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Know CWD website

Know CWD [exit DNR] General information about CWD in Wisconsin including common misconceptions.

Contact information
For information on CWD, contact:
Timothy Marien
CWD Wildlife Biologist
Bureau of Wildlife Management
608-264-6046

Locate deer carcass disposal sites

If you are unable to dispose of a deer carcass through your normal trash pick-up system other options can be found on the deer waste disposal sites page.

Carcass disposal

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) can be spread among deer by both direct contact between animals and exposure to environments contaminated with CWD prions, the protein that causes the disease. Exposure to an area where a CWD-positive carcass has decomposed could be enough to cause infection in deer. Because of this risk, it is important that deer carcasses, including all bones and other carcass waste from butchering, are disposed of in a way to reduce this infection risk.

Adopt-a-Dumpster

New for 2018. Individuals or organizations can sign-up and volunteer to sponsor a dumpster throughout the deer season, at a mutually agreed upon location with the DNR. Adopt-a-Dumpster (AAD) participants are responsible for all costs and guidelines associated with the dumpster, but receive DNR recognition and a certificate of appreciation at the end of the season. The main goal of the AAD program is to provide hunters an option for appropriate deer carcass waste disposal, especially in areas where carcass disposal options are limited or not already available. The preference is for AAD locations to be on private land, however, options are available for individuals or groups to host locations on public land in consultation with the DNR. ADD locations are listed on the deer carcass disposal webpage. Contact your local deer biologist, Eric Canania 608-341-9615 (southern district), Matt Esser 715-284-1417 (west central district) or Curt Rollman 715-369-9399 (northern and northeast districts) if you are interested in participating!

Recommendations for hunters

The following, in order of effectiveness and practicality, are the recommended options that hunters should use when disposing of deer-carcass waste.

  1. The preferred option available is disposal in a landfill through your normal trash pick-up systems. Landfills are a safe and cost-effective option for disposing of carcass waste potentially contaminated with CWD-causing prions. Landfill disposal establishes a barrier between uninfected deer and deer-carcass waste that potentially contains infectious CWD material.
  2. Another option is to bury the carcass waste on private property where you have permission. It should be buried deep enough to prevent scavengers from digging it back up. This method effectively removes the waste from the open environment and places a barrier between uninfected deer and the source of infection.
  3. As a last resort hunters can leave their deer-carcass waste on the landscape, only with permission on private property. This should be done as close as possible to where the deer was harvested. Persons using this option should also, if possible, put the carcass waste in a location where other deer and scavengers are unlikely to encounter it. It is not recommended that the head, spine or other restricted portions of deer harvested within a CWD-affected county be moved or disposed of outside of the CWD-affected county of harvest unless brought to a meat processor or taxidermist or the head brought to a CWD sampling station. As a reminder, it is illegal to dispose of waste on any public lands, roadways or private property without permission. Field dressing a deer and leaving the gut pile and associated animal parts on site on public or private land is still permitted. Although gut piles pose a risk of transmitting CWD, evidence indicates that the risk is minimal due to their short persistence time on the landscape due to high rates of scavenging.

Additionally, for hunters in eastern Iowa and western Dane counties, the DNR provides two dumpsters in which hunters can dispose of their carcass waste. One dumpster is located at the DNR-operated deer sampling station just south of the village of Black Earth on Highway 78 in Dane County. The other dumpster is located in Iowa County, at the deer sampling station in Barneveld, just south of Highway 18/151. Due to warm temperatures, these dumpsters are unavailable from March 1 - mid/late October. For questions or concerns regarding these two dumpsters, please contact Eric Canania at 608-341-9615.

Recommendations for non-hunters

Deer carcasses collected from generators including taxidermists, meat processors or other facilities shall be disposed of in compliance with solid waste regulations. Contact your local Waste Management Specialist if you need further assistance in locating disposal facilities that accept deer waste. Additional information can be found on the deer carcass disposal sites page.

Sick deer guidance

If a person sees a sick deer the DNR is interested in testing the deer for CWD and can help the individual dispose of the carcass if shot. Please view the sick deer guidance for additional information.

Last revised: Wednesday November 14 2018