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Thread: Squirrel Hunting

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    Default Squirrel Hunting

    Just noticed the first squirrel I've seen in a long time. Do regular squirrels hibernate? I know arctic squirrels do but didn't know about red squirrels. They are red squirrels right? Do any of you hunt squirrels?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eatsleepfish View Post
    Just noticed the first squirrel I've seen in a long time. Do regular squirrels hibernate? I know arctic squirrels do but didn't know about red squirrels. They are red squirrels right? Do any of you hunt squirrels?
    Raised on a farm in the hills of Ohio, I grew up hunting squirrels for the table. Both gray squirrels and red (red fox) squirrels. After 35-years of hunting, guiding, and flying the Alaska outback, I've still never seen a red squirrel there. I've only seen the little bitty buggers that we called pine squirrels. Not much meat on 'em, and they're pretty tough to eat raw, I can tell you that.

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    Yeah- the little red squirrels aren't much for the table and they do hibernate. I've seen them wake up and run around during warm periods if there is a food source around like a bird feeder.

    You can hunt them for hides (not worth much) or tails (Mepps lure folks) or use the carcass for trap bait. Ground squirrels have a hide or meat harvest requirement but not red squirrels. (pg 124 of the 2012/13 regs).

    Most folks that I know shoot them because they can be destructive little buggers when they get into attics and sheds and what have you. My son trapped several this winter for a project.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Confused- are they red squirrels or pine squirrels?

    We have gotten a few before. I disagree, I think they taste just as good as any spruce grouse or hare. You just need the patience to clean them. Lots of people do not like small game because they taste "gamey". But from my experiences the animal does not taste gamey as long as you do not nick the guts, or break to bladder. We have a contest and stock up on them then freeze them, when we have enough we un-freeze them and have a squirrel fry. Cook them on high with oil in a fry pan until almost done, then wrap in some foil to let em juice up. Let them sit for 5-10 minutes in the foil and once you unwrap it there will be juice in the bottom. We salt and pepper them after they are done. Can't get better than that. We also do the same with rabbits.

    Glad to see some others chasing rodents. Haha. Thanks for the info so far.

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    Also had another question pop up. I've gotten rabbits with many fleas. I wanted to tan the hides but didn't know how to kill the fleas. Any Ideas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eatsleepfish View Post
    Confused- are they red squirrels or pine squirrels?
    They are red squirrels. The two species we have in the south central forest are red squirrels and flying squirrels. Ground squirrels (parka squirrels) up in the mountains have a fair bit of meat on them and are tasty, but I've never bothered with trying a red squirrel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eatsleepfish View Post
    Also had another question pop up. I've gotten rabbits with many fleas. I wanted to tan the hides but didn't know how to kill the fleas. Any Ideas?
    I haven't killed a hare for a long time, but from I remember, just hang them first and let them cool........the fleas will leave them when they get cold.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    but I've never bothered with trying a red squirrel.
    We've tried them a few times.... about the only way I can manage one is in a hasenpfeffer type concoction...but I could make a Lowa boot palatable in that. The flavor is OK but they are tough little guys so something that softens them up is a good idea.

    Coming from the South, I've eaten a pile of squirrel and believe it or not- I miss them sometimes. Those big grey and fox squirrels taste pretty good and make for a pretty challenging hunt at times.

    I've never eaten a ground squirrel. I may have to rectify that this fall as they're usually running everywhere where I hunt.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I've never eaten a ground squirrel. I may have to rectify that this fall as they're usually running everywhere where I hunt.
    I've eaten a marmot, it wasn't half bad and had some pretty meaty hindquarters on it.......lol.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Researched how to kill fleas. Said to put the rabbit hide in a trash back and spray Raid then seal. If I plan on eating the rabbit i wouldn't do this. If I skinned the rabbit would the raid get to all of the fleas in between the folded fur and skin? Has anyone tried this method before?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eatsleepfish View Post
    Researched how to kill fleas. Said to put the rabbit hide in a trash back and spray Raid then seal. If I plan on eating the rabbit i wouldn't do this. If I skinned the rabbit would the raid get to all of the fleas in between the folded fur and skin? Has anyone tried this method before?
    I've done that with a lynx.... partner called it in and shot it, we ran around all day on the snow machine and it was frozen solid. We brought it into the garage and the fleas started coming off like crazy when it thawed out a little.

