Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a transmissible neurological disease that is always fatal to animals in the deer family. In Nevada, this includes mule deer, elk, and moose. In several states CWD has been linked to declines in mule deer populations. Currently, CWD is found in 31 states and provinces but thankfully not in Nevada. However, your help is needed to keep Nevada CWD free!

If you are hunting out of state:

Currently, if you hunt any member of the deer family out of state there are restrictions on what you can bring back into the state. This includes any species of deer, moose, elk, and caribou/reindeer and the full bill can be found in Senate Bill 85.

It is illegal for you, your agent, or employee to knowingly bring into Nevada or possess the carcass or any part of the carcass of any elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose, reindeer, caribou, or fallow deer which were obtained in another state, territory, or country, EXCEPT

It is legal for you, your agent, or employee to bring into Nevada the following parts of the carcass of any of the animals listed above:

Wrapped meat or quarters, with no part of the spinal column, brain tissue, or head attached. 

  • The hide or cape with no part of the spinal column, brain tissue, or head attached.
  • The clean skull plate with antlers attached and no brain tissue attached.
  • The antlers with no meat or tissue other than antler velvet attached.
  • The taxidermy mount with no meat or tissue other than antler velvet attached.
  • The upper canine teeth including, without limitation, the bugler, whistler, and ivory teeth.

Please help us to keep Nevada CWD free by following these regulations.

If you are hunting in Nevada:

To ensure Nevada continues to be free of CWD we ask successful hunters of deer or elk to submit a sample so their harvest can be tested for CWD. 

 Sample collection takes about 5 minutes and will not affects the antlers or meat. Every hunting season NDOW holds several check stations for CWD samples, you can find locations, times, and dates here. In addition, you can also take a CWD sample yourself.  You can request a sampling kit here. If you are planning to have a taxidermist mount your animal, you may ask the taxidermist to submit the sample for you.

If you are a taxidermist or meat processor you can get paid to submit samples. Find out more here.

Finally, if you notice any deer or elk with symptoms consistent with CWD please report it to NDOW. 

Carcass Disposal:

As a preventative measure in Nevada, if the deer or elk carcass is brought out of the field, the best practice to dispose of the carcass is to bury the head and spinal cord or dispose of it at a commercial landfill closest to your location. If you harvest an animal in another state, please follow that state’s CWD disposal guidelines. If you accidentally bring your animal into Nevada please call the nearest NDOW office so we can arrange for disposal. 

CWD details:

What is CWD? 

CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) that is found in deer and elk. It is believed to be caused by a mutated protein, called a prion that attaches to, and transforms healthy brain proteins into disfigured mutations that lead to a deterioration of the brain, and ultimately death of the animal.

CWD is similar but different from scrapie (a disease found in domestic sheep), Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis (also referred to as “mad cow” disease) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (a TSE found in humans.) While similar to these diseases, there is no known causal link between CWD and other TSEs of animals or people. There is currently no evidence to indicate that CWD can be transmitted from elk and deer to livestock or humans.

Signs of an infected animal:

Clinical signs of CWD include stumbling, poor body condition, excessive drinking and salivation and difficulty running. If you observe such signs, please report the sighting to your nearest NDOW office or use our report form here.

Contacts for Carcass Disposal and CWD sampling: 

Operation Game Thief

Nevada Department of Wildlife – Eastern Region
60 Youth Center Road
Elko, Nevada 89801
Phone (775) 777-2300

Nevada Department of Wildlife – Ely Field Office
1218 North Alpha Road
Ely, Nevada 89301
Phone (775) 289-1655 (Please call first)

Nevada Department of Wildlife 
1100 Valley Road
Reno, Nevada 89512
Phone (775) 688-1500

Nevada Department of Wildlife – Winnemucca Field Office
815 East Fourth Street
Winnemucca, Nevada 89445
Phone (775) 623-6565 (Please call first)

Nevada Department of Wildlife – Panaca Field Office
333 Cathedral Gorge Road
Panaca, Nevada 89042
Phone (775) 728-4233 (Please call first)

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