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Author Topic: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?  (Read 1032 times))

Offline JungleShooter

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How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« on: January 27, 2020, 03:00:57 AM »
I'm new to this. Bear with me.... 😊


So, when I go pigeon hunting usually 4 to 6 hours, I still I have an hour drive home.
And all this time the dead pigeons are out in the sun (80's in the summer), or in the hot car.


🔶 How long can I wait before they need dressing and refrigeration?
Sure, I don't want to get sick eating the meat, but a "the sooner the better"-advice isn't really helping. I'm more looking for a suggested amount of hours, or some other way to prolong the decay of the meat.


THANKS!
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Offline maraudinglizard

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2020, 06:19:28 AM »
I would carry a cooler full of ice if possible in that kind of weather. When I duck hunted in warmer temps here in Florida, I would draw the bird immediately and get it on ice till I got home with them. I do the same for squirrel. Key thing is getting the innards out of them as quickly as possible to help cool them down. The times you have stated is kind of pushing the limits of spoiling. Freezing a plastic bottle of water is another method I use to keep my game cool. Just stick it in a soft cooler that will hold the amount of game you intend take. Usually 2 one liter bottles get me through the day. This my experience in keeping game in hot weather. Hope this helps.
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Offline JungleShooter

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2020, 01:05:19 PM »
Kris,
that sounds simple and cheap enough, especially since I usually have my vehicle close by.
A cardboard box with a couple of frozen water bottles, in the shade. And collecting the birds not at the end but little by little as I shoot them.
THANKS! 👍🏼



So, to get this straight (I'm a total nubee at this):
Taking the innards out is for the purpose of cooling down the meat quicker?


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Offline maraudinglizard

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2020, 02:01:02 PM »
So, to get this straight (I'm a total nubee at this):
Taking the innards out is for the purpose of cooling down the meat quicker?

And keeping the meat from spoiling, the crop contents sour quickly and the acid in the entrails speed up the spoiling as well. I draw my small game as soon as possible for that reason.
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Offline GTA_NO_Longer_The_Best

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2020, 03:51:00 PM »
If you wish to use a cardboard box, put in several layers of newspaper. It helps to act as insulation.
Personally, I like the soft cooler idea better than a hard cooler. It can be folded up and tucked out of the way when not in use. Cardboard will fall apart as condensation builds up.

Offline Wayne52

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2020, 03:53:58 PM »
Any time that I've ever been hunting birds for food I gut them right away, even in the winter, it's been years since I've hunted birds but that's always the way I did it.
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Offline Blutroop

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2020, 12:22:30 AM »
kinda curious.. when I first got to Alaska and was being told how to prepare grouse I thought they were joking. Stand on the wings and pull the feet and you get all the guts separated from the breasts and wings. Does this work on smaller birds like pigeons too?
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Offline maraudinglizard

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2020, 07:11:35 AM »
kinda curious.. when I first got to Alaska and was being told how to prepare grouse I thought they were joking. Stand on the wings and pull the feet and you get all the guts separated from the breasts and wings. Does this work on smaller birds like pigeons too?

With the birds being small as they are I just pop the breasts and cut the legs off.  Just split the belly, insert your thumb and lift up, the breast will separate from the back, peel skin back to the last joint of the legs and cut from the back bone and leg joints. Ducks are a little different, some you pluck and others you skin. Most people just pop the breasts out and leave the rest, I will take it all, the extra trouble is worth it to me.
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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2020, 09:24:04 AM »
Matthias, something like this ice chest might do.  And as a side benefit, it can double as a stool.  I have one that has been in use for 12 years and going strong.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Igloo-Marine-25QT-Contour-49644-White-Cooler/55652058
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Offline JungleShooter

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2020, 10:11:39 AM »
Yes, if large coolers cost in Peru what they cost in the US, I'd do the cooler!But they are double, triple, and more here...  ::)

So, since most of my pigeons come with cow poop on them — compliments of the ainmals whose food they steal and poison with their own poop — I think my wife will be less enthused if I used our regular beach and party cooler for my dark and sinister animal murders.... 🤣
I have a plastic crate, and I'll find a large soft cooler, and frozen water bottles.

Great forum, thanks! 👍🏼
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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2020, 01:16:49 PM »
The frozen bottles are what we use about 95% of the time.  We use the ones that Ocean Spray drink comes in.  They can be re-frozen many, MANY times.
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Offline Bryan Heimann

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2020, 01:43:36 PM »
You might be surprised what is "safe to eat".

As long as you cook them well, you shouldn't get sick.  Even if they start to smell ripe. But it won't be delicious as you hoped, without heavy seasoning.

But if you want them cooked medium, or for the best table fare in general, I would breast them and put them on ice as soon as I popped them.

