Catching and Eating Nutria “Swamp Rats”
Russ Chastain 08.06.19
Our old pal Shawn Woods of “Mousetrap Monday” YouTube videos has a new one out in which he traps, prepares, and eats nutria. A nutria is a large destructive rodent from South America which is an invasive species in the USA, and getting rid of them helps the environment. And Shawn says they’re delicious.
Many Americans probably first heard of nutria from the TV show Duck Dynasty, in which they were called “nutria rats.” They have been listed as legal game here in Florida ever since I was a kid, but I’ve never seen one in the wild.
They look a bit like a beaver, but without that flat tail. Kind of a giant web-footed aquatic rat, they often dig into banks along waterways, and this can cause trouble in areas which rely on levees, dikes, and other earthworks for flood control.
He sets up a live trap to catch a nutria, and gets a big one. Because YouTube is wimpy, he can’t show the kill or butchering, but he kills and shucks it off-screen and we’re taken right to his kitchen. As he says while beginning to prepare it for cooking, it looks a little different than when we last saw it.
I had to laugh when, after cooking it, he pulled off a leg and said, “It’d be really hard to tell that’s a giant swamp rat and not a chicken leg.”
I shouldn’t have watched the video hungry. Now I want to go slay some nutria for supper! Man, that stuff looked good. His young daughter loved eating it, too.
He has some fan Q&A at the end, in which he says his favorite hobbies are: archery, making bows and arrows, flint knapping, primitive survival skills, cooking wild game, and hunting. Sounds like my kinda guy.
He also says he often suffers from poison oak. Someone tell him about this sure-fire way to prevent poison oak/ivy/sumac etc.
Enjoy the video.