There are some new things to know if you plan on hunting out of state this year and return to New York. Specifically if you plan on hunting deer or moose and want to bring your harvest back.

Chronic wasting disease, a fatal brain disease found in certain species of the deer family, was discovered in Oneida County wild and captive white-tailed deer in 2005. More than 49,000 deer have been tested statewide since 2002, and there have been no reoccurrences of the disease since 2005. New York is still the only state to have eliminated CWD once it was found in wild populations. Other states have not been as fortunate. In North America, CWD has been found in 24 states and three Canadian provinces, including neighboring Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The fear has been around the hunting community for years and based on some of the images and stories that come from states that have a high prevalence of CWD, it's for good reason. Herds of deer have been euthanized to try to thwart off the spread or eliminate the disease all together from certain areas.

According to a recent article from NewYorkUpstate.com regarding the fear and prevention of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in The Empire State:

(Regarding the new laws and regulations) under the plan, hunters who harvest deer in other states will only be allowed to import 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 into New York.

The NYS DEC has also listed items that hunters should be aware of when hunting within New York State:

The plan also calls for increased public participation in the state's efforts, and DEC and Ag & Markets are urging hunters and citizens to:

  • Report sick or abnormally behaving deer;
  • Do not feed wild deer;
  • Dispose of carcasses properly at approved landfills;
  • Report violators;
  • Use alternatives to urine-based lures or use synthetic forms of deer urine.