CWD Testing


Precautionary CWD testing this fall

Map showing boundaries of the fall 2018 CWD testing zone in central Minnesota.
The red triangle on the map shows the location of the farm where the captive deer infected with CWD was found.

Tests mandatory

DNR needs hunters' help this fall to determine if CWD has spread to wild deer from a captive deer on a farm near Litchfield in Meeker County.

Wild deer in this area of central Minnesota are not known to have CWD. But that can't be confirmed without testing. So DNR is asking area hunters to bring harvested deer to a sampling station for mandatory precautionary CWD testing during the first two days of this fall's firearms season.

DNR needs 1,800 samples from hunters in this area to accurately test for presence of CWD in wild deer.

What to do

Sampling stations

  1. Field dress (gut) your deer as you normally would.
  2. Register your animal on same day of harvest online, by phone or at any walk-in big game registration station.
  3. When loading your deer into a vehicle, place head toward tailgate or door so the neck/head is easily accessible for sampling. This will speed up the process.
  4. You can also bring in just the head with 4" of neck attached.
  5. Take your deer to get tested for CWD at a sampling station from 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, or Sunday, Nov. 5. Stations will only be open on these days.
  6. A CWD sample consists of cutting out two lymph nodes from the neck of the deer, just behind the jaw.
  7. DNR staff will collect the lymph node samples and some information from you (your DNR number and location of harvest). Plan ahead and:
    • Have your blue, deer license registration stub handy.
    • Know where on a map you harvested the deer within your deer permit area.
  8. If you plan to European mount your deer, this testing will not ruin your mount. It will ruin the cape of the deer if you plan to keep your cape.
  9. If you plan to shoulder mount your deer or save the cape there are options:
    • Cape the deer before you bring it in or at least skin the hide back up to the base of the jaw.
    • Take it to one of the participating taxidermists trained to take the sample. A list of participating taxidermists trained in sample collection will be online soon.
  10. Hunters will not be notified of their test result unless it comes back positive. Testing takes about 10-14 business days and no news is good news!