Header

Main Content

Article

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a serious neurological disease affecting white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. It is a member of a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases. CWD is fatal in these species. CWD is spread through bodily fluids like feces, saliva, blood or urine. CWD is transmitted either through direct contact or indirectly through environmental contamination of soil, plants, food or water. CWD is similar to mad cow disease in cattle and scrapie in sheep.

Although it has been associated with captive deer and elk in the past, CWD is also found in free-ranging white-tailed deer in several Midwestern states close to Indiana, including Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Each year, Indiana DNR biologists and staff at DNR fish & wildlife areas (FWAs) collect tissue samples from hunter-harvested and road-killed deer for CWD testing. Samples are collected from across the state to monitor the presence of CWD in Indiana. To date, CWD has not been detected in deer tested from Indiana.

2019-2020 CWD Surveillance

Indiana DNR is conducting targeted CWD surveillance in northwest and northeast Indiana during the 2019-2020 deer hunting season. The DNR requests voluntary assistance from hunters in this effort. Participants will receive a commemorative Deer Management Partner magnet and a metal tag reminiscent of historic confirmation tags as tokens of appreciation.

Biologists are collecting samples (lymph nodes at the junction of the head and neck) from deer harvested within the surveillance area during opening weekend of firearms season, Nov. 16 and 17, 2019. No fee will be charged for CWD testing of deer from these areas through this program.

Hunters may also drop off deer heads for testing at any participating Fish & Wildlife Area throughout the season. For a complete list of locations and hours of operation, please view the interactive map below or the list of Fish & Wildlife Areas also listed below. Test results, when available, will be posted online for individual hunters to access.

Surveillance Areas

2019-2020 CWD surveillance counties

Northwest Indiana

  • Jasper County
  • Lake County
  • LaPorte County
  • Newton County
  • Porter County
  • Pulaski County
  • Starke County

Northeast Indiana

  • Dekalb County
  • LaGrange County
  • Noble County
  • Steuben County

Sampling Locations

View an interactive map of all CWD sampling locations.

Opening Weekend:

During opening weekend of Firearms Season, Nov. 16 and 17, 2019, Indiana DNR biologists will be stationed at several locations to collect samples from hunter-harvested deer for CWD testing.

Sampling Locations - Opening Weekend (November 16th - 17th)
County Location Address City Zip Phone Saturday Hours              November 16th Sunday Hours              November 17th
Pulaski Jasper-Pulaski FWA 5822 Fish and Wildlife Lane Medaryville 47957 219-843-4841 9A-2P EST 9A-2P EST
Starke Kankakee FWA 4320 West Toto Road North Judson 46366 574-896-3522 9A-2P CST 9A-2P CST
Laporte Kingsbury FWA 5344 South Hupp Road LaPorte 46350 219-393-3612 8A-2P CST 8A-2P CST
Newton LaSalle FWA 4752 West CR 1050 North Lake Village 46349 219-992-3019 4A-3P CST 4A-3P CST
Newton Willow Slough FWA 1803 South CR 700 West Morocco 47963 219-285-2704 4A-2P CST 4A-2P CST
Pulaski Winamac FWA 1493 West 500 North Winamac 46996 574-946-4422 5A-2:30P EST 5A-2:30P EST
Jasper Remington True Value 508 Harrington St Remington 47977 219-261-2860 8A-6P EST 8A-6P EST
Jasper TR Deer Processing 5064 N 800 W  Fair Oaks 47943 219-613-8105 8:30A-7P CST 8:30A-7P CST
Lake Andy's Deer Processing 6424 W 141st Ave Cedar Lake 46303 219-374-9612 8A-sunset CST 8A CST-sunset
Lake The Wurst 130 N Broad St  Griffith 46319 219-730-0961 7A-7P CST 7A-7P CST
Lake Howard and Son's Meats 719 Ridge Rd Munster 46321 219-836-8000 8A-6P  CST 8A-4P CST
Porter Jay's Deer Processing 2651 Clifford Rd Valparaiso 46385 219-465-5707 9A-5P CST 9A-5P CST
St. Joseph Elkin's Quality Taxidermy and Deer Processing 7709 E Lilly Ln New Carlisle 46552 574-654-8845 9A-9P EST 9A-9P EST
Laporte Claussen Deer Processing 11301 S 1025 W Wanatah 46390 219-733-9615 noon CST - sunset 9A CST-sunset 
Laporte Eastside Fresh Meat & Produce 4666 US Highway 20 LaPorte 46350 219-874-7524 7A-7P CST 8A-6P CST
Lagrange Pigeon River FWA 8310 East CR 300 North Howe 46746 219-843-4841 6A-2P EST 6A-2P EST
Kosciusko Tri-County FWA 8432 North CR 850 East Syracuse 46567 574-896-3522 9A-2P EST 9A-2P EST
Dekalb D&D Meats 505 CR 32 Corunna 46730 260-541-0365 10A-5P EST 10A-5P EST
Dekalb Pettisville Meats Inc. 6188 CR 36  Butler  46721 260-868-1370 8A-1P EST Closed
Lagrange Butcher Bob's 409 S Railroad St LaGrange 46761 260-499-3400 8A-12P EST Closed
Lagrange Beechy's Custom Meats 6110 N 1000 W Shipshewana 46565 260-768-4081 9A-6P EST Closed
Noble Hallmark Custom Meats 850 W 550 S Wolcottville 46795 260-499-4889 8A-4P EST Closed
Noble Rural King 510 Fairview Blvd Kendallville 46755 260-599-0240 7A-9P EST 7A-9P EST
Steuben Anstead Processing 7245 N 925 E Fremont 46737 260-495-7632 9A-8P EST 9A-8P EST
Steuben Lakeside Farm Market 1920 W 200 N Angola 46703 260-833-1101 9A-5P EST 12P-7P EST

