Virginia Deer Hunting – CWD, Carcass Importation



The white-tailed deer hunting season is upon us and Virginia deer hunters need to be aware of regulations before heading into the field. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) is requesting that hunters pay particular attention to regulations related to Chronic Wasting Disease.

State officials are asking hunters to become familiar with regulations before transporting deer after a progressive neurological disease was found in 12 deer harvested in Frederick County and one deer killed on the road in Shenandoah County.

CWD Rules, Carcass Import Regs


The VDGIF stated that because of CWD, whitetail hunters must follow carcass importation regulations in other states when they transport a deer carcass out of Virginia, and must follow state importation regulations when transporting cervid carcasses into Virginia.

The VDGIF is has implemented deer management strategies within the CWD containment area of Frederick, Clarke, Warren, and Shenandoah counties. All cervids killed in those areas on November 19 and 26, 2016 must be brought to a designated CWD sampling station for mandatory testing.

Virginia whitetail hunters can still check their harvested deer via telephone or internet but must bring the deer to a designated CWD sampling station on the dates above for testing. No over-the-phone or web-based testing for the disease exists, yet.

CWD in Cervids

CWD impacts all cervids, including elk, deer and a number of other native and exotic species. CWD has been detected in 24 states and two Canadian provinces. The disease is a slow, progressive neurological disease found in North America and two other countries around the world. The disease results in death of the animal, although it make take years for the infected animal to show symptoms or die.

Symptoms exhibited by CWD-infected deer include drooling, abnormal posture, lowered head, confusion, staggering and dramatic weight loss. There is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans, pets or even livestock. Hunters that encounter a deer that displays any of the described symptoms should contact a VDGIF representative as soon as possible.

CWD threatens white-tailed deer and deer hunting in Virginia and across the country. Whether hunting in state or out, understand the CWD carcass import regulations and check station requirements before harvesting a deer and bringing it home. It could cost more than just a ticket.



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Cost of Deer Hunting in Colorado is Going Up

It looks like the price of deer hunting in Colorado is on the rise. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW)officials are looking for additional revenue streams amid budget cuts and millions of dollars worth of deferred maintenance stacking up at its facilities just as hunters prepare to head to the field for the start of rifle season for big game.

Colorado:Hunting for Dollars

Times are tough for everyone, which includes agencies funded by the public. During a series of 18 “Funding the Future” meetings across the state this summer, wildlife managers explained the dire situation of a Colorado Wildlife budget that’s been slashed by $40 million since 2009 and yet still faces a budget shortfall of $15 million to $20 million by 2023.

It seems we are all having to do more with less, but it seems Colorado deer hunting will cost more. It’s not the only one though.

Deer Hunting Costs Going Up


Deer Hunting Costs Going Up?

State officials say that without a fee increase for in-state hunting and fishing licenses, CPW would lose access to thousands of acres it leases for hunting and fishing and wildlife management efforts would be compromised. The million dollar questions is how much of a fee increase Colorado hunters and anglers see? That will be left up to lawmakers next year.

But like the mountains, rate hikes on deer and other hunting licenses are a slippery slope. Many sportsmen have been supportive of an increase in license costs, but they are also concerned that a steep hike could price out some hunters and turn off an already tuned-out younger generation that’s not interested in hunting.

Most understand the budgetary needs of the wildlife department, but hunter recruitment and retention should be an extremely high priority for state officials. The fact of the matter is that the human population continues to grow, which puts more pressure on state agencies by both hunters and non-hunters alike.

Wisconsin Deer Hunting Registration Totals Online

Documenting deer harvest is important for managing deer herds. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has started posting white-tailed deer registration numbers on their web site. The cumulative total deer harvests for Wisconsin are being updated each Monday and whitetail hunters can check them out online.

Deer hunting in Wisconsin is archery-only at the time of writing, but as new hunting seasons begin, additional harvest data will be available for interested persons to view. Each hunting season will have its own spread sheet online, divided into zones and then divided into county rows.

Whitetail Deer Hunting

The whitetail archery season is split into archery and crossbow, so to get the total for all archery deer killed to date, it will be necessary to add the two categories together for a county, zone or season.


