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Sampling and registration for chronic wasting disease

The department will continue annual monitoring in both the endemic area of southern Wisconsin as well as new areas of the state to understand CWD distribution and prevalence. Statewide disease detection surveillance efforts took place in 2002-2003 and 2005-2008. For the past couple of years much of the statewide detection surveillance has transitioned to more efficient and cost-effective methods for disease detection. The department also continues actively surveying across the state by utilizing sick deer reports.


All deer must be electronically registered. All deer must be registered by 5 p.m. the day after the animal was recovered and tagged.

Statewide CWD sampling

CWD sampling will be offered at various locations throughout the state depending on the surveillance goals of that year. For a searchable list of all of the registration stations please view the registration station database.

Deer should be registered before being taken to a sampling station or hunters can use one of the stations which offers both sampling and electronic registration. Ideally, the samples should be taken as soon as possible after harvest. The samples needed for CWD testing are located near the base of the deer's skull and first several inches of neck. If the head/neck is kept at a refrigerated temperature (35°F to 45°F) it can be taken to a sampling station up to five days after harvest. If the time between harvest and sampling will be longer, then the head should be frozen until it can be taken in. When removing the head, a hand-width length of neck needs to remain in order to obtain the proper samples.

A deer that is going to have a shoulder mount done can still be tested for CWD. The deer should be registered, then taken to your taxidermist for caping and skull capping. Then the caped head can be brought to a cooperator for sampling. Please remember to follow all sample preservation guidelines in the paragraph above.

When the sample is taken in the hunter will be asked for some information including the following.

  • Electronic registration number
  • DNR customer number
  • Contact information
  • Location of harvest
Field sampling at a registration station.

Northwest Wisconsin

Central WI CWD surveillance areas

West Central Wisconsin surveillance area

Northeast Wisconsin surveillance area

Southern and Central Wisconsin sampling

The points on the map include sampling station/pantry drop-off details and information. Please view the registration station database for additional information and specific hours of operation.

sampling station CWD Sampling Station

The information shown on these maps has been obtained from various sources, and are of varying age, reliability and resolution. These maps are not intended to be used for navigation, nor are these maps an authoritative source of information about legal land ownership or public access. Users of these maps should confirm the ownership of land through other means in order to avoid trespassing. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made regarding accuracy, applicability for a particular use, completeness, or legality of the information depicted on this map.

Additional options for CWD testing

There are several options available to hunters who harvest a deer in an area where the department isn't able to provide surveillance testing, private veterinarian testing and testing done directly by WVDL.

Private veterinarian CWD testing program

The Hunter Service Testing Program is a cooperative effort between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association; Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the United States Department of Agriculture. This program is designed to provide CWD testing opportunities to hunters from areas of the state not already sampled as part of the DNR CWD surveillance effort. The program is built upon a network of private veterinary practitioners who are trained and approved to extract samples for CWD testing.

Each participating veterinarian will determine the fee that they will charge the hunter for sampling services and testing costs. The veterinarians will also decide when they will begin accepting requests for sampling and testing.

The following list of veterinarians [PDF] across the state provides details on those that may be able to sample registered, hunter killed deer for CWD. Hunters should contact veterinarians directly. Samples will be extracted at each participating clinic and sent to a USDA certified laboratory for testing. Results will be returned to the veterinarian who submitted the sample and shared with the DNR.

Testing deer at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVDL)

Hunters can choose to take their deer directly to WVDL to obtain CWD testing for a fee. Results will be sent directly to the hunter and shared with the DNR.

Last revised: Monday November 07 2016