoying the sport of airgun hunting. Get a Daisy 880 or a Crosman 2100, get familiar with how it shoots at various ranges, practice, practice, practice, and get out there and hunt when you feel confident with your skill.

I’ll be fixing cajun squirrel and rice with my harvest and will share the recipe when I get a chance.

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Pulled Whistlepig

Groundhogs are common airgun quarry. They are a pest species, and as such, many are shot and left for the coyotes. It’s a real shame, because if you prepare them right, they are darn tasty!

Tender meat, easily mistaken for beef!
Tender meat, easily mistaken for beef!

Begin by cleanly harvesting with a headshot. This will keep the meat from being tainted and having that gamey taste everyone talks about. Remove the feet, skin it out, remove the head and entrails, and rinse well. Trim away excess fat, and remove all the scent glands found near the back legs and armpits.

Soak the carcass in salt water overnight. Discard water. Pat dry. The meat is ready to cook, or for even better flavor, allow it to age a couple days more in the fridge between 32*F and 38*F.

Preheat your oven to 200*F. Add some beef stock to a dutch oven. Better than Broth or beef bullion cubes and water can be substituted. Dry red wine can be added for additional flavor. I add enough liquid to cover the meat. Place the lid on the dutch oven and put in the oven. You’ll want to start this early in the morning, I recommend at least 8 hours at 200*.

After at least 8 hours, remove the dutch oven and pour most of the liquid out. This can be saved to make gravy. I leave about a quarter to half inch of liquid in. Turn the oven up to 250*F, throw on your favorite seasonings, replace the lid, and throw it back in for another hour or two, or until the meat readily falls from the bone.

Debone the meat, serve with gravy, BBQ sauce, or steak sauce. Add your favorite side dishes. Your stomach will growl the next time you see one of those pesky whistlepigs!

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