Help Prevent Chronic Wasting Disease

Hunting Regulations Icon California Hunting

Hunting out of State?

It is the responsibility of out-of-state hunters to be aware of all laws and regulations pertaining to the state in which they are going to hunt. Proof of Hunter Education is required. Take note that the California equivalency certificate will not be accepted as evidence of hunter education.

Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease, a fatal disease that affects deer and elk, has been detected in wild herds in 21 states and 2 Canadian provinces. To prevent the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease into California, the CDFW has imposed tight restrictions on the importation of hunter-harvested deer and elk into California.


If you will be hunting out of state in a known CWD endemic area, you should receive information at the time you receive your hunting tag(s) regarding disposal of the carcass remains and

mandatory or voluntary CWD testing.


  • Wear rubber gloves when field dressing carcasses;
  • Bone out meat from the animal;
  • Minimize the handling of brain and spinal cord, eyes, spleen, and lymph nodes and avoid consuming these tissues;
  • Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.


If you are notified that your out-of-state animal tested positive for CWD, the Department will help you dispose of the meat properly. Contact your regional CDFW office or the Wildlife Investigations Lab at (916) 358-2790 for information.

California’s CWD Regulations

No hunter harvested deer or elk (cervid) carcass or parts of cervid carcass shall be imported into the State, except for the following body parts: boned-out meat and commercially processed cuts of meat, portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached, hides with no heads attached, clean skull plates (no meat or tissue attached) with antlers attached, antlers with no meat or tissue attached, finished taxidermy heads, upper canine teeth (buglers, whistlers, ivories).

CCR T14-712. The California regulations can be summarized in one phrase: “NO SKULL, NO BACKBONE.”

Lacey Act

Transporting illegally taken game across state lines is a violation of the federal Lacey Act (T16, US Code 1406). Such transport, if done in connection with commercial activity, may be classified as a felony.