Harvesting Animals with CWD

treillw

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I never had to research this before, but am planning a hunt into an area that is known to have animals infected with Chronic Wasting Disease. Is the meat safe to eat? Area there any precautionary measures you should take while eating it or during field dressing? I know that you are not allowed to transport the brain or spinal material. I'm just wondering if it will make humans sick at all.

Anything else noteworthy?

Thanks!
 

TREE ‘EM

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NE MO
There’s a lot of hype and misinformation about CWD, it’s prevalence and effects.
Ultimately it’s less prevalent than talked about, and can be found most anywhere and everywhere.

My farm is in a CWD zone and our state conservation department recently went on a deer jacking spree and killed 300 deer to test. Not a single positive came back.

If a deer is going to test positive nine times out of 10 you can tell before it even gets tested.
 

rob86jeep

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Colorado
I hear a lot of guys say they would eat a CWD positive animal as there's never been a documented case of transmission to humans. However, they still recommend you don't eat the meat. The question I would ask is would you feel comfortable feeding the meat to your children? Regardless of what I "think" is safe, I won't knowingly feed a CWD positive animal to my kids until it is stated to be safe by the state/gov. I do a lot of things that aren't safe, but I won't subject my kids to the same and I won't keep a food product in my house (that my family would assume to be safe) if I can't feed my whole family with it.
 

jmez

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The conundrum is, there is no such thing as a negative test. If there is CWD in an area then there is not detected and positive. You can't just assume not detected is negative.

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spike camp

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There’s a lot of hype and misinformation about CWD, it’s prevalence and effects.
Ultimately it’s less prevalent than talked about, and can be found most anywhere and everywhere.

My farm is in a CWD zone and our state conservation department recently went on a deer jacking spree and killed 300 deer to test. Not a single positive came back.

If a deer is going to test positive nine times out of 10 you can tell before it even gets tested.

Can you tell if this buck is CWD positive?
 

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Rich M

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Orlando
The conundrum is, there is no such thing as a negative test. If there is CWD in an area then there is not detected and positive. You can't just assume not detected is negative.

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk
You gonna start talking about method detection limits or what?

If the meat is positive, it isn't smart to eat it. Why would you knowingly eat tainted meat? Do you seek salmonella contaminated chicken or 3 week old sea food? Just examples, not being sarcastic.

If you are trophy hunting, have the critter tested. Then you'll know. Can eat or toss it.

I'm still waiting on my results from this year's muley. First one. Meat is processed into burger and cubed steak, waiting on green light...

Sucks that we have to deal with this at all. Mad cow for deer.
 
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treillw

treillw

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Judging solely from these couple of posts, it sounds like I'm not eating anything without having it tested.

Anybody been through that process in Montana? How is it?
 

slatty

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British Columbia
I would avoid touching spine, spinal fluid, brain, and get it tested if there is CWD in the area.
Practically what this means for me is to cut out the neck meat rather than a bone-in neck roast. The only cut through spine I make is to cut the head off. I save this for my last cut and I put the knife or saw away after this. If you're not keeping the head then you don't need to touch spine at all.
I have the same opinion that I think it's safe for ME to eat CWD meat but i'd never feed it to my family, so I wouldn't have the meat in the house.
As discussed, it has never been transmitted to humans however primates have been infected by eating contaminated muscle meat (specifically macaque monkeys), heightening suspicion that humans could get it. All transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), of which CWD is one, are poorly understood and really if there is one case of human transmission the hunting world will blow up. As of yet this hasn't happened and people have been eating CWD-contaminated meat since the 1960s.
 

coop22250

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Palmer AK
In the late stages of CWD it is obvious, they will be disoriented and usually emaciated. Early stages you cannot tell if they have it.

The best way to avoid exposure is to do the gutless method, don’t mess with the spine. Debone it all there.

Take an old knife or saw that is only for removing the head and use it only for that and keep it away from the meat. Then place the head in a plastic bag to prevent spreading it around your pack etc.

The spongiform encephalopathies are usually located in the nervous system including eyes, brain, spinal cord, spinal process, tonsils, and on the back of the tongue below the vallate papillae.

There are some concerns that the prions could be located in the lymph nodes, most of those are located in fatty areas on the animal and trimmed out, so that’s not too much of a concern.

