Texas Parks and Wildlife Approves Statewide Deer Carcass Disposal Regulations

Texas Parks and Wildlife Approves Statewide Deer Carcass Disposal Regulations

AUSTIN (June 13, 2024) — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved statewide deer carcass disposal regulations during its May meeting. This was to reduce the risk of transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) across the state. For most hunters, these new regulations do not change how they currently care for their deer after harvest.

“Proper disposal of all potentially infectious material is critical for reducing the risk of disease transmission,” said Blaise Korzekwa, TPWD White-tailed Deer Program Leader. “These new regulations provide hunters more options when it comes to processing their deer to reduce that risk. If CWD is not managed and efforts are not made to mitigate the potential spread of the disease, the implications for Texas and its multibillion-dollar ranching, hunting, wildlife management, and real estate economies could be significant.”

What Hunters Need to Know

The new regulations will take effect during the upcoming hunting season. They will allow hunters to debone a carcass at the site of harvest. Provided that proof of sex and tags are maintained until the hunter reaches the final destination. By leaving the unused parts at the site of harvest, the chance of spreading CWD to other parts of the state is greatly reduced. Meat from each deboned carcass must remain in whole muscle groups (i.e. not chopped, sliced, or ground). These then must be maintained in a separate container until reaching the final destination.

These measures apply only to unused carcass parts from native deer harvested in Texas. And even then, only if they are being transported from the property of harvest. If carcass parts are not being transported from the property of harvest, these rules would not apply.

Many hunters take their harvest to a commercial processor. Because of this it will be the processor who properly disposes unused parts for them. For hunters processing deer at home, disposal in a commercial trash service is preferred. However, other options are available.

Acceptable Disposal Options Include:

Directly or indirectly disposing of the remains at a landfill permitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to receive such wastes.

Burying the carcass at a depth of no less than three feet below the natural surface of the ground and covered with at least three feet of earthen material.

And returning the remains to the property where the animal was harvested.
For more information visit the CWD page or contact a wildlife biologist.


These new Deer Carcass Disposal regulations have been set by Texas Parks and Wildlife to prevent disease transmission.


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