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DNR continues to monitor for Chronic Wasting Disease

  • 11/21/2023 11:51:00 AM
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The Iowa DNR will be working with hunters again this gun season to collect deer tissue samples to test for chronic wasting disease. So far this year, tissue samples from eight individual deer are suspected positive for the always fatal disease.

Hunters interested in participating in the surveillance effort are encouraged to contact their local wildlife biologist to arrange for sample to be collected. If the sample quota has filled, the DNR will assist them in submitting their sample through the hunter submission system, in partnership with Iowa State University. Submitting a sample through the hunter submission system comes with a fee of $25.

Chronic wasting disease has been found in 16 Iowa counties: Allamakee, Appanoose, Clayton, Decatur, Dubuque, Fayette, Fremont, Greene, Grundy, Jackson, Jasper, Lucas, Marshall, Wayne, Winneshiek and Woodbury.

If hunting in an area where chronic wasting disease has been found, hunters are encouraged to hold the deer meat separately until the test results are available. Hunters can check the results online at the Iowa CWD dashboard at

“Hunters can either use their registration number or customer number to find the test results – both of which are contained on the tag,” Elliott said. “The only way to make informed decisions about consuming the venison you bring home is by getting your deer tested, and we try to make that very easy on hunters.”

If a hunter’s deer tests positive, the DNR will contact them to offer to collect the meat and any other parts of the animal for proper disposal.

Hunters in areas where the disease has been found need a plan for carcass disposal.

“We recommend a trash service or landfill that accepts deer carcasses, if that’s not possible, then we recommend leaving the deer carcass on the property where it was harvested. The idea is to avoid accidentally transporting the disease to a new area, and responsible carcass transport is the best way to prevent it,” he said.


Virtual meeting

The Iowa DNR is hosting a virtual public meeting on chronic wasting disease on Nov. 29, at 7 p.m., when staff will provide an update on the science of the disease, its status in Iowa, and current management efforts. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and staff will answer as many as time allows.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Interested individuals can register through the link