Squirrels are among the most underutilized game animal in North America. The two common species, the gray and fox squirrels (there is also the red squirrel of the Arctic and the Albert squirrel of the Southwestern desert mountains), may be taken with .22 rifles, handguns (in some states), muzzleloading rifles (almost everywhere) and both muzzleloading and breechloading shotguns. These are often the first game animal taken by young hunters.
Cleaning the animals are easier when they are warm. Squirrel hides cling tightly to the carcass. The best way is to cut around the body and then pull the hide in opposite directions with both hands. Clean and wash the squirrels and freeze until you have the five (or so) it takes for a stew.
I like to first salt, flour and brown the cut-up squirrels in hot oil. There is no need to cook completely done, just brown. Boil the meat in a pot until the meat falls off the bone. This will take an hour or two. Remove and debone the meat. Then add canned corn, stewed tomatoes, cut-up onion, 1/4 of a bell pepper, salt and pepper to taste to the squirrel meat and water. You will need to add more water as it cooks. If the end result taste too “fresh” add a little more salt. Also try a tablespoon of vinegar and see if you like that additive.
Play around with the recipe. You can spice it up or cook it bland or put in other things like cut-up potatoes. Almost anything works except carrots.
See my books, Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound and Crossbow Hunting, for details. Be patient, it is going to take some hours to finish up the stew. The squirrel can also be browned and started in a crock pot while you are out hunting and the stew finished when you get back.