Hunters reminded about whole carcass importation ban

Hunters who harvest deer, elk, moose or caribou outside of Minnesota are reminded that whole carcasses cannot be brought into the state.  
The prohibition on importation of whole carcasses of these cervids from anywhere in North America was put into place in 2016 as a proactive measure to reduce the risk of chronic wasting disease in Minnesota and bring consistency to regulations.

“We imposed the importation ban because of the increasing prevalence and distribution of CWD in North America in both captive and wild cervids,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Minnesota is one of 12 states with this type of ban; in total, 40 states have implemented some form of carcass important restrictions.

“Several popular states for Minnesota hunters have recently modified their carcass regulations,” Cornicelli said.

In Wisconsin, carcass movement outside CWD-affected counties has been restricted. Michigan recently banned all whole carcass importation, regardless of CWD status. Cornicelli said hunters are encouraged to check the CWD Alliance website at cwd-info.org for the most current state-by-state regulations. Hunters are encouraged to consult the regulations in their destination state to ensure they are complying with their laws.

The restriction is part of efforts to minimize the opportunity for CWD to become established in Minnesota.

Only the following cervid parts may be brought into Minnesota:

  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
  • Meat that is boned-out or that is cut and wrapped (either commercially or privately);
  • Hides and teeth.
  • Antlers or clean (no brain tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached.
  • Finished taxidermy mounts.

“We appreciate the cooperation we’ve had from our hunting groups and individual hunters as we address this significant disease challenge,” Cornicelli said.

Cornicelli said meat and trophy handling already are part of the trip planning process so taking the additional steps to minimize CWD risk can be added to that process. Another item to consider is the mount itself.  “If you kill an animal you want to mount, you should make those arrangements in the destination state and have it caped before you leave,” Cornicelli said.

Nonresidents transporting whole or partial carcasses on a direct route through Minnesota are exempt from this restriction.

Carcass import information is available at mndnr.gov/deerimports, in the 2018 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook starting on page 63 and the questions-and-answers section on the back cover.