How to field dress a duck
After expending hours tracking ducks, a whole day catching it, and investing not only resources but also time; once the bird (or birds) is down, you wish to save as much as possible of it, otherwise it would be a waste of resources as well the animal's life.
So, once your game is recovered, follow these simple steps to field dress ducks. Do it as soon as possible in order to prevent meat decomposition.
1. Dirt Out
First thing to do before anything else is to wash the duck and remove rests of soils, faeces and dirt from the body surface. Failing on this step might lead to contamination that will ruin all the meat later.
2. Pluck out feathers
Do this by hand, taking care to avoid skin damages. This is the most difficult part of the job but if you have some boiling water available it's a good idea to immerse the body on it before plucking feathers.
Don't remove skin; this is the first layer of flavour and protects the delicate inner meat.
3. Remove inner organs
Secure the bird breast down and do two parallel cuts along the backbone from tail to head; afterwards pull the head to remove it from the carcass with the backbone and all internal organs attached to it. Sweep the inner cavity with paper towels.
4. Extract blood
Press the meat with the open cuts facing downwards to drain all blood remains. This will render the meat tastier while enhancing its flavor.
5. Cool down the meat
This step needs to be completed as soon as possible, so after proceeding with the above steps, place the carcass on ice to lower temperature near 40 ºF as soon as possible and avoid decomposition.
Remember to store the head and entrails inside a plastic bag, also under refrigeration to show them to the authorities if required.
Now, it's time to field dress your duck games; you only need a few plastic bags, a hunting knife, paper towels and a ice filled container to store your fresh duck meat.