During emergencies, you might need to catch small game, like chipmunks or squirrels, to have something to eat. Knowing how to hunt, prepare, and cook small game is a sustainable way to feed yourself.
Yes, you can eat a chipmunk. They’re a good source of protein and are readily available in most forests. Here’s how to prepare a chipmunk for cooking:
- Catch chipmunks
- Remove the fleas from the fur
- Remove the skin
- Remove the gut and other inedible innards
- Cook the meat
How To Catch A Chipmunk
Mark The Location
Choose the spots where you intend to catch chipmunks. Chipmunks are quite abundant in small forests, so anywhere will do for as long as you remember the location. Mark the trap with a brightly-colored ribbon or any other distinguishable marker. This is important because of the unspoken rule that you must only kill what you’ll eat. It’s very inhumane to forget about a trap and then let a chipmunk die for nothing.
Make A Snare
A snare can be made out of rope or thin wires. Brass wires are ideal because they are barely noticeable outdoors. These are the best traps for small game.
- Pull snare. The pull snare is a trap that you pull once the prey approaches the bait. Create a loop with a long wire and then hang on a branch. Hide somewhere and wait for a chipmunk to loop its head or limbs through the snare. Pull the string to trap the animal. This isn’t highly recommended because it will take up a lot of time.
- Spring snare. The spring snare uses a tripwire to trigger a deadweight. This can be a box that falls over your prey. This is quite complicated to set up. It is also time-consuming if you’re not an expert.
- Drag snare. This works by setting a snare along the trail or over the burrow of the game. The snare is typically attached to a large rock or a branch so that the caught animal will be anchored in place. You can come back for the caught animal the following day.
How To Prepare And Cook A Chipmunk
Remove The Fleas
It’s very likely that the chipmunk you caught will have fleas. To deflea, place the chipmunk in an airtight container. Throw in some cloves of garlic and then shake the container. The garlic scent will cause the fleas to flee the chipmunk’s skin. Shaking the container will agitate the fleas. You can also create a loop out of wire and use it to scrape the fleas out of the fur.
Remove The Skin
Pull the tail towards the spine and then make an incision at the bottom. Bring the incision downward towards the legs and in both directions. Pull the tail with the skin back and then cut through the tissue that connects the skin to the flesh. Then, grab both hind legs while stepping on the tail. Pull upwards to separate the skin from the body. You might need to cut around the arms and the legs, too.
Pull the skin off of the legs by holding the torso and then pulling in the opposite direction. You might need to cut around the legs. Cut off the chipmunk head with a knife and drain the blood.
Remove The Gut
Lay the chipmunk flesh on its back with the limbs spread open. Make an incision from the neck to the belly. Don’t cut too deeply because you might puncture the gut. Open the chest and grab the esophagus. Then, use your index and middle fingers to scoop behind the esophagus and dig out all the innards in one swift motion. Wash the meat to prepare it for cooking.
For more information on how to prepare a chipmunk, check out this video (warning: graphic content):
Cook The Chipmunk
The easiest way to coop the chipmunk meat is to pierce it with stainless-steel or wooden skewers and then grill over an open campfire. Make sure to flip the meat consistently in order to cook all sides. You’ll know the meat is cooked once the color pales and when there are no longer visible signs of blood, especially if you cut through the meat.
Even though it’s edible, this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy the flavor and texture of the meat. If you have the resources, you can cook the chipmunk meat in a cast-iron pan over an open fire. For this, prepare the following ingredients:
- Cooking oil
Chop off the limbs from the torso. Cut the torso in half, along the ribs. This gives you small pieces that you can deep-fry.
Season the meat with some salt and pepper. Mix the egg with the mayonnaise to create a wash. Dip the flour, then in the wash, and then in the flour again. Throw the meat into some heated oil to fry them. This recipe is best served with some gravy.