Hunters and motorists are reminded that new regulations governing the transport of hunter harvested and vehicle killed deer from the chronic wasting disease – Management Zone (CWD-MZ) of southern Wisconsin took effect on Sept. 1.

The new rules, approved last year by the state Natural Resources Board, the seven citizen-member policy making body for the Department of Natural Resources, aim to “prevent the tissues most likely to contain CWD from being brought to areas of the state where CWD does not occur and introducing the disease there,” noted CWD project leader Davin Lopez.

Under the new regulations, the movement of whole deer carcass from the CWD-MZ to elsewhere in the state is banned. However, hunters and motorists will be allowed to move whole, registered carcasses of deer shot or hit by a vehicle within the CWD-MZ into a deer management unit (DMU) adjoining the CWD-MZ.

The rule affects carcass movement in 22 DMUs located in all or parts of Adams, Crawford, Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Lafayette, Marquette, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Vernon, Walworth and Waukesha counties.

Also beginning Sept. 1, Wisconsin will restrict the importation of whole cervid carcasses (deer, elk and moose) into the state from areas within states or Canadian provinces that have CWD. The disease has been discovered in wild deer or elk herds in 11 states and two provinces.

There are a number of parts from legally possessed deer to which the restriction doesn’t apply that can be legally transported anywhere in Wisconsin. These include:

  • Meat that’s cut and wrapped, either commercially or privately.
  • Quarters or other portions of meat to which no part of the spinal column is attached.
  • Deboned meat.
  • Hides with no head attached.
  • Finished taxidermy heads.
  • Antlers with no meat or brain tissue attached.
  • Skulls with attached antlers, but no meat or brain tissue attached.
  • Upper canine teeth.

Chronic wasting disease is an always fatal nervous system disease known to naturally infect white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose and elk. It belongs to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) or prion diseases. Though it shares features with other prion diseases, like mad cow disease in cattle and scrapie in sheep, it is a distinct disease known only to affect members of the deer family.

2009 Season Structure in the CWD-MZ

The remaining deer hunting seasons in the CWD-MZ are as follows:

  • Archery season: Sept. 12 to Jan. 3, 2010 (Earn-a-buck)
  • Traditional nine-day firearm season: Nov. 21-29 (Earn-a-buck)
  • Late firearm season: Dec. 10-13 (antlerless-only)
  • Holiday firearm season: Dec. 24-Jan. 3, 2010 (Earn-a-buck)