El Dorado, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — Hunting season in South Arkansas is in full swing but before you dig into your deer steak — you may want to get it tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD)!

CWD is on the rise here in South Arkansas, and officials tell me that hunters need to be wary of their kills – they could be carrying the highly contagious disease. It is now recommended that you have your harvested deer tested before processing.

CWD is a contagious, fatal neurological disease that affects members of the deer and elk family. This disease is caused by a misshapen protein, called a prion, that accumulates in the tissues of infected animals.