North Carolina Mandatory CWD Testing Starts this Month

RALEIGH, NC – In response to detection of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in North Carolina’s deer herd, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is mandating CWD testing in both the Primary and Secondary CWD Surveillance Areas this hunting season. Mandatory testing dates vary by Surveillance Area, and testing sites will be widespread across Alleghany, Davie, Forsyth, Iredell, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties, all which fall entirely or partially within the Surveillance Areas.

If you harvest a deer in the CWD Primary or Secondary Surveillance Area during the following dates, you must submit a sample for CWD testing:

Primary Surveillance Area: Nov. 5 – Jan. 2, 2023.
Secondary Surveillance Area: Nov. 5 – Nov. 27.

There are three ways to get your deer tested:

Testing Drop-off Stations (freezers).
Wildlife Commission Staffed Check Stations.
Meat processors & taxidermists registered as Cervid Health Cooperators with the agency.

Testing locations across the state are searchable via an interactive map at ncwildlife.org/CWD. If you harvest a deer outside of the Surveillance Areas, or the mandatory dates, testing is voluntary, but highly encouraged.

In addition to mandatory testing, hunters who harvest deer in the Surveillance Areas must follow special regulations outlined on the agency’s CWD webpage and in the 2022-23 North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting & Trapping Regulations Digest.

“The biggest message we want to stress to hunters who successfully harvest a deer in the Surveillance Areas is, Don’t Give CWD a Ride,” said Moriah Boggess, the Wildlife Commission’s deer biologist. “The disease is highly transmissible and spreads by the saliva, urine and feces of infected deer, and it can be spread by people moving dead deer or carcass parts to new areas. Transporting deer carcasses out of either Surveillance Area is strictly prohibited, with few exceptions.”

Proper disposal of deer carcasses is also essential. Since deer in the early stages of CWD infection may appear healthy, it is imperative to take precautions when disposing of all deer carcasses. Responsible disposal methods include:

Bury the deer remains where you harvest the animal when possible.
Double bag deer remains for disposal at the closest landfill.
Leave the deer remains on the ground where the animal was harvested.

“With increased surveillance efforts and the continued help of hunters and cooperators, we are confident that together we can address the threat of CWD to our deer herd,” said Boggess.