Hunters are encouraged to get their deer tested for chronic wasting disease before consuming venison.

The state health department, CDC and WHO recommend the public only consume venison from deer in which CWD is not detected. Because infected deer can look healthy, DHS encourages testing for the disease regardless of your harvested deer’s physical condition, especially in areas where CWD is known to be present. See surveillance here:

CWD is an always-fatal disease that affects the nervous system of deer, elk, moose and caribou. The disease spreads through contact with an infected animal’s saliva, urine, feces and natural decomposition after death. The CWD infectious agent, or misshapen prion, is persistent in the environment and very resistant to destruction. Because of this, baiting, feeding and improper carcass disposal increase the risk of transmission.

CWD Testing Made Easy

The DNR offers free testing and various options to make the sample drop-off process fast and convenient.

This year, hunters in northeast Wisconsin can contribute to the completion of a multi-year, statewide CWD sampling effort that began in 2018. The northeast counties included in this effort are Brown, Calumet, Door, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago. Active CWD sampling efforts are currently underway in counties where CWD has already been found.

Submit A Sample

  1. Self-service kiosks open 24/7. Drop off your adult deer head with 5 inches of neck attached for testing. This is a great option for antlerless deer or any deer that has already been skull-capped or caped out by a taxidermist. Find a location:

2. In-person with cooperating meat processors, taxidermists and other businesses. This is a great option for hunters with a deer they intend to mount. See this map to find locations near you:

3. At-home lymph node sampling. Get a kit to collect your own CWD sample. Contact your local wildlife biologist to get a kit:

4. By appointment with local DNR staff. This is a good option for hunters who want to have a European mount done. Contact your local wildlife biologist to schedule at in-person appointment:

Follow Baiting & Disposal Best Practices

While planning your hunt, be sure to check baiting and feeding restrictions in your county:

Even where baiting and feeding are allowed, the DNR encourages hunters to reconsider using these practices to reduce the risk for disease transmission. Bait and feed placed on the landscape, even in limited quantities, often attracts unnatural numbers of deer and can increase the likelihood of transmission between deer.

Once hunters have finished processing their harvested deer, they can safely dispose of deer carcass waste in a landfill or transfer station that accepts this waste, or in deer carcass dumpsters:

Proper carcass disposal helps slow the spread of CWD by removing potentially infected deer waste from the landscape.