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Hunter's Resources

CWD Positive Counties in TN

Unit CWD Earn-a-Buck

  • To increase the number of deer harvested and sampled for CWD management, additional bucks may be earned.
  • Unit CWD includes Chester, Fayette, Hardeman, Haywood, Madison, McNairy, Shelby, and Tipton counties.
  • Tennessee’s antlered deer bag limit (2) did not change; therefore it still applies to hunters hunting Unit CWD as well as the rest of the state.
  • Unit CWD hunters may earn up to two bucks for harvest, in addition to the statewide antlered deer bag limit of two.
  • Once a hunter has harvested two Unit CWD antlerless deer, checked them in, and has reported, during check-in, the location of where the CWD samples were submitted; the hunter is automatically eligible to hunt an earned buck (i.e., antlered deer).  TWRA is, however, going ahead and notifying hunters via email of having earned a buck for good customer service and to help hunters and wildlife officers during field inspections. 
  • Only deer harvested in Unit CWD counties qualify for Earn-A-Buck.
  • Valid for 2019-20 hunting season only.  
  • Earned bucks may only be harvested in Unit CWD.

Unit CWD Replacement Buck

To assist CWD management efforts, replacement bucks will encourage hunters to continue hunting and harvesting and be an added incentive for hunters to have their deer tested for CWD.

  • Unit CWD includes Chester, Fayette, Hardeman, Haywood, Madison, McNairy, Shelby, and Tipton counties.
  • Unit CWD hunters will receive a replacement buck if they harvest a CWD-positive buck and the lab result is confirmed by TWRA.
  • There is no limit on the number of replacement bucks.
  • Valid for 2019-20 hunting season only.
  • Replacement bucks may only be harvested in Unit CWD

CWD Testing

To test a deer for CWD, lymph nodes are extracted from the base of a deer’s skull,  packed in ice, and sent to an accredited laboratory.

The primary method that TWRA will use to report CWD test results to hunters will be by email.  It is a good idea to make sure that your TWRA account has an up to date email address! To do that, go to GoOutdoorsTennessee.com and login to update your information. Once samples are submitted, it takes about two (2) weeks to get results.

* View an interactive map of all CWD sampling locations. Zoom in on the map to see more details; type a county or city name in the search box to zoom to that area; click on an icon on the map to open a window with more information about the site.

Interactive CWD Sample Locations Map

In Unit CWD

The following options are available.  Please remember to follow the CWD Affected Counties Transport Regulation when moving your deer before it is processed. 

*CWD Sample Drop-off Freezers.  Follow the instructions on the freezer.  You will need to leave the head of your deer plus 6 to 8 inches of neck to allow for lymph node extraction.

-Freezer Locations

*Participating Taxidermists and Meat Processors.  You can have your deer processed at these participating vendors or just submit the head of your deer plus 6 inches of the neck and they will work with TWRA to test your deer for CWD.

-Taxidermists  and  -Meat Processors

*Mandatory Physical Check Stations. In order to get more data about the extent of CWD outside of Hardeman and Fayette counties, we will have mandatory physical check-in stations for deer harvested in Unit CWD (excluding Hardeman and Fayette counties) on Nov. 2-3 and Nov. 9-10.  Voluntary physical check stations will be available only on Saturday, Nov. 2 and Nov. 9 in Fayette and Hardeman counties.

-Mandatory Physical Check Stations  and  -Voluntary Physical Check Stations

     

Outside of Unit CWD - CWD Sample Drop-off Freezer Locations for Regions 2, 3, and 4

The following options are available:

*Submit the head plus 6” of the neck at any of the Unit CWD options listed above

*Submit the head plus 6” of the neck at a Sample Drop-off Freezer in your local Region.

-Outside Unit CWD - CWD Sample Drop-off Freezer locations for Regions 2, 3, and 4

 

CWD Test Results

CWD test results are listed in the table below by harvest confirmation number.  Hunters who have had their deer tested for CWD will also receive the results by way of an email. 

It is a good idea to make sure that your TWRA account has an up to date email address

For all positive CWD results, NOT including those found in Fayette and Hardeman counties, hunters will also receive a phone call from a TWRA biologist.

