LUBBOCK — In response to the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a free-ranging mule deer buck in the Buffalo Springs community in February 2021, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved a CWD zone that encompasses southeast Lubbock County, northeast Lynn County, southwest Crosby County and northwest Garza County.
A map of the zone and written details of the boundaries can be found in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Outdoor Annual. This hunting season, all CWD-susceptible species harvested within the zone will be required to have tissue samples collected for CWD testing within 48 hours of harvest. Susceptible species include white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and various non-native deer species. A TPWD technician will be on call Friday through Tuesday to collect samples from harvested species. Specific dates and times and contact information for the mobile check station can also be found on the Outdoor Annual.
In addition to the mandatory sampling requirements, carcass movement restrictions will be in place for the new CWD zone. CWD-susceptible species carcasses or parts of carcasses cannot be transported out of the CWD zone except:
- Cut quarters with all brain and spinal cord tissue removed
- Boned meat/cut and wrapped — Texas regulations do not allow processing beyond quarters until reaching your final destination (possessor’s personal residence or commercial facility/private cold storage)
- Caped hides with skull not attached
- Skull plate with antlers attached and cleaned of all soft tissue
- Finished taxidermy products
- The skinned or unskinned head of a susceptible species may be transported to a taxidermist (with a Deer Head Waiver), provided all brain material, soft tissue, spinal column and any unused portions of the head are disposed of in a landfill in Texas permitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The waiver should be kept on your person or with the deer head until it reaches the taxidermist. Download the Deer Head Waiver form to transport the intact head or obtain from a TPWD CWD check station.
- Hunters bringing intact deer heads into Texas from a state or country with CWD should also have this waiver.
TPWD encourages hunters who are successful outside the Lubbock CWD zone to voluntarily help with the CWD sampling effort. Hunters outside the zone can contact a TPWD biologist in their area to learn more about how to provide a sample from their harvested animal.
Questions about the CWD testing requirements and carcass movement restrictions can be directed to the TPWD Lubbock Regional Office at 806-761-4940.