Small game for dinner
Bulletin P: Volume 4, Issue 96
Do you like to eat game? Much of the unfavorable reaction which some people have to game as food is due to prejudice founded on little or no knowledge of wildlife.
After experimenting with the cooking' of squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, opossums and musquash (muskrats) in the food laboratories at Iowa State College, and serving each game dish to a selected tasting panel (see acknowledgments), we concluded that the handling of the kill—both hunted and trapped— is as important as the cooking. If the game isn’t properly killed and handled, it won’t be good, no matter how you cook it. We have therefore devoted several pages to the handling of freshly killed small game, before discussing the cooking of game.
About 15 of the 56 kinds of wild mammals found in Iowa are taken for food or fur. Squirrels, rabbits (cottontails and jack rabbits), woodchucks (ground hogs) and deer are classed as game food mammals and have little value as fur bearers. Musquash (muskrats), raccoons, opossums and beavers are listed as fur and food mammals.
The edible small game mammals are not equally popular as food. Woodchucks, seldom eaten in Iowa, are a favorite game food in other states. Beavers, once almost extinct within the state, are considered a good food in many states. Deer are protected the year round.