After The Hunt

We live for the hunt and all of the memories we have from hunts of seasons that have come and gone too quickly! However, where The Fowl Plucker really starts to shine is the duties that start after the hunt! We want you to be able to benefit from more than The Fowl Plucker, we want you to be skilled in bringing the bird from the field to the table!

Tips for Letting the Feathers Fly


Dry feathers are important, so hang them on your duck strap and let the air dry them while hunting. Ideally, hang the birds overnight at 34-38 degrees. (Your refrigerator at 38 degrees is perfect.) A 6hp and 20-gallon shop-vac is best for collecting feathers and will be full at 25 large ducks. Empty shop-vac into large leaf bag and save for next load.

Pluck bird holding on tight to the wings keeping them away from the plucker head. Turn the bird over, reversing head position (near and away) as your develop a plucking style.

Note: do not cut off any body parts prior to plucking. Beware of broken wing bones. Your plucking will be made easier with a dry bird so when you pick up that bird or take it from your retriever’s mouth, grab it by the legs and give it a good shake. Hang the bird on your duck strap to get the drying process started.

Wet birds do not pluck well, so putting them in a cooler or refrigerator when the outside temperature is above 40 degrees will evaporate the moisture. 2-3 days later you’ll have dry aged, cold birds to pluck.


Soak birds overnight in ice water with some salt and you’ll have a beautiful eating bird. Wound and cavity blood is almost entirely eliminated.


Vacuum packers are the accepted norm for freezing waterfowl.
If you do not own one breasts and legs freeze best in a quart size Zip Lock bag
filled with water. Wrapping a plucked bird 3x-4x with a Saran Wrap type product
is a quick and easy process to avoid freezer burn.

  • Portable Plucker

    A customer of ours in Cincinatti, Ohio created his own portable plucker using The Original Plucker System

  • Creative Ingenuity

    Looking to maximize the efficency of our Plucker system and make clean up a breeze? You can utilize a system such as this one to hold all of the down feathers.

  • Results in Minutes

    The image above showcases on how effective the Plucker System is after only one-two minutes of plucking for each wild duck!

  • Goose Plucking

    After only 3 minutes from our Goose Finger Plucking Heads, this Pacific Brant was plucked effectively & efficiently.

  • Custom Vac-Containers

    Another one of our customers created a direct feather and down storage system by incorporating a 40gallon plastic barrel adding a shop vac head. He then used a plastic trash bag to seal the lid airtight.

  • Plucked Results

    This Canada Goose was plucked utilizing our goose fingers with great results! Ed and Bill with many years of hand and machine plucking can say that not every wild goose plucks the same. Every wild duck does.

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Cooking Tips and Tricks

Our cooking preference for whole ducks is outside on a wood pellet or charcoal BBQ. Our favorites are the wood pellet smoker called The Traeger, born in Oregon, The Holland Grill with its indirect gas heat, and The Green Egg. The duck fat, when hot, will spatter and ruin an indoor cooking device. Duck meat has no fat unlike a goose, which has fat marbling. Chefs around the world love the flavor of duck fat in dishes. 450-475 degrees for 35 minutes produces a medium rare bird with a crisp exterior. As cooking most wild game, “don’t overcook!" Leftovers thinly sliced make a tasty sandwich.

Plucked duck breasts a la onion on hot BBQ for only minutes per side, medium rare for sure!

plucked duck is a nice gift for a friend or the farmer on whose land you hunted. Plucking only the breasts is quick and keeps that flavor packed skin-on for cooking. Put two whole breasts together with a chunk of sweet onion tooth-picked between and you won’t know its duck. A steak like flavor (I swear) but what a difference the skin makes for flavor! Just freeze two breasts in a small zip lock bag of water and you’ll enjoy some great BBQing.



Plucked Smoked Duck Recipe:

  • 7-10 whole plucked ducks (depending on size)
  • Submerge ducks in plastic tub in cold salt water (ratio 10 cups water to 1 cup of salt) use enough salt water according to ducks and container
  • Add 2 lbs of brown sugar, 1 cup of teriyaki, 1 cup of real maple syrup
  • Brine for 3 days in the fridge
  • Remove ducks from brine rinse pad dry and place breast side up in smoker. Smoke at 200-250 degrees about 6-8 hours with alder or apple
  • The smoking time will vary but smoke until there is no blood when the duck is sliced
  • Serve cold, discard skin and eat breast and legs

-Jim Milanowski, Vancouver, Washington

“We shot geese and ducks in Maryland, doves and ducks in St. Louis, Missouri. We use the plucker all year long. I’m against breasting anything — I’m a chef. The whole point is that a dressed whole plucked duck has a hundred times more flavor than stripped out breasts.”
– Chef Larry Condie of Saint Albans, Missouri writes that he purchased one of the early Orvis pluckers (now the FowlPlucker) 40 years ago.


This smoked goose underwent a deplucking followed by eight days of brining followed by one day of smoking and was ready at 160 degrees internally:


  • Cooked White Front Goose

    A White Front goose after 80 min on the Traeger BBQ with Mesquite wood pellets. 375 degrees and you have the best eating of all waterfowl.

  • Duck Breasts with Onion

    Great for summer BBQ is some duck breasts with the skin on with sliced onion in between two breast.

  • Smoked Duck

    If you have access to a Smoker, you have unlimited abilities when it comes to cooking your wild fowl! Look above for one of our Favorite Smoked Duck Recipies.

  • Great Summer Feast

    Once you have a Fowl Plucker you will discover so many new ways to enjoy your bird one of our favorites is Pan-Fried Duck Legs..

  • Smoked Goose

    Just like smoked duck, utilizing a Smoker to cook your favorite wild game bird is a great way to increase overall taste and appearance! If you are utilizing our Big Bird Plucker System, it will make it that much easier to get your bird from Field to Table.

  • Duck Delicacy

    As shown above when you pluck your birds clean with The FowlPlucker, you unlock the ability to roast full mallards and so much more!