If you eat the tongue, make sure and cut it off below the vallate papillae at the back to remove the lingual tonsils, also can hold prions. See attached photos.

There hasn’t been definitive proof that it can transfer, but we do have proof others related to CWD can transfer to humans, so it’s always a good idea to play it safe.

 

spike camp

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Colorado
I have the same question. Tell me how I can tell if an animal has CWD before I shot it.

ClearCreek



The answer is, unless the animal is in the very late stages of the disease, there is no way to differentiate between a positive or negative animal.

“9/10 times you can tell” ——totally false.

CWD can take up to 2 years to kill the host animal, and that animal doesn’t exhibit outward signs of the disease for 75%+ of those 24 months.
 
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treillw

treillw

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In the late stages of CWD it is obvious, they will be disoriented and usually emaciated.
So there is a good chance of me being able to take an animal of this caliber down is what you're saying??
 

coop22250

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You could probably tackle a deer in the late stages of CWD but I wouldn’t recommend it!


It’s not a bad idea to have a deer tested in the areas known to have CWD even if it’s not within the mandatory testing areas.




I have yet to be begin to procrastinate.
 

manitou1

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Truman Lake area, Missouri
What we must consider is that most of us eat meat, whether it be beef, pork, chicken or wild game. Those same locker plants that process commercial meat process wild game during the season. It takes 2700 degrees F to kill the prion. No known anti-viral, anti-biotic or disenfectant can kill it. The prion van live in soil for something like one-hundred years. About imossible to remove from surfaces. It is a stubborn thing. Mad cow disease is transmissable... do you still eat beef?
I sent my muley samples off this season and had results on the WG&F website inside of ten days. They said the test is 99.9% accurate as to negative results. Regardless, I wouldn't knowingly eat infected animals, although I am sure I have. Been eating wild game for 45+ years.
It has probably been around long before white man settled in the Americas.
 

sram9102

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CWD is one of the things that people know so little about that asking questions on the internet is going to make you either not care about it at all or you don't hunt areas that have it.

Say you kill an animal in a area that has a high concentration of the disease. You butcher the animal pack it out put it in your cooler getting blood on your truck, knives, saw, cloths. etc. You get it tested and its positive, are you throwing away anything that came into contact with the infected animal? Prions don't go away, you buying a new truck if your text comes back positive?

No amount of reading on the internet is going to give you piece of mind. If you are worried about contracting a disease that has never been transferred to a human you probably shouldn't drive down the highway to your hunting spot.

Either eat it or pick a different hunting area.
 

spike camp

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CWD is thought to be a strain of a similar disease, like scrapie in sheep.
It is then very possible that the current strain of CWD has only been around for 100 years.

Scientists are saying that it’s only a matter of time before the current strain of CWD mutates into one that can infect humans.
These kinds of diseases mutate, just like the new strain of VCJD that humans develop.

Science is catching up with CWD, and a LOT more is known about this disease, compared to just 10 years ago.

Besides that there hasn’t been a link to a human with CWD, the other side of the topic to be aware of is how much humans are influencing the rapid spread of CWD.
Practices like bait piles, placing scents, or the use of urine based scents are becoming illegal. These things artificially congregate deer, and increase the likelihood of transmitting the disease.

How remains are disposed of is also a huge contributing factor.
Tossing the guts and bones in the back 40 creates the potential for ‘hot spots’ where deer can uptake the prions, or scavengers can spread the prions across the landscape through their feces.

If you were to look at all the culminated statistical data over the last 10 years available from all the impacted states, the current trend of the spread of CWD paints a grim picture.
States that have never had positives, but test the same amount of animals annually, are being added to the states that now have CWD in the wild herds.
 

LostArra

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Oklahoma
Good data will remain scarce until improved testing methods are developed. In many states, including a lot of western states, getting an animal tested especially for a non-resident is a logistics nightmare and makes any attempt at prion containment impossible.

When a biologic process is poorly understood there is usually a lot of knee-jerk reaction especially in popular media that is not based on science but fear (Zombie Deer). If we believed early reports in the 70's and 80's we should all be dead from the AIDS virus or Ebola.

To repeat a line from a Colorado hunter/writer who lives and hunts in a CWD zone: "more people are dead from eating Romaine lettuce than eating untested game meat"

Sure things may change (mutate) but who says they won't change for the better?
 
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