15 ways to skin a … duck? Okay, just one.

Happy hunting season to you and yours. This year, when your guy starts busting out his neon orange, you should too! Get your girlfriends together, take a gun safety course, and get on out there. (You know, there is a sisterhood merit badge for that.) Hunting, like fishing and gardening, is a healthy and rewarding way to get outside and take part in the process of harvesting your own food. When I worked as a wilderness ranger (decades ago:), I caught fish every day for my dinner and sometimes for breakfast.

Did you know Mark Zuckerberg, the inventor of Facebook, ate ONLY meat that he had killed for an entire year? He takes on a new challenge every year …

In 2009, he began to challenge himself with tasks that would test his self-discipline. That first year, he simply promised he would wear a tie to work every day. Then, in 2010, he learned Mandarin by practicing the language every day. In 2011, his task was to eat only meat that he had killed himself. And this year, he has dedicated himself to returning to his roots, spending time computer programming every day.

Sadly, his idea of participating in the process of getting meat to the table was mind-blowing for some people. But after all, meat does not just appear neatly wrapped in plastic at the deli. And hunting does result in healthy meat, guaranteeing no plumping, steroids, or antibiotics. I can attest to the claim that fresh game is very tasty. Plus, you have the added bonus of communing with nature, family, and friends.

So this hunting season, get out there and do what your ancestors did. Go connect with your food. It will definitely broaden your horizons. It will probably change your stance on supporting the beef and chicken industry. And it may even change how you feel about eating meat as a whole.

When you harvest a fowl, you have to know how to skin it. Today, Ashley, my DIL, and I will take you through the process, and then tomorrow, for Friday’s recipe of the week, we’ll show you how to cook a 3-course meal … on a campfire.

First, grab yer bird. We added a cutting board to this process, but it’s not mandatory. Below is the easiest way to remove the sections of meat you’ll cook while camping.

First, find the joint between the feet and the leg. Using a knife, or just a simple pair of scissors, like you see here, and cut just above the joint.

Next, find the joint between the wings and the body and clip those. Removing these parts just makes it easier to skin the whole bird. Though, it is possible to remove the meat without this process.

Remove the feathers at the sternum.

Using a sharp knife, gently make a 1″ cut along the sternum.

Using both hands, peel back the skin to reveal the breast. If you can avoid it, don’t slice into the meat. You can see in the back what happens if you knick the breast. Not a huge deal, but the meat will cook better with less indentations.

Once peeled back, slice across the bottom of the ribcage, keeping as much meat together as possible. Waste not, want not!

Slice the breast lengthwise and remove.

And there you go! Come back tomorrow for a finger-licking campfire dinner.

  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Great idea! I think that ‘ll grab hubby & go bird hunting. We live off the venison that he shoots every year, not to mention the partridge, rabbits & squirrels that we both hunt. I feel much akin to the land & love the fact that we know what our game is eating. I personally don’t like duck, so we don’t eat that. So with that & our garden we live pretty much off the land. And we love it!

  2. jean says:

    Beats plucking off feathers! Good to know. I’m keeping this for my files. We are new to the PNW, I hear there’s darn good duck hunting over east of the cascades. Hubby wants to go on a guided hunt first to refresh his memory. Shoot, I should, too!

  3. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I could never kill and eat a bird or animal. If it were up to me, I would just have to be a vegetarian forever. I have struggled with the meat thing all of my adult life but being married to someone who loves meat makes it hard. But I have learned to make lots of meatless dishes and decrease the amount of meat I ever eat to teeny amounts, if even that. I hate guns and prefer my wildlife to stay right where they are. Call me a wimp, call me crazy, but this is just who I am. Softheaded my Dad used to say!!!!!

  4. Pingback: Today’s Recipe: Duck Dinner in a Dakota Fire Hole | Raising Jane Journal

  5. Blake Stuber says:

    we have always pulled the legs meat off of the bigger ducks, Mallards, Canvasbacks, ect. It is not much more but it helps. Otherwise i found this passage very helpful for seeing how someone else does it.

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