Archived Outdoors

Second deer tests positive for chronic wasting disease

A second deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease after North Carolina’s first CWD-positive deer was found in December 2021. 

The second deer came from a farm in Yadkin County less than a mile from the location where the first CWD-positive deer was harvested. It was one of 28 deer tested as part of ongoing CWD surveillance efforts cooperative with farmers that have active depredation permits. The deer hunting season starts Sept. 10.

“It’s imperative that hunters understand how important it is to submit samples to help determine how prevalent CWD is here in North Carolina,” said Brad Howard, chief of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Wildlife Management Division.  “It’s also crucial that we enlist their help to not give the disease a ride to new areas.”

CWD is caused by abnormal proteins, called prions, that slowly spread through the nervous system of cervids like deer and elk, eventually causing spongy holes in the brain that lead to death. The disease is spread between animals through direct contact and environmental contamination from infected saliva, urine and feces of live animals or carcasses and body parts. 

Because infected deer may appear healthy, it is important to take precautions when transporting or disposing of deer carcasses. Hunters should bury deer remains where the animal was harvested whenever possible, double-bag deer remains for disposal at the closest landfill, or leave deer remains on the ground where the animal was harvested. 

Since the two infected deer came from the same area, no changes to surveillance areas set up following the first positive are planned at this time. 

For a comprehensive overview of special CWD regulations, visit

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