SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — With the start of the regular waterfowl season, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding hunters to be aware of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

An IDNR news release states that outbreaks will be monitored during the fall bird migration. Anyone who sees a large concentration of 20 or more dead birds is encouraged to make a report here.

In addition, they encourage game meat to be cooked thoroughly, avoid handling sick or dead waterfowl found in the field and don’t allow pets to consume waterfowl that died from unknown causes.

When handling deceased wildlife, rubber gloves and a mask should be worn, and carcasses double bagged in sealable plastic.

And as always, wash your hands with soap and water after handling them.

More information can be found here.