MDC offers CWD drop-off sites for deer hunters in Central Region

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COLUMBIA, Mo. – To make it easier for deer hunters to help monitor Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has deployed deer head drop-off sites in two counties in the Central region.  Each site has a freezer that will preserve the samples, which will be picked up later by MDC staff for CWD testing.  To submit a deer head for testing, hunters will be required to cut off the head in advance, so it can be left in the freezer.

The goal is to provide hunters an additional way of submitting their harvested deer for voluntary CWD testing.  These self-serve drop sites will enable hunters to submit deer heads for sampling at their convenience throughout the 2022-2023 fall deer hunting season.

Freezer Drop-Off Locations for Central Region:

  • Gasconade County: Old Dutch Mill Gas Station (1988 US-50 in Owensville)
  • Camden County: MDC Camdenton Office (783 Thunder Mountain Road in Camdenton)

Hunters should cut off the deer head (and antlers for any bucks) while leaving about six inches of neck attached before coming to the drop-off location.  Materials will be available at the freezer sites, such as trash bags, zip ties, and data sheets, that hunters can use in labeling the heads. 

Hunters will need to record their name and contact information, as well as their Telecheck ID numbers and the location the deer was harvested.  They can then simply leave the head in the freezer.  Staff will collect the head and pull the samples to be submitted for testing. 

The drop-off sites will not be available for use during the opening weekend of the firearms deer season (Nov. 12-13) in Camden County where mandatory CWD sampling is required.  Hunters that harvest a deer in a CWD Management Zone must get their deer tested at one of MDC’s mandatory sampling stations during opening weekend.

Hunters will be able to check their harvested deer’s CWD sampling results online using their Telecheck ID within three weeks.  MDC will notify a hunter directly if their sample comes back positive for CWD.  The Centers for Disease Control does not recommend consuming meat from a deer that has tested positive for CWD.

The drop-off sites will be available to accept samples until the conclusion of the 2022-2023 archery deer season, Jan. 15, 2023.

Mandatory Sampling

MDC reminds hunters who harvest deer from any of the 34 counties in its CWD Management Zone during Nov. 12-13 that they must take their deer — or just the head — on the day of harvest to one of MDC’s many CWD mandatory sampling stations throughout the counties. Mandatory sampling stations will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The counties for mandatory sampling are as follows: Adair, Barry, Barton, Camden, Cedar, Chariton, Christian, Clark, Crawford, Franklin, Greene, Hickory, Howell, Jefferson, Laclede, Linn, Macon, McDonald, Mercer, Oregon, Ozark, Perry, Polk, Pulaski, Putnam, Ripley, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Vernon, and Washington.

Hunters who harvest deer from any of the 34 CWD Management Zone counties are reminded that they must follow carcass transportation restrictions when traveling to CWD testing sites. Visit, or see the 2022 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Information and Regulation booklet for details.

CWD Facts:

CWD is a neurological disease that is fatal to deer.  A deer may be infected with no visible symptoms.  The only way to positively identify the presence of CWD is to extract lymph nodes from the animal’s neck.  The disease has been confirmed in many counties across Missouri, and hunters can play an important role in helping MDC monitor and track the disease in Missouri by providing this valuable data.

Get more information on CWD, voluntary sampling (including an interactive map of voluntary sampling sites), freezer drop-off locations, mandatory sampling, and more online at and from MDC’s 2022 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, available where hunting permits are sold.