Hunters: Check the Regulations Before Taking Your Deer Carcass Out of Virginia

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Since Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been detected from two deer harvested in Frederick County, Virginia, deer hunters must follow carcass importation regulations in other states when they transport a deer carcass out of Virginia (see the following website:

Hunters anywhere in Virginia going into Kentucky or North Carolina must bone-out or quarter their deer carcass so the brain and spinal cord are removed.

Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia will accept whole deer carcasses from Virginia except those originating from Virginia's CWD Containment Area (see for a map) in which case, carcasses must be boned-out or quartered so the brain and spinal cord are removed.

For Tennessee, whole deer carcasses are allowed except those originating from anywhere in Frederick County and Shenandoah County, where carcasses must be boned-out or quartered so the brain and spinal cord are removed.

For Virginia deer hunters hunting out-of-state, please make note of the following change to Virginia's carcass importation regulations. Whole deer carcasses from carcass-restriction zones, rather than from the entire state or province where CWD has been detected, are prohibited from entering Virginia. For example, only the counties of Hampshire, Hardy, and Morgan in West Virginia, and the county of Allegany in Maryland, are now restricted. For information regarding other carcass-restriction zones and deer parts allowed to be brought into Virginia from these zones, please visit

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) is continuing several management strategies in the northern Shenandoah Valley in response to the detection of CWD. These actions include:

* enforcement of a CWD Containment Area (CA),
* requiring mandatory disease testing on certain days within the CA,
* prohibiting the feeding of deer year-round,
* prohibiting the movement of deer carcasses and parts out of the CA (with exceptions),
* restricting the disposal of deer wastes from the CA,
* prohibiting the rehabilitation of deer in the CA, and
* maintaining liberal seasons and bag limits in an attempt to reduce the deer population.

Just as in previous years, hunters in the Containment Area should be aware of the mandatory sampling days (November 19, 26, and December 3) and be prepared to submit their deer heads for tissue samples. The Department will distribute additional information closer to those dates.

To assist with CWD surveillance, VDGIF is strongly encouraging hunters who harvest deer in the CA on days other than mandatory sampling days to voluntarily submit the head and neck from their deer for testing by bringing it to a self-service refrigerated drop station, which are located in the following places:

* Frederick-Winchester Conservation Club, 527 Siler Road, Winchester (north of Gainesboro)
* Walker's Cash Store, 3321 Back Road, Woodstock (intersection with St. Luke Road)
* North Mountain Fire and Rescue, 186 Rosenberger Lane, Winchester (off Rt. 600, behind Tom's Market)
* New Star Market, 2936 John Marshall Hwy, Strasburg (one mile west of I-81)

In addition to surveillance within the CA, VDGIF is collecting 1,000 samples this fall from across the entire state to assess the CWD-status of deer outside the CA.

CWD has been detected in 19 states and two Canadian provinces. The disease is a slow, progressive neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in deer, elk, and moose in North America. The disease ultimately results in death of the animal. Symptoms exhibited by CWD-infected deer include, staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, confusion, and marked weight loss. There is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans, livestock, or pets. Anyone who sees a sick deer that displays any of the signs described above should contact the nearest VDGIF office immediately with accurate location information. Please do not attempt to disturb or kill the deer before contacting VDGIF. More information on CWD can be found on the VDGIF website at

It is the mission of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth; to provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia; to promote safety for persons and property in connection with boating, hunting and fishing; to provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appreciation for Virginia's fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities. For more information on Virginia's wildlife management areas, wildlife watching, hunting, fishing and boating, visit the agency's website at


Retired2hunt's picture

  My question here - if you


My question here - if you de-bone or quarter in the field doesn't the skull and spine left behind eventually disease the ground area there and potentially spread the disease even more so?  I read where the ground can contain the disease and deer that feed in the plot can get CWD from it.

I'm glad another state is taking a hard stance at controlling the disease and the spread of it.  If a scientist were to be able to create a vaccine for CWD it would be a large money making machine for use in all of these CWD states and Canada.


numbnutz's picture

Atleast officals there are

Atleast officals there are taking this serious and seems like there trying to slow the spread of CWD. To me it would be good idea just to bone out every deer you shoot and that way yo wouldnt have to worry about transporting it out of state. I understant not everyone knows how but its pretty darn easy and you can even find instructions and videos on youtube now a days. I'm very thankful CWD hasnt ben found in my state yet but I'm sure it just a matter of time before it will surface. But who knows. The only thing we deal with right now is Deer hair loss syndrome. and its only in certain parts of northwest oregon right now. That too wreeks havoc on the deer herds out here as they will loose there hair and freeze durimg the winter months. Hope they get this and other deer/elk dieses under control.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

It seems to be nowadays that

It seems to be nowadays that in every state you have to check the import and export regulations on big game animals you harvest.  I know that in California, you cannot bring back the whole head from anywhere unless it's already taxidermied.  So, that eliminates bringing the head back to have your local guy do it.

Now, it must be a 'clean" skull cap, and no other bones that may contain brain or spinal matter.  Leg bones and such are okay, but that's it.

I agree, this stuff is nasty.  However, I wonder sometimes if we're blowing it a little it out of proportion.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Sounds like a good idea from

Sounds like a good idea from state officials.  Do not let it spread any more than it already will on it own.  Nasty stuff and it will desimate a herd in no time at all.  Nip it in the butt now.