As part of an ongoing effort to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease, the Missouri Department of Conservation has added additional regulations to their Wildlife Code that will take effect in 2020.
A majority of the regulations will change requirements for transporting deer into Missouri and throughout the state, and will also add carcass disposal guidelines for meat processors and taxidermists. They will not affect rules for the upcoming 2019 deer season.
Matt Bowyer is the wildlife regional supervisor for MDC’s southeast region. He says they will be more of a change for hunters living in CWD management zones than they will for the average Missouri hunter.
“If they have to move any of those deer that they harvested in that zone, they’ll need to make sure that they quarter that deer, and at least leave the head and the spinal column at the site where they harvested the deer,” says Bowyer.
Missouri’s revisions are similar to what other states have established to restrict the movement of the slow-moving disease across their own counties. And, compared to these other states, they’ve even seen a relatively low number of positive cases.
In the southeast region, Perry and Ste. Genevieve counties have been considered CWD management zones by the MDC, with 14 positives reported between the two.
“This is a very low prevalence rate, from what we can tell at this point,” says Bowyer.
Despite the advance notice, Bowyer thinks most hunters are already pretty knowledgeable on the new procedures.
“They understand that proper disposal of deer carcasses is very important, especially with what we already know about CWD at this point,” says Bowyer.
The regulations will officially take effect February 2020, with deer archery season starting Sept. 2020.
For more information on CWD, contact the Southeast Regional Conservation office by visiting https://mdc.mo.gov/mdc-offices/southeast-regional-office.