I happened to find this very entertaining Extension Publication in a box: Good Eating from Woods and Fields.  It’s a 1960 reprint of an earlier pamphlet, and what a cultural artifact it is!

I couldn’t decide which of the photos to put here, and so went with my Beavis and Butthead instinct: Roast Beaver.

The pamphlet opens with instructions on how to please ‘the housewife” and also contains historic info on game hunting. Except… they sort of forgot to mention all the people that lived here and hunted for centuries before the Europeans with guns showed up. Whoops!

There are also recipes for rabbit, squirrel, woodchuck, and muskrat.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Entomologist. Educator. Writer. NERD.


  1. I could make a comment about nothing being better than eating a hot beaver – but I won’t!

  2. A book that tells you how to please the housewife that encourages the eating of beaver? This should be a best-seller!

  3. Also: totally stealing this. In fact, I was going to go to bed until I saw this.

  4. […] the spirit of these fine organizations and countries comes a post from Bug Girl on her serendipitous discovery of a tome of wisdom devoted, at least in substantial part, to instructions on pleasing one’s wife with wild games […]

  5. Oh my… this is too rad.

  6. Nothing better than fried beaver with bacon! Should be featured on Good Eats.

  7. I believe the song muskrat love was taken from this book. But they changed it around a bit. It was originally muskrat loaf.

  8. Hey, wait a minute. I went to Oregon State University. We don’t treat our Beavers this way! :-)

  9. Eric, PLEASE don’t give me setups like that! It’s too easy! :D

    The temptation to make an inappropriate remark to a fellow entomologist is difficult to resist…..

  10. That is a rare find. My fist husband was a hunter and so I cooked squirrel, rabbit, and lots of deer but beaver or woodchuck/ground hog (not to mention possum) were not considered.

  11. when I was a grad student, we occasionally had squirrel stew. But…Muskrat??? NO.

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