Pennsylvania CWD Rules Are Amended

Deer carcasses again can be imported from most of Ohio, Maryland, New York, Virginia, or West Virginia.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced Tuesday it is pulling back the ban that prohibited hunters from transporting into Pennsylvania the carcasses of deer, elk and other cervids harvested anywhere in the states of Maryland, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The whole-state ban on the importation into Pennsylvania of high-risk cervid parts – essentially the head and backbone – was announced November 2.

The amended rules prohibit the importation only of cervid carcasses harvested within the areas in those states where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected.

In other states and Canadian provinces where CWD has been detected, the importation ban applies to the entire state.

Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough said the whole-state ban was enacted to allow for better enforcement of rules regarding the importation of high-risk cervid parts to protect Pennsylvania’s wild deer.

Tom's News Item on Pennsylvania Record Book Buck 12-14 indexWith deer seasons already in progress, however, Hough said the timing of the announcement resulted in confusion and concerns being expressed by deer hunters, processors and taxidermists.

“The introduction and spread of CWD in our wild-deer population remains a serious issue, and we will continue to regularly review and adjust all measures to minimize the impacts of CWD in Pennsylvania as necessary,” Hough said.

Now that the order has been amended, there are a total of 22 states and two Canadian provinces from which high-risk cervid parts cannot be imported into Pennsylvania.

The parts ban affects hunters who harvest deer, elk, moose, mule deer, and other cervids in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland (only from Allegany County), Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York (only from Madison and Oneida counties), North Dakota, Ohio (only from Holmes County), Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia (only from Frederick, Shenandoah, Warren and Clarke counties), West Virginia (only from Hampshire, Hardy and Morgan counties), Wisconsin, and Wyoming; as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Those harvesting cervids in the identified states, counties and provinces must leave behind the carcass parts that have the highest risk for transmitting CWD. Those parts are: the head (including brain, tonsils, eyes and any lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone; spleen; skull plate with attached antlers, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; upper canine teeth, if root structure or other soft tissue is present; any object or article containing visible brain or spinal cord tissue; unfinished taxidermy mounts; and brain-tanned hides.

Hunters who are successful in those states and provinces from which the importation of high-risk parts into Pennsylvania is banned are allowed to import meat from any deer, elk, moose, mule deer or caribou, so long as the backbone is not present.

Successful hunters also are allowed to bring back cleaned skull plates with attached antlers, if no visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; tanned hide or raw hide with no visible brain or spinal cord tissue present; capes, if no visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; upper canine teeth, if no root structure or other soft tissue is present; and finished taxidermy mounts.

For more information on CWD, click here.


Leave a Reply

Commenting Policy - We encourage open expression of your thoughts and ideas. But there are a few rules:

No abusive comments, threats, or personal attacks. Use clean language. No discussion of illegal activity. Racist, sexist, homophobic, and generally hateful comments are not tolerated. Keep comments on topic. Please don't spam.

While we reserve the right to remove or modify comments at our sole discretion, the Sportsman's Guide does not bear any responsibility for user comments. The views expressed within the comment section do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of The Sportsman's Guide.