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Field Dressing Tips For Big Game Hunters

Friday, September 30, 2011
This news release was archived on Sunday, October 30, 2011

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reminds hunters that simple, common sense precautions are part of the safe and proper field dressing of big game.

"While the chance of contracting a disease from wild game is remote, it makes good sense to take a few simple precautions," said Ron Aasheim, a spokesman for FWP.

Here are some of the precautions that FWP recommends to hunters handling harvested game including waterfowl, game birds, deer and elk.

  • Do not shoot, handle or consume any animal that is acting abnormally or that appears sick. Contact FWP if you see an animal that appears sick.
  • Wear rubber gloves when field dressing any game animal.
  • Bone out the meat from your deer or elk. Avoid sawing through bone when you can and avoid cutting through the brain or spinal cord (backbone).
  • Minimize contact with animal hair, brain, intestines, fluids, spinal tissue and feces.
  • Be mindful of domestic dogs touching or coming in contact with animal parts or feces as it can be contaminated and transmit parasites.
  • Prevent dogs from eating the internal organs of game animals.
  • If you have your wild meat commercially processed, ask to have your harvest processed individually, without the addition of meat from other animals.
  • Wash hands and forearms after field dressing game animals.
  • Cook all game meat until well done.