Deer hunters in Fulton and Lucas Counties are encouraged to submit samples of harvested deer to be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
CWD is an incurable fatal neurological disease that affects deer populations. While CWD has not been detected in Ohio’s wild deer herd, Ohio is enhancing surveillance efforts in northwest Ohio after the disease was detected in Michigan. Participation is voluntary and free of charge.
Hunters who participate in the program are asked to remove the head from a harvested deer and drop it off at any one of 12 collection stations. A kiosk at each location provides instructions on how to properly submit the deer head for testing. Hunters will be provided a unique specimen number which can be used to check results in approximately eight weeks. Results can be found at wildohio.gov.
Only adult deer harvested from Lucas, Fulton, and Williams counties will be accepted. Fawns will not be tested. If a deer is sent to a taxidermist, it should not be submitted for testing. To submit a deer, remove the head approximately four inches below the bottom jawbone.
Collection station kiosks will be available from Saturday, Oct. 20, to Sunday, Jan. 12. The nearest collection station is at Maumee State Forest Headquarters, 3380 County Road D, Swanton.
There is no strong evidence that CWD is transmissible to humans. A deer infected with CWD typically does not immediately show signs of the disease, therefore hunters are encouraged to wear rubber gloves when field dressing deer. Avoid consuming high-risk tissues such as the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils, and lymph nodes.
Hunter should dispose of carcasses by double-bagging any high-risk tissues and including them in household trash to be delivered to a landfill. Those who hunt out-of-state can help prevent the spread of CWD by following carcass regulations and not bringing high-risk tissues across state lines.
Visit wildohio.gov for more information. for questions, contact the Ohio Division of Wildlife District Two office at 419-424-5000.