A big safety concern with transporting harvested game is the introduction of disease into healthy environments. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) can cause harm to big game, while the avian flu is a damaging disease for migratory birds. Areas with documented cases of CWD are popping up all over the country, and many states are adding language to their state regulations concerning transportation of wild game to aid in the containment of these and other diseases.
North Dakota does not have any cases of CWD but incorporated new guidelines for transporting members of the cervid family -- deer, elk and moose, for example. West Virginia has had confirmed cases of CWD and offers the same regulations as North Dakota.
Hunters must not move any cervid from an area of containment, which is any public or private land, where there have been confirmed cases of CWD. The following list details the portions of a cervid that hunters may remove from a containment area:
- Meat that is cut and wrapped (privately or commercially)
- Meat that has no part of the spinal cord or head attached
- Deboned meat
- Hides without the head
- Antlers with any meat or skull matter removed
- Completed taxidermy mounts
[source: West Virginia]
Not everyone appreciates seeing dead animals tied to vehicles. In the next section, you'll learn about respectful ways in which to transport harvested game.