Commission proposes regulation amendments for CWD Surveillance Zone

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2021) - In a special called video teleconference meeting on Sept. 15, members of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission recommended changes to four administrative regulations correlated to the recent activation of Kentucky's Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an incurable brain disease that affects deer, elk, moose and caribou. It has not been detected in Kentucky. However, the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources on Sept. 8 activated its response plan following confirmation of CWD in a wild white-tailed deer in northwestern Tennessee, less than 8 miles from the Kentucky border.

In a unanimous vote, Commission members recommended incorporating into KAR 301 2:172, 2:015, 2:075 and 2:095 several changes that mirror emergency actions authorized Sept. 13 by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Rich Storm in support of the response plan.

The Commission recommended the following changes at its special called meeting:

Amend 301 KAR 2:172 – Deer Hunting Seasons, Zones and Requirements

  • Define the CWD Surveillance Zone (SZ) as Fulton, Hickman, Graves, Marshall and Calloway counties
  • Prohibit export of entire deer carcasses, skull contents and spinal columns from the SZ
  • Allow movement of legally-harvested cervid carcasses and parts within the SZ
  • Allow transportation outside the SZ of parts from deer legally harvested in the SZ, including de-boned meat, clean skull plates, antlers, antlers attached to a clean skull plate, a clean skull, clean teeth, finished taxidermy work or hide.
  • Prohibit baiting and feeding in the SZ, including:
    • Grains
    • Salt
    • Mineral
    • Other ingested attractants
  • During the following Kentucky deer hunting seasons, all hunters who harvest deer in these counties shall present at a KDFWR-authorized check station in one of these counties either the entire carcass of each deer, or the entire head and proof of sex (as established in 301 KAR 2:172) for collection of a CWD sample:
    • Early Muzzleloader Season (two (2) consecutive days beginning the third Saturday in October);
    • Modern Gun Season (sixteen (16) consecutive days beginning the second Saturday in November); and
    • Late Muzzleloader Season (nine (9) consecutive days beginning the second Saturday in December).

Amend 301 KAR 2:015 – Feeding of Wildlife

  • Prohibit baiting and feeding of all wildlife in the SZ, including grains, salt, mineral, and other ingested attractants, except for:
    • Normal agricultural practices, including food plots;
    • Hanging bird feeders within the curtilage of the home; and
    • Furbearer trapping (trappers shall use no grain, salt or mineral).

Amend 301 KAR 2:075 – Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit

  • Prohibit rehabilitation of cervids within the SZ
  • Any cervid currently being rehabilitated must be released (per 301 KAR 2:075 release requirements) within the county in which rehabilitation took place.

Amend 301 KAR 2:095 – Importation of cervid carcasses and parts.

  • Change title to, "Possession and transportation of cervid carcasses and parts"
  • Persons in possession of or transporting a cervid carcass or parts in or through any of these counties shall affix to the carcass or parts a clearly visible tag (such as paper, plastic or metal durably attached by wire or string) with the following information legibly displayed for inspection upon request by an official from the department, and shall include:
    • Species and sex of animal;
    • County and state of origin;
    • Date harvested or obtained;
    • Hunter's name, valid telephone number including area code, and telecheck number (or state of origin's equivalent check-in verification number or information) for a hunter-harvested cervid; and
    • Possessor's name, valid telephone number including area code, and a description of how the cervid carcass (or parts) was obtained, if possessor is different from hunter.

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission is comprised of volunteers who serve four-year terms. The Commission recommends hunting, fishing and boating regulations on behalf of the sportspersons of the Commonwealth. State legislators must approve all recommendations before they become law.

A video replay of the Sept. 15 meeting is available on Kentucky Fish and Wildlife's YouTube channel at

For the latest information, please visit the department's CWD webpage ( and follow its social media channels.

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