    We sprayed bug spray in the bottom of a bag and held the bag over the lynx and they died in a few minutes. if the hide isn't rolled up tight the fumes should get them.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Red squirrels do not hibernate. They may slow down some as many animals do when it is real cold but they harvest spruce cones, mushrooms etc. all fall and store them in tree branches and underground in their middens. Middens are piles of discarded spruce cones that the squirrels shuck out the seeds and drop the cones to the ground under their tree. These middens build up over many years and many squirrels which take the place of the previous squirrels as they die or get chased out. Some middens are several feet high and the squirrels will burrow deep into these and store their food there. When it gets real cold they spend a lot of their time down there as it can be dozens of degrees warmer under the thick blanket of organics and snow where the warmth of the ground comes up to help warm their sweet retreat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contender View Post
    Red squirrels do not hibernate. They may slow down some as many animals do when it is real cold but they harvest spruce cones, mushrooms etc. all fall and store them in tree branches and underground in their middens. Middens are piles of discarded spruce cones that the squirrels shuck out the seeds and drop the cones to the ground under their tree. These middens build up over many years and many squirrels which take the place of the previous squirrels as they die or get chased out. Some middens are several feet high and the squirrels will burrow deep into these and store their food there. When it gets real cold they spend a lot of their time down there as it can be dozens of degrees warmer under the thick blanket of organics and snow where the warmth of the ground comes up to help warm their sweet retreat.
    It's true they don't hibernate, but they do use extended periods of torpor throughout the winter, waking only occasionally for a snack, and may remain out of sight for long periods, which may lead some to conclude (erroneously) that they are 'hibernating'. Individuals with a high calorie food source in steady supply, such as a backyard sunflower seed feeder, may remain quite active and visible throughout the winter regardless of all but the coldest temperatures. Same goes for flying squirrels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly 2 View Post
    Raised on a farm in the hills of Ohio, I grew up hunting squirrels for the table. Both gray squirrels and red (red fox) squirrels. After 35-years of hunting, guiding, and flying the Alaska outback, I've still never seen a red squirrel there. I've only seen the little bitty buggers that we called pine squirrels. Not much meat on 'em, and they're pretty tough to eat raw, I can tell you that.
    This is why we have scientific names. Lots of confusion here in this statement.

    Two types of squirrels in Southcentral Alaska; Red Squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and Northern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus yukonensis). What you are calling a pine squirrel, everyone else here is calling a red squirrel.

    We also have Arctic Ground Squirrels but for the sake of confusion let's not talk about those.

    What you are referring to in Ohio is probably either a Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger), Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), or a Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Depending on the region of Ohio you are referring to. There might also be Flying Squirrels there too (Glaucomys sabrinus), but probably not of the northern subspecies (yukonensis) variety.

    Lots of people call animals lots of different names. For example, you can call a Mt. Lion a Cougar, Puma, Catamount, Panther etc., but the true scientific species name is (Felis concolor), no matter where you are or what you prefer to call it.

    Moose (Alces alces) are called Elk if you live in Europe. But they are identical to our moose genetically and morphologically. When Europeans first came to America they saw an Elk and thought it resembled Elk in Europe, hence the name stuck. After they discovered our Moose, they understandably had to come up with another name. As Paul Harvey once said, now you know the rest of the story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    They are red squirrels. The two species we have in the south central forest are red squirrels and flying squirrels. Ground squirrels (parka squirrels) up in the mountains have a fair bit of meat on them and are tasty, but I've never bothered with trying a red squirrel.
    Brian,

    I once shot a little red squirrel while on a family camping trip, to show my kids how to skin and prepare small game. My wife cooked it up and we all had a small bit - it was surprisingly tasty. Obviously there's not enough meat on them to be worth harvesting to feed a family, but they are good to eat and worth considering in a survival situation, or as extra meat to add to the camp stew pot. It's a good first game animal for a young hunter too. They are fast little critters. Once the youngster can hit one with an air gun, it's pretty safe to assume they are capable of shooting accurately at any game animal around.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    This is why we have scientific names. Lots of confusion here in this statement.

    Two types of squirrels in Southcentral Alaska; Red Squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and Northern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus yukonensis). What you are calling a pine squirrel, everyone else here is calling a red squirrel.

    We also have Arctic Ground Squirrels but for the sake of confusion let's not talk about those.

    What you are referring to in Ohio is probably either a Fox Squirrel (Sciurus @#!*% ), Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), or a Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Depending on the region of Ohio you are referring to. There might also be Flying Squirrels there too (Glaucomys sabrinus), but probably not of the northern subspecies (yukonensis) variety.

