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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.)
*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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