In Brief

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From Missouri Conservationist: September 2020

What Is It?

Cervid Carcass Regulation Changes

New regulations part of ongoing efforts to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD)

MDC reminds hunters, meat processors, taxidermists, and others of new regulations now in effect regarding transporting deer, elk, and other cervid carcasses into Missouri and within the state. Meat processors and taxidermists are also reminded of new regulations regarding cervid carcass disposal.

The new regulations, printed in the Wildlife Code of Missouri, affects deer, elk, and other members of the deer family, called cervids.

“Many states with CWD have implemented similar restrictions on carcass movement,” said MDC Wildlife Health Program Supervisor Jasmine Batten. “The detection of CWD in several new areas of the state over the past few years is very concerning, and these regulation changes aim to further slow its spread. The vast majority of deer in Missouri are CWD-free today, and we want to keep it that way!”

Regulation changes for hunters who harvest deer in Missouri from a CWD Management Zone county are:

  • Deer harvested in CWD Management Zone counties must be Telechecked before any parts of the carcass may be transported out of the county of harvest.
  • Whole carcasses and heads of deer harvested in CWD Management Zone counties may only be transported out of the county of harvest if the carcass is delivered to a licensed meat processor and/or taxidermist within 48 hours of exiting the county of harvest.

The following carcass parts may be moved outside of the county of harvest without restriction:

  • Meat that is cut and wrapped or that has been boned out.
  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
  • Hides from which all excess tissue has been removed.
  • Antlers or antlers attached to skull plates or skulls cleaned of all muscle and brain tissue.
  • Upper canine teeth.
  • Finished taxidermy products.

Regulation changes for hunters bringing deer and other cervids into Missouri from another state are:

  • Hunters may no longer transport whole cervid carcasses into the state.
  • Heads from cervids with the cape attached and no more than 6 inches of neck in place may be brought into Missouri only if they are delivered to a taxidermist within 48 hours of entering Missouri.
  • There is no longer a requirement that cervid carcass parts coming into the state be reported to the MDC carcass transport hotline. The following cervid parts can be transported into Missouri without restriction:
  • Meat that is cut and wrapped or that has been boned out.
  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
  • Hides from which all excess tissue has been removed.
  • Antlers or antlers attached to skull plates or skulls cleaned of all muscle and brain tissue.
  • Upper canine teeth.
  • Finished taxidermy products.

Regulation changes for taxidermists and meat processors are:

  • Taxidermists and meat processors throughout the state are required to dispose of deer, elk, and other cervid parts not returned to customers in a sanitary landfill or transfer station permitted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
  • Proof of disposal must be retained for 12 months for meat processors and for three years for taxidermists.

Most deer hunters should not be affected by the new regulations and most meat processors and taxidermists are already properly disposing of deer carcasses.

“Our deer hunter surveys show that at least 85 percent of deer hunters are not likely to be affected by the new regulations because they already dispose of carcasses on the property where the deer was harvested, on a property in the same county, or already take their harvested deer to licensed meat processors and taxidermists,” Batten explained.

Get more information on the regulation changes and other CWD information for fall deer hunting — including a map of the CWD Management Zone — from our 2020 Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations & Information booklet, available where permits are sold and online at

For more information on field dressing harvested deer using the “gutless method,” watch this MDC video at MDC will again offer statewide voluntary CWD sampling and testing of harvested deer during the entire deer season at select locations. MDC will also conduct mandatory CWD sampling for hunters who harvest deer in counties of the CWD Management Zone Nov. 14–15. Any changes to mandatory sampling requirements due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will be posted at and be available from MDC regional offices.

CWD is a deadly disease in white-tailed deer and other members of the deer family, called cervids. The disease has no vaccine or cure and eventually kills all cervids it infects. The infectious prions that cause CWD are most concentrated in the spines and heads of cervids. Moving potentially infected cervid carcasses out of the immediate areas where they were harvested and improperly disposing of them can spread the disease. MDC has established a CWD Management Zone consisting of counties in or near where CWD has been found. For more information on CWD, visit

Trees Work for Your Health

  • Feeling tired? Spending just 20 minutes outside can give your brain an energy boost comparable to a cup of coffee.
  • Spending time in nature, conservation areas, woods, backyards, and urban parks may ease stress levels.
  • Getting away from busy schedules allows people to connect with nature and themselves in a way that brings calm and a sense of well-being.
  • Taking a nature walk may increase attention spans and creative problem-solving skills by as much as 50 percent.
  • Exposure to nature contributes to physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.

Get healthy in nature this year. Visit or download the free MO Outdoors app for ideas on where to go near you.


Got a Question for Ask MDC?

Send it to or call 573-522-4115, ext. 3848.

Q: Is this an immature male hummingbird?

A. Good call! Yes, this is a juvenile,male ruby-throated hummingbird.

You can tell this is a male by the,tiny red feathers of his iridescent,gorget, the flashy patch of color,found on the throats of male,ruby-throated hummingbirds. You,can tell it is a juvenile because an,adult male would have complete,adult plumage, including the full,gorget. Both females and juvenile,males have white tips on their,retrices, or tail feathers; adult males do not have these white tips.,Another telling characteristic is the deeply forked tail. Females have a shallower tail fork.

