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Deer Hunting & Deer Diseases

The health of New York State’s deer herd depends on all of us.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal disease that spreads from deer to deer by direct contact with saliva, urine, feces or from carcasses of infected deer. CWD prions can persist in the environment for years before infecting healthy deer. NYSDEC examines over 1,500 wild deer per year for CWD; no additional cases of CWD have been identified in NY since 2005. NYSDEC will collect tissue samples from hunter-killed deer during 2013-14; our surveillance goal is to identify the disease as early as possible by focusing on areas or activities where CWD is most likely to be found.

Pennsylvania added to importation restriction list in 2012

CWD was detected in two captive deer in Adams County PA and in 3 wild deer taken by hunters from Blair and Bedford Counties during the 2012 season. The easiest way to comply with the restrictions is to bone out your deer and bring back only meat from states and provinces where importation of whole carcasses is prohibited.

You will be ticketed and your animal will be confiscated and destroyed (including the antlers) if you bring an intact carcass or illegal parts of a deer, elk or moose from any CWD-positive state into New York.

Deer, Elk, Moose Carcass Importation Restrictions

New CWD positive states may be identified and additional importation restrictions applied before the 2013-14 hunting season. For the most up to date information on current CWD regulations and restrictions, visit:


If you plan to hunt deer, elk or moose outside New York

Bringing carcasses or parts of CWD-infected deer, elk, or moose into New York can introduce CWD to our wild deer herd. If you take a wild deer, elk, or moose from any state or province highlighted on the map at left or if you take captive deer, elk or moose from anywhere outside New York, the following parts must be removed and disposed of before the carcass is brought into NY: brain, eyes, tonsils, spinal cord, lymph nodes in the head and neck, spleen, and intestinal tract. However, the meat, hide and cape, antlers, cleaned skull cap with antlers attached, finished taxidermy mounts, tanned hides, and clean upper canine teeth are permitted.

NYS DEC strongly recommends that hunters completely bone out their deer, elk or moose to ensure compliance with these importation restrictions. Transporting or shipping whole heads from deer, elk, or moose from a restricted state or province into New York for taxidermy is prohibited.

Any person who imports or possesses a carcass or part of an animal that was tested for CWD in another state and is notified that such animal has tested positive for CWD, must report the test results to the DEC within 24 hours.

CWD-positive states and provinces

Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Alberta, Saskatchewan

This list was current as of March 2013; however, new CWD-positive states may be identified before the 2013-14 hunting season. For the most recent information on current CWD regulations and restrictions, visit:

You should know

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Facts:

  • CWD is always fatal to deer.
  • CWD decreases deer life expectancy.
  • CWD will negatively impact deer populations.
  • CWD spreads geographically and its prevalence increases over time.
  • CWD is transmitted by deer-to-deer contact and through environmental contamination.
  • The disease agent (prion) that causes CWD is very difficult to destroy and can remain in the soil and infect healthy deer for many years.
  • CWD-infected deer may not appear sick but can still spread CWD.
  • CWD is practically impossible to eliminate from a wild deer herd. It will negatively affect our deer population. The only way to manage CWD is to not let it re-enter New York.

How can you help?

  • Report any deer that appears sick or acts abnormally to the nearest DEC Regional Wildlife Office (see pg. 6)
  • Do not use urine based cover scents or lures; CWD can be spread in urine.
  • Do not dispose of deer parts or carcasses on the landscape where wild deer can contact them. Take them to a landfill.
  • Make sure the meat processor or taxidermist you use is disposing of carcass waste properly (landfill is best).
  • Support efforts to reduce CWD risk in NY (prohibit feeding of wild deer, prohibit live importations of CWD susceptible species)
  • Hunt wild deer and support fair-chase hunting.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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