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Safe Handling of Wild Game

hunters in field

Deer are the most sought after game species in New Hampshire.

    Wild game can provide a delicious and healthy source of food, but hunters should always take precautions to minimize exposure to wildlife diseases. The following precautionary measures are easy, effective ways to safely handle deer and other wild game:


  • Avoid shooting or handling an animal that appears sick.
  • Wear rubber gloves and a facemask when gutting or butchering.
  • Never eat the brain, eyeballs, spinal cord, spleen, liver, or lymph nodes.
  • Bone the animal (remove the meat from the bones and spinal column).
  • Avoid cutting through bones or the spinal column.
  • If you saw off antlers or through a bone, or if you sever the spinal column with a knife, disinfect those tools before using them to butcher or remove meat.
  • Remove all fat, membranes, and connective tissue from the meat. Normal field dressing and trimming of fat from meat will remove lymph nodes.
  • Use a 50/50 solution of household chlorine bleach and water to disinfect tools and work surfaces.
  • Cook all meat thoroughly.

    Deer Diseases, Parasites, Abnormalities PDF Document

    Safe Game Handling Tips for Hunters