February 06, 2012
If you're in the stand and see a deer that looks a little sick, chances are you might want to keep your distance.
That's what one Pennsylvania hunter found out after being exposed to rabies while field dressing a deer he shot on Jan. 20, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
"The hunter contacted us about his concerns that the deer was unfit for human consumption," said John Veylupek, Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer. "The hunter said that he saw the deer standing in a creek, straining and growling. He thought there was a coyote nearby from the sounds the deer was making."
The hunter, who was not identified, reportedly had scratches on his hands and was not wearing gloves while dressing the deer. Veylupek added that after gathering samples for testing and information from hunter, the deer was determined to be rabid. The hunter was advised to contact a doctor about post-exposure rabies shots.
According to the report, any mammal is susceptible to rabies. Wildlife veterinarian Walter Cottrell urged hunters to wear rubber or latex gloves when field-dressing animals to avoid spreading the disease to other mammals -- including hunters and their families.