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Big Game Importation Restrictions

Hunters May Not Bring Whole Deer, Elk, Moose, or Caribou into New York

Due to the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) within the United States and Canada, New York has established special restrictions on the importation of carcasses and parts of CWD-susceptible animals from anywhere outside New York. These restrictions, among others, are established to minimize the risk of exposing New York deer to this fatal disease.

Hunters are now prohibited from returning to New York with whole carcasses or intact heads of deer, elk, moose, or caribou that they harvest anywhere outside of New York.

Only the deboned meat, cleaned skull cap, antlers with no flesh adhering, raw or processed cape or hide, cleaned teeth or lower jaw, and finished taxidermy products of CWD- susceptible animals may be brought into New York.

A map showing from which states whole deer carcasses are prohibited.

Whole carcasses that are imported into New York illegally will be confiscated and destroyed.

Allowed Parts Species Affected
  • Deboned meat
  • Cleaned skull cap
  • Antlers with no flesh
  • Raw or processed cape or hide
  • Cleaned teeth or lower jaw
  • Finished taxidermy products
Learn how to properly bone out a deer or elk
(link leaves DEC website)
  • White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
  • Black-tailed deer and Mule deer (O. hemionus)
  • Red deer (Cervus elaphus) and Elk (C. e. canadensis)
  • Moose (Alces alces)
  • Sika deer (Cervus nippon)
  • Caribou and Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)

Marking and Tagging Requirements

Hunters returning to New York with allowable parts of CWD-susceptible animals must mark the parts or packages containing the parts with a tag identifying the:

  • species of animal
  • state, province, or country where the animal was taken
  • name and address of the person who took the animal

Usually the tagging requirements of the state/province/territory of origin will contain this information.

Reporting CWD-Positive Animals

Any person who imports allowable parts of a CWD-susceptible animal and who is notified that the animal tested positive for CWD must report the test results to the DEC within 24 hours. DEC will make arrangements to collect and incinerate the CWD-infected venison.

Mail: Attention: Director, Division of Fish and Wildlife, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, New York 12233-4750
Phone: (518) 402-8883

Transportation through New York State

Travelers are permitted to PASS THROUGH New York to transport carcasses, provided no parts are disposed of or remain in New York. Hunters should be aware of import restrictions in their destination state or province to ensure compliance.

Transportation out of New York State

Many other states have similar restrictions about importing carcasses or carcass parts into their state. Non-Resident hunters should be aware of their home state's restrictions on importation of carcasses or carcass parts of animals harvested in New York. Find a Deer Processor or Taxidermist in New York State (PDF).

The information on this page is a general summary of the state regulation Part 189: Chronic Wasting Disease (link leaves DEC website).

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