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Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects members of the deer/elk family (cervids). It was first described in 1967 in Colorado and since has spread to 23 additional states, Canada, South Korea, and Norway. CWD is similar to scrapie in sheep/goats and “mad cow disease” in cattle. These diseases are caused by misshapen proteins called prions, which accumulate in the tissues of affected animals, especially the brain, spinal cord, and lymph nodes. CWD is a slowly progressing disease. Infected animals will not show signs of disease for a long period of time, but late in the disease process, they will be thin and may demonstrate weakness, abnormal behavior, excessive thirst, or drooling. Animals generally die soon after the onset of these signs.

Learn more about CWD and its impacts throughout North America at

Statewide map of positive CWD testing results as of May 1, 2018Statewide map of positive and negative CWD testing results as of January 8, 2018. Click to open larger image in new window.

  • Where in Arkansas Has It Been Found?

    In February 2016, an elk harvested in the fall of 2015 near Pruitt in Newton County tested positive for CWD. This was the first documented case of the disease in the State of Arkansas. Also in February 2016, a white-tailed deer was found sick near Ponca in Newton County and tested positive CWD. An initial sampling effort in the vicinity of these cases found a total CWD prevalence of 23 percent in white-tailed deer from northern Newton County. Since the first detections, AGFC has sampled and tested over 10,000 deer and elk from around the state. Additional CWD positives have been found in Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pope, Searcy, Sebastian and Washington counties. Surveillance for this disease continues statewide. AGFC continues their surveillance activities and encourages Arkansans to report all sick deer and elk, 1-800-482-9262.

    Positive CWD cases found as of January 8, 2018

    County CWD-positive Deer CWD-positive Elk Total Cases
    Benton 2 0 2
    Boone 36 0 36
    Carroll 42 0 42
    Madison 19 0 19
    Marion 4 0 4
    Newton 242 9 251
    Pope 2 0 2
    Searcy 4 5 9
    Sebastian 1 0 1
    Washington 3 0 3
    Total 355 14 369
  • Is CWD Harmful to Humans?

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been no evidence to date of CWD transmission to humans. Nonetheless, consuming meat from deer or elk that appear sick or test positive for CWD is not recommended. 

    Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information about CWD from the Centers for Disease Control.

  • What Can Be Done to Manage CWD?

    Research suggests the CWD prion can be passed from infected cervids to healthy cervids through contact with feces, urine, or saliva as well as contact with CWD-infected carcasses or contaminated soil. Practices which unnecessarily congregate cervids or the improper disposal of carcasses both have the potential to increase CWD transmission. Therefore, steps to reduce the spread of CWD include avoiding activities which congregate deer and elk, reducing deer and elk densities, limiting the movement of potentially infected materials (i.e. carcasses) around the state, and limiting the dispersal of infected animals. In order to slow the spread of CWD within Arkansas, the AGFC has enacted the following regulations:

  • How do I Dispose of Deer Remains in the CWD Management Zone?

    The best ways to dispose of deer remains while minimizing the possible spread of CWD is to bury the carcass or dispose of it in a lined landfill (list available below).

    If you cannot dispose of the carcass in this manner, it is best to leave as much of the deer as possible where it was harvested, to prevent further spread of the infectious agent to new areas. The AGFC will work directly with hunters whose deer test positive for CWD to ensure all meat and parts are disposed of correctly. 

    Click here for list. Image of document listing approved landfills for deer carcass disposalApproved Arkansas Landfills for Deer Carcass Disposal


  • Taxidermists Who Test for CWD

    Taxidermists are hunters too, and many do not work regular hours at their place of business. For this reason, participating taxidermists require prior notice before a deer is brought in for testing.

    Ashley County

    • Chief's Taxidermy
      231 Ashley 70 Road, Hamburg
    • Pruitt Taxidermy
      116 Jones Road, Crossett
      Harold Pruitt

    Benton County

    • Backcountry Taxidermy
      1 Tiree Lane, Bella Vista
      Chad Smith
    • CJ's Taxidermy
      60 Murphy Drive, Bella Vista
      Chuck Johnston
    • Harold's Taxidermy
      20418 Chicken Drive, Decatur
      Harold Holt
    • Hilltop Taxidermy
      11144 Leonard Road, Gravette
      Danny Lopez
    • Karen's Taxidermy
      9363 Roberts Lane, Rogers
      Karen Gearhardt
    • Rocking W Taxidermy
      12941 Hickory Creek Road, Lowell
      Richard Winne