Antlered (bucks) and antlerless deer are separate columns for each Deer Management Unit, which is mostly by county or half-county. Counties that are split into two management zones appear in both zone displays. Wisconsin’s deer registration system will maintain growing harvest totals by season, deer management unit, county, as well as deer type.

The registration system will maintain accurate deer harvest information by management unit throughout Wisconsin. Interested hunters can check out the status of deer hunting within units of interests in near real time.

Whitetail Hunting Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

The white-tailed deer population and hunting on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula may still be in recovery mode this season. While the winter of 2015 was relatively mild, the three previous severe winters are still having an impact on deer numbers across the UP. Deer numbers are still quite low, and at least one more mild winter is needed in order to begin seeing deer numbers truly rebound.

There are only three units currently open for private-land antlerless licenses in the Upper Peninsula, and no areas open for public-land antlerless licenses. The three open units are located in the south central portion of the Upper Peninsula, which typically has higher deer populations than anywhere else in the region. Antlerless permits are available in Deer Management Units 055 (Menominee), 122 (Norway) and 155 (Gladstone).

Deer Hunting Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Deer on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in Rebound

Despite last year’s mild winter, continued efforts to support the rebound of the deer herd after three previous consecutive severe winters for the UP remain. The Upper Peninsula will have its second year in a row where archers will not be allowed to harvest antlerless deer with either the single deer license or a combination deer license during the archery season. Whitetail hunting on the Southern Lower Peninsula as well as the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan look much improved, however.

Bowhunters may only harvest antlerless deer if they have an antlerless license. This change does not affect the Liberty or Independence hunts and does not affect mentored youth hunters.

Deer, Hunters Head for Mast on Upper Peninsula

Apple production appears to be high this year, while acorn and beechnut production is spotty, so those deer hunting will need to seek these areas out to determine which trees may be producing. Even though conditions throughout much of the summer were hot and dry, there was enough rain toward the end of the summer to have a productive growing season, giving deer many other food sources to seek out.

In general, deer hunters should expect to see about the same number of deer as last year in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. However, the 2.5-year-old and 3.5-year-old age-classes are still very low since they were most affected by the severe winters.

Keep in mind that each area is influenced by local factors and conditions that affect deer density and sightings in that area. The largest bucks (heaviest and largest antlers) typically come from agricultural areas, but nice bucks are also taken from forested areas where hunter access is limited and the deer have an opportunity to grow older.

Deer Hunting Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula

Excellent habitat conditions throughout Michigan indicate good white-tailed deer hunting this year for the Northern Lower Peninsula. Michigan wildlife officials believe the deer population for the Northern Lower Peninsula will see an increase in harvest this year. Good news for those looking to tag a deer this fall.

With the mild winter Michigan received last year and little impact from the previous winter, whitetail populations have been increasing steadily across much of the Northern Lower Peninsula.

Deer Population Up in Northern Lower Peninsula

Deer sightings have been good throughout the region, and many have reported seeing healthy fawns. There have been numerous reports of twins and even some triplets within the deer herd. As said, it’s been a good year!

Mast production (fruits and nuts) has been spotty throughout this region of Michigan. For the third year in a row, high production of apples is being reported. Acorn and beechnut production is diverse, with some areas seeing decent production and others reporting none.

Michigan Deer Hunting

Deer should be targeting the mast producing trees frequently as well as fall food plots throughout the region. Scouting to find these areas will be very important to early-season deer hunting success. Contacting a local wildlife office may be a good first step if looking for some insight on locations or hunting strategy. Wildlife staff can likely point you in the right direction.

More Bucks in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula

Expect to see increased deer numbers compared to last year throughout most of the Northern Lower Peninsula. Many areas may see more 2.5-year-old and 3.5-year-old bucks this year with the continued three-point antler point restriction (APR) in many counties in the northwest area. This APR allows the majority of 1.5-year-old bucks to mature to the next age class, thereby resulting in increased numbers of 2.5- and 3.5-year-old bucks in the years following.

All Northern Lower Peninsula Deer Management Units are open for antlerless hunting. All in all, thing look a little better than the hunting on the Southern Lower Peninsula, but success can vary by property across the state. Those headed out deer hunting in Michigan should review the 2016 Antlerless Deer Digest for more information.

