Montana, Field Dressing Tips For Big Game Hunters

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

Montana's big game archery seasons began Sept. 3 and the general rifle season begins Oct. 22.

"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.


Retired2hunt's picture

  Without saying, a great set


Without saying, a great set of tips for field dressing your animal. 

I used to be the hunter who got their hands in there and full of the animal's blood when field dressing my deer.  I have moved over to the group that wear gloves now when field dressing my animals.  I do so for two primary reasons - (1) easy clean up afterwards and (2) you just don't know about a possible blood born disease that can be passed along and require a lot of sick time before getting better.

However, I do stop at cooking my game meat to a doneness of "well"... Nope I draw the line there.  Nothing like a good deer or elk steak cooked medium rare!


GooseHunter Jr's picture

Some great tips there.  While

Some great tips there.  While I hate wearing the gloves to dress an animal it does make alot of sense to do so.  I like to be able to feel what I am cutting...especially when dress an elk alone.  I too started wearing them beause of the blood on the hands.  My hands wold dry out so bad after that and then hurt the rest of the trip.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

I actually have a family

I actually have a family friend that almost died a few years ago, and they think it was due to some sort of parasite he got from dressing out a deer he had shot.  He had a small nick in his finger, and they think he got blood in it, cleaning without gloves.

Well, his kidneys and liver function all but shut down, and they were not sure that they were going to kick back into action.  Thankfully, they did, but it was a scare.  From then on, I have always carried latex gloves into the field.  Maybe that's my jinx though, because I have not shot a deer since then, and never had to use them lol

Very good information for Montana to put out.  Hopefully people everywhere, not just there, will take note of these recommendations.

numbnutz's picture

There are some great tips in

There are some great tips in this article. I myself have been wearing disposable gloves while field dressing for years, eventhough I got made fun of by fellow hunter. I would be called a woman and pansy and fruitloop. at first it was so i didnt get blood under my finger nails because i hate that. then it became more of a safety issue. Parasites are nasty little worms and all it takes is one open wound for the little turds to get into you and cause you a lot of problems. So for all of you manly men out there use your brains too and put on some gloves, it doesnt make you any less of a man. and you can still feel what your doing with tight enough gloves so thats not a good excuse either.