The AGFC will conduct free CWD tests for deer taken in the 11-county CWD Management Zone on opening weekend of Modern Gun Deer Season this week.

The 11 counties in the the zone are: Boone, Carroll, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Newton, Pope, Searcy, Van Buren and Yell.

Although CWD testing is not mandatory for white-tailed deer in the state, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is working with hunters who would like to have their harvested deer sampled for Chronic Wasting Disease through the 2017-18 season. If you would like to have your animal tested, please:

• Remove the head with 3-6 inches of neck attached. Remove antlers if applicable.

• Place the head in a plastic bag (trash bag, shopping bag, large zip-top bag, etc.) and clearly label the bag or affix a tag to it with your name, phone number and game check confirmation number.

• Keep the head in a cool location, such as a cooler with ice.

• Take the sample to a participating testing location.

In Faulkner County, contact St. Francis Vet Clinic at 3180 Dave Ward Drive in Conway or call with questions at (501) 327-9200.

Hunters may contact the AGFC at to coordinate sample collection and testing with a biologist.

Please note that portions of deer harvested within the CWD Management Zone must stay within the zone for sample collection. Deer harvested outside of the zone may travel to offices outside of or within the zone for sampling.

You will be given a CWD sample collection number. Test results can be found usually within 7-14 business days online at

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.