Birds, Not Waterfowl

I just like this pic. Not Waterfowl, but still a bird –
Nothing is as intense as knowing a cock pheasant is about to spook. The cackle, the wing beats, the meat…if you can hit them. The meat is tender, lean and tasty. Sage hen hunting is probably one of my favorite things on the planet.
So with ring-necks, chukar, quail, grouse and partridges I have started to hang my meat. Hank Shaw convinced me to give it a try and I must say that I am now a convert. An old rooster can turn into a tender roaster in just a few days. This flies in the face of all that I know about how to treat wild game. I used to be a firm believer in the “gut it right after you shoot it” concept. Now, I’ll let it age – AS LONG AS IT IS COLD OUTSIDE. If I shoot a bird and I am breaking a sweat, it gets gutted. If I bust a cap and pick the bird up out of the snow, it gets hung. I am a firm believer that temperature management is key to aging meat, without it you are heading for disaster. Honest-Food.net has a great treaties on why to hang wild game. Check it out.

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