Local News

Hunters on the Lookout for Bird Flu

(Indianapolis, IN) - The Department of Natural Resources is asking Indiana hunters to do their part to stave off cases of avian flu during bird hunting season.


Earlier this year, Indiana and other states were hit with an outbreak of avian flu. Although cases declined during the summer, authorities are asking hunters to be aware of the sickness in the birds they hunt.


Hunters are advised to stay away from birds that appear sick and to process harvested birds in well-ventilated area, washing hands and equipment thoroughly.


This week the DNR issued the following guidelines:


Waterfowl with symptoms will often display unusual behaviors such as swimming in circles, tremors, a twisted neck, and/or have a general lack of coordination. In addition, sick birds may display nasal discharge, a cough, sneezing, and/or diarrhea.

If you see birds displaying these signs, or if you find multiple dead birds in a single area, report the case to Indiana DNR at on.IN.gov/sickwildlife.

Hunters can several precautions to slow the spread of avian influenza:

  • Do not harvest birds that appear obviously sick or found dead
  • Process birds outdoors or in a well-ventilated area
  • Wear gloves and wash hands before and after handling carcasses
  • Disinfect all equipment used on dead birds (e.g., knives, surfaces)
  • Refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and touching your eyes during processing
  • Double-bag feathers and all bird remains before disposal. Place bird remains in the inner bag and tie it closed. Dispose of gloves in the outer bag before tying it closed.
  • Prevent contact between all parts of wild birds and domestic birds
  • Cook meat thoroughly

Read more about avian influenza at on.IN.gov/avian-flu.To view more DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.

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