Hunting game birds is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors without some of the challenges that come along with hunting big game animals. But once you have a successful hunt, do you know how to field dress and care for your birds? Here are a few tools and techniques that can help you successfully field dress your game birds!
Tools You Need
You really only need a few simple tools in order to take care of your birds. The most basic thing you will need is a knife, preferably one with a 2 ½ to a 4-inch blade that you can easily handle. You also need this knife to be sharp, so having a knife sharpener is not a bad idea either!
Another item that will help tremendously with game birds is a pair of snipping shears. These can be used to easily remove the wings and legs of bigger birds like ducks, geese, and even turkeys. While these are not necessary and you can use your knife, these can make the job much easier and quicker!
Lastly, you will need some field dressing gloves and some simple cleanup supplies like a water faucet and some paper towels. Some simple rubber or latex gloves will help reduce the amount of cleanup and protect your hands.
How to Field Dress
Field dressing birds is very simple and can be done in about four simple steps. First, use your knife to make a small cut just below the breast bone. Next, pull the breast forward and the legs in order to open up the bird. Reach inside and pull out all of the insides, including the heart, lungs, intestines, and gizzard. Wipe off the bird inside with a paper towel and place it in your cooler for later cleaning!
After you field dress your bird and are ready to finish cleaning it, you can bring in the snipping shears. Snip off (or cut off with your knife) the wings and the legs at the first joint above the foot. Make another cut in the skin and pull it away from the breast and sides of the bird. Remove any other skin, intestines, or tissue that may not come off with the meat when you separate it from the skin and main body. When finished, you should have a perfectly prepared bird that is ready to be rinsed off and placed in a freezer or favorite dinner recipe.
When prepared and dealt with correctly, game birds can provide the best meals that you could imagine. By following these simple tricks and having a few basic tools, you can properly field dress and clean your birds following a successful hunt and provide some tasty meals for you and your family at the dinner table! Don’t forget to check the latest Bradley hunting & fishing guides for outdoor tips year-round!
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