Best way to clean a diver

Duck hunting for diver species like Canvasbacks, Redheads, Ringnecks, Eiders, Goldeneye and other diver ducks.

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Best way to clean a diver

Postby fowlhunter » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:29 pm

What is the easiest way to clean a diver? Especially Golden eyes and Buffies. I'm in an area to shoot alot of them, but breasting them out is a nightmare! Help Please!
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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby greyling » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:14 pm

That is very true. Especially when it is freakin freeeezing out. Limits of these birds have their consequences. But it's worth it
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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby wanapasaki » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:43 pm

I never do this with puddlers, but i basically pluck a patch of the breast, pull back the skin exposing the hole breast and follow each side of the breast bone with a fillet knife and peel back the meat. You don't get a whole lot especially on buffles, but it makes good chili and jerky meat. :beer:
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Best way to clean a diver

Postby g_maxson » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:26 pm

Flip bird breast up, feel for breast bone, cut down either side right through the feathers and cut along the rib cage as you normally would. When you get to the bottom of the breast meat grab the meat at the bottom and filet it right off the skin. Can clean them almost as fast as mallards.


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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby FowlOffspring » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:21 pm

Or you can just pluck them.It wastes too much meat to breast them out.
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Best way to clean a diver

Postby DeadEye_Dan » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:46 pm

Bull. There's not enough meat to waste time plucking.
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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby BigBlondeBirdDog » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:52 am

g_maxson wrote:Flip bird breast up, feel for breast bone, cut down either side right through the feathers and cut along the rib cage as you normally would. When you get to the bottom of the breast meat grab the meat at the bottom and filet it right off the skin. Can clean them almost as fast as mallards.


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I would like to second this, but also add to it.

I take a pair of locking needle nose, and when ready, cut alittle spot at the end of the breast, latch on, and fillet the breast off like it was a fish. Its clean, smooth and you don't loose barely any meat. My favorite bird is the Common GE, but I felt terrible after I'd bagg'em and then waste meat while cleaning. Almost gave up hunting them, until an old timer showed me how to clean'em.
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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby Dingbatter 2 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:44 am

What about getting rid of the small pin feathers on the breast? I've tried burning them off with a torch but the Smell!! I like to keep the skin on so that they will cook in their own fat.
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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby radfordc » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:59 am

I've found that its easier to fillet the skin off the breast if you start cutting at the neck. This works much better than starting at the bottom of the breast. Make a cut at the neck and peel the skin back with your thumbs until you see that it won't peel anymore and then start filleting.
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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby WIDrakeKiller » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:17 pm

Just cut the buffies up and make ur dog some snacks, bout that and jerky is the only thing that makes them taste decent.
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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby Shade » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:17 pm

Depends on where you are hunting... If hunting the Gulf of Mexico, Palmolive is the best way to get the oil off.
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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby Yam45 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:53 am

elevate to about 3 ft , then let drop into a trash can! :lol3:
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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby dbrown57 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:33 pm

No idea what some of you think tastes good because Ive had plucked buff here from southern Illinois and it was one of the best ducks Ive had to date. Maybe if you don't like to eat em don't shoot them. Some of you guys on this site are so wasteful, but then again its probably the same people that think Applebee's has good steak.
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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby Wood Duck Hunter » Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:50 am

Soap and water :lol3:
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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby Nelliboy2 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:55 am

I cut below the breast bone through the feathers. Then I'll slide my thumbs under the skin and work my way up to the top of the breast then fellet it. Golden eyes are tough. Normally I will pull the skin back and work my knife along the edge just like I would a deer. Maybe a minute or so per bird.
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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby rikasam2013 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:05 am

We get a lot of GE and Buffies on the snake river later in the season. They make probably a 3rd of my yearly total, so I know what to do. Pluck a narrow strip of feathers down the middle of the breast so you can see the breast bone. Fillet off the breast working from the breast bone out, leaving the skin attached to the carcass on the whole outer edge. Then just like with a fish fillet the meat off the skin, easy. Work the skin down the thighs until you can unhinge the thigh from the socket, cut the meat holding the thigh on. Crack back the knuckle above the foot and cut it off. Grab the thigh and with some work pull the skin off the lower leg. There you have 2 breast steaks and 2 legs. I usually cut the meat off the legs and use for the sausage grind.
The most important thing to do now is get all the meat into a water bath in the fridge. I soak for 3 days until water changes go clear. Blood is your enemy for taste, I soak all my mallards, gaddies and wigeon too. Woodys, pins, and teal, they don't need it.
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Re: Best way to clean a diver

Postby BBK » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:15 pm

Breast them out, if you do it right you waste no meat at all. If you do it half-arsed you will waste a ton. Takes a minute tops to breast out a duck.
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