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  #16  
Old 10-20-2019, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zxstevens54 View Post
I have always waited until I get home to clean them then put them in lightly salted water in the fridge overnight. Never had any problems.
Exactly, been doing it this way for over 50 yrs, and never had a problem.
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  #17  
Old 10-20-2019, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VertFish View Post
This from a guy who mostly hunts from the porch of his cabin!


I clean mine when I get home. I do not want the chance of any blood setting up on my gun or knife while hunting. Heck, I never hunt more than 4 hours at a time anyway. I put my skins and guts in a plastic grocery bag and throw them in the freezer. When I have a full bag, I throw them in the office dumpster on the day the trash truck comes.
Define "mostly".

Technically they've usually come looking for me if they get close enough to get shot from the porch. My "hunting" usually happens at least 75 yds from the cabin. I've actually been known to drive for hours to "hunt " squirrels.

Last edited by patience0830; 10-20-2019 at 08:19 PM.
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  #18  
Old 10-20-2019, 11:32 PM
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I clean them in the field at the end of my hunt, usually 2-3 hours. I bring a cooler and a jug of water, rinse them off, then cover them with water in the cooler for the ride home. Once home I cut them up, cover with fresh salted water, and refrigerate overnight. Either cook them then or freeze for later use, Sometimes the hunt has lasted longer and I still don't clean them until the end and never had a problem...ever. It is easier to skin them when they are warm.
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  #19  
Old 10-24-2019, 07:12 PM
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I haven’t been squirrel hunting for many years but used to hunt them in upstate NY with a Mossberg .410 or Mossberg .22, sometimes my brother’s semi-auto, other times a neighbor’s tube fed Mossberg bolt-action.

For .22 ammo I preferred standard velocity lead solid points for less meat damage.

I’d say a long shot would be 100’ with most shots less than 50’.

I always cleaned them as soon as I got home and then my mother would soak them in salted cold water overnight in the fridge to eliminate any gamey taste.

Lucky for me my brother and sister turned up their noses for squirrel meat so it was all mine.
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  #20  
Old 10-24-2019, 08:00 PM
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If you shoot them in the head there is little chance for spoilage. Their tiny bodies lose heat quickly unless it’s over 80 degrees or so.

I use a bird vest that holds them off my body. A lanyard would work even better but they get floppy and end up in the way. So long as there is plenty of air circulation.

I usually throw them in the club fridge, hunt deer in the afternoon and clean the squirrels the next day. The stiff squirrels are a bit more difficult to clean than when fresh but this does allow me to set up a station with my bowl for cleaned squirrels, a separate bowl for hearts and livers, gut pile for the cat and separate gut pile for the trash.

Cleaning them in the field means it’s harder to rinse the meat and store it cleanly at the appropriate temperature. One fun part of squirrel hunting is traveling light. All I need is my vest and my rifle.
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  #21  
Old 10-24-2019, 09:15 PM
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I generally let them sit around 3 or 4 hours until I feel they're not going to get any more sweet smelling and then I process them. The exception to that rule was the day I forgot some under a bag of ice in the bed of my hunting buddy's truck. They were remembered several days later when the stench got so bad that you could hardly approach the truck and the sea gulls were swarming the bed.
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  #22  
Old 10-25-2019, 10:37 AM
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Since I usually don't start hunting until it gets cold, I wait and clean mine at home. They keep pretty good, especially when head-shot. It also depends on where I'm hunting. If I walk out the back door with my rifle and some ammo, then they'll likely still be pretty fresh when I get back after an hour or so. Now, running with the dog all day is a different story. We'll make a loop or two then come back to the truck, skin what we got, pitch 'em in the cooler, and cast the dogs in a different patch of woods. Repeat through the day, with a break around noon for a snack and to swap dogs out. No chance of meat ruining when doing it that way.

Mac
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  #23  
Old 10-27-2019, 01:02 PM
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When I was a kid we hunted all day as Squirrel, Grouse, and Turkey seasons were often in at the same time. A squirrel shot at daylight still had the guts in him at dark, No Problem! In the last forty or so years I have cleaned them as soon as I pick them up, just because it is easier to do at that time and nice not to have that job to do when I get home. I used to be able to get the hide off and the guts out in about thirty five seconds. ( no loose hair on them) Due to arthritis it takes me about a minute now. I don't put them in plastic I use pillow cases, lets them breathe a little and gives me something to wipe my hands on. When I stop to eat a sandwich I quarter them out leaving the ribcage in the woods as well. I can skin and quarter a limit in about ten minutes, If you are too busy for that, You are too busy!
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