As deer and other big game seasons open in different parts of the country, Mississippians traveling to other states to hunt need to be aware of a new regulation that could impact their return.

And it’s all about protecting the state’s deer herd from chronic wasting disease (CWD). 

The rule states that “it is unlawful to import, transport, or possess any portion of a cervid carcass originating from any state, territory, or foreign country where the occurrence of CWD has been confirmed by either the state wildlife agency, state agriculture agency, state veterinarian, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).”

It was passed in May by the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

A cervid is a member of the deer family and includes white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, caribou, red deer, sika deer, and fallow deer. CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects cervids and has been found in 24 states and three foreign countries.

This rule shall not apply to the importation of:

* Meat from cervids that has been completely deboned.

* Antlers, antlers attached to cleaned skull plates or cleaned skulls where no tissue is attached to the skull.

* Cleaned teeth.

* Finished taxidermy and antler products.

* Hides and tanned products.

* Any portions of white-tailed deer originating from the land between the Mississippi River levees in Arkansas.

Mississippi has never recorded a case of CWD within its borders, but the disease has steadily inched its way toward the Southeast. The MDWFP continues to closely monitor the herd. They ask that the public report any sick deer observed by calling (601) 432-2199.


The CWD LIST

As of August 31, 2016, CWD has been confirmed in the following states: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Additionally, the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Norway, and South Korea are CWD positive.

Mississippians hunting in any of those areas must adhere to new regulations before bringing any deer taken in those areas into Mississippi.