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Missouri Deer Hunters Help MDC In Efforts To Fight Chronic-Wasting Disease

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

The collection of 19,200 Deer harvest tissue samples were collected from 29 Missouri counties during the opening weekend of fall firearms deer season. The samples will help the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) evaluate next steps in chronic-wasting-disease management efforts.

From MDC press releases:

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that it collected approximately 19,200 tissue samples for chronic-wasting-disease (CWD) testing from this past weekend’s mandatory sampling efforts at 75 stations in 29 counties in and around where the fatal deer disease has been found in northeast, central, and east-central Missouri. The Department’s goal was 18,000 – 20,000 tissue samples collected.

Preliminary data from the MDC shows that deer hunters in Missouri harvested 96,131 deer during the opening weekend of the fall firearms deer season Nov. 12 and 13. Top harvest counties for opening weekend were Franklin with 2,041 deer checked, Howell with 1,950 and Texas with 1,939.

Department staff will send the collected tissue samples to an outside laboratory that specializes in wildlife disease testing. MDC expects test results to begin being available in 4-6 weeks. Hunters can get free test results for their harvested deer online at mdc.mo.gov/CWDtestresults.

“Thank you to the thousands of hunters who made this effort successful by bringing their deer in for CWD testing — and for the golden opportunity to listen to their stories and share in their excitement about their harvests,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “And thank you to the dozens of local businesses and organizations who provided facilities and services for this monumental effort. I also want to express my appreciation to Department staff and volunteers for their incredible work this past weekend.”

Pauley added, “As we get the final test results back in the coming weeks, we will be evaluating our next steps in our CWD management efforts, including future testing efforts in the CWD management zone and around the state.”

Missouri offers some of the best deer hunting in the country and deer hunting is an important part of many Missourians’ lives and family traditions. Deer hunting is also an important economic driver in Missouri and gives a $1 billion annual boost to the state and local economies.

Hunters who harvest deer throughout the rest of the hunting season in the 29 counties of the CWD management zone can still have their deer tested for the disease. Contact the MDC Central Regional Office in Columbia at 573-815-7900, the MDC Northeast Regional Office in Kirksville at 660-785-2420, or the MDC St. Louis Regional Office in St. Charles at 636-441-4554. Hunters can also find voluntary CWD sampling stations at mdc.mo.gov/CWD.

The November portion of fall firearms deer seasons continues through Nov. 22. Archery deer season opens again Nov. 23 through Jan. 15, 2016. The late youth portion of firearms deer season runs Nov. 25-27. The antlerless portion of firearms deer season runs Dec. 2-4. The alternative methods portion will run Dec. 24- Jan. 3, 2017.

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