Game that we don’t usually hunt and eat, but could and would…….

Hunters/trappers usually eat pigs, deer, moose, squirrels, rabbits, turkeys, ducks, doves, quail, geese, and various game animals in different regions.   

But there are some animals that are not traditionally consumed, but in an emergency, would be gladly eaten and enjoyed for nourishment and taste.  A quick rule of thumb is that you can eat just about anything with fur, feathers, or scales as long as it is properly prepared and cooked thoroughly to kill bacteria and other pathogens that would make us sick. That means most mammals, birds, and reptiles are fine to eat, although palatability is never guaranteed.  But the hungrier you are, the better all foods will taste. The wrong plants we eat can harm us more than animals.

Alligators: Alligator meat has been described as having a mild flavor and a firm texture. It tastes like quail, with a mildly fishy flavor, and is often chewy, depending on the preparation. Alligator meat is lean meat that has high protein and low fat content. It is regarded as a healthy food. Alligator tail meat is white in color and tender.

Bobcats (cats):  Bobcat (cat) meat is very similar to that of lean pork. It holds many of the same textures and flavors that pork holds. It’s mild, lean, and tender when cooked correctly.  At first, the meat is chewy, but then surprisingly light and soft. There’s a certain delicacy to it, almost like fish. It’s not particularly heavy, rich, or strong like dog meat, and the addition of the herbs can give the meat a menthol, licorice quality that makes it taste clean and warm.

Birds: We normally don’t eat songbirds or endangered species, but in a SHTF disaster, they’d end up on the menu. Sparrows and Starlings are small but edible and plentiful. It’s been said that crow tastes like wild duck and Mockingbirds have an earthy aroma, and the dark meat is rich, slightly sweet, and flavorful.  

Raccoons:  Despite what you might think, raccoon tastes pretty good when cleaned and cooked properly. Like dark meat chicken or turkey, though it is greasier and more tender.  

Snakes:  You can eat just about any snake, but the most popular snake that people most often choose to eat in the wild is the rattlesnake. Its diet is mostly rodents, plus insects, and smaller reptiles. The meat has an earthy or gamey taste similar to alligator meat, with flesh that’s white and a little rubbery to the touch.

Turtles: Almost all turtle is edible except the lungs, gall bladder, skeleton, skull, and nails. The legs and tail are particularly esteemed, but remove the skin before eating. Snapping Turtles are good eating, but they can be a bit of a chore to clean.  Turtle meat has a firm texture and tastes a bit like chicken.

Opossums: Native Americans enjoyed eating opossums before Europeans or Africans arrived, and they introduced the animal to early colonists. Possum meat tends to have taste similarities to that of squirrel and rabbit meat. The taste is a gamey meat and greasy.  

Horses:  Horse meat is healthier than beef: it’s lower in fat, higher in protein and has a greater proportion of omega-3 fatty acids.  Mexico, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Japan, Germany, Indonesia, Poland, and China are nations where many people eat horse meat without a second thought. While meat from younger horses tends to be a bit pinkish in color, older horses have darker, reddish-colored meat.  

Coyotes (dogs):  Coyotes and dogs are not known for being edible in the U.S., but when properly handled and prepared, it can taste just as good as lean beef.  Dog meat is consumed in South Korea, China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Switzerland, and Vietnam.  Each year, around 4 million cats and 10 million dogs are believed to be slaughtered in China. 

Rats/Mice: In many places around the globe, rat provides much-needed sustenance. As long as it isn’t diseased, it could provide needed nutrition.  While rats seem gross to eat in the US there are many countries that include rat meat in their regular diets: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, parts of the Philippines and Indonesia, Thailand, Ghana, China and Vietnam. As long as the rodent has been sufficiently cooked through at a high temperature to kill off the many pathogens it may contain, it is safe to eat.

Wild Boars:  Wild boar is very lean and low in cholesterol. Wild boar is an excellent alternative to beef and pork for those who want food that is good for them without sacrificing taste and quality. Wild Boar is high in protein. They are a good source of monounsaturated fats and zinc.  

My trapping boxes contain 20 Conibear body grip traps, 20 wire snare traps, 10 rat traps, wire,    a pack of clothes pins, and misc. items: all for trapping small game. 


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