Hunters Urged By TWRA To Abide By CWD Import Restrictions

Friday, November 18, 2016

In an effort to keep chronic wasting disease (CWD) out of Tennessee, the state’s wildlife agency is reminding hunters who travel beyond state lines that they must be mindful of import restrictions before they return home.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is concerned about hunters who pursue big game in the cervid family, which includes white-tailed deer, elk, and moose.

Because chronic wasting disease is contagious and deadly to deer, the agency is urging sportsmen to read this year’s Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide for instructions on properly preparing game for transport.

Import restrictions apply to most U.S. states and all Canadian provinces where chronic wasting disease has been discovered.

“This includes Arkansas and Missouri, which border Tennessee,” noted Col. Darren Rider of the TWRA Law Enforcement Division. “If someone comes back into the state without following the restrictions we would have to confiscate their prized deer, elk, or moose, which is something we definitely do not want to do.”

Virginia has also reported CWD, but because the positive counties are more than 150 miles from Tennessee, hunters outside of Frederick and Shenandoah counties are not bound by this year’s restrictions.

“The import restriction will go into effect for all of Virginia beginning next spring,” said Col. Rider.

While Tennessee’s import restrictions do not halt the transport of legally taken deer, elk, or moose, they do require carcasses be cleaned and dressed beyond what is typically done by most hunters. 

The following can be imported into Tennessee from CWD positive areas:

- Meat that has bones removed.

- Antlers, antlers attached to cleaned skull plates, and cleaned skulls (where no meat or tissues are attached to the skull.)

- Cleaned teeth.

- Finished taxidermy, hides, and tanned products.

More information about CWD, including many of the states and provinces where CWD has been reported, can also be found on TWRA’s website homepage under “Hot Topics.”

Hunters should inquire with wildlife agencies prior to their out-of-state trip if CWD has been identified in local cervid populations.


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