Iowa’s Bowhunting Season Opens for Deer

The start of Iowa’s archery deer season begins on October 1 and state wildlife officials say the deer are looking good.”Deer hunters should have another great year,” said Andrew Norton, state deer biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Our white-tailed deer population is relatively stable, keeping things consistent. It should be a pretty good fall.”

“Our hunters play an important role in helping us to maintain their high quality deer herd,” Norton said. An estimated 62,000 bow hunters will purchase more than 90,000 deer hunting licenses this year. On average, bow hunters take 12 trips to the field and spend more than three hours out each time before the season ends on December 2 to make way for the shotgun hunters.

“They’re a pretty dedicated group. Having 62,000 pairs of eyes in the field really helps us to identify any local issues, like discovering a local case of hemorrhagic disease, and by hunters providing tissue samples that we can test for chronic wasting disease. We encourage them to talk to their landowners about the status with their local herd and adjust their doe harvest accordingly,” he said.

Iowa’s Deer Hunting is Unique

Iowa is unique versus other premier deer hunting states because there is a restriction on the use of firearms during the rut that reduces pressure on the bucks, allows bucks to grow older, which is an important factor for antler growth. Iowa also has mild winters compared to northern states, and excellent soil quality that provides natural vegetation which also allows deer to grow quickly.

Early in the season, deer will likely be in their summer pattern. Hunters putting in the work studying the changing patterns should improve their odds for success.

Deer population varies across the state but high quality animals are available in every county. Population is lower in northwest Iowa and increases along the Mississippi River and across southern Iowa. The highest antlered deer harvest comes from Clayton, Allamakee, Van Buren and Warren counties.

Iowa’s Bowhunters Must Report Harvested Deer

All whitetail taken must be reported using the harvest reporting system by midnight the day after the deer is recovered. Accurately reporting the kill is an important part of Iowa’s deer management program and plays a vital role in managing deer populations and future hunting opportunities.

Hunters can report their deer on the DNR website www.iowadnr.gov, by calling the toll free reporting number 1-800-771-4692, or at any license vendor. For hunters with Internet access, the online reporting of your harvest is the easiest way to register your deer. If no deer is harvested, no report is necessary.

Pennsylvania Deer Hunting: Learn About Deer Focus Areas

Looking for a Pennsylvania deer hunting area that would allow you to tag a nice buck? Your in luck! In the upcoming white-tailed deer hunting seasons, the Pennsylvania Game Commission again will be directing hunters to areas on state game lands where recently completed habitat enhancement projects likely are drawing deer.

Hunters interested in finding out more about these Deer Hunter Focus Areas can join the Pennsylvania Game Commission on today for a noon deer hunting focus area webinar.

Dave Gustafson, the agency’s Forestry Division Chief, will talk about how the agency will use Deer Hunter Focus Areas in the 2016-17 deer seasons, and identify areas where ongoing habitat improvements and increased deer-hunting opportunity exists.

Register online. A link to the registration also can be found on the Game Commission’s website, on the Upcoming Events page. A confirmation email sent after registration is completed contains information about joining the Pennsylvania hunting webinar.

Mississippi CWD Regulations: Deer Harvested in Other States

New CWD Regulation Impacts Out of State Hunters

Mississippians traveling out of state to hunt white-tailed deer and other big game this fall need to be aware of a new rule affecting the transport of their trophy. In late Spring of 2016, the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks passed 40 Miss. Admin Code, Part 2, Rule 2.7 Prohibition on Cervid Carcass Importation, to Protect Mississippi from Chronic Wasting Disease.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease that affects cervids and has been found in 24 states and 3 foreign countries. A cervid is a member of the deer family and includes white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, caribou, red deer, sika deer, and fallow deer.

CWD Mississippi

Rule 2.7 states that it is unlawful to import, transport, or possess any portion of a cervid carcass originating from any state, territory, or foreign country where the occurrence of CWD has been confirmed by either the state wildlife agency, state agriculture agency, state veterinarian, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Mississippi CWD Rule Does Not Apply to Importation of:

  • Meat from cervids that has been completely deboned.
  • Antlers, antlers attached to cleaned skull plates or cleaned skulls where no tissue is attached to the skull.
  • Cleaned teeth.
  • Finished taxidermy and antler products.
  • Hides and tanned products.
  • Any portions of white-tailed deer originating from the land between the Mississippi River levees in Arkansas

CWD Positive States

As of August 31, 2016, CWD has been confirmed in the following states: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Additionally, the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Norway, and South Korea are CWD positive. CWD has not been found in Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks continues to monitor Mississippi for CWD. They ask for your help by reporting any sick deer you observe. To report a sick deer, please call 601-432-2199.