Q: What kind of fish do you think did this? As I was having my quiet time, I enjoyed watching this take place.

A. This is likely the nest of a bluegill, a member of the sunfish family. Bluegill are prolific breeders and normally spawn in late spring and early summer when water temperatures rise to 70 to 75 degrees. A male bluegill will sweep or fan out a shallow, dish-shaped nest. Once established, these fish aggressively defend their nests against intruders, guarding them until the eggs hatch; after that, the fry are on their own. By age 3 or 4, most Missouri bluegill have grown to about 6 inches in length.

Bluegill have an interesting breeding sneakers” or “satellites,” have the color pattern and behavior of females; they enter other males’ nest areas and fertilize eggs without alerting the territorialnest- holding male.

When not on the nest, these gregarious fish often swim in loose groups of 20 to 30; at midday, they move to deeper water or shady spots. In mornings and evenings, they feed in the shallows.

To see a bluegill at work, visit

What Is It?

Blue Dasher Dragonfly Eyes

Male blue dashers (Pachydiplax longipennis) have beautiful turquoise eyes, accentuated by the species’ characteristic pure white face. Relative to their body size, dragonflies have some of the largest eyes in the animal kingdom. Made up of nearly 30,000 optical units, or facets, called ommatidia, their eyes can detect the slightest movement in all directions simultaneously, making them deadly hunters. Blue dashers hunt mosquitoes, midges, gnats, and other tiny flying insects.

Agent Advice

Corporal Tammy Cornine, Ray County Conservation Agent

If you’ve ever wanted,to wade into waterfowl,hunting, teal season is a good time to start. With opening day Sept. 12, teal season starts during a warmer time of the year. Milder weather conditions mean less investment in gear, so you can get started with just mud boots or hip waders and decoys. Teal season opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. The advantage of full sunlight allows hunters to properly identify what they are harvesting. The limit is six teal per day, 18 in possession. You must have a Small Game Permit, Migratory Bird Hunting Permit, and a Federal Duck Stamp.

For more information, visit

We are Conservation

Spotlight on people and partners.

By Larry Archer

Dave Haubein

From early adoption of no-till planting to being Missouri’s first Audubon Conservation Rancher, Dave Haubein believes he’s producing more than row crops and cattle. With his wife, Tanya, he’s also producing clean water, healthy soil, and wildlife habitat on the 4,600 acres he owns or manages near Lockwood in southwest Missouri.

“I like to use the term good conservation ethic because I think it is ethical to restore things the way they should be,” he said.

Cover crops and native grasses

Haubein, the fifth generation of his family to work this land, was also on the forefront of planting cover crops to promote soil health in his row crop fields and converting previous fescue fields to native grasses.

“We use cover crops on as much of our property as we can plant after the row crops are done,” he said. “The conversion to the native grasses and the cover crops not only help the soil health, they’re tremendously beneficial to wildlife.”

In their own words

This conservation ethic has attracted more than wildlife; it also attracted Ann and Brady Owen, his daughter and son-in-law, back to the Midwest from the West Coast to be a part of the operation.

“They’re really taking pride in what we’re doing,” he said. “It’s meaning something to them, and that means a lot to me that they’re into what we’re doing.”

Changes to Waterfowl Managed Hunts

The 2020–2021 waterfowl managed hunt process has been modified to assure the safety of hunters and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. MDC is committed to providing hunting opportunities on managed waterfowl hunting areas throughout the waterfowl season. To allow for flexibility to respond to the state of the pandemic, there will be no pre-season reservations for the 2020–2021 waterfowl season. There will also be no teal season or youth season morning drawings. Procedures for individual conservation areas will be posted on the MDC website closer to season.

All reservations, including ADA blinds, will be allocated through the weekly in-season reservation draw. The first application period will open Oct. 20 and results will be announced Oct. 27. The weekly application period opens every Tuesday at 8 a.m. and closes the following Monday at 3 p.m.

Throughout the season, hunters will be asked to follow precautionary guidelines to assure the safety of everyone at the site during the morning draw. There will be a sliding scale of procedural levels that could range from no staff-hunter contact at all to close to business as usual. At the start of the season, every conservation area will be assigned to a certain procedural level due to the status of COVID-19 in the county.

The decisions will be made in consultation with the appropriate county health department. Throughout the season, an area could move to a more restrictive procedural level depending on the county health department or other COVID-19 related factors.

Throughout the season, procedures could change with limited time to notify hunters. In order to receive updates as quickly as possible, subscribe to the “Waterfowl” email update list at Interested hunters can also refer to the MDC website as information is available, at

While this process means a significant change from what hunters are used to, MDC has no plans to make the changes permanent. MDC has designated staff at the numbers below to help answer any questions hunters may have about the changes to this year’s waterfowl season:


  • Lauren Hildreth 573-522-4115, ext. 3259
  • Joel Porath 573-522-4115, ext. 3188

North Zone

  • Chris Freeman 660-646-6122
  • Craig Crisler 660-446-3371
  • Mike Flaspohler 573-248-2530

Middle Zone

  • Luke Wehmhoff 573-624-5821, ext. 4662
  • Gary Calvert 636-441-4554, ext. 4180

South Zone

  • Lauren Hildreth 573-522-4115, ext. 3259

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler