I never field dress birds, I do immediately do field dress rabbits. I would never do it but some folks hang teir birds with the entrails in for days before cleaning them, they claim it makes them taste better. I age venison, not birds.
On a warm day I'll field dress the bird soon after it's down, but it's normally not necessary and I'll wait till I get home.
Johnís post reminded me of when I was a kid growing-up in Bucks County during the 70ís; we had a neighbor who always just let his birds hang outside without field dressing. He took them down and prepared them around Christmas time.
A number of years ago the PGC had a video available on aging meat. I was amazed at the time you can leave birds and mammals go before cleaning them. I remember in the case of the pheasant, they suggested leaving the entrails in the bird while aging! I was a little blown away. They said removing the entrails actually spread more bacteria than leaving them in the bird. If a bird was shot hard, then immediately clean and process. Also the temperature plays an important role in aging meat. Anything out of the high 40s probably not a good idea. From now on, you should be fine leaving them hang for days. Yum, yum
"The wildlife and it's habitat cannot speak for itself. So we must and we will." Teddy Roosevelt
I have a friend that puts his birds in the crisper drawers of an old refridgerator for a week or more to age them before he cleans them. I told him, I would never eat game at his house. Just the thought of guts leaking digestive juices inside the bird takes away my appetite. Then with woodcock some the guts to make a sauce. Not me brother.