No healthy elk would allow someone to approach this close. Photo Courtesy of Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Simple Precautions Advised

Public health and wildlife officials advise hunters to take the following precautions when pursuing or handling deer and elk that may have been exposed to CWD:

    • Do not shoot, handle or consume any animal that is acting abnormally or appears to be sick. Contact your state game and fish department if you see or harvest an animal that appears sick.
    • Wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing your deer or elk.
    • Bone out the meat from your animal. Don’t saw through bone, and avoid cutting through the brain or spinal cord (backbone).
    • Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.
    • Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.
    • Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of harvested animals. (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.)
    • Avoid consuming the meat from any animal that tests positive for the disease.
    • 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.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has developed a brochure on field dressing and processing deer. This excellent resource can be found  on their website [PDF]