Even though you can go weeks without food before starting to die, eating regularly is critical in a survival situation so you can keep up your mental and physical energy levels.
Easy enough to say when you are sitting on a big stash of food in your pantry or store room, but out in the wild or during a long-term survival scenario you’ll be forced to replenish your food from wild-caught sources, and animals in particular.
This means that chances are good that you’ll have to eat the meat of an animal that is never a part of your usual diet, so it is best to become acquainted with them now.
How about foxes, for instance? Can you eat foxes in a survival situation?
Yes, you can safely eat fox meat in a survival situation so long as it is properly cleaned and cooked. Though rarely regarded as tasty, fox meat is protein-packed and full of important vitamins and minerals that can keep you alive.
Lots of people consider foxes and nuisance animals, but just as many consider them charming and graceful animals.
In either case, you might have some mental hurdles to overcome if you want to eat them but a rumbling stomach will soon eliminate these concerns.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about eating fox in a survival situation…
Where Can Foxes Be Found?
Various fox species can be found all over the globe, but the largest fox and the most common in North America is the red fox.
Found throughout the entirety of Canada and most of the northern, eastern and southern United States, the red fox is commonly encountered in any densely vegetated area, although they can also be found in mountainous areas, deserts, taiga, and so forth.
Red foxes are omnivores, with a hugely varied diet consisting of rodents like mice, hamsters, and groundhogs along with other mammals such as raccoons, possums, various reptiles, insects, and all sorts of plants, including berries, grasses, and fruit.
They will also opportunistically eat the carcasses of other animals.
Generally speaking, unless you are along the west coast of the United States or in the southwest you stand a pretty good chance of encountering a fox in the wild anywhere that its usual food may be found, although actually spotting it to say nothing of catching it or killing it is another matter entirely.
Nutritional Facts about Fox Meat
Fox meat is pretty nutritious, even compared to other wild game. A 3 oz serving will on average contain about 200 calories, and will be comprised of about 40% protein and 60% fat.
It also contains various B vitamins along with lots of iron and phosphorus, along with a little bit of potassium and various other minerals and vitamins in varying amounts.
As a survival food, fox will definitely keep you alive, and it has plenty of raw calories to complement the protein, and vitamins and minerals are always appreciated.
Does Fox Meat Taste Good?
Probably the biggest hang-up associated with eating fox meat aside from the fact that they are generally regarded as adorable, charismatic animals is the fact that it does not taste very good.
Even among people who enjoy the taste of wild game, you will rarely find anyone bragging about the taste of fox, even fox that has been properly prepared.
Charitably, some people think that it tastes somewhere between beef and chicken. A few tasters have reported that it tastes a lot like venison although these seem to be in the minority opinion.
Most people who have tried fox that is killed, slaughtered fresh, and then prepared quickly and properly still report that it is tough, highly gamey, and generally unpleasant.
Most wild game is said to taste, well, gamey but reports of unpleasant, nasty taste associated with other wildlife such as bears, rodents, and the like are mostly overstated so long as the cook knows what they are doing and the meat is of good quality.
Unfortunately, it seems like that this isn’t the case with fox, and that its reputation for an unpleasant taste and texture is deserved.
The very best thing you can do to improve the taste of fox is to marinate it overnight with a variety of seasonings to help offset the taste and tenderize the meat prior to cooking.
If this is not possible or just not practical under the circumstances, and the Lord knows it probably won’t be, your best bet is to simply hold your nose and eat it because it will keep you alive.
Is it Safe to Eat Raw Fox?
No! It is never safe to eat raw meat and it is especially unsafe to eat raw meat from wild animals, being constantly exposed to various diseases and parasites as they are.
Foxes in particular, being opportunistic eaters of carcasses, are especially likely to be carrying parasites and other germs besides.
You’ll have the usual favorites like toxoplasmosis and salmonella to worry about which can make your life hell and especially under the circumstances, but there’s also more exotic stuff to be concerned with.
Parasites in particular are a problem and one of them, a roundworm, can cause trichinosis.
Left untreated, you’ll progress from debilitating pain to problems with your heart and nervous system, and eventually death.
It will be a shame to find some wild game to eat only to die because you didn’t prepare it correctly.
But, you don’t need to worry about any of this when eating fox so long as you have the capability of cooking the meat.
Cooking all of the meat well done, to a temperature of 165° for a sustained time, will eliminate all of the harmful microorganisms that could infect or infest you.
Now is not the time to mess around with a medium rare fox “steak” and risk disease! Cook it well done and be safe.
Can You Eat Fox Skin?
You can, but it’s not worth the trouble. The skin does not taste good and is not nutritious compared to the meat, and then there is the obvious of problem having to deal with the fox’s thick and luxurious coat prior to eating it.
If you are absolutely desperate for additional calories, the fur can be cut, scraped or burned away prior to cooking the skin, but you are likely better off just focusing on processing the fox for its meat.
Is it Safe to Eat the Bones of a Fox?
Yes and no. Bones are generally not safe for humans to eat in any way. They are way too hard, and more than capable of shattering your teeth or breaking your jaw if you try.
Even if you try to swallow smaller bones, there’s a good chance that you’ll become choked, and if the bones are crushed or broken they could lacerate you internally or get stuck in your digestive tract.
That being said, all seasoned peppers know that bones can provide you with extra valuable nutrition from the marrow that they have inside them.
You can crack, crush or saw open the larger bones of a fox to extract this marrow, cooking it before eating it as is or else adding it to a soup or stew to fortify it.
Alternately, you can boil the bones whole to leach out the marrow and make a nutritious broth that way.
Don’t throw the bones away if you can get the marrow out, because it’s good stuff and you’ll need it in a survival situation!
Are the Organs of a Fox Safe to Eat?
It might already be a bridge too far asking someone to eat fox meat, but since we have come this far already we should consider eating the organs while we are here.
In short, yes, at least some of the fox’s organs are good and safe to eat.
The heart is itself pretty much all muscle, and is highly nutritious.
The liver is likewise very nutritious but should be eaten cautiously because the liver has a propensity to filter out and store toxins.
Other organs are a flip of the coin.
Kidneys are enjoyed in some countries, but are notorious for having a pissy taste for obvious reasons. Soaking the kidneys for many hours in water or milk prior to preparation might eliminate this disagreeable taste.
The stomach and intestines can similarly be eaten, but they require exacting and diligent preparation to make them safe because their waste contents must be expelled, and then the organs cleaned and finally cooked thoroughly.
Making a mistake at any part in the process will likely result in a truly nasty meal and will probably see you get sick in the bargain.
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.