Going Public: Deer Hunting, Chronic Wasting Disease, and Mandatory Testing Weekend in Missouri
Before the most popular part of deer hunting season—the firearms portion— begins in Missouri, Nov. 11th - 21st, we spoke with Russell Duckworth, the SE Region Protection Branch Captain with the Missouri Dept. of Conservation, about what hunters need to know about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), testing during opening weekend (Nov. 11-12), and how to prevent its spread among the deer population and other cervids.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds deer hunters that it will be again holding mandatory CWD sampling during the opening weekend of the November portion of firearms season, Nov. 11 and 12.
Hunters who harvest deer in 39 MDC CWD Management Zone counties are required to take their harvested deer or the head on the day of harvest to one of MDC’s numerous mandatory CWD sampling stations located throughout the CWD Management Zone. Sampling and test results are free.
CWD Management Zone counties for mandatory CWD sampling are: Adair, Barry, Barton, Bollinger, Caldwell, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Dallas, Franklin, Gasconade, Grundy, Hickory, Jasper, Jefferson, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Madison, Montgomery, Oregon, Perry, Polk, Pulaski, Putnam, Ray, Ripley, Schuyler, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Vernon, and Washington.
MDC designates counties where CWD has been found and counties within 10 miles of where CWD has been found as part of its CWD Management Zone.
Feeding or bait restrictions also apply to these areas. Russell Duckworth, the SE Region Protection Branch Captain with the Missouri Dept. of Conservation also provided these important regulations and points:
- An area is considered baited for 10 days after the complete removal of the bait.
- A hunter can be in violation if they take or attempt to take a deer by the aid of bait where the hunter knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited.
- It is illegal to place bait in a way that causes others to be in violation of the baiting rule.
- Doe urine and other scents may be used to attract deer while hunting if the scents are not used on or with grain or other food products.
- Mineral blocks, including salt, are not considered bait. However, mineral blocks that contain grain or other food additives are prohibited.
- The use of mineral blocks and salt is not allowed on conservation areas.
- It is legal to hunt over a harvested crop field, but it is not legal to add grain or other crops, such as apples, to the field after it has been harvested.
- Additional rules apply if hunting in a Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management Zone.
Manipulating crops, such as mowing or knocking them down, is not considered baiting for deer, he said.
More information can be found on the Missouri Department of Conservation website.
A portion of this story includes excerpts and content written by Josh Hartwig, and Joe Jerek with the Missouri Dept. of Conservation.