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.