Chronic Wasting Disease - The Rules

Idaho Fish and Game encourages hunters to cooperate with its CWD monitoring program and follow rules implemented to reduce risk of the disease spreading to Idaho.

Transporting live animals and infected carcasses (particularly brains and spinal tissue) and activities that concentrate animals, such as winter feeding, are all known to accelerate the spread of CWD. Existing and proposed rules have been crafted specifically to address how CWD can be spread.

Rules to Reduce Risk of CWD in Idaho

Currently, a person must obtain a permit from Idaho Fish and Game to import, export, or transport live mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose, and wild-origin elk. A proposed rule will ban all importing of these animals into Idaho.

The following rules are in effect because of the threat CWD poses to the state's deer, moose, and elk.

Hunters are responsible for knowing the rules in the locations outside of Idaho.

  • Urine Ban

    Idaho bans the use of natural cervid urine for big game hunting, which includes urine from deer, elk, moose, and caribou (reindeer).

  • Out-of-State Carcass Import Ban

    The state bans importing a carcass or any part of a wild deer, elk, moose, or caribou from another state, province in Canada or any other country with a documented case of CWD.

    Exemptions to this ban include:
    • Meat that is cut and wrapped
    • Quarters or deboned meat that does not include brain or spinal tissue
    • Edible organs that do not include brains
    • Hides without heads
    • Upper canine teeth
    • Ivories, buglers or whistlers
    • Finished taxidermy
    • Dried antlers
    • Cleaned and dried skulls or skull caps
  • Winter feeding risk strategy

    Fish and Game integrates its CWD risk strategy into winter feeding planning. Winter feeding unnaturally concentrates wildlife, increasing the risk of spreading disease.

  • Restrict feeding in CWD zones

    In the event that CWD is discovered in Idaho, this rule restricts the public from feeding deer and elk in designated CWD management zones.

Learn more about Idaho Fish & Game's rulemaking process.


Hunters need to know where CWD has been documented. This map identifies locations in North America. CWD has also been found in Norway, Finland and South Korea.

Creative Commons Licence
USGS National Wildlife Health Center, 11/2020

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