Common Sense Steps For Harvested Game

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Common Sense Steps For Harvested GameMontana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reminds hunters that simple, common sense precautions will help to ensure that their game is properly, and safely, field-dressed and butchered this season.

“Most Montana hunters are aware that they could encounter big game or game birds that have contracted a virus or other ailment,” said Ron Aasheim, chief of FWP’s Communications and Education Division in Helena. “While the chance of contracting an ailment or disease from wild game is remote, it just makes good sense for hunters to take a few precautions with their harvested game.”

Most upland game bird seasons open Sept.1 and soon to follow are archery seasons for antelope, elk and deer on Sept. 6.

Common Sense Steps For Harvested GameFWP advises hunters to take the following simple precautions when pursuing any game animal, including waterfowl, game birds, deer and elk.

  • Hunters should avoid mosquitoes–the most likely means of acquiring West Nile virus—and wear protective clothing and apply insect repellant.
  • Do not shoot, handle or consume any animal that is acting abnormally or appears to be sick. Contact FWP if you see or harvest an animal that appears sick.
  • Wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing your waterfowl, game birds, deer or elk.
  • Bone out the meat from your deer or elk. Don’t saw through bone, and avoid cutting through the brain or spinal cord (backbone).
  • Minimize the handling of deer or elk brain and spinal tissues.
  • Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of deer or elk. (Normal field dressing coupled with boning-out a carcass will remove most, if not all, of these body parts. Cutting away all fatty tissue will remove remaining lymph nodes.)
  • If you have your deer or elk commercially processed, request that your animal is processed individually, without meat from other animals being added to meat from your animal.
  • Soak any utensils used to field dress or prepare deer, elk, waterfowl, or game birds in a solution of one part household bleach and 10 parts water for 20 minutes.
  • Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.
  • Cook all game until well done