Is it best to let them cool off before putting them in the freezer, and how long can I keep them frozen for before taking them to be sold?
The critical time for shot pigeons is actually cooling them down while you are still in the field.
This is obviously very difficult on really hot days, but getting them in the shade, and not piling them on top of each other, will help.
Even covering them with greenery helps to cool them properly.
Just recently a reader wrote in to say he puts his birds into a green mesh keepnet – this keeps flies off but allows plenty of air to circulate around the dead birds.
Sounds a great idea and well worth a try.
Once you get home it is essential you introduce them to your freezer, no more than two layers deep at a time, otherwise the heat is trapped and they will still go rotten.
Provided they go into the freezer in good condition, they should be fine for anything up to six months.