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How to Spot and Avoid Common Infectious Diseases in Game Animals



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 How to Spot and Avoid Common Infectious Diseases in Game Animals  

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As a hunter, you should always remember that game animals may have diseases that can be harmful to humans. These diseases can make you mildly ill, or they can be life threatening.  Learning how to spot and avoid getting sick is important for seasonal and subsistence hunters.  


Basic External Safety Check


Before you begin dressing the carcass, do an exterior check for signs of illness.  You should be wary of any animal that shows signs of starvation, tick or flea infestation, scabby skin, fluid discharges from body orifices, or old wounds that may be hiding gangrene. Do not just perform a visual check, put on your field dressing surgical gloves and rub your hands over the body to check for hidden problems.  

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Things to Watch for When Skinning and Dressing


Before you begin skinning or dressing the carcass, make sure that your hands, arms, and tools are clean.  Work in a clean area and dress the animal as quickly as possible after killing it.  Regardless of the diseases you are concerned about, it is always important to wear disposable gloves that cover to your elbows.  Since many pathogens can be inhaled while you are working, it is also important to wear a mask that filters out bacteria.  You may also want to wear a face shield to prevent fluid splatters from getting onto your face and near mucus membranes around your eyes.


The following may indicate the animal was sick, and is unfit to eat.  Do not attempt to consume these animals. You are better off alerting the game warden and let them address the problem.  


  • While you are skinning the carcass, the back of the skin should be soft or gelatinous.  Avoid further contact if you note a film of blood in areas other than where your projectiles hit.
  • Muscle tissue that smells bad.
  • Muscle tissue with parasites, blood spots, or blood clots.
  • Greenish discharge from organs.
  • Black blood on or inside the organs, inside the body cavity, or anywhere else in the tissue.
  • Also check the lungs and on the inside surface of the rib cage for lumps that could be signs of disease.


Other Important Precautions


When dressing a carcass, avoid puncturing the stomach and intestines.  If you do damage these areas,  wash out the body cavity with an antibacterial solution, alcohol rubs, or vinegar.   Avoid using water because it encourages bacterial growth. After cleaning, make sure the insides of the carcass are dry.


Clean all of your tools frequently while working in order to cut down on internal contamination.  Since some diseases are concentrated in brain or spinal tissues, avoid cutting through the spinal cord.  Never consume brain tissue from game animals.  


Storing Game Meat

Once you are done field dressing, bring the temperature of the carcass below 40 degrees as soon as  possible.  Pack the carcass with ice or freeze blocks and then tie the carcass closed.


Insofar as short term storage, you can keep fresh game meat in the refrigerator for about two days. After that, it must be frozen.  Later on, when thawing out the meat, do so in the refrigerator in a sealed container as opposed to on the counter.  


Cooking Game Meat


Even if the animal seemed healthy at the time of killing, pathogens may still be in the meat.  Most pathogens will cause symptoms such as weakness, fever, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea if you don’t cook meat properly.   


The following steps will help to cut down on any illness caused by improper cooking:


  • Always keep your cooking area clean.  Scrub  all surfaces, utensils, and cooking equipment in hot soapy water before, during, and after food preparation.


  • Cook game meat until it reaches a safe internal temperature.  Research to find the correct temperature for each animal species.  Never eat under cooked, raw, or microwaved game meat.  While some may disagree, it is also best to avoid consuming smoked game meat if you aren’t absolutely certain the strips have reached, and stayed at a safe temperature for a long enough time to kill off diseases.


4 Diseases to be Especially Wary Of




Anthrax is commonly found in bison, deer, elk, and moose, and poisoning comes from the Bacillus anthracis bacteria.  There are three main forms of this disease:

  • Lung anthrax- occurs when you breathe in the bacteria.  Early symptoms include fevers, a general feeling of bad health, and a sore throat.  Later on, shortness of breath, coughing, chest pains, and respiratory failure lead to death.   
  • Gastrointestinal or digestive track anthrax- Usually not fatal, but may cause loss of appetite, vomiting, high fevers, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
  • Cutaneous or skin anthrax- This is the most common type of anthrax, and not deadly.  It starts out as a painless sore that becomes a blister; which forms an ulcer with a black center.   It is best to identify early and treat with antibiotics.


If an animal is infected with anthrax, it may appear weak, slow moving, disoriented, or confused.  Most animals will die within hours or days of the initial onset of symptoms.  When you encounter the carcass, you may find bloody drainage from the nose, mouth, or anus.  The carcass may also bloat and decompose faster than normal.   If you suspect that an animal is infected with anthrax, immediately stop handling the carcass and leave it in place.  You will also need to inform the game warden of your suspicions and let them know where the carcass is located.  




This infection is caused by toxins from the bacteria Leptospira, which is commonly carried by deer, raccoon, beaver, and rodents.  Leptospirosis is transmitted by contact with contaminated urine and body tissue.  You can also get this disease if you consume water or other foods that came into contact with infected urine and body tissue. Since infected animals don’t show any symptoms, so you may have a hard time spotting this disease.  Even though this disease is rarely fatal in humans, it is best to avoid infection.  


