Iowa Hunters: Be Aware of Out of State Deer Transportation Requirements

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Deer seasons are underway in Iowa and across the Midwest. As the activity builds, hunters should be aware of transportation requirements, to avoid the potential spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

CWD is a neurologic disease affecting deer and elk. Always fatal to the animal, it has caused widespread preventive and control measures across the country. Iowa carries out extensive monitoring for CWD, sampling brain tissue from more than 36,000 deer in all 99 counties in the last decade. None have returned ‘positive.’

Still, confusion over what is required from state to state has been building this fall.

“I’ve received maybe a dozen calls in the last week; from a taxidermist, a sporting goods store, a meat locker, all asking whether an Illinois (taken) deer can be brought into Iowa,” recounts Luke Webinger, an Iowa Department of Natural Resources conservation officer in Clinton County.

Similar calls have been received in Muscatine County. Each county borders the Mississippi River and Illinois; which has had positive CWD cases.

Simply stated, Iowa DNR regulations prohibit bringing into Iowa whole carcasses of deer, elk, moose or caribou from areas where CWD has been identified. They do allow transport of boned meat, the cape (skin) and antlers—if attached to a clean skull plate—from which all brain and connective tissue has been removed.  If the animal was taken in a state or province which has not been classed as CWD-endemic, it may be transported in any matter that is otherwise legal.

A list of regions in which CWD has been detected in free ranging populations of deer or elk is listed in the 2011 Iowa Hunting Regulations (page 42) or at under Chronic Wasting Disease.


Retired2hunt's picture

  Yes, this law mimmics what


Yes, this law mimmics what most states have in place.  I really never payed attention to this part of the regulations until last year when hunting out of state.  As long as you are bringing an animal from a state NOT listed as a CWD state it is legal to transport in here.  A necessary evil in order to decrease the chances of spreading the disease.  CWD can be spread from the ground I read recently - where if you bury the animal's carcass the dirt becomes infected possibly and any grazing done in the immediate area provides the ability to pass the disease.  Anyhow - good communications on the transport regulations. 


numbnutz's picture

Sounds like Iowa's Laws are

Sounds like Iowa's Laws are the same as Oregon's. I can travel out of state and hunt but in order to bring an animal home from a state or province that has tested positive for CWD the meat needs to be boned out and wrapped. I could also bring back the antlers attached to a cleaned skull plate. Finished taxi work is also fine. So far in Oregon we haven't had a case of CWD so I can see the rules on this to prevent the sread of CWD. In the Oregon regs it's cleary laid out on what the requirments are so I hope Iowa made it easy for hunters there to read and understand.