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THE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) — The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) is reminding hunters in Lauderdale and Colbert County of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing this weekend.

As deer season opens up to more hunters this weekend, state officials are reminding hunters that all deer killed in Lauderdale and Colbert County on Nov. 19-20 must be submitted for testing for the disease.

The two counties lie in the state’s CWD Management Zone either as part of the zone with a high risk of the disease among white-tailed dear populations or in an adjacent buffer zone.

You can find sampling locations here.

Other mandatory sampling weekends include Dec. 3-4 for the high-risk zone and Jan 7-8 for the buffer zone. The mandatory weekends are meant to correspond to peaks in Alabama’s deer season, mainly opening weekend and the rut in northwest Alabama.

Outside of those weekends, hunters are encouraged to drop off samples for testing at self-service freezers located in the appropriate zone

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All deer harvested on public land in the management zone are required to be sampled throughout the season, these locations include Freedom Hills WMA, Lauderdale WMA, Seven-Mile Island WMA and Riverton Community Hunting Area.

Carcass restrictions are also in place in the management zone that prohibits the transportation of deer carcasses and parts in the zone. Deer killed in the high-risk zone must remain and be disposed of within the high-risk zone and deer harvested in the buffer zone must remain in the management zone.

If you’re concerned an animal you see has CWD, call 1-800-272-4263 to report it.

CWD is a contagious neurological disease that affects deer species. The disease is always fatal and was first found in Lauderdale County in January 2022.