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Safely Handling (Dead)Wildlife

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by TerraRose, May 2, 2016.

  1. TerraRose

    TerraRose New Member

    Hello all, I was hoping to get some straight answers from people who have been handling animals for many years. How safe is -too- safe?

    What I mean is, recently the number of animals I have been processing has really picked up and I want to be sure I'm doing everything right when it comes to protecting myself from any creepy crawlies they may have.

    Right now, I wear protective eye wear, nitrile gloves, bags over my shoes, and a military rain-coat while skinning/fleshing. I process my animals in the garage and hose/mop out the garage with dawn dish soap after each batch. All of our animals are frozen solid when they arrive, and get a spritz of Raid while in a garbage bag to kill fleas. Should I be doing more, such as tossing down bleach or ammonia? After washing a hide clean of blood in Dawn how safe is it to handle?

    Also, how much of a threat are raccoon roundworms? I handle raccoons often and typically wash them before and after skinning. We've also asked our supplier to hose them off before freezing them for us.

    And finally, what should I do to protect myself from rabies and/or what situation would warrant a trip to the hospital? I'm very careful when I skin and have only nicked myself while skinning out a fresh wild turkey.

    Thank you for your time! The idea of not being safe enough because of inexperience makes my skin itch, haha!
  2. My suggestion is just to relax or find something to do that doesn't involve dead animals.

    Otherwise, put your animals in the freezer for a couple weeks to kill the fleas and ticks. As for roundworm, just don't start eating the feces and avoid opening the abdominal cavity. With rabies, its lifespan outside the body is very short http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/3125654/ and primarily transmits through infected saliva into open wounds and mucous membranes (mouth, eyes, inner nose, etc.)

    You don't need bags on your shoes or a "military rain-coat" unless you're making a horrid mess (at which point you are skinning incorrectly). Gloves and maybe an apron are just fine. To keep the floor clean, I suggest buying disposable plastic drop cloths from the paint section of a hardware store.

  3. Sonnyknight

    Sonnyknight Member

    Wow and I don't even clean my knives lol I think you need to get some blood on yourself. I slit my wrist right open last jan after skinning 2 coons and a coyote I just poured some hydrogen peroxide and I was fine .
    But it is good you're safe.

  4. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Too Safe? ;D

  5. Sonnyknight

    Sonnyknight Member

    All that for a squirrel haha :)
  6. Todd B

    Todd B Active Member

    I would suggest you find something else to occupy your time. talk about overkill. To each his own but that is a bit ridiculous and over the top. Do you have pets? Do you sanitize every time you pet one of them? The only thing I do is wear latex gloves when I skin mainly because I do not want to be bloody, secondly is the threat of bacteria in a cut. I do take some more precautions with carnivores who I assume would have more bacteria in the mouth ass opposed to a herbivore. But I just make sure I wash my hands afterward and go on with my life. I do not let the worry of those things consume my life to the point I am paranoid about it. I am a bit more careful with fresh deer due to ticks but then again I just make sure to check myself well and I will spray myself with bug spray if I have it. I do wear glasses when using hazardous materials that may splash into my eyes but other than that those are the main precautions I take. like I said do what you got to do and good luck.

    Todd B
  7. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    A typical scenario when I would skin out an animal was to skin it out, no gloves or protective gear of any sort. I would skin for a few minutes, reach over and grab my sandwich take a few bites, skin some more and take a few more bites. A friend of mine was over one time and said "you do know that all that gut juice and blood on your bare hands is soaking into the bread don't you?". I said that's what makes it taste so good. I stopped eating while I worked after that.

    I now take the precautions of wearing gloves and when injecting bird feet I finally started wearing glasses. I injected many bird feet and never had a problem. The first time I decided that I had better wear glasses, I was having trouble with it not going in, I pulled the needle out of the foot and a steady stream of Fantastic cast shot all over my glasses. I'm still amazed that none got in my eyes, however, I can attest to the fact that it does not taste very good.

    The point is gloves for every thing I do and goggles when using hazardous products that can squirt. I clean surfaces and utensils with bleach once a month.
  8. TerraRose

    TerraRose New Member

    It's good to know that what I'm doing is a -little- extreme and not lacking, haha!

    The reason I asked is because my GF and her parents are picky about what happens in their garage and don't want anything getting into the house (which is why my shoes are covered, rain jacket, etc) and they don't want the dogs getting roundworms or anything of that sort.

    I'M not squeamish, I've skinned out fresh deer and wild turkey with no gloves, but my GF is very paranoid. Thanks everyone!
  9. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

    Funny thing is, most folks I know that are operating room clean, always hand washing and bathing are the ones that are sick all the time.
  10. I guess no caned beans the night b4 cyclone.