Hunting in a survival situation is rarely easy, and may leave you empty-handed (and empty-stomached) more often than it produces a hearty meal. So, when food sources are limited, you’ll need to take the path of least resistance to find more of it. That means you probably won’t be taking down deer and elk on a regular basis — you’ll have to rely on less desirable but more plentiful game.

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The raccoon is one common pest animal that can be found frequently in both urban and rural areas. These so-called “trash pandas” are clever scavengers, and can often be found rummaging through garbage bins and gardens late at night. Fortunately, if caught and cleaned correctly, raccoons can be a good source of meat when larger game is unavailable.

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The Wooded Beardsman used a modern trap to catch raccoons that have been raiding his garden.

We’ve previously featured videos from YouTube survivalist The Wooded Beardsman, such as his episodes on harvesting black walnuts and facing the grim realities of eating roadkill. In his latest video, he covers how to catch and cook a raccoon that was roaming the woods near his property.

The raccoon's scent glands would make the meat unpalatable, so they must be removed.

The raccoon’s scent glands would make the meat unpalatable, so they must be removed.

After catching and skinning the animal, there are some special steps involved to remove the scent glands found on the legs of the animal. This process is called de-glanding, and is necessary to prevent the meat from taking on an unpleasant smell and flavor.

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The Beardsman then preps the meat by soaking it overnight in a brine of water, vinegar, and spices. Once the meat is brined, it goes into a stew with carrots, bell peppers, onions, and potatoes. The result is a dark meat that the hosts say is surprisingly tasty. Check out the video below for the full process:

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