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Thread: how to process a big fat porcupine?

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    Question how to process a big fat porcupine?

    Got a nice fat brown/white beauty here. After greeting me with turning tail and considering quilling me (her butt went into the shape) after I greeted her with my small caliber semi going "click" extremely loudly. I think she'd heard a click before.

    Then I had my jam cleared (with first shot unfired, yet very clearly dimpled where it should be.... argh) and was back on her. Luckily her little brain continued to decide to chew on my house in the mean time. She gave me a great shot at the vitals (how the heck small are they are her?) and stood to give me a menacing stare so I plugged her right there. They really do put out a smell when they're excited/threatened.

    The claws and teeth look ripe for a kids project here or at scouts, and the quills of course. Being new to porcupines, am I missing something I could share with kids for fun?

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    I skinned a porky one time for a friend that wanted the quills. Wear leather gloves and start on the belly and work inside out. There are no quills on the belly part. I still got a couple pokes but nothing serious. Oh, and don't let the dog play with the skin after you have it salted. Have fun!

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Use rope to hang it by the back legs from a tree branch or something similar.
    Start from the belly and it should skin fairly easily.
    I've done a couple of them and didn't get poked. I didn't wear leather gloves either. I just went slow and carefully.
    The ones I got had enough fat the skinning went better than I expected.
    I made pulled porcupine sandwiches out of them and it was delicious.
    Do save as many quills as possible.
    My wife turns then into beautiful earrings.
    We swatted the skinned hide with old dish towels then picked put the quills from the towels but there may be a better way.
    Do enjoy the meat and utilize as much as possible as I know you will.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    I just lay them out on the tailgate of my truck belly up. Like the other have said work from belly out. I didnt wear gloves but was heard to cuss a few times. I put the whole carcass in the crock pot with some potatoes and veggies.
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.

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    Yep, I'd start with it on the tailgate and drive slowly until you were at least a mile from home. Then without any traffic in sight, veer over
    onto the shoulder and "process" it that way.

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    Default porky was donated to a good cause

    Its unheard of for me to shoot anything I don't plan to eat, but I did it with that porky. As much as I dislike shoot-on-sight orders for any species of any animal, porcupines are harmful to people silly enough (like me) to live in wooden structures within the porcupine's habitat. Small pets and children here increase the danger it posed.

    If I lived in a porcupine-proof house without pets or children here I would have just let it walk around here the rest of its days. I think they're cool to observe.

    I contacted a local Boy Scout group today and they were very happy to receive that fine looking porcupine. The Scout Leader wants to use it to help teach the Scouts about processing. I can't think of a finer end for that porcupine.

    Not sure if I mentioned the actual shoot. .25 caliber at a range of 5 feet, took one shot then expired in a mere 3 to 4 seconds. I clearly heard the death rattle and knew it was over, yet the hunter in me had to let it sit for 20+ minutes first.

    Thanks for the feedback you guys. Good to know for the future.

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    Couple of you sound like you don't want to eat it...the meat is delicious. We like 'em in the crockpot.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Hamon View Post
    Couple of you sound like you don't want to eat it...the meat is delicious. We like 'em in the crockpot.
    That's how I did the last ones I got. My stepson liked it so much he asked if he could have it for breakfast the next day. And he did eat it again as it was really that good.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Default sometimes you have to shoot before you plan the whole thing out

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Hamon View Post
    Couple of you sound like you don't want to eat it...the meat is delicious. We like 'em in the crockpot.
    Yeah some people are squeamish about that; I'm not. I'd have been happy to eat it. Raccoon stew is excellent; I haven't tried squirrel but I would.

    Didn't have the time to process porky and had not done so before (still haven't); it wasn't a planned hunting trip - that's why I say I shot it with no plan beforehand to eat it; heck, it was eating a piece of my house and I handled it. I'm very glad the Scouts were happy to get it and will put it to good use - helping kids learn.

    If the same thing happened to me again right now, just 24 hours later, I'd do the same thing. Shoot'm first, and then decide on its future next.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Hamon View Post
    Couple of you sound like you don't want to eat it...the meat is delicious. We like 'em in the crockpot.
    Porcupine is one of those critters I've always been curious about eating, but never tried. I've heard it both ways: they're great, or they suck.

    I guess I need to give it a try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brain View Post
    Porcupine is one of those critters I've always been curious about eating, but never tried. I've heard it both ways: they're great, or they suck.

    I guess I need to give it a try.
    If you're in the Valley let me know and you can have the next one, if I tip another one over. I just don't need another project.

    There's still a black porcupine I know about right here but I haven't met him formally yet. This black one I believe is smaller that the brown/white one that I recently dispatched.

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    ^^^ I am in the Valley, and, if I'm home when you dispatch another, I'll take you up on that.

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    Default You've got first dibs on the next

    Quote Originally Posted by Brain View Post
    ^^^ I am in the Valley, and, if I'm home when you dispatch another, I'll take you up on that.
    Sounds good. I'll PM you if I tip another over.

    Porcupines travel about at night, at will, and not so much during daylight. So if this does happen it'll be a PM I send after dark that you might get the next morning.

