Learn everything you need to know about Chronic Wasting Disease in Mississippi, including how to submit samples in suspected CWD cases.

About Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is caused by a contagious, fatal prion, or abnormal protein, that affects cervids such as white-tailed deer, elk, and mule deer. Prions associated with the disease are found throughout the bodies of infected animals but are found in higher concentrations in the eyes, lymph nodes, and nervous tissues. For some animals, it may be a year or more before symptoms develop, which can include drastic weight loss (wasting), stumbling, listlessness, and other neurologic symptoms.

Infected animals shed prions through saliva, feces, blood, and urine. Other animals can become infected through direct contact with an infected animal or through indirect contact from an infected environment. Once the disease occurs in an area, evidence demonstrates that eradication is unlikely.

Submit a Sample
Learn how to collect and submit a sample, and check your test results.

Management of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) requires a long-term adaptive management approach that will be refined through new science and information. Current CWD response operations are focused on:

  • Continued statewide surveillance to detect additional positives.
  • Determining the prevalence and spatial distribution of CWD.
  • Determining the origin of any CWD-positive cervid.
  • Applying management actions to limit the spread of CWD.
  • Providing accurate and relevant information on CWD to the public, agency staff, affected governmental agencies, and other stakeholders.

Chronic Wasting Disease Management and Education

This section contains some of the most sought-after information about CWD and answers to questions about CWD, including how you can help manage the spread of the disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the CWD sample drop-off locations?

MDWFP has collection sites across the state for the general public to deposit deer heads for testing. Freezers will be at each site for depositing deer heads. Hunters should preserve the head with at least 6 inches of neck attached. Antlers may be removed before depositing head. Learn more about sample collection and find specific drop-off locations.

Where can I check my test results?

Once you've dropped a sample off at one of our drop-off locations, that sample is then processed and sent to a lab for testing. CWD tests typically take between 7-10 days for results. You will only be notified if CWD is detected. If your results come back as "not detected" for CWD, you will not be notified. If your sample is detected of CWD, it will go through a second test for confirmation. You can check the status of your results at any time by entering your sample number online.

Where are the CWD Management Zones?

Following the discovery of CWD, Mississippi adopted CWD Management zones that have regulations pertaining to deer carcass transportation and supplemental feeding.

North MS Management Zone

Includes all portions of Alcorn, Benton, Desoto, Lafayette, Marshall, Panola, Prentiss, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo and Union counties.

Only portions of Coahoma, Quitman, and Tunica counties defined as:

  • Areas south of Highway 4,
  • Areas east of Old Highway 61 to the intersection of Highway 49 (Lula),
  • Areas east of Highway 49 to the intersection of Highway 278,
  • Areas north of Highway 278, and
  • Areas west of Highway 3.
Issaquena Management Zone

Only portions of Issaquena County defined as:

  • All areas east of the Mississippi River, and
  • All areas south of Highways 14.

All portions of Warren County and Claiborne counties.

Harrison Management Zone
  • All portions of Harrison County west of Hwy 49;
  • All portions of Hancock County east of Highways 53, 603, and 43; and
  • All portions of Hancock County east of Nicholson Avenue.

Please see CWD Management Zones and the Hunting Season CWD Guide for zone maps and specific regulations.

Who are the participating taxidermists?

For a list of taxidermists who are cooperating with the MDWFP to collect CWD samples from customers, see Participating Taxidermists.

CWD Resources

See statistics and distribution of CWD-positive samples recorded across the state of Mississippi.

A primary goal of CWD response and management efforts is to determine the geographic extent and prevalence of the disease. MDWFP asks hunters to aid in this effort by submitting deer for testing during the white-tailed deer hunting season.

Report deer that are found emaciated, lame or immobile, or dead with no obvious cause of mortality.

View data on CWD sample total and sample totals by county. MDWFP thanks all hunters that submit samples during hunting season.

The CWD Deer Management Assistance Program (CWD DMAP) was developed as a tool for private landowners and leaseholders to work together with MDWFP to manage CWD prevalence and increase sampling intensity in infected areas.

Find details on the Deer Carcass Transportation Ban, including what parts of the carcass are permissible to transport.

More CWD Information