Deer hunters statewide are encouraged to allow samples to be taken for chronic wasting disease from adult deer they harvest.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources lists locations serving as CWD sampling stations on its website. The stations are taking samples from entire deer or deer heads through Jan. 17.

The sampling is part of a program to monitor and reduce spread of the disease.

Deer that contract chronic wasting disease become emaciated and uncoordinated and eventually lose weight and die. But some infected deer may not show signs of the illness for 18 months after they've been infected.

The first case was reported in Illinois in 2002 and state wildlife officials have since sampled tens of thousands of deer, finding more than 500 cases.