I don't normally have that convenience either.  But I do all my game meat in a crock pot with celery, onion, and tomato as a staple plus  whatever other seasoning I feel.  Usially a good dose of garlic and onion powders, and often crushed red pepper.  so I have never had to worry about cooking them medium, are they safe to eat, etc.
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Offline JungleShooter

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2020, 04:26:24 PM »
Funny.... — I'm reading this as I'm eating my pigeons.... 😄
Actually, these have been dead and out there for quite a few hours longer than the 4-6h in the OP....

I survived the first pigeon lunch, so I tend to agree with Brian, it keeps quite a while (but I don't want to push it, either — I ditched 3 breasts while fileting them, because they just smelled different from the others...).


Brian, if you would be so kind to more formally write up a recipe for the crockpot...? 😊  I just gave one to my wife for Christmas — so, I have no idea what to do with this pot made from granit.... 😄
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Offline Bryan Heimann

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2020, 08:53:47 PM »
I don't do any exact sort of thing to be honest.  I typically just coat the meat conpletely with garlic salt and onion powder and put it in the crockpot.  If it has a funny smell or I shot it with a shotgun it will probably get celery onion and tomato ;)

Then I just put that in the crockpot and dump a can of rotel tomatoes in there and set it on high for 4 hours, then slide every little bone out of the meat.  Alot of the time I will either put some rice in there and have like a kind of stew.  Or theow in some cream cheese and And use that in all kinds of stuff.  Tacos, jalapeno poppers, etc.  usually will be a combination of squirrel meat and rabbit meat but I have gone as far as a pack of boneless chicken thighs forgotten in the fridge for 2 weeks hehe.  Turns out good no matter what. 
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Offline JungleShooter

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2020, 10:29:09 PM »
Thank you, Bryan, I copied you recipe into my recipe list (not much there yet as I'm just starting out as a hunter — who is also an eater.... 😄 — before I just killed pests....).

Matthias
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Offline Bryan Heimann

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2020, 10:43:29 PM »
I learned about celery, onion, and tomato from watching swamp people.  Seems like they are always making "sauce picante" and these are main ingredients.  I have used it in the past and my grandma used it a lot growing up, but they seem to use it on everything, and call it the holy trinity?  Lol.  But that is hollywood "reality" for you I guess.

But I started doing it on everything because something about that combo helps to tame the game taste.  I kind of like it a little gamey and also like to use sage in my cooking but my family is NOT a fan of that.  Enter the cream cheese trick and bacon wrapped EVERYTHING :)

Garlic and onion powder of course make everything delocious.  I would say that garlic salt, onion powder, and dried crushed red pepper are the holy trinity of seasoning 8)

I wish I could give you an exact recipe but I don't have one!
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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2020, 08:36:59 AM »
  But that is hollywood "reality" for you I guess.
Troy Landry and the rest of the "Swamp People" really ham it up for TV.  But, "holy trinity" is real terminology in the Cajun Culture.  It goes back to a simpler time when we were closer to the land and less dependant on the grocery stores for our food.  Organic was the rule instead of the exception then.  TV cooking shows (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emeril_Lagasse) helped to make those ingredients famous.  They add flavor and, to some extent, change the taste of whatever is being cooked.
Bon appetit!
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Offline Cableaddict

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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2021, 05:28:37 AM »
I'm new to this. Bear with me.... 😊


If there's a bear with you, you'd better get a bigger gun!

(Sorry, I could't help myself.)

----------------------------------------

I'm very interested in this topic as well, since Rock Pigeon is one of the very few edible game I can shoot year-round.  (That, and Woodchuck.)

I typically hike through the mountains for a few miles before I get to the legal hunting areas, since I can do that bt walking from my house.  So carrying an ice chest is not very convenient.  I've though about some smallish dry ice container,  but I'd still like to know if there's a "hard" answer to this question.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 05:35:47 AM by Cableaddict »
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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2021, 09:25:05 AM »
Allan, bringing back this old thread is a good thing.
I hunted Mourning Doves in South Louisiana where/when the 1st Season started on Labor Day.  And back then, the open/shooting time was Noon.  Doves were taken all afternoon and placed in the game bag with no refrigeration.  Often the air temperature was in the mid-90s or higher.  After dark, when we got home after the hunt, we would sit under the carport light and clean our Doves, wash them at the back faucet, and bring them inside to be refrigerated until my mother could cook them.  Many seasons followed that same scenario.  I have eaten Doves prepared that way many times.  And I am here to tell the story.  You might check my profile to see how many years I have.
Good hunting and enjoy your harvest.
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Re: How long can I wait with dressing and refrigerating pigeons?
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2021, 12:52:15 PM »
I have hunted doves countless times. But I've never heard of anyone actually eating pigeons. I've wondered how much different than a dove they would be, but I just never knew anyone really ate them. They always seem to be in such dirty places it seems.
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