JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently received confirmation that two hunter-harvested deer from St. Clair County tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). The two new cases of the deadly deer disease are the first in this county and this area of the state. According to MDC, the two deer were adult males. Both were harvested within a half-mile of each other on the same private property in southeast St. Clair County during this past fall’s firearms deer season.
The hunters took the deer to a local taxidermist for mounting. The taxidermist collected lymph-node samples from the two deer and submitted them to MDC for testing as part of the Department’s ongoing statewide CWD surveillance efforts. Both hunters were notified immediately that their deer tested positive for CWD.
MDC reports these two deer bring the number CWD-positive cases for the past season to nine. MDC also reports 42 free-ranging deer have tested positive for CWD since 2010 when the first case was discovered in Missouri. For lists of CWD cases by year and county, visit mdc.mo.gov/cwd and click on “CWD Surveillance Summary” in the blue box near the bottom of the webpage.
MDC is completing its efforts to harvest and sample a limited number of deer from several targeted areas where the disease has been previously found. The Department expects final test results in April. Based on those results, MDC will determine the best methods to test free-ranging deer for the disease throughout much of the state during the 2017-2018 deer hunting season. Details will be included in MDC’s 2017 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, available this summer.
Chronic Wasting Disease infects only deer and other members of the deer family by causing degeneration of the brain. The disease has no vaccine or cure and is 100‐percent fatal. For more information on CWD, visit mdc.mo.gov/cwd. For information on processing and consuming meat from deer with CWD, visit the Department of Health and Senior Services at health.mo.gov/cwd.