How To Field Dress A Squirrel

Here's a quick and easy method on how to field dress a squirrel. This is a minimal effort method that requires a few tools and only one person to complete. To field dress a squirrel using this method you will need the following items:

  • A sharp knife
  • A pair of shears (heavy kitchen scissors)
  • A fillet board (Same as you use for cleaning fish)
  • A bucket of water
  1. The first step in field dressing a squirrel is to dunk him in the bucket of water. This wets the hair thoroughly and helps to prevent it from getting on the meat when you begin field dressing him. If you don't have a bucket of water, a nearby stream will work well also.
  2. The second step in field dressing a squirrel is to remove the hide. Pinch the hide at mid back so that you make a little tent above the spine. Use the shears to cut just the hide. Then carefully, using the shears to cut the hide down both sides by sliding the shears beneath the hide. Once you have it cut all the way down both sides, then work the hide loose along the spine with your fingertips until you can get a good hold on both halves. At chest level, pull the hide in opposite directions. It will peal right off.  Note this process will be tougher on older and tougher squirrels, but does work very well. Once you get the hide down to the feet, head and tail, you will have to remove it with the knife. Cut the feet, head, and tail off at this point as well.
  3. The third step in field dressing a squirrel is to remove the intestines, heart, and lungs. Clamp the squirrel by its back legs on the fillet board. Its belly should be facing up. Use the pocket knife to first split the bone between the hind legs. Be careful not to puncture the bladder when you do this. Then split open the belly and chest cavity. Remove all the intestines, heart, and lungs. And that is it. You have a freshly field dressed squirrel.

Hope this helps you in field dressing a squirrel. It's the simplest method that allows you to completely dress the squirrel by yourself.  Other methods often require a second person to hold the game animal. Good luck!

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