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Disease is not common in free-ranging wildlife populations. However, hunters should take precautions to prevent any unnecessary contact with infected animals.

  • Wear rubber or latex gloves when handling the animal.
  • Do not cut internal organs, spinal cord, or bones when opening the body cavity or removing the entrails.
  • Stay informed about wildlife disease issues in your hunting area, and know how to tell whether an animal is infected.
  • Contact your local Fish, Wildlife & Parks office to report any animal that appears sick.

In most cases, wildlife diseases do not affect people. However, there are a few exceptions. Rabies epidemics are uncommon, but are a serious concern. Tularemia, occasionally found in rabbits, beavers, and other animals, is another health concern. One animal disease that has captured a lot of attention lately is Chronic Wasting Disease or CWD. There is no evidence that CWD can spread from game animals to humans, but cautious hunters will want to learn more about it.