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Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

Important Notice to Washington State Hunters

Learn more about Chronic Wasting Disease in an article by
Jerry Nelson, WDFW Deer & Elk section manager

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has been testing for chronic wasting disease (CWD) since 1995. To date, CWD has not been detected in the state of Washington. We urge hunters to help us maintain our healthy deer, elk, and moose populations.

Please help WDFW monitor the health of our deer, moose and elk populations by reporting sick animals to the nearest WDFW office.

Hunters Traveling to Other States
See: CWD Regulations by State and Province

If you are going to hunt deer, elk, or moose in the following states this year please be advised that there have been some rule changes passed by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission that regulate how you can bring your meat and trophies home.

  Colorado   Missouri NEW!   South Dakota   Wisconsin  
  Illinois   Nebraska   Utah   Wyoming  
  Kansas   New Mexico   Texas NEW!   Alberta, Canada  
  Maryland   New York   Virginia   Saskatchewan, Canada  
  Minnesota   North Dakota   West Virginia      

If you hunt deer, elk, or moose in these states or provinces only the following items may be imported to Washington to reduce the risk of transmitting chronic wasting disease.

  • Meat that has been de-boned in the state or province where it was harvested and is imported as boned-out meat.
  • Skulls and antlers, antlers attached to the skull plate, or upper canine teeth (bugler, whistlers, ivories) from which all soft tissue has been removed.
  • Hides or capes without heads attached.
  • Tissue imported for use by a diagnostic or research laboratory.
  • Finished taxidermy mounts.

Violation of this rule is a Gross Misdemeanor having a maximum penalty of $5,000 fine or one year in jail. (RCW 77.15.290)

In addition, if you are notified by another state fish and wildlife agency that the deer, elk, or moose you have harvested has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, you have 24 hours to notify Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Violation of this rule is an infraction. (RCW 77.15.160)

If you have any questions, please contact the Wildlife Program at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. (360) 902-2515