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CWD Testing for Deer Harvested Outside a Disease Management Area

The Department is working with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Diagnostic Laboratories to offer a fee-based service for CWD sample collection for hunters who are interested in testing deer harvested in parts of Virginia outside the Containment Area. The cost for sample collection (i.e. removal of lymph nodes from the head of the deer) and shipping to send to the laboratory is $35, to be paid by the hunter at the time of submission. The cost of the laboratory testing will be covered by DWR and the hunter will be notified of the results in 10–14 days.  Important things to remember:

  1. The sample collection requires a large incision in the neck of the deer, which renders the cape unusable for a mount. If you are going to take your buck to a taxidermist to be mounted, do not bring the head to VDACS until after the taxidermist has caped it out.  Tell the taxidermist to save the head and four inches of neck after it is caped out.  Once the head is caped out by the taxidermist, pick up the head (minus the hide) from the taxidermist and bring it to VDACS for sample collection.
  2. The cost of the sample collection is not free. It is $35. This is to be paid to VDACS at the time of deer head submission.
  3. Bring the head of the deer plus at least 4 inches of neck to one of the following VDACS laboratories. Lymph nodes located in the neck will collected by VDACS staff. The rest of the head will be retained by VDACS and incinerated unless you wish to retain it. Please call ahead prior to driving to a lab to ensure staff availability for testing.
    • Harrisonburg Laboratory, 261 Mount Clinton Pike, Harrisonburg (540-209-9130)
    • Lynchburg Laboratory, 4832 Tyreeanna Road, Lynchburg (434-200-9988) The Lynchburg lab is currently unavailable for CWD testing for the 2022-2023 hunting season. 
    • Warrenton Laboratory, 272 Academy Hill Road, Warrenton (540-316-6543)
    • Wytheville Laboratory, 250 Cassell Road, Wytheville (276-228-5501)