Missouri Department of Conservation testing harvested deer for chronic wasting disease
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - As hunters hit the woods in hopes of getting that trophy buck, the Missouri Department of Conservation will also test the deer for chronic wasting disease.
Several Missouri counties have been labeled as a CWD Management Zone. If you harvest a deer from counties in the CWD Management Zone during Nov. 13 or 14 you must take your deer or just the head on the day of harvest to a CWD sampling station.
“We will pull a sample from the deer,” said Francis Skalicky. “What that involves is we cut the neck of the deer, just a little bit, and we remove the lymph nodes. The reason we remove the lymph nodes is because that’s one of the earliest places in the deer that this disease appears.”
Once the results are in, hunters will be able to look up the status of their deer online. The conservation department will contact you if the deer tests positive for CWD.
“The CDC has suggested that you don’t consume venison from deer that has tested positive for CWD,” said Skalicky. “There’s no evidence yet that CWD can manifest itself in any human type disease, but that is a CDC recommendation. So we’re following that recommendation.”
For the 2021–2022 deer seasons, the CWD Management Zone includes Adair, Barry, Camden, Cedar, Chariton, Christian, Clark, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Hickory, Howell, Jefferson, Knox, Laclede, Linn, Macon, McDonald, Mercer, Oregon, Ozark, Perry, Polk, Pulaski, Putnam, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Warren, and Washington counties.
Hunters and Landowners Can Slow the Spread of CWD by
- Complying with CWD-related regulations.
- Properly dispose of deer carcasses in a permitted landfill or by burying carcasses on the property where they were harvested. (Transporting deer carcasses from the property where they were harvested and leaving them lay on the land introduces the greatest risk for disease spread.)
- Reporting sick deer to your local conservation agent or your regional Conservation Department office.
- Voluntarily testing deer harvested in the CWD Management Zone outside of opening weekend.
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