When in doubt, let AZGFD check it out
PHOENIX — Nature isn’t perfect. If a hunter spends enough time in the field, there’s a chance he or she, at some point, might harvest an animal that appears to be sick or deformed, or looks suspect during the field-dressing process.
While oddities are few and far between, and rarely present any cause for concern — especially when it comes to turning that harvest into delicious table fare — hunters are being encouraged to let a wildlife health specialist at the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) take a look.
That would require hunters to save the internal organs (and keep them cold in a sealable plastic bag), then call any of the department’s regional offices to schedule an analysis. Another option? Take several photos of the anomaly and email them to AZGFD veterinarian Anne Justice-Allen at email@example.com.
“Harvested wildlife can be the most ‘organic’ food out there, but occasionally they get sick and this sometimes results in a food safety issue,” Justice-Allen said. “The department has the resources to test animals with signs of disease for our customers.”