FINDLAY — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife is encouraging white-tailed deer hunters in Lucas, Fulton, and Williams counties in northwest Ohio to submit samples of harvested deer to be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer populations. While CWD has not been detected in Ohio’s wild deer herd, the Division of Wildlife is enhancing surveillance efforts in specific counties after the disease was detected in southern Michigan. Participation is voluntary and free of charge.
Hunters who participate in the program are asked to remove the head from a harvested deer and drop it off at any one of 12 collection stations. Collection station kiosks are available now until Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. A kiosk at each location provides instructions on how to properly submit the deer head for testing. Hunters will be provided a unique specimen number which can be used to check results in approximately eight weeks. Results can be found under the District Two Enhanced Surveillance Results tab on the Chronic Wasting Disease page at wildohio.gov.
Only adult deer harvested from Lucas, Fulton, and Williams counties will be accepted at these collection stations. If a deer is being sent to a taxidermist, it should not be submitted for testing. To submit a deer, remove the head approximately 4 inches below the bottom jawbone.
Hunters outside of Lucas, Fulton, and Williams counties may submit a deer for testing at the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for a fee. Please call 614-728-6220 for more information.
The collection station locations are:
• Cleland’s: 10306 Airport Highway, Swanton, OH 43558
• Spencer Township Fire Department: 9445 Frankfort Road, Holland, OH 43528
• Mallard Club Marsh Wildlife Area: 8349 Cedar Point Road, Oregon, OH 43616
• Magee Marsh Wildlife Area Check Station, Ottawa County: 13299 West State Route 2, Oak Harbor, OH 43449
*This location is not a kiosk, but all supplies and instructions will be located at the self-serve controlled waterfowl hunt station.
• Pettisville Community Park: 18405 County Road D-E, Pettisville, OH 43553
• ODNR Rest Area: 10601 U.S. 20, Lyons, OH 43533
• Maumee State Forest Headquarters: 3380 County Road D, Swanton, OH 43558
• Franklin Township Garage: 10392 State Route 66, Archbold, OH 43502
• Lake LaSuAn Wildlife Area Headquarters: 9455 County Road R, Pioneer, OH 43554
• Williams County Fairgrounds: 619 E. Main Street, Montpelier, OH 43543
• Florence Township Building: 362 S. Michigan Street, Edon, OH 43518
• Pulaski Township Garage: 6646 U.S. 127, Bryan, OH 43506
There is no strong evidence that CWD is transmissible to humans. A deer infected with CWD typically does not immediately show signs of the disease, therefore hunters are encouraged to wear rubber gloves when field dressing and processing the carcass. Avoid consuming high-risk tissues such as the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils, and lymph nodes.
Hunters should dispose of carcasses by double-bagging any high-risk tissues and including them in household trash to be delivered to a landfill. Those who hunt out-of-state can help prevent the spread of CWD by following carcass regulations and not bringing high-risk tissues across state lines.
Visit wildohio.gov for more information. If you have questions, please contact the Ohio Division of Wildlife District Two office at 419-424-5000.