The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife is asking hunters to help keep Ohio's wild white-tailed deer herd free of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

CWD is an incurable fatal neurological disease that affects members of the deer family including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, and caribou.

There is no strong evidence that CWD is transmissible to humans; however, hunters are encouraged to follow standard precautions when handling deer, including:

  • Wear rubber gloves when field-dressing and butchering, and thoroughly wash hands afterward.
  • Minimize the handling of brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils, and lymph nodes.
  • Do not consume meat from any animal that appears sick or tests positive for CWD.
  • Hunters have the option to have their deer tested by the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for a fee. Call 614-728-6220 for more information.

To help protect Ohio's deer herd from CWD, hunters should properly dispose of their deer carcasses by double-bagging all high-risk parts (brain, spinal cord, eyes, and lymphoid tissue) and setting it out with their household garbage for trash pickup.

To minimize the risk of spreading CWD, hunters planning to hunt outside of Ohio are reminded to follow carcass regulations prior to returning.

No person is permitted to bring high-risk carcass parts of CWD-susceptible species (white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, caribou, or moose) into Ohio.

High-risk carcass parts may be transported through Ohio if they are not unloaded within the state.

If you hunt outside Ohio, you must bone out the meat before returning to the state with an elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, caribou, or moose.

Hunters can direct questions to their county wildlife officer, 800-WILDLIFE (800-945-3543), or a wildlife district office