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FWC Extends Restrictions For Importing Georgia, Alabama Deer Into Florida

White tailed Deer.
Wilfredo Lee
/
AP Photo
A white-tailed deer walks through the mangroves, Thursday, May 15, 2014 at Miami Seaquarium in Miami.

Hunters can no longer bring into Florida deer parts or carcasses from Georgia and Alabama under new rules adopted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. However, there are exceptions for deboned meat, finished taxidermy mounts, hides, antlers, skulls, skull caps, and teeth as long as no tissue is attached. It's part of an effort to prevent Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) from coming into the state.

The disease is fatal to deer, but it cannot be transmitted to humans. CWD has spread to 26 states since first detected in 1967. According to a state presentation during an FWC meeting, infected deer can look normal but be contagious to other deer. After contracting the disease, the animal can live up to three years before showing symptoms and ultimately dying.

"Chronic wasting disease is a terrible thing, and obviously, it's going to come to Florida. Anything we can do to slow it down is a positive," John Fuller with The Future of Hunting in Florida says.

Hunter Bill George spoke up at the meeting asking for deer meat with only the shoulder bone or leg bone attached to be allowed.

"If I have my deer cut into steaks and it has a piece of a leg bone, that's how I like it," George says. "I, to be honest with you, will continue to do what I do even if you do what you do."

That exception wasn't granted. Hunters will be allowed to keep deer harvested on property that's on the Georgia-Florida or Alabama-Florida state line as long as the same person owns it.