Slow Cooked Raccoon and Gravy

My Vortek tuned Gamo Shadow 1000 puts out 16 fpe at the muzzle and is quite a tack driver. I took a nice raccoon at 43 yards and like nearly everything I kill, had to try eating it. Slow cooking in a crock pot is a sure fire way to cook almost any kind of meat, and coon was no exception.

I cooked up the front legs and shoulders as well as the back legs. I was careful to remove the scent glands in the armpits as well as in the back legs. The meat was soaked in salt water overnight to draw out excess blood. Now that the meat was chilled, it was easy to remove the excess fat. A couple inches of beef stock was added to the crock pot, then the coon meat followed. A few good shakes of cajun seasoning was added for extra kick. After several hours at a low temperature it looked really good:

Slow cooked raccoon
Slow cooked raccoon

When the meat begins to draw away from the end of the bones, you know the meat is going to be melt in your mouth tender. I then removed much of the broth in preparation for gravy making:

This is going to turn into an amazing gravy
This is going to turn into an amazing gravy

The cooking juices go into a pan where they are brought to a boil. As they are heating up, I prepared a corn starch slurry by mixing corn starch to cold water. This is what makes the gravy thick. Stir it into the boiling broth, then reduce the temperature. It’ll thicken and look like this:

Homemade gravy
Homemade gravy

So how does slow cooked raccoon taste? A lot like the best beef roast you ever tried. The texture of the meat is better than beef or venison. I’d say raccoon is my favorite wild meat that I’ve tried so far.

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Vortek Spring Hunting

My Vortek spring showed up quickly, so I swapped out the Chinese spring in favor of the more powerful aftermarket spring. Vortek was quick to ship out my spring and even included a small container of spring tar. The spring is very nice, beefier than the original Gamo spring. The spring is a loose fit on the tophat and guide, so I still have some work to do to make it a perfectly smooth shooter. It did, however, boost my average power to 16 fpe and isn’t very hold sensitive to boot.

With this added power, I should be able to take out some bigger game. I’ve taken a couple of nice fox squirrels, one shot kills to the brain:

Power sprung Gamo is a hunting machine
Power sprung Gamo is a hunting machine

The Shadow is a surprisingly quiet air rifle, and the smack of the pellet hitting the squirrel’s head is amazing. By the way, two fox squirrels was enough to feed my family including the cat when combined with some rice and homemade gravy.

I’ve seen a raccoon over the last week out in the woods and decided to try a shot on it. It is a long 43 yard shot from my back door to where I’ve been seeing him, but the pellet should have over 10 fpe on impact, plenty to penetrate the skull and deliver a kill. I slowly opened the back door, steadied my arm on the door jamb, settled into a artillery hold, aimed, and squeezed off the shot.

I watched the pellet skirt illuminated by my back porch light as it made its way to its mark. The pellet landed right between the eye and ear and the coon began its death dance. I couldn’t have asked for a better kill shot. While cleaning the coon, I found the pellet had deflected off the inside of the skull and came to rest in the neck.

A perfect kill shot
A perfect kill shot

It isn’t the biggest coon I’ve killed, but it my largest air rifle kill to date. It also didn’t smell like garbage, so I’ve decided to cook him up. He’s in the crock pot as I type this and the house smells amazing. I’ll be sure to share my experience in cooking and eating raccoon in the future.

My largest airgun kill so far
My largest airgun kill so far

To summarize, I highly recommend Vortek springs as an upgrade to your spring piston rifle. The quality of the product and speed in shipping are top notch. 16 fpe in a .177 air rifle produces a very flat shooting, deep penetrating setup that is absolutely lethal for small game hunting. There’s still a few more experiments I plan to try with this spring and a new aftermarket seal. I hope to squeeze out a bit more power and smooth things out a bit. We’ll see what happens…

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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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