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Posted on: September 9, 2020

Plan for a safe hunting season

Image: Deer in woods

Source: Texas Poison Center Network

Hunting season is rapidly approaching. Whether experienced or not, hunters should concentrate as much on being safe as they do on being successful. Please read the following poison safety tips from the Texas Poison Center Network before this year’s hunting season begins.

Carbon Monoxide

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning is a major threat to hunters each year.
  • Hunters can be in danger if they camp and use heating devices in enclosed spaces or go back to their vehicles to warm up and accidentally fall asleep with their motors running - these too are often the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning.

To prevent carbon monoxide deaths:

  • Don’t use open flame heaters in unventilated spaces.
  • Don’t warm your hands and feet at the exhaust pipe of your vehicle.
  • Remember that fresh air is the best treatment for minor CO exposures.


  • When spending time outdoors, beware of ticks. Ticks are small bloodsucking parasites.
  • Ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants and tuck your pants into your boots.
  • If hunting at ground level, bring along a seat to avoid sitting directly on the ground.
  • Conduct tick checks every few hours while in the field and do a more thorough tick check at the end of the hunt.

Food Safety

  • Take plenty of ice on your hunt in a large cooler.
  • Store meat as soon as possible and know the signs of spoiling meat.
  • Use rubber gloves when handling meat.
  • Use clean & sanitary knives.
  • Label each bag of game meat.
  • Before butchering your meat at home, take the time to wash it carefully .
  • Wash hands as soon as possible with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends consuming frozen wild game within 8 months.
  • If you store meat in the refrigerator, ensure the temperature is set below 40°F and eat or freeze them within 3 days.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

  • CWD is a neurological disease affecting deer, elk, moose and other members of the deer family, known as "cervids."
  • Hunters should take precautions to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
  • Minimize handling and cutting of the brain, spinal tissue, and lymph nodes of any animal killed during a hunt.
  • In the Trans-Pecos, Panhandle & South Central areas of Texas, hunters who harvest mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, red deer, or other CWD susceptible species are REQUIRED to bring their animals to a TPWD (Texas Parks & Wildlife Department) check station within 48 hours of harvest.


  • Brucellosis is a bacterial disease associated with touching the blood, fluid, or tissue from an infected animal and coming in contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, or skin
  • This can happen when you are involved in hunting-related activities.
  • Feral Hogs are carriers that can infect humans and pets.
  • Feral Hog numbers are increasing despite population control efforts.
  • Do not touch a hog carcass with your bare hands.
  • Signs and symptoms of brucellosis can take up to months to appear and can include fever, chills, sweating, headache, low appetite, fatigue, and joint or muscle pain.

Hunting product safety

  • There are many products, such as scent killers or synthetic urine to deter or lure wild game.
  • These products, if ingested or used incorrectly, can cause unintentional poisonings in children.
  • Lead ammunition is still widely used for hunting and shooting, which can lead to lead dust exposure.
  • Keep hunting products up away & out of the reach of children.
  • Store gun bluing and other gun cleaning products in a locked cabinet.

If you think someone has been exposed to a poison or might be having an adverse effect, immediately call 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison center. You can call this toll-free number from anywhere in the U.S., 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Visit these sites for more safety information:

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