What Can I Do?

Are there any regulations related to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)? 

Yes, regulations are in place for all deer and elk hunting seasons. Carcass transportation and disposal regulations will apply for any harvested deer or elk that will be transported from the county of harvest or from another state back into South Dakota.

In summary, the regulations include the following: 

  • Hunters are recommended to leave as much of the unusable carcass as possible at the location of the harvest in a discrete location on both public and private lands. Make arrangements with landowner on property where permission has been granted.
  • Regulations do not prohibit a hunter from transporting a deer or elk carcass from the harvest location to anywhere in the state.
  • If any portion of the carcass is removed from the location of harvest and transported from the county of harvest, the revised regulations will require the hunter to dispose of all carcass remains with a waste management provider, if an allowable trash item, or with a permitted landfill.  Game processors and taxidermists, regardless of the location of harvest, are required to dispose of all carcass remains with a waste management provider, if an allowable trash item, or with a permitted landfill.
  • If you are not moving a deer or elk carcass from the county of harvest, the regulations do not apply unless the carcass is delivered to a game processor a taxidermist. Returning carcass remains to public lands and using road ditches to dispose of carcass remains is illegal.  Make sure permission is granted if disposing on private land.
  • Deer or elk carcasses from another state brought back into South Dakota must be disposed of with a waste management provider or landfill that accepts carcass parts.
  • Cervid carcasses passing through the State of South Dakota are exempt from any regulations.

What can I do to help slow the spread of CWD?

CWD can be spread from animal to animal or environment to animal. Concentration of cervids at feeding and baiting stations has the potential to increase spread and prevalence of CWD. Eliminating the feeding and baiting areas can slow the spread from animal to animal and environment to animal. Hunters can assist in the reduction of CWD spread by deboning meat in the field and leaving the carcass at the harvest site. Research has shown that infected carcasses do pose a threat to the spread of CWD, and thus should be deboned in the field or disposed of with your waste management provider or in a landfill that will bury the carcass.

Soaking your stainless-steel knives and other tools in 40% chlorine/bleach mixture for 5 minutes can also deactivate the prion. Hunters doing this can have peace of mind they have clean equipment and have done their part to prevent the spread of CWD.

How do I find out if there is a permitted landfill near me?

Appropriate disposal of carcasses by hunters is ethical and the right thing to do, and using a permitted landfill is a practice that helps reduce the risk of CWD transmission and establishment into geographic areas currently not known to have CWD. If a permitted landfill is not located near your residence, please contact your waste management provider to learn more on proper disposal options. Find a Big Game Carcass Disposal Site on this map.

What should I do if I suspect a deer or elk has CWD?

Call your local GFP department office or conservation officer found at or the South Dakota Animal Industry Board at 605.773.3321 (Pierre). Arrangements will be made to investigate the report.