How would I process Game birds???

I'm an avid bird hunter.
I get at least 6-20 pheasants per/yr
and usually a few huns, quail & chukar
I understand how to skin the bird and keep feathers intact (da)
but how do you cure this out and keep the skin from
decomposing and smeeling bad? Logic tells
me you probably need to get the skin dry right away. :DUNNO
My bird hunting season was pretty lame last year so I didn't get to try this out. I was told to sprinkle a liberal amount of borate on the skin side of the pelt and let it sit. I guess the borate dries the skin while preserving it. I haven't looked for it yet, but was told that you can find borate in the cleaning supplies area of a drug store or grocery store.

Also, you might call Cabela's and ask them if they will just sell you the skin preservative they use in their mounting kits. I checked their web page and the sell a pheasant mounting kit that includes a preservative but they didn't have the preservative as a seperate item.

I hope that helps. Maybe others will pitch in with better ideas.
You can use a liberal amount of "20 Mule Borax" on the skin. It is available in the cleaning supply section at lots of places.

Kaari White

Active Member
I use borax, works great.....I take the skin and nail it to a board to prevent it from shrinking/rolling up....take off as much fat/flesh from the skin and apply liberally with borax. Doesn't take long to cure a skin.
I had a great bird season, pheasants were about the same as 2000, and can't complain about the huns, chukar, grouse, or quail. My success rests completely on the excellent work of my labrador. Ducks were a little off, but I'm not fond of how they taste anyway!
I clean as much of the fat off the skin as possible and tack onto a board or cardboard. I sometimes just use salt and never have problems with smell. Of course, I live on the dry side of the state, so that may allow my methods to work. I sometimes only save the rump feathers of the pheasants, but save the whole skins on huns.

We had a good season on pheasant, but not as many quail as usual. I have an older lab (11) who has been the best hunter we've ever had in the family. Next year, my daughter will start so I'll have a geriatric dog and a kid - should be a fun, low-key season. We've ordered another pup which should be ready in July.

Kaari White

Active Member
We've ordered another pup which should be ready in July.
Just a word of advice from a avid lab nut...Please make sure both parents have OFA'd hips and CERF'd eyes at a minimum. OFA'd elbows are also a good idea, but not many field breeders testing for it. Genetic soundness is a must when as many as 1/5th of all labs have hip dysplacia. I also have a pup on the way, out of local field champ, Sun valley nugget.