Preserving Wild Fowl without Refrigeration

Wild Fowl

The other day I was up at one of the areas in Northern California where a number of wild fowl seen to spent the winter.  In the spring and fall, you always get a large number traveling north or south depending on the season.  But some always seem to stay, so even in the middle of winter there are quite a few birds around.  In the summer, they disappear and head north.

So  when the birds are massed like this there would be excellent hunting opportunities after TEOTWAWKI. Do not violate fish and game laws. The only problem is what do you do with the meat.  You can only eat so much, before it goes bad.

I have been trying to research methods that were used in the past to preserve wild fowl without the use of refrigeration.  I have found quite a few references to it being done, but not a lot of details.

Making jerky from wild fowl is the method that I have found the most information on.  It seems that it can be made like any other jerky; just make sure you dry it properly.  It is always safer to over dry than to under dry, because if it’s not dry enough, it can mold.  A pound of raw meat or fish generally dries to between one-third and one-half pound of jerky.

A friend of mine makes and stores jerky as a normal part of his storage.  He takes lean meat, slices it thin, salts it and dries it.  He does not consider it ready until it will snap when bent.  He then stores it in plastic bags inside plastic buckets under his house.  He says the normal temperature under there is about 40 degrees F.  The same method will work for wild fowl.  He says to use a filleting knife to debone it.

Canning is another option, it can be canned like any other meat and will store will.  We can meat all the time and it stores well. In Italy they made duck or goose prosciutto. Here is a link to a recipe, duck or goose prosciutto .

I have also been researching duck confit which is a method that the French used to preserve wild fowl; it involved storing them in their own fat.  I have found many modern recipes, but they all seem to end with keep refrigerated.  I am looking for an old-fashioned recipe. If you have any information on preserving wild fowl, would you please share it with us.


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