NEW JERSEY – New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife officials want hunters to help keep New Jersey Chronic Wasting Disease free.
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, officials said.
Although CWD has not been found in New Jersey at this time, it poses a serious threat to our deer herds and hunting traditions, officials said.
Be aware of the following regulations and precautions before heading outdoors this upcoming 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 all 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 stopping the spread of CWD is early detection. New Jersey Fish and Wildlife tests hunter-harvested deer every year, along with symptomatic wild or captive deer.
Report deer that appear sick, weak, or starving to:
- Fish and Wildlife Veterinarian: 908-735-6398 or Nicole.Lewis@dep.nj.gov
- Principal Deer Biologist: 609-223-6073 or Jodi.Powers@dep.nj.gov
- Northern Region Deer Biologist: 908-735-7040 ext 209 or Megan.Mills@dep.nj.gov
- Southern Region Deer Biologist: 856-875-6418 or Megan.McCafferty@dep.nj.gov
To view the Keep NJ Free of CWD: A Guide for Hunters, click here.