A second deer in North Carolina has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission say the deer was tested as part of ongoing CWD surveillance efforts cooperating with farmers that have active depredation permits. The deer came from a farm less than one mile from where the first CWD-positive deer was harvested in Yadkin County in December 2021.
“With deer season opening in less than a month, we wanted to get the news of this second positive out as quickly as possible,” said Brad Howard, chief of the Wildlife Commission’s Wildlife Management Division. “It’s imperative that hunters understand how important it is to submit samples to help determine how prevalent CWD is here in North Carolina. It’s also crucial that we enlist their help to not give the disease a ride to new areas.”
As a result of the first positive, Primary and Secondary Surveillance Areas were established within the northwestern region and special regulations were implemented in the Surveillance Areas. Since the two infected deer came from the same area, no changes to the Surveillance Areas are planned at this time. A comprehensive overview of the special CWD regulations is online at ncwildlife.org/CWD.
Officials say the biggest message to hunters this season is, “Don’t give it a ride.” CWD spreads via infected saliva, urine and feces of live deer, or the movement of deer carcasses and carcass parts. Since deer who are infected may appear healthy, it is important that precautions are taken when transporting or disposing of deer carcasses.
“CWD is highly transmissible. It’s imperative that if you hunt and harvest deer that you responsibly dispose of deer remains,” said Howard.
Howard suggests hunters follow one of the following disposal methods:
- Bury the deer remains where you harvest the animal when possible.
- Double bag deer remains for disposal at the closest landfill.
- Leave the deer remains on the ground where the animal was harvested.
It’s important to emphasize that current Surveillance efforts are focused on working closely with both hunters and farmers throughout the year. The CWD-positive deer taken with the depredation permit was 1 of 28 deer tested within in the Primary Surveillance Area this summer.
“The second positive test result has confirmed that our proactive approach to continue increased testing of deer is successfully helping us track the occurrence of the disease,” said Howard. “Hunters can submit deer heads during the hunting season at freezers located across the state, and we’ll continue testing roadkill, deer taken with depredation permits, and samples sent from cooperators such as taxidermists and meat processors.”
The archery hunting season for white-tailed deer opens across the state on Sept. 10. Black powder and firearms seasons will vary per region. The full season schedule is available at ncwildlife.org.