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Why Healthy Deer Matter and How You Can Help

Nov 06, 2017

November is prime mating season for white-tailed deer. They are magnificent creatures and a common sight across Missouri's landscape. It's hard to believe there was a time when people would travel for miles just to glimpse a deer track. It’s relatively easy to see deer today, but around 100 years ago they were hard to spot.

From a recorded low of 400 in the early twentieth century, there are around 1.2 million white-tails that roam the state today. They are one of our most valuable species for outdoor recreation, jobs and tourism.

Biologists today work with hunters and landowners to maintain healthy deer populations and manage threats from disease.

The biggest threat is Chronic Wasting Disease which infects members of the deer family and is always fatal. Without management intervention, the disease grows in prevalence and spreads over time, and once well-established, it is impossible to eliminate. As it spreads, it can reduce deer numbers and impact hunting, wildlife watching, property values, and local and state economies.

To help protect our white-tailed deer, there will be mandatory testing again this year on the opening weekend of the fall firearms deer season, November 11-12, 2017. This will take place in 25 select counties in MDC's 41 county "CWD Management Zone". Hunters in these counties can continue the spirit of comaraderie and cooperation from last year in helping to fight this deadly disease for the future of Missouri's deer herd.

Mandatory Sampling in 25 Counties Nov. 11 and 12, 2017

  • Hunters who harvest deer in 25 select counties among the 41 counties of the MDC CWD management zone must present their deer to MDC staff for CWD mandatory sampling.
  • Mandatory sampling is only required during opening weekend of firearms deer season, Nov. 11 and 12.
  • MDC will provide 56 sampling stations throughout the 25 select counties.
  • Sampling locations will be open 7:30 a.m. until at least 8 p.m.
  • Deer must be presented by the hunter who harvested the animal.
  • Deer may be field dressed before being taken to a sampling station.
  • Hunters can also present just the deer head with about six inches of neck attached.
  • For bucks bound to a taxidermist, the cape may be removed prior to being taken to a sampling station as long as about six inches of the neck is left attached.

Nature's Calling: Deer Hunting (Nov 2017)

Get valuable tips and info about deer hunting and mandatory CWD sampling in Missouri.
Get valuable tips and info about deer hunting and mandatory CWD sampling in Missouri.

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