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 www.iowadnr.gov  under Chronic Wasting Disease .