Hunters spur increase in the number of deer tested for CWD

UNDATED – A total of 893 wild deer in Indiana were tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD) through the end of the 2020-21 deer season, an increase from the 823 tested in 2019. 

“While CWD has been found in the neighboring states of Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio, we have not detected CWD in Indiana to date,” said Mitch Marcus, DNR fish, and wildlife health supervisor.

CWD is a neurologic disease that affects white-tailed deer. The disease is always fatal to deer and is transmitted directly through body fluids, such as feces, saliva, blood, and urine, or indirectly through the contamination of soil, plants, and water.

Deer with chronic wasting disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been no cases of CWD in humans. In areas where CWD is known to be present, the CDC recommends that hunters have deer tested before eating the meat.  

Although DNR collects wild deer samples for CWD testing throughout the year, Moriah Boggess, Indiana DNR deer biologist, emphasized that most deer health samples are collected from hunter-harvested deer during the fall.

Moriah Boggess

“Thank you to DNR staff, participating deer hunters, deer processors, and taxidermists for the success of our 2020 CWD surveillance efforts,” Boggess said. “We could not have sampled 893 deer without your assistance and support.”

Any deer hunters who had their harvest sampled for CWD during the 2020-21 deer season can check sample results by clicking here.

For information related to CWD surveillance in Indiana click here.

Information about 2021-22 CWD monitoring efforts during the deer hunting seasons will be available on the website later this year.