Lookup CWD Test Results for the 2019-2020 Deer Season *In Progress


Search by Harvest Confirmation Number

Confirmation Number Date of Harvest County of Harvest Result

Important Hunting Guidelines

Limit Your Exposure to CWD

There is no scientific evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans. However, as a general precaution, TWRA and health officials advise that hunters take the following common-sense precautions when handling and processing deer or elk in areas known to have CWD:

  • Avoid sick animals. Do not shoot, handle, or consume any animal that appears sick; contact your local wildlife agency personnel. 
  • Have your animal processed in the area in which it was harvested so high-risk parts can be disposed of properly.
  • Wear rubber/latex gloves when field-dressing carcasses.
  • Minimize handling the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of any deer or elk. Normal field dressing coupled with boning out a carcass will remove most, if not all, of these body parts. Cutting away all fatty tissue will remove remaining lymph nodes.
  • Thoroughly wash hands. Knives and other tools should be washed with warm soapy water to completely remove all visible debris and fat/grease before sanitizing. Sanitize tools by soaking them in a solution of 50 percent household bleach with 50 percent water for 20 minutes. Thoroughly rinse bleach off. Let air dry. 
  • While transporting, store all portions of the animal in a container such as a cooler, bin, or bag that will not leak fluids into the environment.
  • In Unit CWD, have your animal tested and do not consume animals that test positive for CWD.

Help Keep CWD in Tennessee Deer to a Minimum

  • Keep hunting! Take advantage of the additional opportunities to harvest deer in CWD affected counties.
  • Honor carcass transportation restrictions for Tennessee if hunting out-of-state, or exporting from CWD affected counties. (Only De-boned meat, clean skulls, skull plates and teeth, antlers, finished taxidermy, hides, and tanned products.).
  • Follow the regulation prohibiting the placement of grain, salt products, minerals and other consumable products for wildlife in CWD affected counties. CWD Affected Counties - Wildlife Feeding Restrictions.

Have deer tested for CWD and follow best practices for carcass disposal in CWD affected counties.

  • Report sick or abnormal-looking deer or Elk to TWRA.
  • Report anyone not abiding by carcass transport laws to TWRA. Region Contact information
  • Abide by the new regulation regarding the use of synthetic urine lures or products with the Archery Trade Association’s seal of approval.   Urine Lure Restrictions.

Best Practices for Carcass Disposal

Deer carcass and carcass parts from infected deer pose a significant threat to preventing the spread of CWD.  As such, TWRA recommends the following best practices for disposal of unused deer parts, including gut material from field dressing a deer:

  • Leave unused parts at harvest location.  Bury the parts to further minimize possible spread.
  • Bag in contractor-grade 3mm think garbage bag(s) and dispose of in a landfill.
  • Use a meat processor for disposal
Wold River Carcass Disposal Site

Wolf River WMA Deer Carcass Management Site

Many landfill operators have decided not to accept deer from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) affected areas unless there is proof that CWD was not detected in the deer.  With the inability to know whether a deer is CWD-positive for 2-3 weeks due to testing turnaround and the fact carcasses need to be disposed of sooner for sanitary purposes, it appears that the end result, at least for now, is that landfills are no longer an option for deer carcass disposal in the CWD affected area.

We realize this new circumstance creates an urgent need for a place to dispose of deer parts.  As such, TWRA, in consultation with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA), has established a short term deer carcass management site at Wolf River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) – Unit 2 in Fayette County. This site can be used by hunters, processors and taxidermists for deer carcass disposal until the partnering agencies agree conditions require closure and the opening of a new site; location to be determined.

This site was chosen because

  • it is a state-owned property in the heart of the CWD Affected Area
  • the soil includes clay which binds the infectious agent and promotes sanitary disposal
  • TWRA equipment and staff can be on-site to regularly cover deer parts
  • gates and fencing can be constructed to control unauthorized entry and exclude wildlife
  • it allows for the construction of a narrow, shallow, trench lined with added clay as an extra step to ensure binding of the infectious agent

Site location:  Wolf River Unit 2, NW of Rossville, TN. GPS 35.080995 -89.565278.  Download a pdf map of the location

Operating Hours: Mondays and Fridays from 10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.