Wildlife Illinois

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CWD Sampling

What is CWD?

  • CWD stands for Chronic Wasting Disease
  • Only known to effect deer and other cervid species
  • CWD is a “spongiform encephalopathy” which causes formation of sponge-like holes in the brain tissue
  • Caused by a misfolded protein, called a “prion”, and is spread through bodily fluids, such as blood, feces and saliva
  • Prions can survive in the environment for at least 8 years
  • Risk of CWD transmission increases as deer density increases
  • Not known to transmit to humans, but caution is advised. The CDC does not recommend consuming CWD positive venison.
  • More information

Testing Locations & Results

  • Hunters are strongly encouraged to test their deer for free.
  • Map of sampling locations (zoom and click on map icons for location details)
  • There are several testing options:
    1. Archery deer hunters can drop off heads of deer in CWD barrels or at IDNR field offices. Use this map to find locations.
    2. Firearm deer hunters harvesting deer in CWD positive counties can get a voluntary CWD taken by a biologist when bringing harvested deer to mandatory physical check stations during the firearm seasons. Firearm deer hunters harvesting deer not in CWD positive counties can use drop-off barrels or IDNR field offices to have CWD samples taken. Use this map to find locations.
  • Hunters wanting to mount a deer should have an IDNR cooperating taxidermist collect the sample. Testing procedures will not damage the deer skull. Hunters not using an IDNR cooperating taxidermist can bring the caped out skull to an IDNR drop off location.
  • Find your CWD testing results here.
CWD testing drop-off barrel
IDNR biologists registering a deer at a firearm season check station