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Question by Ontario Honker .... Uploaded on November 19, 2012
Here in Montana it is legal to remove the wings but one leg must be retained for identification purposes. I cut off both wings and remove the entire butt then remove guts as usual. Prepared that way one rooster will fit perfectly inside a one quart double zippered Ziplock freezer bag. It's a real tight fit but for freezer purposes the tighter the better. Use a straw to suck out the air when the zipper is closed. Keep sucking as the last corner is zipped up with straw simultaneously pulled out.
I prefer to skin the bird and gut it. Then I use my food saver and make a bag and seal it it will last a long time food saver all the way
I parcel..two legs, a back, and a breast I split, and de-bone. Goes in a food saver bag, and air sucked out. Bird pieces then cook fast, and stay moist. The bird gets skinned with the entire skin coming off, and provided to flytyers that want a complete pheasant skin including the wings, and tail feathers.
Food save is close to being a necessity for the home butcher. It really does make a big difference.
save = saver
Of course the birds are skinned. Should have made that clear. I would prefer boning them as I do geese but for transport after processing the law requires them to be whole carcass with one leg attached. I like that requirement much better than other jurisdictions insisting on a wing retained. That gets messy when bird is skinned and they also won't fit in a quart bag.
I do two cleaning sessions...one in the field, and one at home. I follow the "one leg or wing" thing to get to the house, but once there I remove bone out the breast meat and cut off the legs. Then I freeze in freezer bags with just enough water to cover.
Gives me one last chance to pick out any shot or feathers (or dog hair) at that point too.
If the powers that be want to serve a search warrant and do DNA testing in my garage to discover that the boned breasts are non-identifiable gamebirds, I guess I'll bake cookies and serve them cokes while they are at it.
I've got 2 of those deboned breasts in the smoker right now. Both birds shot yesterday, and absolutely terrible shooting on my part. One flew out over a cattail slew, and my first two shots were about as easy as it gets, and never touched a feather. The 3rd shot was long range, and dropped the bird beyond the slew, and into a high weed field on the other side. In goes my black mutt(part lab) through the slew and cattails, over the high bank, and into the weed field...swam back with the bird in his mouth. 2nd bird took the 3rd shot, and another long one. Two other guys saw it, and told me it had glided down, and into an adjacent woods. They said they would go help me find it. They had a Lewellen Setter. Here comes Black Mutt out of the woods with the bird in his mouth.
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