CWD Surveillance in North Carolina


Since 1999, the NCWRC has been testing for CWD in the state's wild white-tailed deer herd. After CWD was first documented east of the Mississippi River, the agency began conducting systematic statewide surveillance in 5-year intervals beginning in 2003, with some opportunistic sampling occurring in off-years. In 2018, NCWRC adopted an annual surveillance strategy to improve its ability to detect CWD early and significantly improve its capacity for managing the disease should it arrive in the state. By collecting samples more frequently, testing more samples overall, and also prioritizing sampling of higher risk individuals, such as road-killed and older deer, we increase the odds that if CWD is present in an area, we will find it. 

As of Sept. 1, 2021, CWD has not been detected in more than 15,255 samples collected and tested across the state. In the event of a CWD detection, the NCWRC will implement its Chronic Waste Disease Response Plan

In 2021, CWD was detected in a deer from Montgomery County, Virginia, just over 30 miles from the North Carolina border along Surry and Stokes counties. The proximity of the case has elevated monitoring efforts in our state. Hunters can expect:

  • Additional voluntary check stations in targeted surveillance zones.
  • Locations where hunters can voluntarily drop off deer heads for testing.
  • Increased efforts to test deer from roadkill, taxidermists and meat processors.
  • Continued enforcement of importation laws.

Learn more about CWD Testing Drop-off Stations. 

View test results from a deer head you donated. 

NCWRC Deer Biologist Moriah Boggess answers some frequently asked questions about CWD in North Carolina.