Missouri Department of Conservation warns hunters to lookout for chronic wasting disease

WGEM News at Five
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 5:30 PM CDT
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EDINA, Mo. (WGEM) - With archery season well underway across Missouri, agents with the Missouri Department of Conservation are warning deer hunters to watch out for chronic wasting disease.

The threat of disease spread is why the department has established two sampling drop off sites across Northeast Missouri.

One is located at the fire department in Edina, and another is located at Duer’s Oil Company in Kahoka.

District Supervisor Chris Williamson said it’s important to submit samples for testing in order to protect the region’s deer population.

“The disease, since it’s always fatal, has a real potential to cause long term impact to our deer population all across the state. There are no known cures for it at this time,” said Williamson.

According to the CDC, chronic wasting disease presents a minor risk to humans. However, they advise against consuming meat from an infected deer.

Regardless of the threat of sickness, Williamson said a widespread deer outbreak would still impact many people across the state.

“Missouri’s got a long tradition of deer hunting. A lot of people enjoy it. Also, there’s a lot of businesses across the state that rely on it for various income sources. So, any impacts to deer hunting will affect a lot of people across the state of Missouri,” said Williamson.

The sampling process goes as follows:

  • Remove antlers and cut the neck 4-6 inches below the jawbone
  • Place deer head in provided bags and close with knot
  • Fill out the information tag and attach tag to the bag
  • Drop in the drop off freezer and results can be checked using Telecheck ID number in two weeks

The sampling process is extra important in Clark County this hunting season as the disease has been found right across the Iowa border. That is why firearms season will begin with a period of mandatory testing.

“We will do mandatory sampling opening weekend of our firearms deer season, so November 12th and 13th. If you harvest deer in Clark County during that weekend, we ask you to bring the deer to us in Kahoka at the fair grounds, and we will take a sample,” said Williamson.

The drop off sites will remain open through the end of archery season in January of 2023.

Throughout the season, hunters can also take deer to the nearest Conservation Department office or participating taxidermist to get sampled.

You can find out more information about those locations and chronic wasting disease by clicking here.

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