A morning on Ocheesee Pond

Once the ducks are caught

A photo of two ducks I shot

Two ducks I took down on a morning hunt.

Once you’ve brought your ducks home, it’s time to pluck and skin them. Plucking and skinning are time consuming and can get pretty messy, so it’s important to have a free day ahead of you and a place you can get dirty. First, cut off the wings as close to the body as you can, and then their legs. You can rough pluck the duck, meaning you pick all the feathers off by hand, or you can dip them in paraffin wax and then scalding hot water. Each way removes the feathers; it’s just easier to use the wax. Next, cut off its head at the base of the neck and its tail. Finally, remove it’s “innards” as my daddy says, and you have a plucked and skinned duck.

Getting them ready to eat

You can cook the duck however you like, but my family tends to enjoy strips of duck. So, we cut slices off the duck until there’s nothing left. Then we put the strips into a Ziploc freezer bag full of ice water and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. The cold water draws out the blood, so the next day you can pull the strips out of the bag, wash them off and either freeze them for later or cook them right then and there. I love fried duck strips, but each person has their own preference.