kansas department of wildlife, parks and tourism

take aim at the spread

You Can Help Slow Chronic Wasting Disease

What Is Chronic Wasting Disease?

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) causes misfolded proteins in deer and elk. It always results in death, and CWD progresses in the animal over an incubation period of 16-24 months. For most of that time, the infected animal does not show signs of infection. But during the final progression, symptoms like lack of coordination, poor body condition, hanging the head, drooling, wide stance, and lack of fear of people begin to appear.

How Is CWD Spread?

CWD is spread through the environment, and through saliva, feces, and urine of infected animals. Outside of family groups, deer do not naturally congregate in the same area, which slows the transmission of CWD. Be cautious as feed, bait, and mineral licks can unnaturally congregate animals, causing the spread of CWD.

What You Can Do

Dress. Test. Suppress.
This is an easy way to remember CWD action steps.

Dress

When possible, hunters should bone out meat and leave the carcass at the hunting site. The next best alternative is to quarter the animal, leaving the spinal column and head at the hunting site.

Test

There are no reported cases of CWD transmitting from deer to humans through meat consumption. However, prion research has shown the risk is not zero. All deer meat should be tested for CWD before processing and consuming.

Suppress

If the animal is transported from the hunting site to be processed, the carcass should be returned to the hunting site or disposed of in a local landfill. The greatest cause of the spread of CWD is humans transporting infected animals in vehicles.

Free Chronic Wasting Disease Testing From KDWPT

Hunters can benefit from cost-free CWD testing during the 2020-2021 seasons through one of several options: Obtain collection instructions from University of Missouri staff by calling (620) 402-4195 or emailing kscwdsurveillance@gmail.com. Hunters in DMUs 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 19 may receive direct assistance from University of Missouri staff. Simply call or email to make arrangements. Drop off samples to their local KDWPT district biologist. Click here for KDWPT contact information. Hunters can Click Here for a list of drop-off and sample collection locations. Transport harvested deer head to a participating taxidermist for sample collection. Visit for a list of participating taxidermists. 


Watch The Waste

If you see an animal showing symptoms of CWD, please contact the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism game warden or wildlife biologist in your region. For contact information, click here.

Symptoms of CWD include:   

Your help Taking Aim At The Spread means healthier deer and elk populations for the future.