Maine Is Urging Hunters to Avoid Eating Deer From Specific Areas: Here’s Why

by Jon D. B.
maine-urging-hunters-avoid-eating-deer-from-specific-areas-heres-why
GRAY, ME - MAY 12: A white tail deer grazes at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray on Thursday, May 12, 2016. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

According to several local sources, the strict ‘DO NOT EAT’ advisory in effect for deer harvested in certain parts of Maine is one to heed.

As a conservationist, you see a whole lot of CWD warnings these days. Thankfully, Chronic Wasting Disease isn’t harmful to humans, though it is tragically fatal for animals. This Maine advisory is far from the ordinary CWD advisory, however. Instead, hunters harvesting deer from the state’s Fairfield area need to be aware that there is a ‘DO NOT EAT’ advisory in place from the state concerning toxic forever chemicals.

As local Bangor Daily News states, the culprit is “high levels of PFAS” discovered in deer harvested in the area last year. PFAS are the toxic forever chemicals in question. According to the EPA, PFAS, or polyfluoroalkyl substances, are “a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals.”

More commonly, you’ll know PFAS as part of household cleaners, textiles, leather, paper and paints, fire-fighting foams, and wire insulation. They’re known as “forever chemicals” because PFAS compounds persist in the environment, and the living creatures that consume them forever, so far as modern science knows. Incredibly slow to break down, decompose, or dissipate, PFAS can be found in water and soil, making their way into the animals that feed and drink off them (including us).

And here’s the clencher. Over time, exposure to PFAS increases the risk of different cancers. They can also elevate blood pressure, cause pregnancy complications, and lead to liver and kidney problems as they impair the immune system.

In short: they’re not at all something you want to ingest.

Thanks to PFAS, Maine Has More than a Deer Problem

Despite these hefty risks, PFAS continue to be present in our household goods. For decades, they’ve been put inside consumer products. Everything from non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, carpet, and even our pizza boxes and popcorn bags contain PFAS.

Yet here we are, and Maine hunters will have to forego certain harvests due to these toxic chemicals. The state is hoping to provide further guidance on PFAS ahead of firearms season at the end of October. But that’s right around the corner, and again, here we are.

GRAY, ME – MAY 12: A white tail deer grazes at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray on Thursday, May 12, 2016. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

If you or anyone you know plan on hunting deer in the state, here’s what you need to know:

  • Specifically, the Fairfield advisory area begins at the Carter Memorial Bridge in Waterville where Route 137 crosses the Kennebec
  • heads north up the Kennebec River past Waterville and Skowhegan to the Eugene Cole Bridge in Norridgewock (Route 8 and 201A)
  • then south from Norridgewock along Route 8 into Smithfield to the intersection of Routes 8 and 137
  • then south on Route 137 until it crosses the Kennebec River on the Carter Memorial Bridge

Happy hunting, Outsiders, and here’s to a future with far less forever chemicals.

Outsider.com