Cooking Marmots

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunting' started by backcountryguide, May 5, 2014.

  1. backcountryguide

    backcountryguide Well-Known Member

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    First I must say that long range chucks borders killing a big bull or buck for me. I have only been hooked on this for a couple of years but it totally consumes me now days. I recently found another huntable population while looking for elk sheds and it got me wondering if anyone eats these and how to cook them. I am not one to kill things just to kill them and they are cool little animals. There are not many of them in my part of Nevada so I try to use a bit of self control when shooting them all though that can be tough at times. Anyway do any of you guys share this passion and do you put your harvest to use? Any good ways to cook these little guys ? I was thinking a soak in some salt water, a little flour and garlic salt fried up in the dutch oven should be tasty.
     
  2. tt35

    tt35 Well-Known Member

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    I feel the same as you concerning LR 'chucks. Our colonies are also small and scattered. We learned conservation lessons the hard way and it was primarily responsible for getting us into LR shooting. Long range shooting was a self-imposed conservation method. But, to answer your question regarding cooking/eating them, the local Paiutes have a rockchuck feed each summer. We would keep any headshot 'chucks for them. The traditional rockchuck bake entails gutting the 'chucks then sewing them back closed and putting them into a bed of coals like a pig. The hair burns off and the hide turns hard causing the 'chuck to baste inside the hide basting in it's own fat. They prefer medium size rockchucks (maybe seven or eight pounds) for this and they take them just before they go down for the summer quiescence. This sounded plausible so my son (who will try anything) kept one to bake.

    Ben spent about three or four hours digging a pit , burning a good pile of coals and sewing his 'chuck back closed. The first mistake was that he kept a huge old 'chuck that weighed 16 pounds. He was almost as wide as he was long. Once it was baked, he also wasn't able to break the hide off without coating the meat with a lot of black. The fat was in globs inside the hide. Suffice it to say that "Rodent is not what's for dinner" at our house! YMMV. You may find that a younger rockchuck without as much fat might bake up nicely. I think I'm over it. :D

    That said, long range rockchuck shooting is still one of my favorite passtimes. Ben has his first 1000 yard 'chuck mounted in our living room as proudly as any bull elk!
     

  3. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Them Harney County boys, they will survive. LOL
     
  4. backcountryguide

    backcountryguide Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice on the chuck recipes Tim I think I'll leave well enough alone.
    If your are ever in my part of NV we will have to go wack a couple.
     
  5. COBrad

    COBrad Well-Known Member

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    The young ones are always better. I dress and quarter them, taking care to trim all the fat off - it will leave them tasting a bit strong, kinda like it does with bear. I then boil them about 45 minutes in salt water and finish them by browning in a frying pan or on the grill.
    I have cooked a few young ones over a camp fire hanging from a bailing wire and they were pretty good.
    I once brought a marmot stew to a pot luck and every last bit was eaten. I told the others what was in it too.
    I have to add that I look forward more to long range marmot shooting than I do eik hunting. Last year's longest marmot came at 1402 yards.
     
  6. tt35

    tt35 Well-Known Member

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    Dang. Nice shot, Brad!
     
  7. Nomosendero

    Nomosendero Well-Known Member

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    That's for sure, great shot!! Curious, what rifle/cart./load?
     
  8. Nomosendero

    Nomosendero Well-Known Member

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    We can spare the AR jokes for another day but I know how to make Woodchucks taste good!
    BTW, I don't eat Armadillos or Possums because I know what they eat!
    Anyway, Just quarter them up, coat them in Strawberry BBQ powder, BBQ them & then if they are large or old Crock Pot them. Very tasty actually & a Beaver is almost identical. They are at least as good as small/medium Wild Hog which is great. But being from the part of the World that actually knows what BBQ is helps. Add LA hot sause and enjoy!
     
  9. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Many decades ago I shot a young one for the purpose of chomping it down.

    Carefully skinned it and kept only the back half.

    Fired up a little hibachi, seasoned it well, and watched it muscle up like a Mr. Universe.

    Tasted great. Just couldn't chew it.

    That was the end of my rock chuck culinary experiments.

    However, for survival they'd be good.

    Maybe a pressure cooker would help. . .
     
  10. Nomosendero

    Nomosendero Well-Known Member

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    The crock pot takes care of that.