MDC holding CWD informational meetings in California and Jeff City

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is hosting two informational meetings in central Missouri to provide an update on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Missouri, explain recent hunting regulation changes related to the disease, and share ways that hunters, landowners, wildlife watchers, and others can help slow the spread of the deer disease.

The CWD meetings will be held on Oct. 20 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the California Nutrition Center, 107 W. Versailles Ave. in California, and on Oct. 22 from 6 – 8 p.m. at MDC's Runge Nature Center, located on HWY 179 approximately a quarter mile north of HWY 50 in Jefferson City. MDC staff will be available to answer questions and will provide an informational presentation at 6:30 p.m.

Central Missouri became a focus of the Department's CWD management efforts after a buck harvested in Cole County last year tested positive for the deadly disease. As a result of that first case in mid-Missouri, MDC expanded its CWD Management Zone to include these eight central-Missouri counties in and around where Chronic Wasting Disease has been found: Boone, Callaway, Cole, Cooper, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, and Osage.

MDC testing efforts previously detected CWD in free-ranging deer in Macon and Adair counties. The eight central-Missouri counties add to the Department's CWD Management Zone in northeast Missouri consisting of 11 counties in and around where CWD has been found: Adair, Chariton, Knox, Linn, Macon, Putnam, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, and Sullivan.

Chronic Wasting Disease infects only deer and other members of the deer family by causing degeneration of brain tissue, which slowly leads to death. The disease has no vaccine or cure and is 100-percent fatal. A primary way CWD is spread is through direct deer-to-deer contact. CWD can also be spread through deer having contact with soil that has been contaminated with feces, urine, saliva, or carcass parts from infected deer.


The Conservation Department has also implemented regulation changes -- beginning this deer season -- that focus on slowing the spread of CWD in and around counties where the disease has been found.

The regulation changes remove the antler-point restriction (APR) in the 19 counties of the Department's CWD Management Zone so young bucks are no longer protected from harvest. Young bucks can potentially spread the disease to new areas as they search for new territories and mates.

The regulation changes also increase the availability of firearms antlerless permits from 1 to 2 in the 19 counties of the CWD Management Zone. These additional harvest opportunities can help prevent undesired population increases in local deer numbers.

"While we do not expect short-term population impacts from the disease, CWD is likely to have serious long-term consequences to the health of Missouri's deer herd," explained MDC State Wildlife Veterinarian Kelly Straka. "Therefore, we have and will continue to focus on slowing the spread of the disease among deer in the affected areas, and trying to limit the spread of CWD to new areas of the state."


To help slow the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, MDC strongly encourages the following from deer hunters and landowners:

1. DON'T MOVE DEER CARCASSES out of the CWD Management Zone because CWD can be spread to new areas and infect new deer through infected carcass parts or soil contaminated by infected carcass parts. MDC recommends removing meat in the field and leaving the carcass behind. If hunters must move a carcass before processing, place the remaining carcass parts after processing in trash bags and properly dispose of them through a trash service or landfill.

2. DON'T FEED DEER or place minerals. CWD is transmitted from deer to deer and can spread more easily when deer gather in unnaturally concentrated numbers.

3. HAVE HARVESTED DEER TESTED FOR CWD if taken in the 19 counties of the CWD Management Zone. Participating locations can be found on pages 8-9 in the Department's 2015 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, or on the MDC website at It only takes a few minutes to collect a sample, and there is no charge to the hunter for testing. Hunters can also receive test results for their harvested deer.

4. REPORT SICK DEER to Missouri Department of Conservation staff.

For more information on Chronic Wasting Disease, visit the MDC website at