Field Dressing Bird Game. Soon is better
Bird game field dressing is very different from big game field dressing, first of all because usually you shoot down one deer, elk or goat and hence there's only one game to field dress, while when hunting birds, usually there are dozens of bodies to work with.
Because of the last, many hunters avoid or at least delay field dressing when hunting doves, pheasants or other birds, this way they don't stop hunting but there's a real risk to ruin good meat!
On this regard there are several ways for field dressing bird game without compromising hunting continuity or at least minimizing it. After all field dress a single bird after each killing will result not only impractical but also annoying.
But even when the obvious option is avoid field dress or at least leave it for the end of the day, the truth is that meat quality may be compromised if not wasted at all, so a full day effort will be lost because of not proceeding with meat properly.
As every hunter know, hot and weat favour bacterial growth and with it meat decomposition, thus field dressing is the only way to stop this process. But for bird game it results impractical to do it immediately after killing, unless you are hunting a pigeon or two for dinner.
Then it's mandatory to find a middle point where field dressing is done as soon as possible interrupting as few as possible hunting itself.
To do so there are at least two options:
- Leave a field dressing team on a fixed spot working with killed birds while the hunting team continues shooting
- Proceed with field dressing after a certain number of kills. In example, each 10 birds downs the hunting stops for field dressing and resumes as soon as the last bird is completely processed
Which one is the best and how to implement it will depend of personal hunters' preference, number of the hunting team members, area where you are hunting and available resources.
The truth it that the first you field dress your bird game, better the results, so finding a way for field dressing birds before they cool remains paramount to obtain the best meat you can from your game.
The effort will pay, so field dressing soon worths!