    Feel free to give me any special instructions for if/when. Like put in a cardboard box outside in the shade, or in an iced cooler (I could keep it iced for 24 hours min that way - I use self made 1 gallon frozen milk jugs), or in a plastic bag and tossed in the -20F freezer. I'm a nut about downed game care myself, so please don't hesitate to ask for what you want so far as storage requirements.

    Thanks for the offer to put it to good use if/when I get in this same situation. That will make me even more at ease to squeeze the next round off.

    Summer evenings are so nice, even after the sun has set, that I often walkabout after dark. With a 400 lumen flashlight I can light up my world pretty quickly. The other night I learned that it is very comfortable to shoot in the dark while holding 400 lumens in the other hand, held straight up in the air, illuminating both the handgun sights and target.

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    Default Come and get it, fresh porcupine: Tuesday Evening 10pm

    Quote Originally Posted by Brain View Post
    ^^^ I am in the Valley, and, if I'm home when you dispatch another, I'll take you up on that.
    Brain,

    I just this second dropped the second porcupine; its the black one I've seen before. Smaller than that big brown. Beautiful black pelt with tips of silver/white at the end of some of the hairs/quills.

    PM me your #. If you're still around you can come get him right now. Or tomorrow works for me too.

  15. #15

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    Wow, you work fast! Let me know when you want to give a moose away!

    I'll pm you my number. I'll come get it in the morning..........

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    If anybody has some excess larger quills I would gladly trade you for them.
    I could send you some fishing jigs or sinkers in trade.
    My wife makes earrings from them and she is running low on the bigger quills that she can get a beading needle through.
    She takes the whole quills then snips the ends herself and adds the beads and makes the earrings.
    Anyway just thought I would throw that out there.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    If anybody has some excess larger quills I would gladly trade you for them.
    I could send you some fishing jigs or sinkers in trade.
    My wife makes earrings from them and she is running low on the bigger quills that she can get a beading needle through.
    She takes the whole quills then snips the ends herself and adds the beads and makes the earrings.
    Anyway just thought I would throw that out there.
    Got any pictures of her work...???
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Default Meet lil porky

    Quote Originally Posted by Brain View Post
    Wow, you work fast! Let me know when you want to give a moose away!

    I'll pm you my number. I'll come get it in the morning..........
    Brain,

    Well porcupines just can't get away very quickly no matter how fast they might waddle. I got out the tape measure so no surprises for you on pickup; he is much smaller. The tape measure next to him in the picture below shows a tad less that 2 feet long, hair to hair.

    And demeanor wise he was all about escape once I was recognized. The larger one before would turn and fight me at each encounter
    - on that porcupine a few days ago I had a jam on the first round; had it run instead of fought it would have lived another day
    - on today's if it would have jammed, or much of any delay at all the opportunity would have been lost



    If that's smaller than you wanted Brain let me know and its OK if you pass on this one. Don't know if I'll have more. Got your number and will call tomorrow for pickup, and as per instructions, I'll cool it. I can keep it at approximately fridge temperature in a cooler with ice that makes no water on thaw; good for meat/game.

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    Default Quills

    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    If anybody has some excess larger quills I would gladly trade you for them.
    I could send you some fishing jigs or sinkers in trade.
    My wife makes earrings from them and she is running low on the bigger quills that she can get a beading needle through.
    She takes the whole quills then snips the ends herself and adds the beads and makes the earrings.
    Anyway just thought I would throw that out there.
    I'd already given Brain first dibs on it, but since he said that his use for it was to taste, I don't think it would be an issue if I took some of the quills before bagging and icing. I'd wait for us three to talk but I kind of have to decide now. Brain, I won't de-quill it - just take some. Hope you don't mind.

    This guy is smaller than your average porcupine by a fair amount (picture below); quite likely young. I don't know if your wife would have use for some from this guy since you mention she's looking for larger quills. Maybe some of these are large enough, or possibly she has a different use for quills from a young porcupine. One of the finest uses for portions of wildlife is making crafts and jewelry; I'm glad to see that outcome for this guy.

    I'll use the towel method to extract some quills and post a picture of what I got. If they are anything your wife could use then you're welcome to them. No trade required - but thanks for the offer.

    Here's a picture taken of the tail section:



    Post up here if quills need any special environment to stay at their best. Unless I hear different I'll just put them in my 70F ish garage until I hear if they're wanted. Don't need to know until later - I'll send you a picture of what I get and she can decide.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    .....If that's smaller than you wanted Brain let me know and its OK if you pass on this one. Don't know if I'll have more. Got your number and will call tomorrow for pickup, and as per instructions, I'll cool it. I can keep it at approximately fridge temperature in a cooler with ice that makes no water on thaw; good for meat/game.
    Thanks, FamilyMan! I'm still interested. The wife just asked me what we were going to have for dinner, and I told her porcupine. The son is excited about it. Heck, I think a young one would be a great way to test porcupine edibility.

    I'll come pick it up whenever it's a good time for you. We're visiting an old friend at 2 PM, but other than that, I'm free.

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