Other than, “he got away,” the three words New York Deer hunters hate to hear are, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The threat level just jumped several notches with the discovery of an infected deer along the NY/PA border.

The NY Department of Conservation has spent years trying to keep the deadly disease outside of the state lines. You may recall the only known cases of CWD were discovered in Oneida County in 2005. Even going so far as to limit what could be brought into New York from other states and Canadian provinces. This past year during the opening days of deer season, the DEC increased patrols at several points along the border to prevent hunters from bringing in animals bagged in Pennsylvania.

The latest detection of a diseased deer in Warren County, PA is most likely going to create even more restrictions and patrols. The animal was found at a captive-shooting facility last December and just recently confirmed to be stricken with CWD. New York officials are meeting with Pennsylvania authorities to enforce new restrictions including creation of a new Disease Management Area, (DMA) which extends to the New York border.

The management areas are designed to severely restrict what can be done with animals taken inside those borders. In the 2005 Oneida County case, any deer taken from within several cities and towns were subject to mandatory check in stations and certain parts of the animal were prohibited from leaving the area. While Pennsylvania will bear the brunt of enforcing the DMA from their side of the border. NY's DEC will begin an enhanced effort to test deer in the area through collection of vehicle-killed deer or deer taken on damage permits.

There are several scary parts to Chronic Wasting Disease, which is often referred to as the zombie disease because of the animal's lethargic actions and emaciated look. It's a fatal brain and central nervous system disease easily transmitted to other animals including moose and elk.  Even worse, an animal can suffer from the affliction and not show any signs for up to two years. To date, there have been no known transmission of the disease to humans or livestock.

The states and provinces in orange represent the areas where it is illegal to import certain parts of deer, elk, or moose into New York..

Prohibited Deer States

Here is what can brought into New York from other states:

  • Meat (without backbone)
    Cleaned hide and cape
    Skull plate and/or antlers cleaned of all meat and brain tissue
    Upper canine teeth
    Finished taxidermy mounts, tanned hides

The following is what's prohibited:

  • Head
    Lymph nodes in the neck
    Spinal Cord/Backbone
    Intestinal Tract

Proper tagging is also required when bringing carcasses and parts into the state.  The tag must include the species of animal, the state or province where it was taken and the name and address of who took the animal.

For more on CWD, what the state is doing and how you can help visit the DEC's website. 87 Seconds Education's YouTube Channel shares more info on the disease as how deer suffering from CWD appear.


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