For first time, CWD found in Ohio

12 21 Ohio Cwd
(Photo by Bob “Greenie” Grewell)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Biologists have said for years that it’s just a matter of time before Ohio sees its first case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the wild white-tailed deer herd.

That time has come.

The Ohio DNR (ODNR) Division of Wildlife has identified a positive test for CWD in a wild Ohio white-tailed deer in Wyandot County.  The Division of Wildlife is gathering additional details about the adult male deer taken by a hunter on private property.  Tissue samples were submitted for testing by a taxidermist and the positive test was identified after results were obtained on Dec. 10.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer and other similar species, including mule deer, elk, and moose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no strong evidence that CWD is transmissible to humans.

The Division of Wildlife will implement its CWD response plan, which includes enhanced surveillance within a 10-mile radius of the CWD positive deer location in Wyandot County. Mandatory deer disease sample collection will occur on all remaining Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area controlled hunts. Hunters who harvest a deer in Wyandot County during the remaining deer hunting season, which closes on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, will be contacted to obtain disease samples by Division of Wildlife staff.

The Division of Wildlife has conducted routine surveillance for CWD since 2002, testing more than 25,000 deer without finding a CWD positive deer in the wild herd. CWD has previously been detected at captive deer breeding facilities in Ohio. Find more information about Ohio’s CWD surveillance at

CWD has been detected in 26 states and four Canadian provinces. The disease was first discovered in the 1960s in the western U.S. More information about this disease is available at

Hunters should take precautions when handling and processing any harvested deer. Hunters may have a harvested deer tested at the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for a small fee. Call (614) 728-6220 for more information.

Categories: CWD, Hunting News, Whitetail Deer

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