Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tips From The Road: Freezing Game

The Kansas upland season is just starting, as it is in much of the U.S. of A.  And with any luck at all, we'll all be coming home with a few birds for the freezer.  With that in mind, I thought I'd share my method for storing birds for later use.

I was under the impression that everyone did it my way, but I've encountered plenty of serious bird hunters (and fine cooks) who simply toss their harvest in a ziploc bag and drop it in the dark recesses of the deep freeze.  That's a sure invitation for freezer burn, which dries out any exposed surface area of the meat and generally makes your hard-earned birds taste like freezer plastic.

Instead, take ten extra seconds and fill that bag with just enough water to cover the contents before you freeze it.  The water protects the meat almost indefinitely.  I recently thawed and ate a package of quail from the 2008 season that had managed to hide itself deep within the deep freeze -- with no deleterious effects.  The method does take up a bit more room, but it also encourages you to clean things out for the next season.

Just make sure you label your packages -- nothing's a bigger bummer than looking forward to a meal of Hungarian partridge and realizing you've just thawed a package of woodcock.


  1. I just returned from a trip to SD and learned a pretty interesting way to package birds that I'm sure is going to work out great. They split the birds up the back, removing the spine, folded the legs in the cavity, keeping a foot attached of course, double wrapped them in plastic wrap and then in freezer paper. The plastic wrap worked almost as well as vacuum sealing and was a lot less time consuming. We made a production line out of it at the end of every hunt and it went pretty quickly. All in, it took exactly the same amount of time as it took to set back two beers. That's pretty good timing in my book!

  2. 1. Leatherman tool - you can use to tighten screws, cut sausage for the tailgate lunch, or open bottles for post hunt beverage!
    2. Insulated mug - great for morning coffee or post hunt beverage.