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Contact information
For information on CWD, contact:
Timothy Marien
CWD Wildlife Biologist
Bureau of Wildlife Management

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 deer carcass waste from butchering, are disposed of in a way to reduce this infection risk.


Deer carcass waste dumpsters may be available in your area. For a list of dumpster locations search for dumpsters in the CWD sampling, registration and deer waste disposal sites database.


Individuals or organizations can sign-up and volunteer to sponsor a dumpster throughout the deer season. Adopt-a-Dumpster (AAD) participants are responsible for all costs and guidelines associated with the dumpster. 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. Contact your local deer biologist, southern counties contact, west central counties contact or northern and northeast counties contact, 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.

Dispose of your deer carcass waste in a landfill
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 deer 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.
Bury the deer carcass waste
Another option is to bury the deer 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.
Return to location of harvest
As a last resort hunters can leave their deer carcass waste on private property with permission. This should be done as close as possible to where the deer was harvested. Persons using this option should also, if possible, put the deer 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 carcass 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.

Recommendations for non-hunters

Deer carcass waste 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 carcass waste. Additional information can be found on the deer carcass waste disposal sites page.

Last revised: Wednesday August 07 2019