Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been discovered in whitetail deer in western Tennessee. This fatal neurological disease does not affect humans or livestock but it can infect deer and other cervids such as elk, moose, and caribou. Obviously, North Carolina does not have a population of moose or caribou but it does have a lot of whitetail deer and a growing population of reintroduced elk.
RALEIGH, N.C. (Dec. 17, 2018) — With the preliminary detection of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in white-tailed deer in western Tennessee, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission reminds deer hunters of a new rule that prohibits the importation of whole deer carcasses and restricts the importation of specific carcass parts from anywhere outside of North Carolina.
The new rule, which was implemented for the 2018-19 deer hunting season, is an effort on the Commission’s part to prevent the spread of CWD into the state. CWD is a transmissible, always fatal, neurological disease that affects deer and other cervids such as elk, moose and reindeer/caribou.
The rule states that anyone transporting cervid carcass parts into North Carolina must follow processing and packaging regulations, which only allow the importation of:
Meat that has been boned out such that no pieces or fragments of bone remain;
Caped hides with no part of the skull or spinal column attached;
Antlers, antlers attached to cleaned skull plates, or cleaned skulls free from meat, or brain tissue;
Cleaned lower jawbone(s) with teeth or cleaned teeth; or
Finished taxidermy products and tanned hides.
Additionally, all carcass part(s) or container of cervid meat or carcass parts must be labeled or identified with the:
Name and address of individual importing carcass parts;
State, Canadian province, or foreign country of origin;
Date the cervid was killed; and
Hunter’s license number, permit number, or equivalent identification from the state, Canadian province, or foreign country of origin.
These new restrictions aim to prevent the infectious agent of CWD from contaminating new environments by way of disposal of carcass tissues, particularly those of the brain and spine, as CWD contaminants can persist in the soil for years.
Out of concern for the serious effects CWD could have on North Carolina’s deer herd, the Commission developed a Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan in 2002, with subsequent revisions over the years to respond to the disease’s ever-growing spread. The plan identifies and guides the agency’s initial short-term (approximately one year) efforts if CWD is detected in the state’s deer herd, or if CWD is detected in deer within 30 miles of its borders. Agency biologists also conduct statewide sampling of deer every year and attempt to sample all deer that show signs of the disease or die of unknown causes.
With Tennessee’s preliminary detection of CWD within its borders, two states bordering North Carolina will have CWD in their deer herds. In Virginia, Shenandoah and Frederick counties, which border West Virginia, have confirmed cases of CWD.
About Chronic Wasting Disease
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) disease in deer, elk, moose and reindeer/caribou and is always fatal. The source of the disease is an abnormal prion (a form of protein) that collects in the animal’s brain cells. These brain cells eventually burst, leaving behind microscopic empty spaces in the brain matter that give it a “spongy” look. As this occurs, it often causes behavior changes such as decreased interactions with other animals, listlessness, lowering of the head, a blank facial expression, and walking in set patterns.
CWD has no known impacts to the health of humans or livestock. However, the Commission recommends people do NOT eat:
Meat from a deer that looks sick
Any of the following organs: brain, eyes, spinal cord, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes*
Any meat from an animal that tests positive for the disease
*Normal field dressing coupled with boning out a carcass will remove most (if not all) of these body parts. Cutting away all fatty tissue will remove remaining lymph nodes.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has published their proposed changes to fish, wildlife, and game lands regulations. The comment period is open through February 1, 2018. These comments can by made in writing, by email, or by attending one of the nine public meetings held across the state beginning in January 2018.
Links to the changes and to the meeting schedule are embedded in the release below:
Comment Period Regarding Proposed Regulations Open through Feb. 1,
Public comment is sought on proposed
changes to agency regulations related to wildlife management,
fisheries and game lands for the 2018-19 seasons. The Wildlife
Commission will conduct nine
public hearings in January across the state to discuss these proposed
regulations changes, including changes to deerand bearseasons.
The public is encouraged to
submit comments, opinions and suggestions by Feb. 1, 2018. Comments can be
submitted in-person at one of the hearings, by e-mail, (please include your
name and address) onlineor by
mail (Rule-making Coordinator, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC
Hunting seasons for various game animals have or are about to open in North Carolina. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is running a campaign called Home from the Hunt which reminds hunters of the blaze orange requirements while hunting.
RALEIGH, N.C. – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Home From The Hunt safety campaign is reminding hunters of blaze orange requirements (also known as hunter orange, fluorescent orange or 10-mile cloth).
In North Carolina, hunters are required to wear a cap or hat of blaze orange color, or wear an outer garment such as a shirt or game vest in blaze orange that is visible from all sides, when hunting bear, feral hogs, deer, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, pheasant or quail with a firearm. Hunters also are required to wear blaze orange while hunting with a bow on Sunday during the muzzleloader or gun season.
The campaign also recommends anyone spending time outdoors in areas that see hunting activity to consider wearing blaze orange. Blaze orange clothing stands out against an outdoor background and studies have proven it increases visibility of the wearer in low light situations.
“Blaze orange signals ‘caution’ to the viewer,” said Travis Casper, assistant hunter education coordinator for North Carolina. “Wearing blaze orange is an important step for safety, because it alerts others to your presence with an instantaneous recognition.”
Blaze orange can also be helpful in locating someone lost or injured.
In North Carolina, all first-time hunting license buyers must successfully complete a Hunter Education Course, offered free across the state. Go to www.ncwildlife.org to consult the online version of the 2011-2012 N.C. Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest or call 919-707-0031 for more information.
The NC Wildlife Resources Commission sent out notice of temporary rules that will go into effect on October 1st. The new rules are needed due to changes in wildlife laws made by the General Assembly. It impacts crow, coyote, and hog hunters.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is proposing temporary rules to allow hunters to use electronic calls for crows and coyotes and to establish an open season with no bag limits for feral swine (hogs).
Crow and coyote hunters are probably aware that they can use electronic calls, but they may not be aware that this practice is legal because it is currently allowed in state law, G.S. § 113-291.1. House Bill 432, which was passed by the General Assembly in June, removes this practice from G.S. § 113-291.1 and gives authority to the Commission to regulate electronic calls for all game animals and birds. The law goes into effect October 1. In order for hunters to continue using electronic calls for crows and coyotes after September 30, the Commission must pass temporary and permanent rules to maintain the status quo. If approved, the temporary rules will go into effect on October 1 and would likely be replaced by permanent rules on January 1, 2012. The Commission’s public hearing schedule appears below.
House Bill 432 also changes the status of feral swine to wild animals and deletes the term “wild boar.” All wild animals must have a season set by Commission rules to make hunting that species legal. The Commission is proposing a temporary rule which declares feral swine (hogs) as a species with no closed season and no bag limits. This temporary rule would also go into effect October 1. An identical permanent rule is proposed to go into effect January 1, 2012.
Please note that as of October 1, all persons shooting feral swine (hogs) must have a hunting license or a depredation permit, except for people who are otherwise license-exempt.
Public Hearing for Proposed Temporary Rules for Crows, Coyotes and Feral Swine (Hogs)
Centennial Campus for Wildlife Education
1751 Varsity Dr.
Raleigh, N.C. 27606
Comments may also be submitted between July 18, 2011 and August 8, to firstname.lastname@example.org or Temporary Rule Comments, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1701.
Hearings on permanent rule changes will be held around the State of North Carolina beginning in early September.