    Boone County

    • Rogers Taxidermy
      1516 Choctaw Lane, Harrison
      David Rogers

    Carroll County

    • Arkansas Taxidermy
      2716 CR 516, Berryville
      Joseph Anderson
      870-545-3049 or 870-480-2941

    Clay County

    • Black River Taxidermy
      PO Box 362, Corning
      Mark Leonard

    Crittenden County

    • Raby's Taxidermy
      1301 Goodwin Ave., West Memphis
      Robert Raby

    Desha County

    • Hi-Tech Taxidermy
      Hwy 65 North, McGehee
      David Shopher

    Drew County

    • Cupped 'N' Committed
      1765 Hwy. 138, Monticello
      Angela Schenk

    Franklin County

    • Burts Taxidermy
      404 South Hwy 123, Ozark
      Brandon Burt
    • Wewers Taxidermy
      620 7th Street, Charleston
      David Wewer

    Fulton County

    • Stone's Taxidermy
      912 Twin Oaks Trail, Gepp
      Luanne Stone

    Grant County

    • Tim's European Mounts
      1893 Grant 53, Sheridan
      Tim Preator

    Greene County

    • Crowley's Ridge Taxidermy
      1101 Greene 333 Road, Jonesboro
      Jeff Harmon

    Jefferson County

    • Foust Taxidermy
      9814 Ty Lane, Pine Bluff
      Bubba Foust
    • Randy Moore Taxidermy
      1507 Cherrywood Avenue, Redfield
      Randy Moore
    • Wild Things Taxidermy
      3195 Dam Road, White Hall
      Charles Brinke

    Johnson County

    • European Mounts
      1411 Rabbit Hill Road, Hartman
      James Scott

    Lawrence County

    • Tag's Taxidermy
      111 Lawrence 327, Lynn
      Trevor Guerin

    Madison County

    • McFarlan's Taxidermy
      1680 North Hwy 127, Huntsville
      James McFarlan

    Marion County

    • Chris Roberts Taxidermy
      1405 Meadowcrest Lane, Everton
      Chris Roberts

    Mississippi County

    • Mike's Taxidermy
      PO Box 182, Keiser
      Mike Duren

    Montgomery County

    • Palmer's Taxidermy
      73 Thomason Drive, Glenwood
      Gerald Palmer

    Newton County

    • Roy's Taxidermy
      HC 31 Box 432, Deer
      Roy Carter
    • Traywick's Taxidermy
      HC 70 Box 71, Jasper
      Josh Treywick
    • Spencer's Taxidermy
      HC 70 Box 103, Jasper
      Kenneth Spencer

    Pulaski County

    • Fin Feather 'n Fur Taxidermy
      1920 W. Main Street, Jacksonville
      David Corley

    Saline County

    • Starvation Acres Taxidermy
      2214 County Line Road, Little Rock
      Angie Middleton

    Scott County

    • Jones Creek Taxidermy
      20365 Jones Creek Road, Waldron
      Anne McEntire

    Searcy County

    • Snowball Taxidermy
      150 Harvest Lane, Marshall
      Steve Padilla

    Sebastian County

    • Wildlife Images
      5203 East Hwy. 45, Fort Smith
      Brad Byers

    Sharp County

    • Smith Taxidermy
      10 Mcleod Street, Cave City
      Dennis Smith

    Van Buren County

    • Rack Down Taxidermy
      966 Hwy 95 West, Clinton
      Ricky Duncan

    Washington County

    • Payton's Custom Taxidermy
      20529 W Vanzant Road, Springdale
      Payton Usrey
    • Phillips Taxidermy
      18321 Oakridge Rd, Springdale
      Scott Phillips
    • Transformation Taxidermy
      13177 Little Elm Road, Farmington
      Jake Reynolds

    White County

    • Unlimited Taxidermy
      117 Timberline Drive, Beebe
      Kerry Tabor
  • Veterinarians Who Test for CWD

    Some veterinarians around the state are providing CWD testing as a paid service to hunters. The cost will vary by location. Please contact the veterinarian’s office of your choice to make an appointment for sample collection. Testing results should be reported to you by your veterinarian but will also be available on this page.

