Dressing

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Dressing

Postby SWG » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:34 am

Just started ducking hunting a couple of years ago and love it, but still lots to learn. Anybody have any suggestions about how long before a duck needs to be field dressed? If I get ducks early AM, is it okay to hang out until lunch or even until the end of shooting hours before cleaning them? Or is it best to clean them ASAP?
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Re: Dressing

Postby ronvt » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:07 pm

I usually clean them after the hunt, which is usually after lunch. If i shoot the first bird at 7:00 a.m. it might not be cleaned until three. If there is only a few birds, I will gut them and age them in the fridge for around 5 days. If there is alot of birds they are cleaned, labeled, vacuum sealed and frozen. I have read about people aging them longer then 5 days but I don't have the fridge space.
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Re: Dressing

Postby SWG » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:07 pm

OK. Thanks for the input! There's a bunch of conflicting info online.
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Re: Dressing

Postby IslandHunter » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:11 pm

I generally recommend field dressing the birds as soon as is practical, which is usually post hunt. But I am even more diligent w/birds that appear to have taken shot through the intestinal tract as those pellets can proceed on into the flesh and easily taint the flavor! On later season/cold weather hunts, you definitely have some additional leeway on the timeframe as the birds tends to freeze-up while you're still hunting.

Same principles apply to aging your birds: during the warm weather of earlier season hunts I try to use the fridge and age +/- 3 days. If I have too many birds for the fridge then I'll age them outdoors for 1-2 days taking care to keep them out of the sun - I have a north facing & shady back porch that is perfect for this task. During the cold weather of the later season, 3-5 days outdoors seems to be ideal.

Hope this helps & happy hunting!
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