    Lots of people call animals lots of different names. For example, you can call a Mt. Lion a Cougar, Puma, Catamount, Panther etc., but the true scientific species name is (Felis concolor), no matter where you are or what you prefer to call it.

    Moose (Alces alces) are called Elk if you live in Europe. But they are identical to our moose genetically and morphologically. When Europeans first came to America they saw an Elk and thought it resembled Elk in Europe, hence the name stuck. After they discovered our Moose, they understandably had to come up with another name. As Paul Harvey once said, now you know the rest of the story.
    I've been wondering, I've heard a critter I see fairly often in the same habitat as Ptarmigan around the Talkeetna Mountain area referred to as a Marmot. Is this the same as the Arctic Ground Squirrel you mentioned? They are considerably larger than the ground squirrels I was used to in CA.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    I've been wondering, I've heard a critter I see fairly often in the same habitat as Ptarmigan around the Talkeetna Mountain area referred to as a Marmot. Is this the same as the Arctic Ground Squirrel you mentioned? They are considerably larger than the ground squirrels I was used to in CA.
    Sounds like a marmot (not the same animal as a ground squirrel): http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/ed...wns/marmot.pdf

    Or maybe a Pika: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/ed.../wns/pikas.pdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Sounds like a marmot (not the same animal as a ground squirrel): http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/ed...wns/marmot.pdf

    Or maybe a Pika: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/ed.../wns/pikas.pdf
    Thanks! Based on the pictures in your link, and the habitat description I'm fairly certain they are Hoary Marmots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    Thanks! Based on the pictures in your link, and the habitat description I'm fairly certain they are Hoary Marmots.
    You're very welcome. Really good photos of Arctic Ground Squirrels and Marmots here (no Pika though): http://alaskaphotographics.photoshel...000EZKo7bpVEFs
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    This is why we have scientific names. Lots of confusion here in this statement.

    Two types of squirrels in Southcentral Alaska; Red Squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) and Northern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus yukonensis). What you are calling a pine squirrel, everyone else here is calling a red squirrel.

    We also have Arctic Ground Squirrels but for the sake of confusion let's not talk about those.

    What you are referring to in Ohio is probably either a Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger), Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), or a Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Depending on the region of Ohio you are referring to. There might also be Flying Squirrels there too (Glaucomys sabrinus), but probably not of the northern subspecies (yukonensis) variety.

    Lots of people call animals lots of different names. For example, you can call a Mt. Lion a Cougar, Puma, Catamount, Panther etc., but the true scientific species name is (Felis concolor), no matter where you are or what you prefer to call it.

    Moose (Alces alces) are called Elk if you live in Europe. But they are identical to our moose genetically and morphologically. When Europeans first came to America they saw an Elk and thought it resembled Elk in Europe, hence the name stuck. After they discovered our Moose, they understandably had to come up with another name. As Paul Harvey once said, now you know the rest of the story.
    I was trying to avoid the ground dwellers to eliminate the confusion, but I apologize for not explaining myself properly. The above squirrels I all mentioned are all arboreal (tree-dwelling) squirrels.

    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    I've been wondering, I've heard a critter I see fairly often in the same habitat as Ptarmigan around the Talkeetna Mountain area referred to as a Marmot. Is this the same as the Arctic Ground Squirrel you mentioned? They are considerably larger than the ground squirrels I was used to in CA.
    Probably a Hoary Marmot (Marmota caligata) like Taiga mentioned considering the Talkeetna Mountains. Alaska also has the Alaska Marmot (Marmota broweri), but I believe they live further north in the Brooks Range, and believe it or not there are also some Woodchucks (Marmota monax) which are basically another Marmot, but I believe they are only found in a small isolated region in the eastcentral side of the state. I don't believe there are any Arctic Ground Squirrels (Spermophilus parryii) AKA "Parka" squirrels in the Talkeetnas, but I could be wrong. I've seen them in the Alaska Range and the Brooks Range but never the Talkeetnas.

    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Sounds like a marmot (not the same animal as a ground squirrel): http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/ed...wns/marmot.pdf

    Or maybe a Pika: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/ed.../wns/pikas.pdf
    The Collared Pika (Ochotona collaris) is technically not a squirrel (Family Sciuridae) at all. In fact, it is not even a rodent (Order Rodentia). The Pikas are in the same family as the Rabbits and Hares (The Order Lagomorpha) which are distinguished by their unique dental formulas with two upper incisors (called peg teeth) and they eat their own feces (Coprophagy) in order to extract more nutrients from their food.

    Although I agree with you that they could easily be mistaken for one of the other rodents mentioned above.

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