Importation of whole carcasses from any member of the family Cervidae (e.g., deer, elk, moose, or reindeer/caribou) from any state, Canadian province, or foreign country outside of North Carolina is prohibited. 

Anyone transporting cervid carcass parts into North Carolina must follow processing and packaging regulations, which only allow the importation of:

  • Meat that has been boned out such that no pieces or fragments of bone remain;
  • Caped hides with no part of the skull or spinal column attached;
  • Antlers, antlers attached to cleaned skull plates, or cleaned skulls free from meat, or brain tissue;
  • Cleaned lower jawbone(s) with teeth or cleaned teeth; or
  • Finished taxidermy products and tanned hides.

All carcass part(s) or container of cervid meat or carcass parts must be labeled or identified with the:

  • Name and address of individual importing carcass parts;
  • State, Canadian province, or foreign country of origin;
  • Date the cervid was killed; and
  • Hunter’s license number, permit number, or equivalent identification from the state, Canadian province, or foreign country of origin.

These rules are intended to prevent the unintentional transportation and release of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) into the environment. CWD is a fatal neurological disease found in deer, elk, moose and reindeer/caribou, and can have devastating long-term effects to cervid herds and hunting. The infectious agent of CWD can contaminate new environments by way of disposal of carcass tissues, particularly those of the brain and spine. 

The number of states that have documented CWD continues to increase; at the time of publishing, surveillance efforts by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission have not resulted in the detection of CWD in North Carolina.