Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Program

A Columbian white-tailed deer buck with branched antlers, standing in a grassy field
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is initiating a Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance program during the 2021 general deer hunting season.

CWD is a fatal neurologic disease of cervids- deer, elk, and moose- caused by an infectious prion protein and transmitted from animal to animal or through contaminated environments. Most animals with CWD appear normal until the end stages of the disease when they show signs of weight loss, lethargy, drooping ears, excess salivation and urination, and loss of fear of people. There is no known cure for CWD.

CWD has not been detected in Washington, but has been in 26 states (the closest being Montana), and 4 Canadian Provinces. Testing tissue samples collected from the head and neck of an animal from carcasses is the only way to determine if it is infected.

How can you help survey for CWD

A map of northeast Washington GMUs

If you hunt or salvage in the following game management units (GMUs), get your harvested or roadkill salvaged white-tailed deer tested for CWD at a game check station or one of the locations listed below.

  • 105 (Kelly Hill)
  • 108 (Douglas)
  • 111 (Aladdin)
  • 113 (Selkirk)
  • 117 (49 Degrees North)
  • 124 (Mount Spokane), or
  • 127 (Mica Peak)

CWD sampling locations and times

Hunter check stations

Colville WDFW District Office, 755 S. Main Street, Colville, WA 99114
Chewelah, Intersection of Sand Canyon Road and Highway 395, DOT Gravel Lot
Deer Park Weigh Station, 65 N. Arlington Rd, Deer Park, WA 99006
Ione, Tiger Store/Museum, 390372 State Route 20, Cusick, WA 99119
Usk, Crossroads Restaurant, 421341 State Rte 20, Usk, WA 99180
Highway 2 Weigh Station - Across highway from Spokane Regional Solid Waste

Saturday, October 16 - Sunday, October 17, 2021 9:30 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday, October 23 - Sunday, October 24, 2021 9:30 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday, November 6 - Sunday, November 7, 2021 9:30 am - 8:00 pm
Friday, November 12 - Sunday, November 14, 2021 9:30 am - 7:00 pm
Thursday, November 18 - Friday, November 19, 2021 9:30 am - 7:00 pm

WDFW offices

You can also have your white-tailed deer sampled on Mondays and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. during the modern firearms season at:

WDFW Colville District Office, 755 S Main Street, Colville, WA 99114
Spokane Regional Office, 2315 N Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, WA 99216-1566

Inland Northwest Wildlife Council

6116 N. Market St., Spokane (call 509-487-8552 to make an appointment)

Find your CWD test results

You can look up your CWD test results by entering your WILD ID or Salvage Permit ID in the test results lookup tool.

Help prevent the spread of CWD

To prevent spreading prions that cause CWD, either field dress and leave all inedible parts of your harvested animal at the kill site or dispose of inedible parts in a licensed landfill. You can also double bag and place them in your household garbage.

If you harvest deer, elk, or moose outside Washington in states or provinces with CWD, by law (WAC 220-413-030), only the following items may be imported to Washington:

  • Meat that has been de-boned in the state or province where it was harvested.
  • Skulls and antlers, antlers attached to the skull plate, or upper canine teeth (bugler, whistlers, ivories) from which all soft tissue (including velvet) has been removed.
  • Hides or capes without heads attached.
  • Tissue imported for use by a diagnostic or research laboratory.
  • Finished taxidermy mounts.

If you are notified by another state or provincial fish and wildlife agency that the animal you harvested tested positive for CWD, you have 24 hours to notify WDFW by calling 360-902-2515.

Health and human safety

While there is no scientific evidence of CWD being transmitted to humans from animals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends not consuming animals that test positive for CWD. WDFW advises hunters to:

  • Avoid harvesting any animal that appears sick or behaves strangely.
  • Wear disposable gloves while field dressing game.
  • Thoroughly wash hands and equipment after processing carcasses.
  • Avoid consuming parts where the CWD prions accumulate including brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, pancreas, tonsils, and lymph nodes.
  • Avoid cutting through bone, brain, or spinal cord.
  • Disinfect processing tools by soaking in household bleach (>2% free chlorine ) at a 40% solution (with water) for a minimum of 5 minutes.
  • Remove any tissue pieces from tools before soaking. Rinse tools after soaking. 

Reporting suspected CWD cases

Please help the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) monitor the health of our deer, elk, and moose populations. While hunting or recreating, if you observe a sick or dead deer, please report it to your regional WDFW office or use this online reporting form.