The governor’s proclamation establishing guidelines for transporting deer and elk carcasses and carcass parts into North Dakota has been signed, according to Greg Link, assistant wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department.

The 2004 proclamation, signed by Governor John Hoeven, provides transportation and importation guidelines for white-tailed deer, mule deer and elk. “The state legislature passed a bill in 2003 giving the governor authority, by proclamation, to implement carcass importation restrictions as a precaution against the possible spread of chronic wasting disease into the state,” Link said. “Hunters are no longer allowed to transport into North Dakota the whole carcass, or certain carcass parts, of deer or elk from areas within states or provinces with documented occurrences of CWD in wild populations and private game farms.”

CWD affects the nervous system of white-tailed deer, mule deer and elk and is always fatal. To date, CWD has not been diagnosed in wild or farmed deer or elk in North Dakota, but has been found in a growing number of locations across North America in recent years.

Scientists have found no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.

Hunters are allowed to transport the following portions of the carcass:

  • Meat that is cut and wrapped either commercially or privately.
  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
  • Meat that has been boned out.
  • Hides with no heads attached.
  • Clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached.
  • Antlers with no meat or tissue attached.
  • Upper canine teeth, also known as buglers, whistlers or ivories.
  • Finished taxidermy heads.

The following game management units, equivalent wildlife management units, or counties have had deer or elk diagnosed with CWD, and only the carcass parts listed above from harvested elk, white-tailed and mule deer in these units will be allowed into North Dakota.

  • Colorado – game management units 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 36, 37, 38, 51, 59, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 161, 171, 181, 191, 211, 231, 301, 391, 421, 441, 461, 521, 951;
  • Illinois – Counties of Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, DeKalb;
  • Nebraska – Upper Platte, Plains, and Pine Ridge Units, which include the counties of Cheyenne, Kimball, Sioux, Scotts Bluff, Morrill, Sheridan, Box Butte, Dawes, Banner;
  • New Mexico – White Sands Missile Base (GMU 19);
  • Saskatchewan – Wildlife Management Zone 13, 14, 46, 47, 68 South;
  • South Dakota – Prairie units 321A, 327A, 327B; and Black Hills units 403A, 404A;
  • Utah – Manti Unit 16, South Slope Unit 9, La Sal Unit 13;
  • Wisconsin – any deer registered with a Wisconsin DNR Red Registration Tag from the area designated as the Disease Eradication Zone including deer management zones 70-CWD, 70A-CWD, 70B-CWD, 70C-CWD, 70D-CWD, 71-CWD, 73E-CWD, 75A-CWD, 75C-CWD, 76-CWD, 76M-CWD, 77A-CWD, 77B;
  • Wyoming – Deer Hunt Areas 6, 8, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 22, 34, 41, 55, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67,70, 73, 74, 75, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 88, 89, 158, 164 or Elk Hunt Areas 5, 6, 7.

Additional units may be added as necessary, Link said, and the public will be informed of any additional areas through department news releases and website.

Because each state has its own set of rules and regulations, hunters should contact the state in which they will be hunting to obtain more information. “All hunters must comply with regulations in the state they are hunting,” Link said. “These regulations do not supersede existing regulations.”