  • Wear disposable gloves when handling carcasses and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Always wear boots when wading in water.
  • Always clean cuts or wounds with soap and water.


While most people will not have symptoms, others may experience high fevers, severe headaches, muscle aches, chills, and vomiting.  These will usually be followed by red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and jaundice. If you do not get treatment, the disease can cause kidney damage, liver failure, headache, stiff neck, and breathing problems.   


Orf (Contagious Ecthyma)


This disease is caused by the Parapox virus and is common in wild sheep and goats.  If you look at the animal’s lips or inside the mouth, you might see single or multiple crusty lumps.  You may also find lesions above the hooves, on the udder, and on the face. Even though young, nursing animals are more susceptible to this disease, it can still be found in older animals.  


Orf can only be transmitted if you touch or come into contact with lesions from the disease. When skinning and dressing the animal, carefully trim away the infected tissue.  Try to prevent any contact between the edible meat and infected tissue.  

If you do get sick from Orf, you will usually experience  mild fever, swollen painful lymph nodes, and red lesions on the arm, hands, or face. Skin lesions usually disappear in six weeks without scarring.  You may still need medical attention and anti-viral medication to treat this disease.  




Tuberculosis is caused by the bacteria Bacterium Mycobacterium bovis, and is common in bison, deer, elk, and moose.  Even though some animals may appear in poor condition, others may show no signs of having this disease.  Internally, you may or may not find multiple small round crusty lumps in lymph nodes, on the lungs, and on the rib cage.


Tuberculosis is transmitted through inhaling the bacteria, which can be found in open wounds, feces, and fluids from the mouth and nose; and less commonly through openings in your skin.  While there are treatments for Tuberculosis, it can be a serious and deadly disease if left untreated.  You can avoid getting this disease from game animals by doing the following:


  • Stop handling the animal if you see pale rounded lumps on lungs, rib cage, or internal organs.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling a carcass.
  • Use a good quality face filter mask to prevent inhaling the bacterial.
  • Report your findings to the game warden.


Symptoms of the disease in people depends where the lesions are located.  If the bacteria reach the lungs, you may experience a prolonged illness with cough, fever, weight loss, night sweats, and occasionally coughing up blood.  Intestinal infections will cause diarrhea and stomach pain.


As a hunter, you should always be wary of diseases in game meat that can make you sick or kill you.  Take the time now to learn more about common game diseases in your area, as well as how to avoid getting them.  This will help ensure you have a safe, healthy hunting season, and give you confidence in your ability to hunt at the subsistence level in a time of need.


*A Scott Hughes Original for FP!

**Picture by Michigan DNR.

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Writes​​ ​​about​​ ​​freedom ​​and​​ ​​more​​ ​​​​at​​​​.​​ ​​His weekly National Affairs Column - never a dull read - appears at The Piedmont Chronicles​​​​. THE SUBSTITUTE​​ is his first Novel. He​​ ​​is​​ ​​still none​​ ​​too​​ ​​fond​​ ​​of​​ ​​government​​ ​​meddling.

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Excellent Ideas from an Experienced Survivalist to Homestead in an Apartment



After watching the 1999 romantic comedy, ‘Blast from the Past,’ I had always wondered about the genius of Dr. Calvin Webber who managed 35 years in an underground shelter. His wife gave birth to an only child Adam, who ventured out into the outside world for the first time in his 35th year. The point is the film convinced its viewers very realistically that it is possible to live isolated for at least 35 years if we make meticulous plans. 

History is overloaded with numerous examples of self-sufficient lifestyles. Many communes had developed their norms to survive and maintain law and order within their secluded lands. There are many anecdotes about people living their lives without interacting with the external world. The “Lena and Ole” compilations are based on Norwegians who chose the upper lands of the Midwest as their foster homes. Here is a one-liner, 

“Ole painted the barn in July and had put on two jackets because the user manual of the paint said- Put on two coats!”

This is an inadvertent simple joke that has no ill intentions. Will Rogers once said, “Everything is funny as long as it’s happening to someone else.” Homesteading is no easy task. At the same time, it is a style that has no substitute once you get used to it. 

The Age of Information

Our generation is blessed with information at our fingertips, I mean, literally. Today a shepherd boy living in a remote African village has more information on his smartphone than was available only to the President of the United States at a certain age. My point is that the film ‘Blast from the past’ could not be conceived today nor would Ole put on two jackets to paint the barn. Homesteading is fine for people who live on “land,” but what about the inhabitants of apartments? 

The Homesteading Lifestyle

What happens in a homestead that is independent of the outside society? The inhabitants have the necessities within the confines of their boundaries for a decent existence. Let us have a look at the methods used by homesteaders to live. First we need to define the term in simple language.

An individual, a family, or a whole society can live within the set geographical limits of a designated area. We are talking about homesteading in an apartment, so let us focus on an individual or a small family. 

Definition of Homesteading in an Apartment

A single-family existing within the household compound of an apartment building to live, work, and earn can be defined as homesteading. 

This layman’s definition will give rise to a lot of questions which we shall be attempting in the content that follows. 

OK, let us now get on with living our dream life homesteading in our apartments.

