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Greater Ruby Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture meets the first Tuesday of every month at 12 noon. Call for location 684-5849.

Twin Bridges School Board meetings are held each month on the third Tuesday. Call 684-5656 for location and time.

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Ruby Valley ag appreciation banquet scheduled

The Greater Ruby Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture announces its Annual Ag Appreciation Banquet, designed to recognize and thank those involved in agriculture in the area. The banquet will be held on Saturday, Oct. 11 in Ruby Valley Aviation's plane hangar at the Twin Bridges Airport. 

New for this year is entertainment provided by the Vigilante Theatre Company performing "Radio Montana," a musical comedy about small town Montana.

Cocktails will be available from 5 to 6 pm, followed by Act One of the theater company performance from 6 to 7 pm. During intermission from 7 to 8 pm, Pitchfork Steak Catering will serve a steak dinner. Act Two will follow the meal and will last about 45 minutes. 

Tables for eight are available at $250. 

Call Andrea Sarchet at the Extension Office at 287-3282 with questions or email: asarcher@montana.edu.

Common sense precautions advised for hunters in area of recent anthrax outbreak

With the recent deaths of nearly 300 domestic bison and some free-ranging wildlife caused by naturally occurring anthrax bacteria in southwestern Montana, some hunters have expressed concern about pursuing game in the affected area.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and Department of Public Health and Human Services officials want all hunters to understand that while human anthrax cases are extremely rare, normal precautions should be taken by hunters.

"Anthrax is caused by a naturally occurring bacteria that can lie dormant in the ground for decades, then become active under ideal soil and weather conditions," said FWP spokesman Ron Aasheim, in Helena. "Its a seasonal disease, occurring in late summer during periods of prolonged hot, dry weather after flooding or heavy rains. This summer it has been particularly active in a localized area with the confirmed domestic bison deaths in portions of Gallatin and Madison counties in southwestern Montana. In addition, anthrax has been confirmed in the deaths of white tailed deer and elk and is suspected in the death of a black bear in the vicinity of the outbreak."

Aasheim said the affected area is on private and adjacent Gallatin National Forest lands in the north portion of hunting district 311. The area encompasses the Cherry Creek, Spanish Creek, and Elk Creek drainages, from the Spanish Peaks north to U.S. Highway 84.

Aasheim noted that not all wildlife will show obvious signs of being sick during the pursuit, field dressing, skinning or butchering process.

"The risk of a hunter being infected with anthrax is very low," said Dr. Kammy Johnson at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. "The small risk can be further minimized by taking common sense precautions that all hunters should follow."

Those precautions include:

  • Do not harvest animals that appear ill or are acting abnormally.
  • Wear rubber (latex) gloves when field dressing game
  • Minimize contact with animal fluids, brain and spinal tissues.
  • Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing or processing.
  • Cook all meat until well done before consuming.

"All hunters should adopt these precautions wherever and whenever they are hunting," Johnson said.

As the outbreak appears to be ongoing, Aasheim said hunters who are concerned about even the minimal risk of exposure may want to choose a different area to hunt until cold weather arrives or snow covers the ground.

DPHHS FWP Fact Sheet; Questions & Answers; Hunters and Anthrax Common Sense Precautions When Handling Wild Game

A naturally occurring outbreak of anthrax in domestic bison and in wildlife has been occurring in portions of Gallatin and Madison counties since July. The area, located in the North portion of hunting district 311,encompasses the Cherry Creek, Spanish Creek, and Elk Creek drainages, from the Spanish Peaks north to U.S. Highway 84.

The risk of human infection with anthrax in the outdoors, and the risk of harvesting a wild animal with an anthrax infection, is very low.

To further minimize the risk of exposure to anthrax bacteria, hunters should follow the precautions described below. All hunters should follow these precautions to minimize their risks for an unlikely exposure to other diseases including leptospirosis, brucellosis and chronic wasting disease (CWD), as well as anthrax.

Q: What is anthrax?

A: Anthrax is caused by a bacteria. The bacteria can lie dormant in the ground for decades, then become active under ideal soil and weather conditions. Naturally occurring outbreaks of anthrax in grazing animals are not uncommon during late summer. This outbreak involves multiple species.

Q: Which animals have been infected during the current naturally occurring outbreak?

A: During the current naturally occurring outbreak, the most affected animals have been domestic bison. Some deer and elk and one bovine bull have also died of anthrax. Anthrax is suspected in the death of a black bear.

Q: What is the risk for hunters?

A: The risk of a hunter being infected with anthrax is very low. Taking common sense precautions while hunting can minimize the risk.

Q: What precautions should be taken?

A: Hunters should be aware that not all wildlife will show obvious signs of being sick during the pursuit, field dressing, skinning or butchering process. The following common sense precautions will minimize the risk of being exposed to anthrax bacteria:

  • If hunters encounter dead elk, deer, bison, or livestock with no obvious cause of death: do not handle the animal; do not approach the animal; note the location and report it to the nearest FWP office.
  • Do not harvest animals that appear ill or are acting abnormally.
  • When field dressing and butchering a harvested animal, follow the procedures recommended by DPHHS and FWP for all big game and birds.

Q: What procedures are recommended by DPHHS and FWP for field dressing and processing harvested animals?

A: DPHHS & FWP recommends:

  • Wear latex or rubber gloves when field dressing deer, elk, or other wild animals.
  • Minimize contact with animal fluids, brain and spinal tissues.
  • Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing and processing.
  • Cook all meat until well done before consuming.

For more information on anthrax, visit the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services website at dphhs.mt.gov. Click "Precautions for Hunters," listed under "Featured Topics." Or call 406-444-0273

- DPHHS -

For more information hunters, taxidermists and meat processors can visit the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services website at dphhs.mt.gov. Click "Precautions for Hunters," listed under "Featured Topics." Individuals may also call the DPHHS at 406-444-0273.


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