Somewhere in the trees, the squirrels must be laughing.
New Jersey hosted its first “Squirrel Classic” hunting tournament on Saturday, and while the weather was nice, the field preparation and skinning workshop was well attended, with animal activists chanting “Killers!” from across the street, there was still a complicated problem.
The wily critters are mostly inactive during cold weather, and they wisely stayed away from the crossfire rampage of BB gunfire and activist protests unfolding on their turf, thanks to the Inskip Antlers Hunting Club. in rural Winslow.
A measly three beetle-eyed bugs were killed and weighed, Inskip treasurer Kevin Maffei said.
“It’s not a very good time if you want to kill a large number of squirrels,” Maffei admitted.
“They’re not running like you’d think they would be.”
Still, everyone went out, as scheduled, with the squirrel soiree.
Inside the club, “we were taught how to dress it on the pitch,” Maffei said. “How to skin them.”
“Squirrel skin is quite difficult to remove. There is a method to it, but it’s a pain to skin them. I just don’t bother,” said Maffei, who is more of a deer hunter.
Then lunch time. “They had a tray of squirrel meat. You braise it slow and low, and season it,” she said. “You can burn it. You can put it in a gravy or tomato sauce.”
And if the “Chicken from the Tree” wasn’t to your liking, “they also had moose chili,” he said. “And regular hotdogs.”
Meanwhile, outside, some 40 animal rights activists were freaking out over the idea of teaching children to shoot animals.
“They were yelling at little kids in the parking lot, ‘Killer!’” event spokesman Cody McLaughlin said of the protesters.
Speaking of nuts, some of the squirrel-loving posters hit a little below the belt.
“OH YOU MUST BE INBRED,” read one sign. “GOOD JOB RAISING FUTURE SERIAL KILLERS,” read another.
“There’s not enough gravy in the world,” one protester, Jay Lassiter, told The Post, mocking the hunters’ claims that they actually eat squirrel meat. “There is also not enough marijuana in the world.”