A Farm Inside the Apartment

I will begin by growing my food and advance on to sophisticated produce along the way. Start small by growing your salad bowl.

i. Get hold of enough grow bags or containers. Search the net for required sizes and DIY ideas.

ii. Prepare the soil by using proper potting mix.

iii. Tomato is a good option- cherry tomato would be my suggestion. 

iv. Other plants for our salad bowl should be lettuce and basil plants. 

v. Take care of the plants with good nursing practices. Place them on the balcony where there is enough sun.

vi. Carrots can be grown inside car battery covers in the interior of the apartment.

vii. You can make organic fertilizer at home. 

You are now the proud owner of an organic farm. 

Tip: Grow lights can substitute for the sun.

Other Items I Can Grow

Once you get the hang of interior farming, we can move on to other crops. 

Strawberries: They can be grown in containers or grow bags, but need a hydroponic watering system. We will discuss that later. 

Herbs: Mints, lavender, and rosemary are good choices. They will come in handy to prepare a good cup of hot tea. They can also be used to make soaps and oils. Herbs will add flavor to many dishes. 

Micro Greens: With some quality seeds you can begin. The first harvest will provide seeds for the next. 

Sprouts: With a jar and some cheesecloth or mess top we can grow our sprouts for a stir fry or sandwich. 

A Hydroponic System

Even if you are growing food using containers and potting soil, a hydroponic system will let you increase the quantity. It avoids a lot of mess as it advocates a system of soilless farming. They come in compact designs or vertical configurations. 

They can be bought or constructed by learning the numerous DIY strategies available online. 

Manufacture Manure at Home

Organic fertilizer can be made at home by the clever utilization of food waste. Get a container with a good lid. Put some gravel and soil at the bottom. Introduce worms for worm composting. Empty all bio-degradable garbage into the container. You will get enough environment-friendly fertilizer for the farm. This method frees you from the chore of taking out the garbage. 

Tip: Do not expose the manure cans to sunlight. It can cook worms. 

Grow Mushrooms

Did you know mushrooms are grown only indoors for industrial farming? Get an edible mushroom kit to begin your first batch in a dark corner of your apartment. 

Meat On The Table

Did you wonder for a moment what crazy idea I was going to put forth? Quails!

They are very silent birds that need only very little space. They give a lot of eggs and quail meat is way above chicken, beef, and pork in its health advantages. Quails being small birds, need only a little feed, and kitchen scraps go well with them. 

Mini Solar Power House

Did you know solar panels don’t require direct sunlight? They need good lighting and it is advised to install the panels at a good spot on the patio or balcony. 

Depending upon the capacity of the panels, you can increase the number of appliances that run on solar power. They can be used for grow lights and also for pumps used in the hydroponic system. 

A Self-Reliant Life

Once we have become self-sufficient in food matters, we can think about cutting out other purchases. This will also involve income creation. Do your homework to get as many DIY ideas as possible. We can begin the process by gaining ideas by:

i. Visiting other homesteaders or communes.

ii. Joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) venture.

iii. Visiting farmer’s markets.

We can enrich our homesteading experience within the confines of an apartment by progressing on to a more autonomous lifestyle by integrating the following activities:

i. Do own baking for bread and other items.

ii. Learn and engage in carpentry.

iii. Do your own electric and plumbing jobs.

iv. Learn to stitch to make your garments (trust me, it is far easier than you believed.)

Before Going Shopping

Whenever the need to buy something comes up, take a few moments to ponder whether it is something you can create using your potential. Not only will you be learning a new skill, but also it may help you earn. Remember, the Wright brothers had never flown an airplane till they became the first humans to become airborne on a machine. 

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Why Does the Black Plague Keep Coming Back?



Black Plague
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Prepper News Weekly, Friday, April 6, 2018



Prepper News Weekly, Friday, April 6, 2018


A big, busy, crazy week in prepper land! Spring has sprung and it has sprung forth all manner of issues to keep us on our toes. Here’s a review of the bigger stories bearing down on preppers and freedom lovers. Please enjoy (and subscribe!):


Video by Perrin Lovett/FPTV/YouTube.


Perrin recently learned that something called “airplane mode” stops incoming debt collection calls and hate texts from interrupting our recordings! Will wonders never cease?



Quality will improve immediately…


In the news:


The Caravan


Mass migration


Troops out of Syria, to Rio Grande?


More Snow?!


YouTube shooting


China and tariffs







And, we’re in full swing at The Masters!


Thank you, as always. Don’t forget to check every day for all the stories that affect preppers, survivalists, and the rest of the sanity crowd. Well, check it now – rumor has it the news will soon be incorporated into the new, new revised and improved Stay tuned.


Have a great weekend!


Perrin​​ ​​Lovett​​​ ​​​writes​​ ​​about​​ ​​freedom,​​ ​​firearms,​​ ​​and​​ ​​cigars​​ ​​(and​​ ​​everything​​ ​​else)​​ ​​at​​.​​ ​​He​​ ​​is​​ ​​none​​ ​​too​​ ​​fond​​ ​​of​​ ​​government​​ ​​meddling.

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