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Deer Hunting & Deer Diseases

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

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal neurologic disease in deer, elk, and moose. It poses a serious threat to the white-tailed deer population and the tradition of deer hunting in New York. If introduced, CWD could spread rapidly and will be practically impossible to eliminate from the wild deer herd once established. The only way to effectively manage CWD is to not let it enter New York. DEC’s CWD regulations were created to protect New York’s deer herd now and into the future.

Important Regulations

Transporting or shipping whole trophy heads or intact carcasses from a restricted state or province into New York is prohibited. You will be ticketed and your entire animal, including antlers, will be confiscated and destroyed. It is permitted to import the meat, hide and cape, antlers, cleaned skull cap with antlers attached, finished taxidermy mounts, tanned hides, and clean upper canine teeth.

Any person who 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.

For the latest information on DEC’s efforts, and current regulations and restrictions, and import restrictions, visit

CWD Facts

CWD is spread by direct contact with an infected animal or its body fluids (saliva, urine, or feces), contaminated soil, or an infected animal carcass. Prions, the agent that causes CWD, can persist in the environment for many years before infecting other deer. Infected deer may not appear sick but can still spread the disease. CWD is always fatal to deer. CWD continues to spread in the US, and is increasing in states with infected herds.

Import restrictions

Whole carcasses may not be imported from the following places:

  • All states west of the Mississippi River, including Alaska and Hawaii.
  • CWD-positive states east of the Mississippi River (Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin).
  • CWD-positive Canadian provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan), as well as Manitoba, British Columbia, Yukon, and Northwest Territories.

How can hunters help protect New York’s deer herd?

Do not use deer urine-based cover scents or lures. CWD can be spread by urine and continue to contaminate an area years later. Synthetic scents and lures are suitable alternatives.

Debone or quarter your deer before bringing your out-of-state harvest back to New York. This eliminates the parts with highest risk for spreading CWD (i.e., brain, spinal cord).

Dispose of carcass waste in a landfill. Do not dispose of deer parts or carcasses on the landscape where wild deer can contact them. Ask your meat processor or taxidermist if they are disposing of carcass waste properly.

Do not feed wild deer. Besides being illegal, deer can spread disease to other deer at a bait feeding site.

Report any deer that appears sick or acts abnormally to the nearest DEC Regional Wildlife Office.

Hunt wild deer and support fair chase hunting principles.

Moose In New York

Moose are protected in New York and cannot be hunted. There is an estimated population of 800 moose occupying the northern zone of the state.

DEC has created a Moose Photo Gallery for photos taken of New York moose. Instructions for submitting a photo are included on the following moose webpage:

Meat Unfit For Consumption

If a deer, bear or turkey is found to be unfit for human consumption, a special permit may be issued that allows the hunter to take another deer, turkey, or bear provided the season is still open. A permit will not be issued if meat is unfit due to hunter neglect. Call a wildlife or law enforcement office listed on Important Numbers.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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