Columbia, SC (FOX Carolina) - The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is reminding citizens planning out-of-state trips to hunt big game this winter to be aware of restrictions on importing deer and elk parts into the state.
The SCDNR says because of the spread of CWD (chronic wasting disease) restrictions are in place on what parts of deer and elk can be brought into South Carolina from states where CWD has been confirmed.
CWD belongs to the family of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and is similar to mad cow disease. CWD attacks the central nervous system of deer or elk and presents symptoms that include extreme weight loss, excessive salivation, odd behavior and poor coordination. The disease is infectious, communicable and always fatal.
If traveling to a state to hunt where CWD has been confirmed, hunters may only bring back the following parts of deer or elk carcasses:
- 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 skulls (no meat or tissue attached) or clean skull plates with antlers attached
- Antlers (detached from the skull plate)
- Clean upper canine teeth of elk, also called "buglers," "whistlers" or "ivories"
- Finished taxidermy heads
Hunters are strictly forbidden from bringing whole carcasses or parts of deer or elk that contain nervous system tissue such as the brain or spinal column.
States that have confirmed cases of CWD include: Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The SCDNR wants hunters to remember these precautions are in place to protect South Carolina's white-tail deer population which generates more than $200 million annually for the state's economy.
For more information on chronic wasting disease see the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance website here.
To report violations related to illegal carcass importation or any other natural resource criminal activity please call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-922-5431 or go here.