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Wednesday, December 6, 2023
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Had me a Craving Today…

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It’s deer season; that’s evident by my full freezer and all of the wonderful success stories and photos I’m seeing on social media. But, the state doesn’t truly acknowledge this time of year as “deer season.” Nope, because it’s not only deer that are on the menu. There’s quite a long list of what is legal to take from the field, published on the Florida Wildlife Commission website at www.MyFWC.com.

That’s why, with a freezer full of venison and wild pork, I decided to get out and take advantage of the fact that it’s currently squirrel season, too! And folks, let me tell y’all, I love me a big mess of fried squirrels. Heck, I grew up on it. I contributed many to meals with a sack full of squirrels. You see, we grew up pretty poor on our farm, and taking advantage of the wildlife for our supper table helped Mom and Dad make ends meet.

Fried squirrels, cut up and fried like chicken, were my favorite way to enjoy them. Momma would fix my plate with a couple of pieces of squirrel, some white rice and gravy, and a big scoop of poke sallet. Sometimes, she would even have some cornbread and sweet tea to wash it down. Poor folks? You’d never know if your knees were underneath Momma’s table!

Anyway, them bushy-tail acorn bandits were heavy on my mind, so I slipped out with my ancient Steven’s.410 shotgun and took a seat underneath of a cluster of water oaks bearing nuts. And it didn’t take long till I saw a limb begin to jerk, and soon I had a little fatty in front of the gun.
I left him lying on the ground, where he’d fallen after the tiny shotgun barked, loaded up, and waited on another. Maybe 30 minutes later, another limb began to dance and jerk, and again, my tiny .410 got to make noise. The fact is, it barked out its invitation to supper five different times before I got up and collected my harvest.

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But I then found that I had a dilemma; my doctor adamantly tells me no more fried foods. Which is why I wound up barbecuing them outside on my grill. That right there, turned out to be one of my finer ideas because I sure did enjoy it.

If you want to get your own mess of squirrels and want some company, hit me up. I’d love to share a hunt with you all, and I’ve got a few spots where we can go to find them abundantly. Just have a hunting license, a wildlife management area stamp and plenty of blaze orange.

Since we will be sharing the woods with deer hunters, I feel it is best to be highly visible. Then, we can set out to meet up with Mr. Tree-Rat beneath the oaks. Some of my favorite spots are located in the Richloam WMA in our county’s eastern edge. Pretty much anywhere along the Little Withlacoochee River’s course is bound to put you in close enough proximity to enough squirrels that you’ll be grinning. Then, if you would like to try my squirrel recipes, feel free to reach out to me. I’d love to help out! Also, it’ll be good practice for next February’s Annual Brooksville Squirrel Hunt, where, once again there will be several thousand dollars worth of cash and prizes awarded to our best squirrel hunters. I promise, I’ll be there!
If you have any questions or comments about this week’s column, give me a shout at [email protected]. God Bless, and good hunting!

Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit is a best selling novelist and professional outdoorsman with thirty-five years of experience guiding and outfitting for big game all across America. Toby is a renowned archer and turkey hunting expert who manufactures custom game calls and is a regular judge at NWTF sanctioned turkey calling events across the Southeast.
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