SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission (NCWRC) confirms that a female deer harvested in Johnston County has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

Officials say the deer was hunter-harvested during archery season and is the first detection of the disease in the county since March 2022.

CWD is a highly transmissible disease to other deer and spreads through saliva, urine and feces in live deer and the movement of deer carcasses and carcass parts.

During the early stages of infection, CWD deer may appear healthy. Officials urge hunters the importance of taking precautions when transporting or disposing of deer carcasses.

“Now more than ever we need the cooperation of sportsmen and sportswomen. We need to continue to test as many hunter-harvested deer as possible to determine the distribution of CWD in our state and how many deer are infected,” said NCWRC’s Wildlife Management Division Chief Brad Howard, “It is also essential that we understand how important it is to safely dispose of deer carcasses. Deer hunters must be vigilant and mindful of carcass disposal.  The last thing we want to do is inadvertently move it to a new location. We continue to stress to “don’t give it a ride.”

Hunters should still be mindful of this new confirmed detection and follow NCWRC’s carcass transportation and disposal guidelines to prevent the potential spread of the disease to other locations. NCWRC also recommends hunters submit deer harvested in Johnston and surrounding counties for testing.  

Hunters can use NCWRC’s interactive map for information on testing locations. Additional locations will be added to the map throughout the hunting season.



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NCWRC recommends that whole deer carcasses and high-risk carcass parts remain in Johnston County or be taken to a processor or taxidermist participating in the NCWRC’s Cervid Health Cooperator Program in an adjacent county for proper carcass disposal and test submission.

Officials recommend that hunters should follow one of the following disposal methods if not taken to a Cervid Health Cooperator: 

  • Bury the deer remains where you harvest the animal when possible. 
  • Double bag deer remains for disposal at the closest landfill. 
  • Leave the deer remains on the ground where the animal was harvested. 

To learn more about CWD and NCWRC’s response click here.