"They are so cute."  That comment made by a mid-westerner after seeing a picture of the prairie dog colony on the west end of Billings. It's easy for out-of-state visitors to think these rodents are harmless because they've not lost a horse due to a broken leg caused by a prairie dog hole. Call them "pasture rats" and they don't sound as adorable.

Photo: Johnny Vincent

So how do they taste? Considered a sweet and delicious meat by Indians and colonists, many recipes were designed for squirrel but can be used with prairie dog meat.

Hotspotoutdoors.com features recipes from waskawood for Prairie Dog Stew, Prairie Dog Pie and BBQ Prairie Dog.

REAL "ORIGINAL" recipe for Prairie Dog Wings.

1) Mix flour and cyan pepper and toss the mix into a bag.
2) Dump a couple of bottles of Tabasco sauce in a plastic bag.
3) Dump some vinegar (the good kind that gets your wife mad when you use it) into a bowl.
4) Dip the prairie dog quarters in the vinegar.
5) Shake them in the flour mix (you want a light dusting).
6) Toss them in the Tabasco (get lots on em).
7) Deep fry until done.
8) Serve with blue cheese dressing (very cold), celery, and carrots.
Note: If they are not quite hot enough add more pepper or dump the juice from a couple bottles of jalapeno in with the Tabasco.
Excerpt from Hotspotoutdoors.com

Photo: Johnny Vincent