A man in Santa Rosa County was recently cited for possession of high-risk deer parts, according to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission press release posted on December 6, 2023.
The press release noted in short that Officers Burkhead, Lugg, Wilkenson, and Lieutenant Corbin were conducting resource inspections in Blackwater Wildlife Management Area when they conducted an inspection on an individual driving on a Florida Forest Service maintained road. The individual was found to be in possession of deer meat with high-risk parts such as bone from a deer harvested outside of Florida.
The individual was also not in possession of any sex identification along with the meat he was transporting. Officer Burkhead issued a notice to appear citation for possessing or importing deer, elk, moose or caribou carcasses or high-risk parts from anywhere outside of Florida and wrote a written warning for not being in possession of sex identification for the deer being transported.
What is high-risk deer meat?After the alarming confirmation of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has implemented rules to prevent the spread of CWD in the state. These rules prohibit the importation or possession of whole carcasses or high-risk parts of deer, elk, moose, caribou, and other species of the deer family from outside Florida. The regulations, effective since July 2021, replaced the previous FWC Executive Order 19-41.
If individuals plan to hunt outside of Florida, they should be aware of these rules. However, certain items can still be imported into Florida under these regulations, including de-boned meat, finished taxidermy mounts, clean hides and antlers, and skulls, skull caps, and teeth if all soft tissue has been removed. There is an exception for deer harvested from properties in Georgia or Alabama that are bisected by the Florida state line and under the same ownership.
It is important to note that these rules do not include the permit option allowed under the previous FWC Executive Order 19-41, which permitted the importation of whole deer or high-risk parts from properties in Georgia or Alabama, provided specific requirements were met. The purpose of these rules is to protect Florida's deer populations by reducing the risk of chronic wasting disease spreading into the state.
More about CWD can be found here.