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Nevada's new regulation on bringing animals back from out-of-state hunts

Nevada new animal import law to prevent CWD

Photo credit: Shutterstock

During the 2019 legislative session, Nevada adopted statutory restrictions on importing portions of harvest animals. These new regulations are to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD). 40 states and seven Canadian provinces have implemented restrictions on the importation of portions of harvested deer, elk and moose that can be brought into their states. According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, currently CWD is found in 25 states and provinces, but not in Nevada.

New Nevada regulations to prevent CWD

NDOW letter mailed out to hunters.

On April 17, Senate Bill No. 85 passed the Senate with 21-0 votes. Then it went to the assembly on May 9 and passed 29-11, it was finally approved by the Governor on May 16, 2019. You can see the full rule changes of SB 85 here.

What you CANNOT bring back into Nevada

It is now unlawful for you, your agent, or employee to knowingly bring into Nevada or possess the carcass or any part of the carcass of certain animals including, without limitation, of any elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose, reindeer, caribou, or fallow deer which were obtained in another state, territory or country. Or any alternative livestock or any other animal which the State Quarantine Officer has, by regulation, declared to be susceptible to chronic wasting disease and prohibited from importation into Nevada. A person who violates that prohibition is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to the payment of certain civil penalties for the violation.

  • No part of the spinal column, brain tissue or head attached
  • Antlers with meat or tissue attached to it other than velvet attached

So in summary, any carcass or part of the carcass of an elk, deer, moose, alternative livestock or other animals knowingly brought into or knowingly possessed in Nevada in violation of this section may be seized, destroyed or sent out of the state by a game warden or any other law enforcement officer within 48 hours. The expense of seizing, destroying or removing the carcass or part of the carcass must be paid by the person or his or her agent or employee who knowingly brought the carcass or part of the carcass into Nevada.

What you can bring back into Nevada

It is lawful for you, your agent, or employee to bring into Nevada the following parts of the carcass of any of the animals listed above:

  • Wrapped meat or quarters, with no part of the spinal column, brain tissue, or head attached, except that one or more bones of the legs or shoulders may be attached.
  • The hide or cape with no part of the spinal column, brain tissue, or head attached.
  • The clean skull plate with antlers attached and no brain tissue attached.
  • The antlers with no meat or tissue other than antler velvet attached.
  • The taxidermy mount with no meat or tissue other than antler velvet attached.
  • The upper canine teeth including, without limitation, the bugler, whistler, and ivory teeth.

NDOW urges hunters to please help to keep Nevada CWD free by following these regulations. For more information, you can check out a recent NDOW podcast episode on these new regulations here.

Carcass disposal

As a preventative measure in Nevada, NDOW recommends that if the deer or elk carcass is brought out of the field, the best practice to dispose of the carcass is to bury the head and spinal cord, or dispose of it an approved landfill closest to your location. Please see a list of approved landfills in your area. If you take an animal in another state, you should follow that state's CWD disposal guidelines.

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Michael G. - posted 9 months ago on 08-19-2019 08:02:25 pm

Ok that’s good to know and thank you. I have a pot I can boil the skull, I saw Randy Newberge tutorial on YouTube it was help full as well.

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 9 months ago on 08-19-2019 05:39:04 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

@John - Bones from animal quarters are still 100% legal to bring into Nevada.

John L. - posted 9 months ago on 08-14-2019 09:22:56 pm

I have just cut the cap off before between the eyes and the back of the skull, but it has also snapped in transportation that way. Of course the skull is the strongest, but if I have the cut it off at the skull so be it.
I also specialize in Wildlife culinary, and have built my own wildlife butcher shop. I guess I'll have to figure out another way to age the meat. I always age the quarters by hanging the rear quarters from its Achilles tendon. so they pretty much outlawed that too by the sounds of it.
My friend who is a Nevada Guide brings in quarters that were de-boned. In most cases, it has pretty much been destroyed from a butcher's view. Once the legs, backstraps, loins, etc. have been de-boned, the possibility of contamination from flies has been increased, and proper aging procedures have been made way more difficult than if it was hanging from the hook. I guess I'll have to figure out new ways to age wildlife, with these "wanna-be laws"
There should be a possibility of having these body parts tested so great cuts, and aging procedures wont be eliminated over the time.
I'm curious if this new law has now made my aging elk leg of Prosciutto outlawed! Oooh! maybe even my Osso Bucco cuts in my freezer are now illegal? They all include the delicious flavor that a bone creates.

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 9 months ago on 08-14-2019 09:55:41 am
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

@John - I see your thought process there... but you do not need to break the skull plate in half (cut between horns or antlers) to remove the brains and tissues. I've had the majority of my bucks, moose, mountain goat, etc scored for B&C or P&Y and they are always skull capped as I'm getting them ready for the taxidermist. Just cut in front of the antlers or horns and another cut behind them. That still leaves plenty of skull material so it will still comply with B&C, P&Y or SCI records.

If you don't want to skull cap your animal and wanted to European mount it... all you would need to do it break into the brain cavity with a small saw or Dremel below the brain area to open up the brain cavity to remove those tissues.

@Michael - Haha... I see where your comment is going :) But yeah... any animal you shoot in a different state, you'll need to spend some extra time on it before you can bring it back into Nevada.

Hope you both have a great day!

Michael G. - posted 9 months ago on 08-14-2019 12:20:07 am

So I can not even drive through the state?

John L. - posted 9 months ago on 08-13-2019 11:23:46 pm

So, what I understand here is that If I legally harvested a "Healthy" bighorn sheep from, let's say Montana, 1)- Knowing that this bighorn sheep could be a new record ram, 2)- Knowing that this was a very healthy, not CWD infested sheep, 3)- also Knowing that if I cut open (split) the skull to get these brains out, it would no longer be allowed to be counted into the records as possibly a new record animal? What that says, is that Nevada supports the SCI (Safari Club International) convention, but Nevada also destroyed the opportunity for a hunter to be entered into the SCI book of records!
I have brought in a #3 in the world reindeer from Iceland, where none of these diseases exist. Now, I wouldn't be able to do that anymore? Once the skull plate is cut, the opportunity for a record is deleted, eliminated, and no longer in existence!
It sounds like this issue was no really thought over very well.