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MDC needs help from deer hunters for CWD testing

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) needs help from deer hunters to find and limit the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD), a deadly illness for deer.

MDC reminds deer hunters that the Wildlife Code of Missouri requires hunters who harvest deer during the opening weekend of the fall firearms deer season — Nov. 12 and 13 — in any of the 29 counties of the Department’s CWD Management Zone to present their deer for CWD tissue-sample collection on the day of harvest. Hunters must take their harvested deer to one of 75 MDC CWD sampling locations throughout the 29 counties. Sampling locations will be open Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. until at least 8 p.m.

The 29 counties of the CWD Management Zone are: Adair, Boone, Callaway, Carroll, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Putnam, Randolph, St. Charles, St. Louis, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Sullivan, Warren, and Washington.

Hunters can also present just the deer head with about six inches of neck attached. Deer must be presented by the hunter who harvested the animal.

Hunters presenting bucks bound for taxidermy should inform MDC staff of that. While staff will not collect tissue samples, they will still will complete paperwork and inform hunters about participating taxidermists taking CWD tissue samples.

While testing is mandatory during firearms opening weekend, MDC staff will be available to remove tissue samples from deer harvested in the CWD Management Zone throughout the season. Hunters can contact their regional Conservation Department office for voluntary testing information: Central Regional Office in Columbia at 573-815-7900, Northeast Regional Office in Kirksville at 660-785-2420, and St. Louis Regional Office in St. Charles at 636-441-4554.

TIME-SAVING TIPS FOR HUNTERS
Hunters can help reduce their wait times at a CWD sampling location by:

Telechecking their deer before going to a sampling location,
Having their completed permit information ready,
Being prepared to locate their harvest location on a map,
Positioning their deer in the vehicle so the head and neck are easily accessible for staff to take tissue samples, or
Having the detached head with about 6 inches of neck attached bagged and ready.

For more information on CWD in Missouri and CWD testing locations, visit mdc.mo.gov/CWD.