The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) needs the help of deer hunters to keep the deadly deer disease called chronic wasting disease (CWD) from spreading to more deer in more areas of Missouri.

MDC will be conducting mandatory CWD sampling of harvested deer in 25 counties opening weekend of the fall firearms deer season, Nov. 11 and 12. Hunters who harvest deer in any of these select counties of MDC’s CWD Management Zone during opening weekend MUST present their harvested deer at one of the Department’s 56 CWD sampling stations so staff can collect tissue samples to test the animals for CWD.

The 25 mandatory CWD sampling counties are: Adair, Barry, Benton, Cedar, Cole, Crawford, Dade, Franklin, Hickory, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Macon, Moniteau, Ozark, Polk, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Warren, and Washington.

The 25 mandatory sampling counties include ones recently added to the CWD Management Zone after cases of CWD were found there in 2016-2017, counties with previous CWD positives, and counties very near where cases of CWD have been found.

Info to know about mandatory sampling

  • Sampling locations will be open from 7:30 a.m. until at least 8 p.m.
  • Deer must be presented by the hunter who harvested the animal.
  • Hunters will be asked to identify the location within the county the deer was harvested.
  • Deer may be field dressed before being taken to a sampling station.
  • Hunters can also present just the deer head with about six inches of neck attached.
  • For bucks bound to a taxidermist, the cape may be removed prior to being taken to a sampling station as long as about six inches of the neck is left attached.
  • For bucks bound to a taxidermist, hunters may also leave the deer intact and inform staff the deer is bound for a taxidermist. Staff will complete paperwork and inform the hunters about participating taxidermists taking CWD samples.
  • Hunters will be given information on getting free test results for their deer.