Partnering Businesses:

Area businesses will be partnering with DNR to ensure that CWD samples are collected from any deer harvested within the surveillance areas that a customer brings in for processing or taxidermy and voluntarily wishes to have sampled. Hunters may submit samples at these locations November 16-17. A DNR biologist will collect the samples. As businesses are identified, they will be announced below.

DNR will be reaching out to processors to determine if they would be interested in participating in this CWD sampling effort. If your business would like to partner with DNR to collect CWD samples, and you are located in the surveillance areas, please call 812-822-3303.

Fish and Wildlife Areas:

Hunters may voluntarily submit samples for CWD testing at fish & wildlife areas (FWAs) throughout the season during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, by appointment only. A DNR staff member will collect tissue samples on the spot. After hours, hunters may drop-off deer heads for testing in freezers outside the FWA offices indicated. Details and locations will be available soon.

Additional CWD sample collection locations and hours of operation will be added as they become available.

Sampling Locations
Property County (OFFICE location) Address of Office Phone Number Hours of Operation during deer season Hours open on Opening Weekend of Gun Season Time Zone Drop off cooler for CWD testing located outside office (Yes or No)
Atterbury FWA Johnson 7970 South Rowe Street, Edinburgh, IN 46124 812-526-2051 M-F: 8 am - 2:30 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
Sat & Sun: 6 am - 12 pm ET Yes
Crosley FWA Jennings 2010 South SR 3, North Vernon, IN 47265 812-346-5596 M-F: 8 am - 2:30 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
N/A ET No
Deer Creek FWA Putnam 2001 West CR 600 South, Greencastle, IN 46135 765-653-0453 M-F: 8 am - 3 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
N/A ET Yes 
Glendale FWA Daviess 6001 East 600 South, Montgomery, IN 47558 812-644-7711 M-F: 7:30 am - 2:00 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
Sat & Sun: 6 am - 12 pm ET Yes
Goose Pond FWA Greene 13540 West CR 400 South, Linton, IN 47441 812-512-9185 M-F: 8 am - 3 pm
Sat: 9 am - 12 pm
Sun: Closed
Sat: 9 am - 12 pm
Sun: Closed
CT Yes
Hovey Lake FWA Posey 8401 Highway 69 South, Mt Vernon, IN 47620 812-838-2927 M, T, TR: 7 am - 3 pm
W, F-Sun: Closed
Sat: 8 am -12 pm
Sun: 8 am - 12 pm
CT Yes
J. E. Roush Lake FWA Huntington 517 North Warren Road, Huntington, IN 46750 260-468-2165 M-F: 7 am - 3 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
Sat & Sun: 9 am - 2 pm ET Yes
Jasper-Pulaski FWA Pulaski 5822 North Fish and Wildlife Lane, Medaryville, IN 47957 219-843-4841 Oct 1-18
M-F: 8 am - 3:30 pm
Sat & Sun: 5:30 am-12:30 pm
Oct 19- end of deer season
M-F: 5:30 am - 3:30 pm
Sat & Sun: 5:30 am-12:30 pm
Sat & Sun: 5:30 am -2 pm ET Yes
Kankakee FWA Starke 4320 West Toto Road, North Judson, IN 46366 574-896-3522 M-F: 7:30 am - 3:00 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
Sat & Sun: 4 am - 1 pm CT Yes
Kingsbury FWA LaPorte 5344 South Hupp Road, LaPorte, IN 46350 219-393-3612 M-F: 8 am - 3:30 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
Sat & Sun: 8 am - 1 pm CT Yes
LaSalle FWA Newton 4752 West 1050 North, Lake Village, IN 46349 219-992-3019 M-F: 8 am - 3 pm
Sat  & Sun: Closed until waterfowl season, then Sat & Sun 4 am -12 pm
Sat & Sun: 8 am - 1 pm CT Yes
Pigeon River FWA Lagrange 8310 East 300 North, Howe, IN 46746 260-367-2164 M-F: 8 am - 3:30 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
Sat & Sun: 9 am - 2 pm ET Yes
Sugar Ridge FWA Pike 2310 East SR 364, Winslow, IN 47598 812-789-2724 M-F: 7:30 am - 2:00 pm N/A ET Yes
Tri-County FWA Koscuisko 8432 North 850 East, Syracuse, IN 46567 574-834-4461 M-F: 8 am - 3 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
Sat & Sun: 9 am - 2 pm ET Yes
Wilbur Wright FWA Henry 2239 North SR 103, New Castle, IN 47362 260-468-2165 N/A N/A ET Yes
Willow Slough FWA Newton 1803 South 700 West, Morocco, IN 47963 219-285-2704 M-F: 6 am -2 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed until waterfowl season, then Sat & Sun 4:30 am - 10 am
Sat & Sun: 4:30 am - 1 pm CT Yes
Winamac FWA Pulaski 1493 West 500 North, Winamac, IN 46996 574-946-4422 M-F: 8 am - 2:30 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
Sat & Sun: 5 am - 3:30 pm ET Yes

