A Cautionary Tale For Hog Hunters

Just saw this over at the Field and Stream Field Notes blog, and felt like it’s definitely worth sharing.

Almost every hunter of warm-blooded creatures is at some risk from blood-borne pathogens.  Whether it’s tularemia from rabbits, bubonic plague from ground squirrels, or CWD from deer, we’re warned by “the authorities” to be careful handling game.  By all accounts, hogs are particularly subject to various diseases.  I’ve heard some horror stories from a few hog hunters about mysterious symptoms and illnesses that turned out to have come from handling feral hogs in the field.

Rubber gloves are widely recommended for field dressing and handling wild game meat, and I know a lot of folks use them religiously.  I’ve always been one of the hard-headed guys who won’t use gloves (and I’ve made all sorts of justifications… but I’ll spare you), but that doesn’t mean I’m right.  Sort of like seatbelts or motorcycle helmets, I suppose… you only really appreciate them when you need them.  The rest of the time, they’re  sort of a hassle.

Well, according to the article Chad posted on the Field Notes blog, this hunter in Greenville, SC probably wishes he’d buckled up!

Upstate family and wildlife officials are warning hunters of a hog-bourne illness after a Laurens County man was hospitalized following a hog hunting trip.

“Had we known this, we would have never — he would have never gone hog hunting,” said Renae Hensley, whose 23-year-old son, Josh, was in Greenville Memorial Hospital on Thursday with an undiagnosed illness.

Read more: http://www.wyff4.com/news/30530687/detail.html#ixzz1nh7S2zf9

The “undiagnosed illness” in this case may be brucellosis, but it could be any of a number of diseases.  Cymptoms include dangerously high fever, muscle and body pain (sometimes severe), nausea, and several other flu-like symptoms.  If it is brucellosis, it can be treated, but the treatment is long-term and potentially expensive.

And all for the lack of wearing gloves…  Food for thought.