Ozark County hunters are required to present deer for CWD sample this weekend
Ozark County hunters who successfully harvest a deer during firearms season’s opening weekend Nov. 11-12 are required to present their deer to an area chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling station so tissue samples can be taken to test for the disease. The closest sampling stations for Ozark County hunters include the Dora School off Highway 181, the Gainesville High School parking lot on Bulldog Drive, Mark Twain School at Highways 160 and 125, and the MDC Ozark Regional Office on Joe Jones Boulevard in West Plains. Sampling stations will open at 7:30 a.m. and will continue through at least 8 p.m. over the two-day span.
Opening weekend is the most popular two days of hunting of the firearms hunting season, according to an MDC press release. On those two days, hunters take about a third of the state’s total annual deer harvest, usually around 275,000 deer.
“Focusing on this key weekend gives us the best opportunity to collect the most tissue samples during a very concentrated time period,” MDC wildlife disease coordinator Jasmine Batten said. “Prior to conducting mandatory sampling for the first time last year, we collected about 7,600 tissue samples through voluntary sampling over the entire deer season. Thanks to deer hunters, last year we collected 19,200 samples during opening-weekend mandatory sampling.”
Deer must be presented by the hunter who harvested the animal, and hunters should be prepared to identify the location within the county in which the animal was killed. Deer should be field dressed before being presented at a sampling station. Hunters have the option of presenting just the deer head with 6 inches of neck attached or the whole deer. For bucks bound for a taxidermist, the cape may be removed prior to being taken to a sampling station, as long as 6 inches of the neck is left attached.
Hunters are encouraged to telecheck their deer before going to a hunting station and have their completed permit information ready for MDC workers. Hunters will be asked to point out the harvest location on a map. MDC encourages hunters to position the deer in the vehicle so the head and neck are easily accessible.
Additional mandatory CWD sampling counties include Adair, Barry, Benton, Cedar, Cole, Crawford, Dade, Franklin, Hickory, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Macon, Moniteau, Polk, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Warren and Washington. MDC is also offering voluntary CWD sampling throughout the entire season at more than 55 participating taxidermist and designated MDC offices. Find more information at mdc.mo.gov/cwd.