Cleaning Birds with a Tin Snip

By Carl H. Altenbernd

You have hunted hard and had a good hunt. Your first job home is to make sure the dogs are clean, injury-free and fed. Next we will unload our gear and then tackle a cooler full of birds. I transport all my birds pre-gutted on ice. The feathers are left intact for identification purposes and I find the meat stays moist and clean. I do not like to spend a lot of time at this chore and have found that a tin snips makes this project a lot easier. Let’s take a look at how we use this tool.

First pull back the chest and leg feathers, exposing the meat surface. Next, take your tin snips and cut the legs at the mid section and base of the cavity. Then make two quick cuts at the base of the chest cavity. Eight easy snips and you are done. You can find your tin snips at most lumberyards or hardwood stores. I have used this tool in cleaning both upland and waterfowl, and it even works well on big, heavy-boned geese.


Pull back feathers and cut legs at the midsection and base of the cavity.

Turn bird on its side and make two quick snips at the breast chest cavity.

Your birds are ready for the fry pan.

Photos by the author.

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