Guide to Hunting White-tailed Deer

If you’re new to deer hunting then the “Guide to Successful Deer Hunting” is the publication you need. The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) recently announced the publication of its newest book, QDMA’s Guide to Successful Deer Hunting, available as an e-book for purchase or as a free graduation gift to all who complete their hunting safety course online at Hunter-Ed.com, providers of Internet hunting safety courses for more than 45 states.

“Many of Hunter-Ed.com’s students were asking for more information on how to hunt deer, and we were asked to contribute materials that could help them,” said QDMA Director of Communications Lindsay Thomas Jr. “Our staff responded by producing an entirely new and complete guide to deer hunting that will be provided free to all Hunter-Ed.com graduates across the country. They’re certified safe hunters now, and our e-book is designed to help get them into the woods and on a path toward a lifetime of successful deer hunting.”

Guide to Deer Hunting

Safety First, then Successful Deer Hunting

“When it comes to the ‘what’s next’ beyond basic hunter education, Kalkomey relies heavily on partners such as QDMA,” said Mitch Strobl, Vice President of Business Development for Kalkomey, the parent company of Hunter-Ed.com. “We want our students to have access to the best resources out there, and this new e-book is a prime example of just that. Through strategic partnerships, we’re able to help our students along from initial interest to total participation, thus helping achieve our recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) goals.”

QDMA’s Guide to Successful Deer Hunting is 267 pages long and includes 15 chapters written by eight different contributors, all QDMA staff members. Major subjects are expanded upon in 18 embedded videos produced exclusively for the project by Primos Hunting. Dozens of full color photos also help illustrate the chapters, and links to external resources and articles allow readers to explore every topic in greater depth as desired.

Deer Hunting Videos Increase Success

“Will Primos and his team produced a fantastic series of supporting videos for the e-book,” said Hank Forester, QDMA’s Hunting Heritage Programs Manager. “The videos cover some of the more complex subjects, like choosing a rifle, using deer calls, rattling for deer and they really round out the usefulness and interactivity of the project.

For those readers who don’t have someone to teach them how to hunt or take them to the woods, our e-book will be a terrific help.” Whether new to deer hunting or just looking for some new ideas, this looks to be a great book!

Buy QDMA’s Guide to Successful Deer Hunting

The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) has release a book that helps teach new hunters how to hunt white-tailed deer. The QDMA’s book, Guide to Successful Deer Hunting, is available for purchase on Amazon, and you can download and read it on any device using the free Kindle app.

Deer Hunting Book Contributors

Contributors to QDMA’s Guide to Successful Deer Hunting include staff members Kip Adams, Director of Education & Outreach; Hank Forester, Hunting Heritage Programs Manager; Ryan Furrer, Senior Regional Director and Field Supervisor; Brian Grossman, Communications Manager; Joe Hamilton, Founder and Senior Advisor; Matt Ross, Certification Programs Manager; Lindsay Thomas Jr., Director of Communications; and Brian Towe, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator.

QDMA’s Guide to Successful Deer Hunting is the first e-book in QDMA’s library. Previously, QDMA published Deer Cameras: The Science of Scouting and also Quality Food Plots, the highest selling book on wildlife food plots ever published, in addition to other educational booklets, maps and posters. Visit QDMA’s online store for more information on these other titles.

Gifting the e-book Guide to Successful Deer Hunting to new or aspiring hunters is easy through Amazon. All you need is the e-mail address of the gift recipient.

About Quality Deer Management Association

QDMA is dedicated to ensuring the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage. Founded in 1988, QDMA is a national nonprofit wildlife conservation organization with more than 60,000 members in all 50 states and Canada. To learn more about QDMA and why it is the future of deer hunting, call 800-209-3337 or visit the QDMA web site. QDMA can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.