How To Clean A Squirrel

Squirrels can be an absolute pest for some agricultural workers and residential areas. More to this, squirrels are a very common source of food for survivalists. 

Next to this, beginner hunters might start off trying to track and hunt squirrels – but there is a key component to hunting and that’s the skinning, gutting and cleaning. 

If you want to know how to properly do these points after hunting a squirrel, you’re in the right place. 

Why Hunt A Squirrel?

Squirrel hunting is often overlooked when it comes to the sport. There are plenty of reasons why you should hunt squirrels.

Aside from the fact they can be vermin in some areas, you can make the case to hunt them because of the following reasons:

They’re easy to source
They taste great
They can be an essential part of survival
Success is high
It’s a social event
They’re everywhere in America

Whether you’re a beginner hunter or an experienced hunter, you’ll find that hunting squirrels should be a part of your itinerary.

In fact, for the more beginner hunter – they’re pretty simple to skin and clean. 

Doing this will build essential survival and woodland skills which one day can save your life.

How To Clean A Squirrel

What Do I Need To Skin And Clean A Squirrel?

Before you go out there and start hunting, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve got the essentials with you.

You don’t want to wait too long after you’ve hunted the squirrel to complete the skinning and cleaning process – particularly if you’re planning to eat it.

Take with you a medium sized folding blade, an ice cooler, gloves, bags and game shears.

Remember too, that you’ll need to have a flat and sturdy surface to complete the skinning and cleaning. If you’re in the woods, try and locate a tree stump. 

Other than these things, you’ll need the drive and determination to do it.

It’s always wise to take with you an experienced hunter who can show you what to do and provide tips along the way. 

How To Skin And Gut Your Squirrel

We’ve compiled a step-by-step guide below of what to do after you’ve hunted your squirrel. 

Break Down The Squirrel 

Using your flat surface, put the squirrel flat on top of it with its stomach down.

Lift the tail of the squirrel with your non-writing hand, and with your other hand, cut the skin horizontally along the tail. 

Don’t cut the skin through the tail though. Do this until you get to the skin on the other side of the squirrel. 

Tailbone Break 

Using both your hands, break the tailbone of the squirrel but ensure you don’t tear and rip the skin off the tail. 

Time To Skin 

An important thing to remember when skinning is that you don’t want any of the squirrel fur to get into the meat. It’s seriously difficult – nearly impossible, to remove afterwards. 

Put the squirrel on your flat surface. Lift its legs and check to see the skin is hanging. Next, you’ll want to step on the squirrel’s tailbone until it’s exposed.

Pull the squirrel legs straight and the skin will start to divide from the body. 

Keep on pulling until all of the squirrel skin is removed, right up to its head and drag it toward the last joint. Cut the head at the neck and then cut the legs at the joint and you’re done. 

There are quicker ways to skin a squirrel than this, but it takes time to master. In fact, it’s possible to fully skin a squirrel in less than 60 seconds if you’re experienced and you know what you’re doing.

How To Clean A Squirrel

Time To Gut 

Start by separating the squirrel’s hips and make a cut in between the legs of the squirrel.

Push the carcass of the squirrel to the bone and continue to do this. Next, turn the squirrel over and access the hole at its neck.

Cut into this hole down to the rib cage and then cut out its flesh from the stomach. You don’t want to cut its guts though, so be careful here. 

Once you’ve opened the body, you can now remove all of the innards of the squirrel.

Make sure you continue to do this carefully. The innards of a squirrel can be used for future bait if you wish to hunt predators. 

Whatever you decide to do with them, handle them carefully and exercise caution and good hygiene. 

Cleaning The Squirrel 

Okay, so now all of the bad parts of the squirrel are removed (the guts that we can’t eat!) It’s time to ensure the meat is now clean and ready for cooking. 

The best way to clean a squirrel is to use a hose – but this won’t always be possible. It is the most hygienic and full way to do so though. 

Put the squirrel somewhere clean and flat – it’s a good idea to have sanitized the area first.

Now, blast the water through and over the squirrel, ensuring you do this all over and turning the squirrel every so often. 

Do this until all of the blood and anything on the squirrel has been completely washed off it. If you were unfortunate enough to get hairs into the meat, try to remove them. 

Put the clean squirrel into your ice cooler unless you’re planning to cook it right away.

Anything that you cannot eat on the squirrel like its feet and head should be removed and put with the guts. They can be used later if you’re not done. 

If you don’t plan to use these though, ensure you’re disposing of them hygienically and safely. 


Squirrel hunting is overlooked but it’s gaining more popularity as time goes on, but the important thing with it whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned hunter – know how to clean your kill.

George Alexander
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