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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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Sept. 15, 2023

FWC issues new executive order, outlining new hunting regulations for CWD Management Zone 

Following confirmation of a single positive test sample for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in
Holmes County in June 2023, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) have implemented
management actions to protect against the possible spread of CWD. 

On Sept. 8, the FWC issued a new executive order outlining regulations designed to increase
sampling and slow the spread of CWD in Florida deer. Existing regulations pertaining to the
establishment of the zone, baiting and feeding restrictions, prohibition of rehabilitating or re-
leasing injured or orphaned deer and export of high-risk parts remain in effect. New actions

·         All deer harvested from Dec. 9-10, 2023 in Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties
shall be checked at a staffed FWC check station prior to transporting the deer to the
possessor’s domicile or a processor or taxidermist, except deer harvested on licensed
game farms or hunting preserves. 

·         Take of antlerless deer shall be allowed throughout Deer Management Unit (DMU)
D2 during the entirety of the open season for antlered deer established in Rule 68A-13.
004, Florida Administrative Code, for DMU D2. Additionally, the take of antlerless
deer shall be allowed from Dec. 9-10, 2023, in those portions of Holmes, Jackson and
Washington counties located within DMU D1. These regulations shall not apply on
commission-managed lands.  

The purpose of these regulations is to help protect Florida’s white-tailed deer herd by reducing
the potential spread of CWD within the CWD Management Zone and to other parts of the state. 

The FWC and FDACS have scheduled two additional public meetings in Bonifay and Marianna
to discuss the new rules and to hear feedback from the public. The meetings will be streamed on
The Florida Channel

Controlling the spread of CWD is difficult once it becomes established in a natural population. 
Because prions shed by infected deer persist in the environment, the best chance for controlling
CWD is acting quickly after it’s been detected to prevent more animals from becoming infected.
CWD can be transmitted directly — from animal to animal — or indirectly from the environment.
Multiple management strategies will be employed to control the spread of the disease. 

The FWC is asking anyone who sees a sick, abnormally thin deer or finds a deer dead from un-
known causes to call the CWD hotline, 866-CWD-WATCH (866-293-9282) and report the
animal’s location. 

Currently, there is no scientific evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans or livestock
under natural conditions. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not
recommend consuming meat from animals that test positive for CWD or from any sick animal.
The FWC provides information about precautions people should take when pursuing or hand-
ling deer that might have been exposed to CWD

The FWC along with its partners — the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,
U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Department of Health, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease
Study — will continue to update the public as more information becomes available.

For more information, visit

  Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Logo

QUESTIONS? Contact the FWC
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission ·
620 S. Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600
(850) 488-4676 GovDelivery logo
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