How to Clean a Pheasant

Here is one way to begin preparing pheasants for the table.

Equipment needed: a sturdy pair of kitchen or game shears.

At all steps in the process take care to avoid cutting yourself on the sharp edges of broken bones.

Pheasant cleaning intro photo

Removing the wings

Step 1

First, remove the wings by cutting them off as close to the body as possible. Again, watch out for broken bones.

 

Removing both wings

Step 2

Remove both wings.

 

Removing the head

Step 3

Remove the head by cutting thru the neck as close to the body as possible.

 

Removing the legs

Step 4

The next step is to remove the legs. Remember that you must keep one leg attached to the bird for transport. The spur on the leg identifies the bird as a legal cock pheasant.

 

Cutting at the "knee" joint

Step 5

Remove the leg by cutting at the “knee” joint.

Skinning the pheasant

Step 6

Starting at the top of the breast, skin the bird by pulling the skin toward the tail.

Exposed crop

Step 7

As you begin skinning, the crop will be exposed.

Milo in Crop 25

Step 8

By noting what food is in the crop (milo pictured) you can begin to plan your next hunt to take advantage of this information

Removing tail

Step 9

Skin all the way to the tail. Remove tail by cutting it off at the point where it joins the body.

 

Cutting along backbone

Step 10

Cut along both sides of the backbone from neck to tail.

 

Pulling the backbone

Step 11

Pull backbone from tail to neck. Most of the entrails will come with it. Remove any remaining entrails and the lungs.

 

Ready for packaging

Step 12

After washing in cold water, this bird is ready for packaging. Cleaned quickly and properly this bird will make for some fine eating.

 

Thanks to Ray Fischer, Claflin for his assistance in this project.