As a deer & elk hunter, I am used to the shoot it / clean it / move it / skin it approach to hunting. However, this year I will be hunting game birds (turkey first) and small game animals in the fall & winter. o What is the rule of thumb on these smaller animals? o Can you hunt throughout the day and then pluck and clean at the end of the day? o What about squirrel & rabbit? o Does anybody have a good URL on cleaning birds? Thank in advance!
: birds (turkey first) and small game animals in the fall & winter. : o What is the rule of thumb on these smaller animals? : o Can you hunt throughout the day and then pluck and clean at the end of : the day? : o What about squirrel & rabbit? : o Does anybody have a good URL on cleaning birds? : Thank in advance! : Michael
My wife's grandfather hunted rabbits with beagles all his life, and he would never gut the rabbit it the field. He figured the dogs would be after the 'gut pile' rather than continue to hunt. He lived to be 86, so... not gutting them right away won't kill you. Of course he did throw out a gut shot rabbit now and then, once he started to clean it.
I recommend cleaning as soon as possible. Meat tens to spoil quickly and bacteria counts skyrocket quickly after and animal dies. Same reason you 'shoot it / clean it / move it /'.
Well, most of my experience is with turkeys. With them, field dress them (carefully cut around the anal opening, and pull everything out - don't puncture anything - it will spoil the meat). It's fast and easy. Then get them in a cooler as soon as you can. You can only shoot one a day (here in Missouri that's one a week) so it should be no prob heading back to the truck to stow the bird. We've left them out for an hour or so- usually it's cool during turkey season, but on a warm day get it cooled down.
As for small birds, field dress them (gut) them ASAP, and if it's warm be careful them and get them cooled down. I wouldn't go all day, but a couple hours should be ok as long as it's not hot out.
Clean it the minute you pick it up. Get rid of blood, hair, feathers, whatever. I do not pluck birds any more, but skin and gut them on the spot and leave the mess for the coyotes.
For squirrel and rabbits I usually carry a cooler with ice and put skinned gutted critters in. This is Illegal with birds so I gut and ice only.leave the skinning/plucking for home.
i agree clean it in the field as soon as you get it.
The easiest way to clean birds of the Grouse/Quail size: Lay bird on its back with feet towards you. Place your feet on the outstretched wings - close to the body. Grab the legs and pull gently but firmly. The head, neck, skin and entrails will pull right through the body cavity leaving you with the breasts and back - skinned and gutted. Just break off the wings and back.
This method also works well on pheasants, a guide showed it to me a couple of years ago. I have to admit having never seen it before I thought the guy was crazy and my buddy who saw him start to do it told the guide he didn't want ANY help cleaning his birds that is until he saw the finished product now I use this method all the time and still to this day razz my buddy about it.
Can't go wrong with this