Deer Carcass Disposal & Transport
Transportation Restrictions
Statewide Carcass Importation Restrictions
Best Practices for Carcass Disposal

Carcass Transportation Restrictions

Transportation Zones for CWD

CWD Affected Counties

Carcass transport restrictions, along with wildlife feeding and mineral placement restrictions, are immediately triggered when a county becomes CWD positive or CWD high-risk.

The status of CWD affected counties:

Positive Counties (CWD positive deer found within the county): Chester, Crockett, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Shelby, Tipton, and Weakley.

High-Risk Counties (CWD positive deer found within 10 miles of the county border): Carroll, Decatur, Lake, Obion, and Wayne.

Please note that Carroll, Decatur, Dyer, Hardin, Henry, Wayne, and Weakley Counties are in deer Unit L, not Unit CWD, and must still follow these transport regulations.

Once any unapproved deer part is taken into a positive county, it must remain in positive counties.

Deer harvested in counties that are not affected by CWD do not have to meet carcass restrictions to be transported into CWD affected counties. Conversely, the following applies to transporting deer harvested in CWD affected counties.

To understand the carcass transportation restrictions for deer in CWD affected counties, it is important to know there are two classifications of CWD affected counties:

  1. CWD-positive Counties are those with known cases of CWD
  2. CWD High-risk Counties are those not known to have CWD, but the disease has been detected within 10 miles of their border.
  • Do not move whole or field-dressed deer carcasses or unapproved parts outside of CWD affected counties. Only approved parts (listed below) may be moved out of CWD affected counties.
  • Deer carcasses can be moved from one high-risk county to another high-risk county. Deer carcasses can be moved from a high-risk county to a positive county.
  • A deer carcass cannot be moved outside of positive counties but can move from one positive county to another positive county.
  • Approved parts (listed below) are free to be transported anywhere statewide.
  • Also remember, only Approved Parts can be transported into Tennessee from another state.

Approved Parts

These parts have a low risk of spreading CWD.

  • De-boned meat
  • Cleaned (free of meat and tissues) skulls/skull plates & teeth
  • Hides & tanned products
  • Taxidermy
  • Antlers- including those attached to clean skull plates

Examples of Unapproved Parts

These parts have high risk of spreading CWD.

  • Whole and field-dressed carcasses
  • Organs
  • Guts
  • Uncleaned (meat and/or tissue are present) heads/skulls/skull caps
  • Non-muscle tissues

Statewide Carcass Importation Restrictions

If you harvest a deer, elk, or moose from anywhere outside the state, it must be properly processed before bringing it back into the state of Tennessee.

No person may import, transport, or possess in Tennessee a cervid carcass or carcass part from anywhere outside state except as provided herein:

(a)     Meat that has bones removed

(b)    Antlers, antlers attached to cleaned skull plates, or cleaned skulls (where no meat or tissues are attached to the skull.)

(c)     Cleaned teeth

(d)    Finished taxidermy and antler products

(e)    Hides (tanned or green) and tanned products

Best Practices for Carcass Disposal

Deer carcass and carcass parts from infected deer pose a significant threat to preventing the spread of CWD. If not managed appropriately, carcasses of CWD-infected deer can pass the infectious material (prions) into the environment, which can then infect other deer. It is not known to affect humans, pets, or livestock.

As such, TWRA recommends the following best practices for disposal of unused deer parts, including gut material from field dressing a deer:

  • Leave unused parts at harvest location.  Bury the parts to further minimize possible spread.
  • Bag in contractor-grade 3mm thick garbage bag(s) and dispose of in a landfill
  • Use a meat processor for disposal