CWD Roundup – January 2023

January 4, 2023 By: Torin Miller

CWD Roundup is the National Deer Association’s (NDA) bi-monthly update on all things chronic wasting disease (CWD). We’ll provide the latest updates on CWD spread, research and policy from across North America. Updates are provided alphabetically by state and province.

Encouraging Sampling and Participation

A general trend that we’ve seen over the last two months is state wildlife agencies issuing news releases encouraging hunters to voluntarily submit harvests for CWD testing, reminding hunters of mandatory sampling in certain locations or during specific seasons and reminding hunters of CWD-specific winter hunting opportunities.

Some states and provinces that have issued sampling and season reminders include: Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wyoming, Manitoba, Canada, and Saskatchewan, Canada.


In late December, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that more than 4,600 deer from across Iowa have been collected for CWD testing. Of those, 1,100 samples have been processed, with 11 deer testing positive. Nine of the 11 samples were confirmed positive – two samples are considered suspect and are undergoing additional testing. The nine confirmed positive deer were from Allamakee, Appanoose, Clayton and Wayne counties. The two suspect positive deer were from Allamakee and Plymouth counties. If confirmed, Plymouth County, in western Iowa, would be the 13th Iowa county where CWD has been detected.


In late December, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reported the first suspected case of CWD for the 2022-23 hunting season. The sample was submitted by LDWF staff from a hunter-harvested adult buck taken on private land in Tensas Parish.   While this is the first suspect positive case of CWD this hunting season, Louisiana’s first CWD detection was confirmed in the same parish in January 2022.


In mid-November, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) received preliminary test results indicating the first suspected case of CWD in a wild white-tailed deer in the Bemidji area. The adult male was harvested opening weekend of the firearms season about 10 miles south of Bemidji in deer permit area 184. Sampling of harvested deer in deer permit area 184 was mandatory opening weekend of the firearms deer hunting season.


In mid-November, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) detected CWD in a mule deer buck harvested from hunting district 405 about 10 miles north of the town of Belt. This marks the first time CWD has been detected in this hunting district out of more than 100 deer sampled there over the last three years.

In mid-December, FWP confirmed CWD was detected in a white-tailed deer buck that was harvested by a hunter in hunting district 304. This marks the first detection in hunting district 304. The deer was harvested near Gallatin Gateway, along the hunting district’s eastern border with hunting district 309.

South Dakota

In mid-December, the South Dakota Game and Fish Department (GFD) confirmed CWD in a new area in southeastern South Dakota.  Confirmation of the disease was obtained from a hunter-harvested adult male white-tailed deer in southern Union County along the Missouri River. South Dakota has now confirmed CWD in 20 counties, and this is the third county where CWD has been detected in free-ranging deer east of the Missouri River in South Dakota.


In early November, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) established two new CWD surveillance zones located primarily in Gillespie and Limestone counties. The two new surveillance zones went into effect just prior to the start of the general hunting season beginning November 5. TPWD developed the zones following the detection of CWD earlier this year in a deer breeding facility located in Gillespie County and a deer breeding facility located in Limestone County.

In late November, TPWD announced CWD was detected on a high fence release site in Kaufman County. This is the first positive detection of CWD in the county. The white-tailed buck, harvested at a high-fence release site located in a CWD Surveillance Zone, was delivered to a Hunt County CWD check station in compliance with surveillance zone requirements. Prior to this detection, the high-fence release site was identified as a “trace herd” property to the Hunt County CWD-positive deer breeding facility reported on March 31, 2021.


In mid-November, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) confirmed that a Lincoln County deer farm tested positive for CWD. The positive result came from a 5-year-old white-tailed buck. The farm has been placed under quarantine.

In mid-December, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced a baiting and feeding ban would go into effect starting December 12, 2022, in Lincoln County. The recent CWD detection in Lincoln County will create a three-year baiting and feeding ban in the county.

In early December, DNR confirmed a wild deer tested positive for CWD in southwestern Shawano County. The deer was a 4-5-year-old hunter-harvested buck taken during the 2022 archery deer season. This is the second confirmed wild CWD-positive case in Shawano County. The recent detection of CWD in Shawano County results in the renewal of the 3-year baiting and feeding ban in Shawano County and the renewal of the 2-year baiting and feeding ban in both Waupaca and Marathon counties.

In late December, DNR confirmed a wild deer tested positive for CWD in Buffalo County in the town of Lincoln. The deer was a hunter-harvested 2-year-old doe and is the first confirmed wild CWD-positive detection in Buffalo County. DNR will renew a 3-year baiting and feeding ban in Buffalo County.


In late November, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) confirmed the presence of CWD in Elk Hunt Area 59. The disease was detected in a cow elk in early November. Elk Hunt Area 59 is in the Cody Region and overlaps Deer Hunt Areas 112 and 113, where CWD was detected in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

In mid-December, WGFD confirmed the presence of CWD in Elk Hunt Area 127. The disease was detected in a cow elk in November. This marks the fifth elk hunt area where CWD has been detected this year.  Elk Hunt Area 127 is in the Lander Region and overlaps Deer Hunt Areas 157 and 171, where CWD was detected in 2012 and 2015, respectively.

Manitoba, Canada

In mid-December, Manitoba Natural Resources and Northern Development announced additional management actions to help prevent the spread of CWD in the province. Increased surveillance confirmed seven new cases of CWD near the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border over the last year – all in mule deer. To further support CWD prevention, the Manitoba government is establishing a winter mule deer hunting season from December 19, 2022 to February 5, 2023.

About Torin Miller:

Torin Miller is a licensed attorney and NDA’s Senior Director of Policy. He works at the intersection of conservation and natural resources law, policy, advocacy and education. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in wildlife and fisheries science from Penn State University and a J.D. from Penn State Law. Torin came to NDA via the National Deer Alliance, where he served as the Policy and Outreach Coordinator.