DNR CWD map prior to this year’s testing.

DNR state deer biologist, Jace Elliott, says testing during the recent season found more cases of chronic wasting disease.

“Unfortunately, about 84 deer tested positive across the state this year. Now keep in mind, that’s out of about 5000 deer that were sampled statewide this year alone,” Elliott says. “So our prevalence is still relatively low statewide, although there are areas in the state where it’s much higher.”

CWD cases have been heavier in south-central Iowa, particularly Wayne County. There have also been concentrations in the northeast corner in Winneshiek, Fayette, Allamakee and Clayton Counties.

Elliott says there were some new counties on the CWD list this year. “Plymouth County, Grundy County, and Lucas County all detected their first positive case of CWD this year,” he says. He says they generally hold public meetings in counties once the first case of CWD is confirmed.  He says they see a lot of benefit in holding those meetings.

CWD is a disease that impacts the animal’s brain and is always fatal to deer. The Iowa DNR has been tracking the disease since it was first discovered in Iowa in Allamakee County in 2013.