Gourds will dry out in the weather just fine. No, it won't hurt them to get wet from rain, nor will it hurt them to freeze. Yes, a hard freeze will kill the vines and leaves, but mature gourds will do just fine. Commercial growers don't pick their gourds from the fields until they are fully dry. Gourds are dry when they are very light in weight and the seeds rattle when they are shaken. Gourds that are left on the vine to dry, harden off much better and seem to be of much higher quality than gourds that have been picked while still green.
You're only ruining your gourd, and in most cases where this is
done, the gourds will soon rot. That outer skin is the protective
covering for your gourds and if you remove it, then you are only
inviting trouble into your gourds. This also means, don't cut ANY large
holes and scrape out the insides. In most cases, the gourd will soon
cave in and collapse. If a gourd is not dried, then nothing should be
done to it until it is.
The stem of a gourd
is very porous and this is where much of the water inside the gourd will
escape. If you cut your gourds off the vines, leave approximately 2
inches of stem intact. Pruning sheers or a very sharp knife should be
used to cut gourds from the vine. NEVER just twist the stem to
break it. This will allow infection into a green gourd and the stem will
become useless for future use. The cut should be clean to allow the
water to escape. Also, although we perceive the outside of a gourd to be
hard, it is in reality, very porous and a good amount of the water will
escape through the skin also.