States reminds deer hunters of mandatory CWD sampling regulations

Nov. 10—The Missouri Department of Conservation is advising deer hunters of mandatory sampling requirements for chronic wasting disease during opening weekend of the November firearms season, today and Sunday.

According to state officials, opening weekend is the most popular time for most deer hunters, and hunters take about a third of the state's total annual deer harvest during those two days.

The sampling rules apply to hunters who harvest deer in 34 of 38 counties that are part of a designated CWD Management Zone, which are those counties where CWD has been found and counties within 10 miles of where CWD has been found.

Barton, Vernon and Greene counties were added to CWD management zones this year.

No deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease in those counties, according to the department. However, 10 positives have been turned up in adjacent St. Clair County and three in adjacent Cedar County. Positives also have showed up in Polk and Christian counties, both of which border Greene County.

McDonald and Barry counties are also in CWD management zones.

No positives have been found in McDonald County, but four positives turned up in Barry County during the 2021-2022 seasons. There also have been nine cases in Benton County, Arkansas. Stone and Taney counties also have had 16 cases between them and also are in management zones.

To date, there have been nearly 300 positive cases of CWD in 21 Missouri counties; there have been more than 1,300 positives in deer and elk in Arkansas, including many in cases along the Missouri border.

There have been no positives in Missouri's elk population.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, special regulations apply in CWD Management Zone counties, including:

—During Nov. 12 — 13 (modern firearms season), hunters who harvest deer in CWD Management Zone counties — except Gasconade, Knox, St. Charles and Warren — must take the deer or deer head on the day of harvest to an MDC mandatory CWD sampling station.

—The use of grain, salt products, minerals and other consumable products used to attract deer is prohibited year-round in CWD Management Zone counties.

—Deer harvested from CWD Management Zone counties must be reported through Telecheck before they can be removed from the county of harvest.

—Hunters must follow carcass-movement restrictions for deer harvested in a CWD Management Zone county.

—Hunters must also follow carcass-movement restrictions when bringing parts of harvested deer and other cervids into Missouri from another state.

CWD and related regulations and restrictions can be found online at

The Missouri Department of Conservation is offering free voluntary CWD sampling and testing of harvested deer during the entire deer season at select locations throughout the state, including some department offices and participating taxidermists and meat processors. The department also offers self-service freezer drop-off locations within the CWD Management Zone for hunters to deposit harvested deer heads to have tested for CWD. Instructions, packing supplies and information tags are available at the sites. Get more information on voluntary sampling and drop-off locations can be found online at

Hunters also can get their CWD test results for free online at Results are usually available within four weeks or less from the time of sampling.

Archery season for deer runs through Nov. 11 and then again from Nov. 23 to Jan. 15, 2023.

A second youth season occurs Nov. 25-27.

The modern firearms November portion runs Nov. 12-22; the antlerless portion runs Dec. 3-11.

An alternative-methods season runs Dec. 24 to Jan. 3, 2023.

Carcass disposal

MDC also is asking hunters to follow disposal rules.

In Missouri, deer hunters can be found guilty of a misdemeanor if they knowingly place the carcass or offal of any dead animal into any well, spring, brook, branch, creek, pond, or lake, or on any public road or highway, river, stream or watercourse.

Here are proper disposal options Missouri hunters can use:

—Place deer parts in trash or landfill. The best way to prevent the spread of CWD is to place carcass remains in trash bags and dispose of them through trash collection or at a permitted landfill.

—Bury deer parts on-site. Bury deep enough to prevent access by scavengers. Burial will reduce, but not totally eliminate, the risks of spreading CWD.