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The Iowa DNR’s wildlife staff will be collecting tissue samples during Iowa’s shotgun deer seasons to test for the presence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Iowa’s wild deer herd.
The effort will concentrate in southeast Allamakee County where CWD was found in the wild deer herd, in counties near Wisconsin and Illinois where CWD has been confirmed, in south-central Iowa near Missouri, and in Pottawattamie and Cerro Gordo counties, following positive tests in the past from captive facilities and wild deer in or near those counties.
Most of the 4,500 samples the DNR hopes to collect will be taken during the first half of December, as more than 120,000 hunters take part in Iowa’s shotgun deer seasons. Sampling involves removing and testing the lymph nodes of mature deer.
Many hunters voluntarily contribute samples of their harvested deer for these testing efforts. Most samples are obtained by wildlife staff, checking with hunters in the field or at home processing points.
Hunters willing to provide samples may contact the DNR regionally to arrange collection. In Allamakee, Clayton and Winneshiek counties, call 563-380-3422; in Dubuque, Jackson, Clinton, Scott and Delaware counties, call 563-357-2035; in Davis, Wapello, Van Buren and Jefferson counties, call 641-799-0793; in Wayne, Appanoose and Monroe counties, call 641-203-6185; in Pottawattamie County, call 712-350-0147; and in Cerro Gordo County, call 641-425-2814.
Since 2002, more than 55,000 wild deer in Iowa have been tested. CWD was first detected in the wild herd in Allamakee County in 2013.
Iowa DNR’s website provides information about CWD and other information on infectious disease at: https://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/DeerHunting/CWDEHDInformation.aspx.