As a hunter, the thrill of the chase and satisfaction of a successful hunt can be unparalleled. However, once the adrenaline wears off and you have your prized raccoon in hand, the question arises – what do you do with raccoon after hunting?
Many hunters are unsure how to properly handle and utilize their trophies, especially when it comes to raccoons. After successfully hunting a raccoon, responsible and ethical carcass management is critical. Begin by ensuring that the animal is indeed deceased, exercising caution to avoid unnecessary suffering. Once confirmed, consider utilizing as much of the raccoon as possible to minimize waste and respect the animal’s life.
Proper processing is essential, whether for consumption or for the use of its fur. Additionally, proper disposal of unused parts, such as bones and organs, helps prevent attracting scavengers and maintains a clean hunting environment. Let’s talk about the different possibilities for what you can do with raccoon after hunting in this article.
What To Do With Raccoon After Hunting?
Popular options after hunting raccoons are usually skinning, cooking, utilizing the entire animal or donating to conservation organizations.
Skinning And Preparing The Raccoon
Skinning and tanning is often a popular first choice for hunters after a successful raccoon hunt. The raccoon’s fur is a valuable resource that shouldn’t go to waste. Skinning the animal carefully allows for the salvaging of the pelt, which can be used in various ways. Raccoon fur has been traditionally employed in crafting clothing items, such as hats and coats, due to its durability and insulating properties.
Skinning and preparing the hide is the first stage in using a raccoon after hunting. This procedure needs some skill and patience, but with time and experience, it can become second nature.
First, you need to hang the raccoon upside down on a tree branch or hook. Then, using a sharp knife, make an incision around the ankles and carefully peel the skin down towards the head. Once you reach the head, cut around the ears and continue peeling the skin down towards the tail.
Take care not to pierce the skin or fur as you go. Once the skin has been removed entirely, you need to lay it flat on a clean surface and trim away any excess fat or flesh. Stretch the leather and then secure it with pins or nails to the board or frame. Then, wait for your skin to dry for a few days before moving on to the next step.
Tanning The Hide
Tanning the hide is the process of preserving the skin and making it soft and pliable. There are 2 methods for tanning a raccoon hide, including traditional brain tanning and commercial tanning kits. Here is a simple traditional method using alum and salt:
- Mix together 1 pound of alum and 3 pounds of salt in a large pot of water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it cool.
- Once cooled, submerge the raccoon’s hide in the mixture for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, remove the hide and rinse it thoroughly with clean water.
- Stretch the hide out again and allow it to dry completely.
- Once dry, rub the hide with a mixture of equal parts neatsfoot oil and rubbing alcohol.
- Continue rubbing until the hide is soft and pliable.
Cooking Raccoon Meat
Many hunters opt to process the raccoon for its meat, recognizing it as a valuable resource. Raccoon meat, when prepared correctly, can be a flavorful addition to diverse dishes. Proper handling and hygiene of the meat are crucial to ensure the safety and quality of the meat for consumption.
Preparing The Meat
Before cooking, you should cut the meat into smaller pieces and remove any visible fat or glands. Then, soak the meat in a brine solution made of 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of salt, and 1/4 cup of vinegar for at least 24 hours. Remember to wash the meat before cooking.
Three popular methods of cooking raccoon meat include slow-cooking, grilling and stewing. Let’s explore each method in detail.
Raccoon meat is best cooked low and slow, as it can be tough if cooked too quickly. A crockpot or slow cooker is ideal for this method. Simply place the meat in the slow cooker with your choice of seasonings and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Raccoon meat when grilled will have a delicious flavor and smoky smell. You just need to mix your favorite BBQ sauce and marinate the meat for about 1 to 2 hours. Then grill over medium heat for about 30 minutes to complete the delicious grilled raccoon meat.
Stewing is a great way to tenderize tough cuts of raccoon meat. Cut the meat into small pieces and cook it in a pot with vegetables, broth, and seasonings for a hearty and flavorful meal.
Utilizing The Entire Animal
Respecting the animals we hunt and utilizing as much of the animal as possible is what hunters should do. This includes utilizing the entire raccoon, not just the meat and hide.
- Bones: Raccoon bones can be used for various crafts and tools, such as arrowheads, knife handles, and jewelry. You can also boil or stew raccoon bones and drain the water to make a nutritious soup.
- Fat: Raccoon fat can be rendered down and used for cooking or making candles and soap. It can also be used to waterproof leather and wood.
- Organs: The organs of a raccoon, such as the liver, heart, and kidneys, can be cooked and eaten. They are a good source of protein and nutrients.
Donating To Conservation Organizations
What to do with a raccoon after you trap it? Another option is to donate it to conservation efforts, if you do not wish to utilize the raccoon yourself. Many organizations, such as wildlife rehabilitation centers and zoos, accept donations of the hunting for their animals to eat. This not only helps feed the animals in their care but also reduces waste and promotes sustainable hunting practices.
Other Uses For Raccoons
Aside from utilizing the meat, hide, and other parts of the animal, there are three creative ways to use raccoons after hunting.
- Taxidermy: You can preserve the raccoon and use it as a decoration or display piece, if you are skilled in taxidermy.
- Hunting bait: Raccoon meat can be used as bait for other animals, such as coyotes and foxes
- Pest control: When you have a pest problem on your property, utilizing raccoon scent or urine can assist to dissuade them.