RALEIGH, NC (September 7, 2022) – The first two positive cases of Chronic Wasting Disease in North Carolina’s deer herd were detected in Yadkin County earlier this year. As a result, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission established Primary and Secondary CWD Surveillance Areas and special regulations in the northwest corner of the state. Alleghany, Davie, Forsyth, Iredell, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties fall entirely or partially within the Surveillance Areas.
“With the detection of CWD in the Yadkin Valley, it’s never been more important for us to all work together as conservationists and address this disease,” said Moriah Boggess, deer biologist for the Wildlife Commission. “We are asking hunters to join us in the CWD fight by following new regulations on deer carcass transport, mandatory deer testing, use of deer attractants/scents, wildlife feeding and fawn rehabilitation in the Surveillance Areas.”
Archery season opens statewide on Sept. 10. The biggest message to hunters who successfully harvest a deer in the Surveillance Areas is, Don’t Give CWD a Ride. The disease is highly transmissible and spreads by the infected saliva, urine and feces of live deer. It can also be spread unintentionally when people take dead deer or carcass parts to new areas. Transporting deer carcasses out of either Surveillance Area is strictly prohibited, with few exceptions. A detailed map of the carcass transportation regulations is available at ncwildlife.org/CWD.
Proper disposal of deer carcasses is also essential. Since deer in the early stages of CWD infection may appear healthy, it is imperative to take precautions when disposing of all deer carcasses. Responsible disposal methods include:
Mandatory testing of all harvested deer is required during blackpowder and all or portions of gun season. In the Primary Surveillance Area mandatory testing dates are Nov. 5 – Jan. 2, 2023, and in the Secondary Surveillance Area Nov. 5 – 27. There are numerous drop-off locations where hunters can submit their deer for testing across both Surveillance Areas. Drop-off locations are searchable via an interactive map on the agency’s CWD testing webpage.
More details on the Surveillance Area boundaries and regulations are outlined on the agency’s CWD webpage, a resource Boggess suggests hunters bookmark so they can frequently refer back to the information.
“It’s crucial that hunters maintain an active role in surveillance efforts by submitting samples for testing. Last year a record number of samples were tested statewide, which wouldn’t have happened without the assistance of hunters and cooperators,” said Boggess. “We are grateful for their help in this cooperative effort.”
Three KNOW CWD Public Forums will be held in September and October. Wildlife Commission staff will answer questions and provide an update on activity in the Surveillance Areas. The forums will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the following locations:
Deer season dates and hunting regulations are available at ncwildlife.org.