Pheasant shot and prepared by yourself makes a tasty and very inexpensive meal. The only cost to the hunter is for the shotgun shells, which are pretty cheap. Pheasant is best after hanging at least 2 days in cool conditions before plucking. Since game is usually tougher than domestic poultry, hanging also helps to tenderize the meat and enhance the gamey flavor. The longer the meat hangs, the gamier it tastes.
Lay the pheasant on its back. Begin plucking the feathers from the breast and work upward toward the neck. Pluck by taking a small group of feathers between your thumb and forefinger, pulling crisply out and opposite the direction that the feathers naturally lie in. This technique reduces the occurrence of skin breakage.
Pluck the neck all the way around, working in a downward direction. Continue plucking this area until you are about halfway down the neck.
Continue plucking downward until you've plucked the entire body. Use tweezers to remove the stubborn tiny pinfeathers that remain along the spine.
Pluck the legs and then the tail. Be especially careful when plucking the tail, as this area is more prone to skin tearing than the other areas are.
Lay the pheasant on its back again. Stretch out the wings and use shears to cut through the center wing hinge joints to remove the wing tips along with the long, tough primary feathers. Use pliers to remove any of the larger and more resistant wing feathers that remain.
Cut off the head using a sharp, stout knife, making your cut as close to the body as possible.
Cut through the elbow joints to remove the feet and discard them.