Getting the “Gamy” Taste out of Wild Ducks, Fowl, Etc. (3 of 3)



Avoiding Gamy Taste in Ducks and other Fowl! *

Re-reading the two posts regarding “gamy taste” in wild game, the tone of the pieces seem to be focused on venison.  Perhaps a few words on wild ducks, wild geese, wild turkey, wild fowl, would be appropriate.

Why Wild Duck Tastes Different

In truth, wild duck, goose, turkey, etc., have a different taste than domesticated (the ones you can buy in the frozen meat cases). Wild game has not been ‘fattened up’ for the market, nor has it been fed special foods  – and diet truly does affect a bird’s taste.

A Step on the Dry Side

The ‘wild ones’ symbolize “what-you-see-is-what-you-get.”  And that is the beauty of wild game – no hormones were added – it is just natural food.  Because wild game has not been fed a diet of fats and things you cannot pronounce, it tastes dry.

Tips With Quail

Before freezing, quail may be skinned or plucked. For more moisture and flavor, pluck, rather than skin. Quail can be kept in the freezer (at 0 degrees) for 9 – 10 months – if placed in vapor/moisture proof containers or wrapping.

Fried Quail

4 quail, 1/4 cup flour, salt and pepper

After dredging quail in flour mixture, fry in hot fat. Brown on both sides. Cover skillet and reduce heat. Cook slowly until tender, ~ 20 minutes, turning once to brown evenly. Serves 4.

Ideas for Marinating Ducks & Birds

If your ducks are fish-eating animals, it is best to marinate in wine, buttermilk or vinegar. If the game is an older goose or duck, marinating your animal in the refrigerator for 4 to 12 hours will improve flavor.

These older birds respond well to 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. vinegar per quart of water. This mixture will improve flavor and tenderize the flesh.

Dining on Duck

Wild duck, which is a dark meat, is most flavorful when served rare. I’ve found that roasting a duck in a closed pan – after adding a few strips of bacon (across the carcass) – really makes a difference with large and less-tender birds.

The only way I cook ducks is with bacon (strips) and/or in gravy.  They need the moisture provided by these, plus a closed pan.

Wild Goose

Young wild goose  is wonderful: little waste, the meat is rich, dark and lean. Unfortunately, older geese don’t seem to get better in moist heat.  Given a choice, tell your hunter to aim for the youngster. 😉


One thing I forgot to  include with the venison info: Venison does not freeze until it cools down below 28 degrees.


* Reflections of Autumn used with permission of Vantage Point Graphics


This series includes:

#1 of 3: Can You Take the Wild Taste Out of Venison?

# 2 of 3: Removing the “Gamy” from Wild Game!

# 3 of 3: Getting the “Gamy” Taste out of Wild Ducks, Fowl, Etc.


This is a companion to my website:


  1. It was certainly interesting for me to read the post. Thanks the author for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.

    Bella Kuree
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  2. Dear Bella,

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. I’m adding a new article along this line on Wednesday, October 13 th. Hope you have a come back soon!

    Best wishes,

  3. […] Getting the “Gamy” Taste out of Wild Ducks, Fowl, Etc. […]

  4. Great post as for me. I’d like to read a bit more concerning this matter. The only thing that blog misses is some photos of some gizmos.

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  5. Dear Nickolas,

    Thanks for commenting; I appreciate the time you took to share!

    We are delighted to have you stop by and take a look any time!

    — Marylouise

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