Introduction: How to Clean a Duck

Hi, my name is Isaac Hills. I have been hunting ever since I started walking. Did you know that there were over 15 million wild game hunters last year, just in the United States alone? There are plenty of them that don’t know how to clean their game properly, and I teach people how to appropriately clean their wild game. Someday, duck hunting may be a fun thing to try, but cleaning one might seem difficult. Why pay to get your wild game cleaned, when it can be done yourself? I’m going to show the steps to properly clean a duck. Hunting is a great way to get outdoors and spend time with family and friends. It is also a valuable lesson to learn and teach younger generations.

Cleaning a duck is an easy process, once it has been done a few of times. It is easy to get the hang of. The supplies needed to clean a duck is a knife, a duck, and a tabletop. The process below shows how to clean a duck properly. For this demonstration, I will be cleaning a greenhead mallard in the video, and a pintail in the pictures, but all ducks are close to the same to clean. Learning how to clean them properly could be important for teaching younger generations, or even for survival. The following steps show how to clean a harvested duck. Viewer discretion advised.

Step 1:

Set the duck face up on the table. Make a cut in the very middle 1-2” long lengthwise on the duck, pluck a few feathers from the very middle to make the cut easier. Cut just deep enough to get through the skin, but try not to cut through the meat. Be careful not to cut yourself while doing this.

Step 2:

After the cut through the skin has been made, peel the skin back around the breast meat of the duck. Peel the skin back as far as possible. Depending on how tough the duck is, a knife may have to be used to cut in between the skin and meat. It’s fine if the skin tears, just keep pulling it back.

Step 3:

Once the skin is pulled back, the meat can be cut out. Begin along the top-left side of the breastbone, and cut from the top to the bottom of the breastbone, about 1 inch deep, until the knife touches the ribs. Then make a cut along the wishbone on the top of the breastbone, about 1 inch deep again. Following that cut, basically lay the knife flat along the rib cage, and cut along it. Keep cutting along the rib cage until that piece is completely cut off of the duck.

Step 4:

Repeat that step again, except this time it will be on the right side of the duck. Everything will be the same as the left side. After the 2 breast fillets have been cut off of the duck, clean them up by checking them over for bb’s, feathers, and blood clots. If any of these are found, remove them. When the cleaning is finished, I recommend soaking the meat in salt water for approximately 24 hours. Doing this will pull any blood clots out of the meat. Now the duck is ready to be cooked.