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What's cooking?! A forum to share your favorite duck recipes, goose recipes, wild game recipes, and smoking; along with how to prepare game before hand.
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Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:49 pm

I feel extremely bad that I killed 3 wood ducks 5 days ago and have not breasted them out. I put them in the fridge friday morning after the hunt and didn't get around to breasting them out like I thought I would. My question is would they still be good if I breasted them out tonight?

Thanks

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:51 pm

only one way to find out!! I would definitely NOT pluck them for the whole bird, first thing to go is abdominal cavity

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:44 pm

They're fine.

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:37 pm

They are usually good for up to 7 days , its almost like the old timers aging them for a week before dressing them

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:03 pm

Even though all the internal organs and blood are still in there?

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:36 pm

Fillet off of the breast plate, soak it in salt water overnight. Cook them up n eat.

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:12 pm

cluckmeister wrote:They are usually good for up to 7 days , its almost like the old timers aging them for a week before dressing them

Wow....that's gnarly...
I'd toss 'em

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:30 pm

In the days of the market hunter, they hung ducks and geese on nails that had been hammered in to the outside walls of their shanty's or cabins to age them.

Heres the main part of an article I found on aging game birds

The science behind aging says that enzymes start to break down the meat as the time after death increases, tenderizing the meat and making it more flavorful. According to the North Dakota State university's Wild Side of the Menu guide to wild game, when aged at 34 to 37 degrees, meat increases in tenderness at a constant rate from one to 14 days--then plateaus. I don't know anyone who hangs birds that long, or at that cool of temperature. Most sources I've found set the ideal temperature anywhere from 40 to 50 degrees. Aging birds in temperatures warmer than 60 degrees invites the risk of introducing harmful bacteria into the process.

I leave the guts in my birds when I age them, though there is some argument to this point as well. If a bird is obviously shot through the midsection or there is the strong smell of guts coming from it, I get those birds cleaned and rinsed quickly. Otherwise, my birds get hung in the garage for anywhere from three to seven days, depending on the temperature outside. In warmer weather, they hang for shorter periods; the colder it is, the longer I let them hang (unless it's below freezing, then they go in the cellar for just a few days).

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Sat Oct 15, 2016 4:58 am

Wow...
I've seen those cool old pics but never knew they left them for so long...

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:17 am

An old boy down where I go to school told me how in britian they dry age their game. They hang in by the head and once the weight of the body beheaded the game it was ready to eat, compound with enzymes breaking the bird down it has a incredible taste.

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:38 am

Mooons wrote: compound with enzymes breaking the bird down .


Yeah, we call that "rotting" in America........ :thumbsup:

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:30 pm

Slack Tide wrote:
Mooons wrote: compound with enzymes breaking the bird down .


Yeah, we call that "rotting" in America........ :thumbsup:




I tried all that many times/many years ago. Nobody who ate a duck aged a week could tell the difference from a duck shot that morning. Conditions have to be right in order for it to be safe. We had lots of 3 and 4 day hunts where it was below freezing and left the birds whole and then cleaned them when we got home but I wouldn't play around in 50 degree weather. Lets face it... Our garages are not meat lockers at a constant temp. This is the same argument we have each year about hanging deer and elk. I have cut and wrapped both deer and elk shot the same day and they were tender enough to cut them with a fork and had elk so tough you needed a chain saw that had hung for a week and everything in between.

Age of the animal, what they have been feeding on ETC ETC has something to do with all this as well. I fed canvasbacks and Bluebills to dyed in the wool puddle duck hunters and they couldn't tell they were divers. I just think taking care of a game animal as soon as possible is the best plan.

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:40 am

Right out of the bag I honestly haven't found much difference either. Teal of course are mild by nature but I have not found a big difference in any waterfowl.
If you've found a good way to "age" them to make them more palatable, God bless you.

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:39 am

The salt water overnight works. Just drain the water 2 or 3 times and put in new water. My wife even liked it which is saying something because duck was the only game she wouldn't eat that I had shot.

Re: Are these wood ducks still fit to eat?

Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:15 am

Eat them they will still be good. I age all my geese since the majority are locals. With few hunters the flocks have age on them. Shot 2 last month one 11 and the other 14 years old both were banded. Usually around a week is the longest I age them.
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