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September 8, 2021

Hunters: Help Keep New Jersey CWD Free!

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Chronic Wasting Disease or CWD is a progressive and fatal neurologic disease caused by an infectious protein called a prion. It affects members of the Cervid family such as deer, elk, moose and reindeer, and results in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death. Although CWD has not been found in New Jersey at this time, it poses a serious threat to our deer herds and hunting traditions.

Please be aware of the following regulations and precautions before heading outdoors this season:

  • NEVER bring a whole cervid carcass back into New Jersey from out of state. The importation of carcasses and intact heads into New Jersey is prohibited. Deboned meat, finished taxidermy heads, bleached skulls and skull caps, hides and buglers are permitted to be imported into New Jersey. Skull plates, antlers or skulls from which residual brain tissue has been removed should be soaked in a 30 percent bleach solution for 15 minutes.
  • The sale, possession, and use of lures and scents made from deer including deer urine and deer glandular secretions is now banned. Infectious prions that cause CWD can be found in these fluids. ONLY synthetic scents or lures made from species not in the deer family are legal for deer hunting in New Jersey.

One of the most important ways of slowing the spread of CWD is early detection. Fish and Wildlife tests hunter-harvested deer every year, along with symptomatic wild or captive deer. Please report deer that appear sick, weak, or starving to Nicole Lewis, Wildlife Veterinarian at (908) 735-6398 or nicole.lewis@dep.nj.gov.

Thank you for helping keep New Jersey CWD free!

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Last Update: June 23rd, 2022