Post-Season Targeted Removal


Targeted Removal Helps Reduce the Spread of CWD

After the close of deer hunting season, MDC staff work with landowners on a voluntary basis in the immediate areas around where recent cases of CWD have been found to remove additional deer from mid-January to mid-March. Increasing the number of deer removed in areas where CWD has been found increases the chances of removing more infected deer. Targeted removals also serve to lower the number of deer in these areas. By removing infected deer and lowering deer numbers, targeted removals help to slow the spread of CWD and protect Missouri’s deer population.


Post-season targeted removal is the only tested method of slowing the spread of CWD in a local deer population. States such as Illinois have had success in slowing the spread of CWD in areas through targeted removals. Learn more about targeted removal in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Limiting the number of CWD-infected deer in an area also helps minimize the accumulation of CWD in the local environment.

MDC does not conduct targeted removals on a county-wide level. Targeted removal occurs in locations within one to two miles of CWD detections. The exact size of the removal operation depends on the number of positives detected and where they were found.


CWD Targeted Removal

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CWD Targeted Removal Testimonials

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Deer Removed During Winter Targeted Removal Operations
LocationWinter 2013Winter 2014Winter 2015Winter 2016Winter 2017Winter 2018Winter 2019Winter 2020Winter 2021Winter 2022Winter 2023Winter 2024Total
Adair Core Area------1952741792933473462601471961942431
Barry Core Area---------------------------6736---103
Barton Core Area------------------------------286310596
Carroll Core Area---------------------------------7070
Cedar Core Area---------------------------71200142413
Christian Core Area---------------------------644541150
Cole Surveillance Zone---------17677---------------------253
Dallas Core Area------------------------------19185204
Franklin Core Area---------1373541575827402723445
Franklin SW Core Area------------98861783412892922943661944
Gasconade Core Area------------------------------2879107
Howell Core Area---------------------------166117---283
Jefferson Core Area------------1581411211062462431772361428
Linn North Core Area---------------1511861952232763622511644
Linn South Core Area---------------------807799208231695
Livingston Core Area---------------------------------163163
Macon-Linn Core Area991471541311402142012023363755154782992
Maries Core Area---------------------------------7171
Mercer Core Area------------------17588112---------375
Oregon Core Area------------------2861381602261362071153
Osage Corea Area---------------------------------4949
Osage 2 Core Area---------------------------------7979
Perry Core Area---------------------271555860
Pulaski Core Area------------------------15214368116479
Putnam Core Area------------------------361315165
Putnam 2 Core Area---------------------------216631118
Randolph Core Area---------------------------------9999
Ray Core Area---------------------------------7070
St Clair Core Area---------------4094203763994042622962566
Ste Genevieve Core Area---------------1051242001542632653721483
Stone Core Area---------------------4416148---82
Stone 2 Core Area------------------------564042---138
Stone-Taney Core Area------------------8312991277380483
Sullivan Core Area------------------------------274370
sullivan 2 Core Area---------------------------------6363
Taney Core Area------------------349661113160365
Taney 2 Core Area---------------------------462069135
Washington Core Area---------------------------172075112

MDC Post-Season Targeted Removal Areas

Areas in red show current post-season targeted removal locations.
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Increased Landowner Harvest During Deer Season

During deer season, MDC allows for additional numbers of deer to be harvested beyond normal limits for landowners with five or more acres in core areas where CWD has been found using CWD Management Permits (see CWD Management Permit FAQs). While this additional harvest is helpful, the number of deer harvested by landowners through this method is not enough to limit the spread of CWD to more deer in an area or to other areas.

Targeted Removal Is Voluntary for Landowners

MDC staff always get permission from affected landowners before any targeting removal occurs. Landowners have the choice to allow or refuse targeted removal on their lands. Participating landowners either get written authorization from MDC to remove deer on their land or give permission to MDC shooting teams to remove the deer.

Harvest Methods Are Different for Targeted Removal

To maximize the effectiveness of post-season targeted removal, landowners and MDC shooting teams may deviate from hunting-season regulation restrictions. With permission from MDC, they may use spotlights or place limited amounts of bait to help remove targeted deer on designated areas.  

What Happens to Deer Removed Through Targeted Removal?

Deer removed through targeted removal that do not test positive for CWD are offered to the participating landowners or donated to the Share the Harvest Program for local food banks and food pantries. Deer that test positive for CWD are properly disposed of by MDC staff or meat processors.