Carcass Transportation

Out-of-state deer hunters should follow carcass transportation regulations for their home state as well as carcass transportation regulations for the state in which they are hunting.

Import restrictions governing carcasses in Indiana

Human health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people. However, animal studies suggest CWD poses a risk to some types of non-human primates, like monkeys, that eat meat from CWD-infected animals.”

The CDC further states that “These studies raise concerns that there may also be a risk to people. Since 1997, the World Health Organization has recommended that it is important to keep the agents of all known prion diseases from entering the human food chain.”

Testing is not required in Indiana at this time, but in areas where CWD is known to be present, the CDC recommends that hunters strongly consider having deer and elk tested before eating the meat. The CDC recommends that you do not eat meat from an animal that tests positive for CWD.

For more information about precautions you can take to decrease the risk of exposure to CWD, visit the CDC webpage at www.cdc.gov/prions/cwd/prevention.html.

For questions related to human health, you may also contact the Indiana State Department of Health at (317) 233-1325.

More information

If you have any questions regarding CWD or other diseases in wild deer, contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish & Wildlife at (812) 334-3795.

FAQs about CWD

  • What are the signs of CWD?

    An animal infected with CWD may not show signs until the later stages of the disease but can be infectious to other cervids before it appears sick. Deer showing advanced clinical signs of CWD appear emaciated, exhibit abnormal behavior such as staggering or standing with poor posture, salivate excessively, or carry their head and ears lower than normal.

  • Why is DNR testing for CWD?

    CWD positive wild deer have been found approximately 25 miles from the Indiana border in northeast Illinois, and DNR is testing Indiana’s deer as a precautionary measure. To date, CWD has not been found in Indiana.

  • How are deer tested for CWD?

    The retropharyngeal lymph nodes, located near the windpipe, are removed from the neck and sent to Purdue’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab for testing where they will be examined microscopically for evidence of CWD.

  • Will I be notified of my deer’s CWD test results?

    Yes. Hunters can view their test results by clicking on the link “View CWD test results here” at the top of this webpage. The hunter’s phone number or the deer’s confirmation number is needed to check results. Final test results may take eight to 12 weeks to appear online. If a deer tests positive for CWD, DNR will notify the hunter directly using the contact information provided.

  • Where can hunters have deer tested?

    Biologists will manage deer sampling stations during opening weekend of the 2019-20 firearms deer hunting season. They will ask hunters to voluntarily donate samples of deer for testing. They will be actively seeking deer from counties in northwest and northeast Indiana. Hunters can also bring deer to a Fish and Wildlife area by appointment to have their deer sampled during the entire hunting season.

  • Am I required to turn over a sample of my deer?

    No. Participation in the CWD monitoring program is optional.

  • How can I tell if the deer I harvested has CWD?

    There is no way to tell if a deer is infected with CWD by appearance. DNR officials recommend that hunters not process or consume any deer that is obviously ill or emaciated.

  • Are there other options to get deer tested for CWD?

    Successful hunters who would like to have their deer sampled for CWD but do not wish to visit a FWA may submit samples directly to the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) at Purdue University for a fee. More information and submission forms are available on the ADDL website.