So we have ballsy effers around here, and last night, one managed to pry open the door to the chicken coop and ate one of my chickens. I have a trap. I am on a one-woman mission to eradicate the effers.
And naturally, thoughts meandered to all that meat/grease going to waste. (I'm a soapmaker, and I love the idea of raccoon soap, among other things.)
I plan to drown it. It's not ideal, but I can't shoot a gun in city limits, and there's no way I'm taking it out of the cage to chop its head off or whatever.
Then I have a friend who will show me how to dress it.
Cooking instructions include boiling for several hours and then roasting/whatever. This is because it's tough meat, and also it will kill any pathogens. Please note, I have researched rabies, and the rabies, if the raccoon has it, will not survive this process.
I think I might also freeze it for a few days, just in case.
Nonetheless, I am a little nervous about the whole thing. The only thing I have ever killed, dressed, and eaten is a chicken.
So .... any tips would be greatly appreciated!
UPDATE!!! Just thought I'd post an update -- no luck catching a raccoon. I have caught 5 squirrels, and I can't make myself kill and eat them because they're kinda cute and haven't harmed my chickens or ducks.
I think the raccoons around here are too fat to fit in my trap.
Raccoon is awesome if you can get it far enough from humans where it hasn't been eating garbage. I can't vouch for the raccoons in FL as they eat a lot of fish and I'm sure that would affect the flavor somewhat compared to the raccoons in my native Appalachian stomping grounds.
Every time I had raccoon as a kid it was smoked or grilled. Less lean/tinny than rabbit... closer to pork in flavor.
I will say that Jaych's instructions are spot on, if butchering it is a must that you avoid the musk glands that are under the legs. Puncture one of those, and it's gonna be nasty.
I have a friend who says they're an excellent lean meat source. He says "best if cooked in like a stew with taters, onions carrots an such diced up in bout 1in cubes" He lives off his land, so I trust his advice although you may want to substitute some of his stew ingredients for a more paleo stew. Let us know how it goes.
Was the racoon wearing a bandit mask?
Was he perchance wielding a knife, making stabbing motions?
I've never attempted this, but here is my great-grandmother's recipe for roast raccoon. Use at your own risk! ;) She has a recipe for raccoon stuffing, too, but it's very bread-heavy.
-3-4 raccoons, 4-6 lbs each
-5 Tbsp. salt
-2 tsp. pepper
-2 c. flour (maybe someone can paleofy this? you can probably omit since it's only for gravy)
-1 c. butter
-8 medium onions, peeled
-12 small bay leaves
Skin, draw, and clean raccoons soon after killing. Remove, without breaking, the brown bean-shaped kernels from under forelegs and each thigh.
Cut into pieces. Remove meaty backs and legs for baking. Cook bony pieces in water to make broth for gravy. Add small amount of seasonings. Simmer until meat is tender; strain, and use only the broth.
Sprinkle back and leg pieces with salt and pepper. Then dredge with flour.
Heat butter in heavy skillet. Add meat, brown on all sides.
Transfer pieces to roaster; add onions and bay leaves. Cover.
Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) for 2 hours until tender.
Make gravy by adding flour to drippings in pan (use 2-3 tblsp. for each cup of liquid or broth used). Makes 24 servings.
you are a brave cavewoman, you'd make the cavemen proud!
I suppose there was no such thing as road kill back in the stone age so probably any animal they could get their hands on was 'dinner'
My suggestion, have your friend do the dirty work and you offer up the meal!
I've eaten raccoon (prepared for me at a "game dinner" at a lodge) and it's really quite good.
Drowning is relatively humane if you can submerge it quickly, fully and for good. With apologies to the faint of heart, we used to suffocate rats and mice to sacrifice in the lab by putting them in a container with dry ice (CO2). That's pretty quick as well, but I do still cringe thinking about it b/c mostly I had to watch so as to be able to decapitate or snap neck and open up (to obtain the most blood) before it was fully dead. That's not an issue for you, obviously. But it might be a potentially less messy option if you have access to dry ice. Large cooler, have dry ice in for a while, put the cage in, close.
We kill and eat raccoons when they are trying to get in our chicken coop. We also eat possum but I like coon better. Possum is a little greasy. Raccoons we just shoot in the head, possums we usually just knock in the head. We catch them in a live trap.
Here's a story about NFL player Allen Bailey who grew up eating racoon, possum and such:
"Raccoon has a good flavor, it tastes like nothing else," Bailey says. "Everything on the table is great. It's home cooking."