- To increase the number of deer harvested and sampled for CWD management, additional bucks may be earned.
- 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.
- Earned bucks are received by harvesting two Unit CWD antlerless deer, checking them in, submitting them for CWD testing, and being notified of qualification by TWRA.
- Only deer harvested in Unit CWD counties qualify for Earn-A-Buck.
- Valid for 2019-20 hunting season only.
- Earned bucks must be harvested in Unit CWD.
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 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 must be harvested in Unit CWD
To test a deer for CWD, a lymph node is extracted from the base of a deer’s skull, packed in ice, and sent to an accredited laboratory.
The primary method of communicating the CWD test results will be by email. It is a good idea to make sure that your TWRA account has an up to date email address!
In Unit CWD
The following options are available. Please remember to follow the Unit CWD 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.
*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.
*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.
Outside of Unit CWD
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.
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|
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. Report-a-Sick Deer.
- 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 Unit CWD.
- Honor carcass transportation restrictions for Tennessee if hunting out-of-state, or exporting from Unit CWD. (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 Unit CWD. Unit CWD Wildlife Feeding Restrictions.
- Have deer tested for CWD and follow best practices for carcass disposal in Unit CWD
- 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
While there are disposal methods that destroy prions (the agent that infect deer with CWD), such as incineration at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit or digestion in sodium hydroxide, these methods are cost-prohibitive and impractical. Instead, the TWRA recommends disposal of carcass waste in a landfill. This option is safe, cost-effective, and provides the best barrier between possibly contaminated material and the environment.
Gut material from field dressing can be handled in one of two ways. Remember to wear gloves and keep your contact with organs and spinal tissue to a minimum.
1. Leave it where the deer was field dressed. If CWD is already in this area and your harvested deer has been exposed, by leaving the gut material there, you are minimizing spread to new areas. You can also bury the gut material where you field dressed the deer to further minimize spread.
2. Bag the gut material in contractor-grade 3mm thick garbage bag(s) and dispose of in a landfill. Be sure to follow the carcass transport rules.