    Baxter County

    • All Creatures Veterinary Hospital - West Location
      4549 Highway 62 West, Mountain Home

    Boone County

    • Affordable Veterinary Services of North Arkansas
      5155 Highway 7 South, Harrison

    Cleburne County

    • Cleburne County Animal Clinic
      1309 Heber Springs Road, Heber Springs

    Faulkner County

    • St. Francis Vet Clinic
      3180 Dave Ward Drive, Conway

    Pulaski County

    • Cantrell Animal Clinic
      7703 T Street, Little Rock
    • Doubletree Veterinary Clinic
      2606 Ferndale Cutoff at Kanis Rd.
      Little Rock, AR 72223
    • Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic
      3712 Woodland Heights, Little Rock

    Washington County

    • Cornerstone Animal Hospital
      2295 East Zion Road, Fayetteville

    White County

    • Ozark Animal Medical Center
      639 Lone Star Road, Rose Bud

    If you are a veterinarian interested in adding CWD sampling as a service in your practice, please contact Dr. Jennifer Ballard at


Chronic Wasting Disease Regulations

  • Arkansas Cervid Carcass Importation Restriction

    What is a cervid?

    A cervid is any member of the Cervidae Family, which includes white-tailed deer, mule deer, red deer, sika deer, axis deer, fallow deer, elk, moose and caribou.

    Which parts of your harvest can be brought back to or through Arkansas?

    The following items are the only portions allowed to be imported, transported or possessed in Arkansas from any cervid harvested outside the boundaries of Arkansas (exception: deer harvested from within the Mississippi River levee system in Mississippi or Tennessee):

    • Antlers and/or antlers attached to clean skull plate or cleaned skulls (all tissue removed)
    • Meat with all bones removed
    • Cleaned teeth
    • Finished taxidermy products
    • Hides or tanned products

    Hunters are allowed to possess portions of deer and elk harvested from within commercial wildlife hunting resorts in Arkansas provided that a CWD sample is collected and submitted to the AGFC.

    Which states have cervid carcass importation restrictions?

    It is extremely important that out-of-state hunters fully understand not only the carcass importation regulations of their home state and/or destination state, but also for all the states they will travel through with their harvest. For more information regarding CWD and a complete list of each state’s carcass importation regulations, visit

  • Statewide Regulations
    • It is unlawful to use natural scents or lures that contain natural deer and elk urine or other biofluids, as of Jan. 1, 2017.
    • It is unlawful to rehabilitate deer.
  • Within Deer Zones 1 and 2
    • Button bucks no longer count toward a hunter’s two-buck seasonal bag limit. They must be checked as button bucks, but will count toward antlerless limits for those zones.
    • Any buck may be legally harvested; Three-Point Rule has been removed.
    • Bag limit has been increased from four to five deer (two antlered bucks, three antlerless with firearms, five antlerless with archery).
  • Within the CWD Management Zone

    (Benton, Boone, Carroll, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pope, Searcy, Van Buren, Washington and Yell counties)

    It is unlawful to feed wildlife within the CWD Management Zone, except:

    • Bait may be used to hunt deer and elk on private land from Sept. 1-Dec. 31.
    • Food plots may be used year-round.
    • Baiting bears on private land is allowed 30 days before bear season opens. However, before Sept. 1, bears may only be baited with dog food, cat food, pastries/bread, cooking oils/grease, non-wildlife meat scraps, popped popcorn, fish and fish byproducts.
    • Trapping furbearers with the use of bait during open furbearer trapping seasons or hunting furbearers during open furbearers hunting seasons on private land.
    • Incidental feeding of wildlife from active livestock operations is allowed.
    • Normal agricultural, gardening or soil stabilization practices are allowed.
    • Attracting or feeding birds and squirrels with common bird and squirrel feeders, bird baths and grain completely submerged in water is allowed.
    • Baiting is allowed for management, research or nuisance wildlife control only with approval by the AGFC Chief of Wildlife Management.


    It is unlawful to import, transport or possess any portion of a deer or elk from the CWD Management Zone to any location in the state outside the management zone, except:

    • Antlers and cleaned skulls
    • Meat with all bones removed
    • Cleaned teeth
    • Hides
    • Finished taxidermy products


    Landowners within the CWD Management Zone may apply for additional deer tags to harvest bonus deer. These deer must be submitted for CWD testing. Landowners should contact their local private lands biologist to receive these tags.

  • Special elk regulations
    • Elk within the Core Elk Management Zone (Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Searcy counties) may only be harvested by holders of public land elk hunt permits or private land elk hunt permits in accordance with those permits.
    • Any elk outside the Core Elk Management Zone may be harvested by a hunter who is legally hunting for deer with a weapon legal for that season. Seasonal bag limit, one elk either sex.
    • All elk harvested statewide must be checked. Samples from checked elk must be submitted for CWD testing. Hunters must call 800-482-9262 for instructions on checking elk and submitting samples.