Field Dressing Bird Game
Field dressing bird games is more an organization matter than a technically complex procedure. Everything is about the best timing for field dressing, doing it quickly and store/carry meat properly.
However for beginners or those who wish to refresh their knowledge about birds field dressing, here there's a practical, step by step guide.
Of course everyone will have its own preferences and techniques, but basics are the same; so let's see how to field dress bird games:
1. Do it as soon as possible
When field dressing birds games everything is about time. The sooner, the better, so ideally every killed bird should be field dressed as soon as its retrieves, nevertheless that's not always the case, so if not possible to do it immediately, at leat field dress birds before body temperature drops.
That's particularly true on warm weather where corpses stay warm longer favouring bacterial growth and meat decomposition, thus field dressing soon remains paramount to about meat ruining.
2. Begin from the inner
Most of harmful bacteria are not outside the corpse but inside. Gut bacteria is responsible of most of meat waste when any game is not field dressed soon or properly, so taking out viscera is crucial to keep your bird game meat fresh and good.
Then first thing to do is remove gut and any other inner organ, to do so unplug feathers on the midline from the breast bone to the anal opening. Afterwards make a skin incision with a sharp knife taking care to avoid inner structures.
Once the abdominal cavity is open, use your hand to pull out guts and all other inner organs avoiding leakages which might contaminate meat.
3. Take rid of blood
Blood is not good for meat. It avoids fast cooling, favours bacterial growth and attracts flies and other insects, so taking rid of if is one of success keys.
If you are working on a fixed spot it's possible to cut neck vessels and hang up the corpse with the head down to drain blood. If not, you may fill abdominal cavity with dry grass in order to absorb blood and keep bugs away.
If you are hunting on cold weather, snow is even better than grass to absorb blood and help to cool down meat.
4. Feathers off
Unplug feathers is another key step to preserve meat, however doing it may be an annoying, time consuming task wich many hunters delay as must as possible.
The best practice is to unplug feathers before the meat temperature drops, otherwise you will tear meat when unplugging feathers.
In the case you unplug a cold game feathers it's a good practice to plunge the corpse on hot water until temperature raises.
Ideal temperature is 180 Celsius degrees (356 Fahrenheit). Lower or higher than it and the skin will tear apart.
Unplug feathers from a cooled bird is not an easy task, thus it's better to do it before the body colds down or to skin out the bird later.
5. Hang to tenderize
Hanging out game birds will help to tenderize meat, thus as soon as you field dress game birds proceed to hang out them on your way back home and even during hunting.
Once you are back, keep birds hanged for a couple of days to help meat tenderizing.
Avoid bags or any other storage method other than hanging since the last will help not only to tenderize meat but also to cool it faster, helping preservation.
As you may see, field dress birds game is more a matter of organization than complexity, however doing it good results paramount to keep your bird game meat fresh, tender and tasty.