The Wisconsin Department of Health Services updated its guidance for deer hunters Monday, adding new advice on taking proper precautions when out in the field.
- “Hunters are always encouraged to use good hygiene practices when processing animals to reduce their risk of exposure to many possible disease agents,” the department said. “Incorporating a few additional measures can also help to reduce their risk of possible exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”
Some of the new changes include:
- Wear a mask when field-dressing deer.
- If you’re immunocompromised, you may want to ask for help with processing and handling.
- Consider how much you’re cutting into or handling the deer.
The department said there’s no evidence that wildlife can cause COVID-19 illness in people. However, signs that COVID-19 can be found in wildlife prompted the officials to make the recommendations, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Questions about deer and COVID-19 have been running wild this fall. In fact, researchers at Iowa State University found about 80% of deer in a sample group tested positive for COVID-19, per KCCI-TV.
However, experts are worried that letting the coronavirus spread between animals could lead to new dangerous mutations, per Business Insider.