MDC sets efforts to contain chronic wasting disease during 2018 hunting season
The Missouri Conservation Commission recently approved recommendations by the Missouri Department of Conservation for its fall and winter efforts to find cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and help limit the spread of the deadly deer disease to more deer and more areas.
Last season, MDC confirmed 33 new cases of CWD following the testing of nearly 24,500 free-ranging Missouri deer through its sampling and testing efforts. The new cases were found in Adair, Cedar, Franklin, Jefferson, Linn, Macon, Perry, Polk, St. Clair and Ste. Genevieve counties. These new cases bring the total number of free-ranging deer in Missouri confirmed to have CWD to 75. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/cwd under “CWD in Missouri.”
New counties added to management zone
Based on the findings from the past season, MDC has added seven new counties to its CWD Management Zone: Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Grundy, Madison, McDonald, Mercer and Perry.
These seven new counties join the 41 existing counties in the CWD Management Zone, which consists of counties in or near where CWD cases have been found. Mercer County was added because of its proximity to a CWD-positive deer found in southern Iowa. McDonald County was added because of CWD detection in northwest Arkansas.
The 48 counties in the newly expanded CWD Management Zone are: Adair, Barry, Benton, Bollinger, Boone, Callaway, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dade, Franklin, Gasconade, Grundy, Hickory, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Madison, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Ozark, Perry, Polk, Putnam, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, St. Louis, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Warren and Washington.
MDC has increased the availability of antlerless permits in the seven new counties and expanded the firearms antlerless portion to help harvest more deer in the counties and limit the spread of the disease. MDC has also removed the antler-point restriction for Grundy and Mercer counties, which are included in the zone.
To help limit the possible spread of CWD, MDC encourages hunters to process deer as close as possible to where it is harvested and to properly dispose of carcass parts by leaving or burying parts on site or bagging parts and placing them in trash containers.
New counties are now part of deer-feeding ban
The seven new counties added to the CWD Manage-ment Zone are also now included in MDC’s ban on feeding deer and providing mineral supplements, effective July 1.
According to the Wildlife Code of Missouri, placing grain, salt products, minerals and other consumable natural and manufactured products used to attract deer is prohibited year-round within counties of the CWD Management Zone. Exceptions are feed placed within 100 feet of any residence or occupied building, feed placed in such a manner to reasonably exclude access by deer, and feed and minerals present solely as a result of normal agricultural or forest management, or crop and wildlife food production practices.
The feeding ban does not apply to food plots or other agricultural practices.
MDC will require hunters who harvest deer in 31 counties of its CWD Management Zone during the opening weekend of firearms deer season, Nov. 10-11, to present their deer – or the head with at least 6 inches of the neck attached – for CWD sampling at one of 61 sampling stations throughout the counties.
The 31 counties include those where CWD has previously been detected, those within approximately 5 miles of a CWD-positive deer on record, select counties along the Missouri-Arkansas border near where cases of CWD have been found in Arkansas, and the seven counties recently added to the CWD Manage-ment Zone.
The 31 counties where mandatory sampling will be required are: Adair, Barry, Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Cedar, Cole, Crawford, Franklin, Grundy, Hickory, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Macon, Madison, McDonald, Mercer, Moniteau, Ozark, Perry, Polk, Putnam, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Warren and Washington.
MDC asks hunters to field dress and Telecheck their deer before taking them to a CWD sampling station. Hunters can get test results for their CWD-sampled deer online at mdc.mo.gov/CWDTestResults.
For more information visit mdc.mo.gov/cwd, click on “Mandatory Sampling,” or see MDC’s “2018 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Inform-ation” booklet, available in July wherever permits are sold.
“MDC is trying to limit the spread of CWD in Missouri by finding cases and slowing the spread to more deer and more areas,” said MDC cervid program supervisor Barbara Keller. “Mandatory sampling is a powerful surveillance tool we use to monitor the levels of CWD in areas known to have the disease, but more importantly, to detect any ‘sparks’ or new areas of infection so we can begin managing for the disease in those areas without delay. With 75 confirmed cases of CWD in wild deer since 2012, the disease is still relatively rare in the state, and we want to keep it that way.”