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ELK CITY NEWS: Nitz finds surprise in elk’s organs

Free Press / Jamie Edmondson
Elk City’s Main Street is lit for the Christmas season.

Free Press / Jamie Edmondson Elk City’s Main Street is lit for the Christmas season.


Jamie Edmondson Elk City 842-2452

— Have a merry Christmas and remember to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

This news story should make you sit up and think about the last wild game meal you enjoyed: Melanie Nitz was recently successful in her black powder hunt and bagged a nice elk. This was not her first rodeo, what with a generational family history of outfitting and guiding. Care was taken to “harvest” a “dry” cow, and along with all the work involved in getting a clean, whole carcass hanging in the shed, she also took the time to examine the organs. What a shock to see the obvious “cysts’ that riddled the lungs of this winter larder blessing. Upon showing her dad Eric, he recalled from a few years back something about a disease that the “reintroduced” wolves decimating the elk herds were carrying and they started investigating. Sure enough, it was Echinococcus granulosus, commonly referred to as hydatid disease, a small tapeworm known to have caused deaths in humans who, by the way, can also become infected.

This is the little advertised flipside issue of the fish and game regulation notice to hunters to wear gloves when handling grey wolves.

Contrary to the “government speak,” this particular “cervid” strain was not present in our locale until it arrived with the “non-essential experimental population” of grey wolves released here back in the 90s, and now rampant in both the “cervid” (deer, elk, moose, etc.) and “canid” (wolves, coyotes, dogs) populations. The life “cycle” of this nasty tapeworm can include “man’s best friend,” where it annually accounts for 100s of human deaths every year in third world countries.

Sooooooooooo, something to do more than just think about the next time you pull this year’s elk steak out of the freezer, think back to the “wild game feed” where you “dined” so voraciously or maybe when you see your 3-year-old granddaughter wrestling with “fido” or “foofy” who just gave you a big wet lick/kiss on your face.

I dare you to get informed and not end up alarmed. We have plenty of “documentation” and literature available at the hotel, as well as contact information for parasitoligists, researchers, the Western Predator Control Association in Hamilton, Mont., etc. I dare you.

Congratulations to John and Teresa Enos! They were nominated by a community member and won “Tank of Thanks” from Cenex for their ongoing community service. You guys deserve that and more!

High Country Snowmobile Club’s New Year’s weekend schedule of events: Come join them for the New Year’s Eve party on Dec. 31 from 6 p.m. to midnight at the fire hall. This celebration is for the whole family. If attending, bring a party snack of any kind. The community will be offering a free kids’ raffle starting at 7 p.m. and fireworks at 8 p.m. with free raffles continuing until midnight!

Ages 15 and under are encouraged to draw a picture about Dixie and bring it with them to the fire hall. We will have the community vote on one to be put on the back of sweatshirts for the upcoming Presidents Day weekend.

Then on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016, they will have the fun run and sled races. Sign up at fire hall from 10:30-l 11:30 a.m. The entry is $10 per hand which includes a free lunch.

Correction: The fulltime child care mentioned is for a couple applying for a job with the Forest Service not a couple that is hired yet.

Birthdays: Marlene George, Ashley Wagenmann, Joyce Dearstyne, David Phillips and Jerry Phillips.

Memorial: Jim Morley.


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