Game should not be kept too long; birds rarely should be hung longer than one week. Hang in a cool dry room where the air circulates freely. If birds are to be kept many days, draw but do not pick them before hanging. Place a piece of charcoal in the body and sift powdered charcoal into the feathers. A distinction must be made between white meat and dark meat in cooking game. Quail and partridges are white meat and, like chicken, must be thoroughly cooked but not dried. Ducks, pigeons or squabs, grouse (prairie chicken), snipe, and woodcock are dark meat and are preferred by the epicure cooked rare and served very hot.

The methods of cooking all these birds are substantially the same, except as to the degree of rareness desired. They should never be washed, but simply wiped with a damp towel, all shot being carefully picked out of the flesh with a sharp-pointed knife. Small birds are often skinned when the birds are cleaned. There is a difference of opinion among epicures as to the drawing of these birds; sometimes they are cooked undrawn. The English do not draw woodcock, regarding the entrails as edible, and some American housekeepers copy them in this respect.