Fox meat is an uncommon choice of meat, but the meat is, in fact, edible. Many tend to avoid wild animals of this kind as a meat source due to the fact that they are known for coming into contact with dead animals, therefore increasing the chances that they could be a carrier for various diseases.
Let’s take a closer look.
Do Humans Eat Red Foxes?
There are very few places that will sell raw fox meat due to the risks and texture associated with their meat.
If you’ve ever come across fox meat, you’ll know that the raw meat is very chewy, tough, and slightly repulsive. The raw meat has a certain fish-like odor that can be compared to the scent of a skunk and their meat. Their cooked meat has a taste and smell similar to sheep or goat.
Those who eat this meat tend only to do so once they’ve killed it after finding it raiding their chicken coop. Most fox recipes (not that there are many) will recommend a good pre-soak in vinegar brine to tenderize the meat and distract from the distinct smell it gives off.
In short, when in a sticky situation, fox meat can be an option, but you’re unlikely to find enough vinegar in the wild to make the taste and smell bearable, not even mentioning the possible health risks and diseases involved.
Is Fox Meat Dangerous To Eat?
Anyone would be quick to consider foxes as a viable food source in a survival situation, but predators are not always a good choice when looking for your next meal.
Meat from carnivores tends to have a tougher, fatless, and more metallic taste. This can be applied to fox meat too. Fox meat needs to be tenderized for an extended period to make it edible, but you won’t always be able to do it in the wild.
Predators also tend to carry certain parasites and diseases due to their varied diets. You can contract certain diseases by simply handling a fox carcass, let alone eating it. If it comes down to a real survival situation, make sure you cook the meat thoroughly to avoid any wildlife rabies and avoid smelling it, for it may put you off.
Fox is not necessarily high up on the list of best cooking meat but it certainly an option.
What Do Foxes Eat?
Foxes tend to eat a variety of food. Foxes are meat eaters and their diet is diverse, ranging from hunting down rabbits, rodents, birds, frogs, and earthworms to eating various berries and fruit. Urban foxes tend to scavenge for their food, eating from garbage cans and preying on rats and pigeons, increasing the risk of carrying diseases and infections.
Fox cubs are born deaf, blind, and highly dependent on their mother for her milk. For the first four weeks, they will only drink their mothers’ milk, and then they will start to eat solid food. By 12 weeks, they will be completely weaned off of the milk.
What Does Fox Meat Taste Like?
Each fox experience can be different, with some describing it as a meat with a gamey taste and tough texture. Therefore, the meat will be extremely potent and only increase in potency throughout the cooking process.
As their meat is rarely farmed, first-timers will find the meat almost too gamey or too tough. The only solution to the toughness is to tenderize the meat thoroughly before and during the cooking process.
In order to avoid the foul taste associated with fox meat, you’ll need to soak the meat overnight. When doing so, you can use a cup of water and a tablespoon of salt (if you have any) and make sure the meat is fully submerged. If you have any spices, olive oil, or apple cider vinegar, you can add it along with the water and salt.
The acidity of these substances helps to break down the raw meat and remove the tough texture and fish-like smell before you try cooking it.
Will a Fox Eat a Dead Fox?
Foxes will rarely eat their own unless placed under immense stress or put in a survival situation themselves.
There have been reports of foxes burying their own kind, but their reasoning might not be the same as why humans bury their own. Foxes are known for fighting each other, and in some cases, these fights are to the death.
These animals are known to cache surplus food, perhaps answering the question of why foxes bury their own. They could possibly be storing the meat for later consumption, but very few report ever seeing a fox eating another fox in the wild.
Foxes will kill each other, but this only tends to happen when the conditions are incredibly harsh. When looking at the relationship between a vixen and her cubs, the mortality rate tends to increase. Foxes are guilty of infanticide and will take part in this culling process for several reasons.
Infanticide is the killing of dependant offspring by an adult of the same species. Infanticide removes the competition and will thereby leave more food for the adults. A male fox will also kill young to prevent vixens from raising kids that aren’t their own, speeding up the females’ return into estrous.
There is a hypothesis that suggests that foxes will take part in infanticide purely for nutritional gain. Adults will kill the youngsters and perform cannibalistic acts when in dire situations where the conditions are bad, and food is scarce.
When killed due to a limited number of resources, foxes won’t eat their own. Similarly to humans, it all comes down to how important survival is when considering eating a fox.
Do Foxes Stink?
As explained above, fox meat produces an intensely foul scent when butchered and cooked. Once soaked overnight in a briny mixture, the meat will lose some of the rancid smell and become more tender.
Live foxes are known for their stench, primarily when found in the cities. They tend to feast on garbage most of the time, not exactly setting them up for a delightful scent.
Blue foxes, also known as the arctic fox, have barely any stench compared to red foxes. Hunters and farmers tend to kill and collect the meat of these foxes for their dogs or feed the other scavengers in the area as bait.
So if next time you find yourself stuck in a survival situation, make sure you think twice before setting your heart on killing and eating a fox steak for dinner. You might be thoroughly disappointed and put off the meat altogether if you aren’t fully prepared for the stench that comes with fox meat.