ST. CHARLES, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has been conducting mandatory sampling of harvested deer in 31 counties this weekend, which is opening weekend of the fall firearms deer season, to test for chronic wasting disease (CWD), an illness deadly to deer.

Hunters who harvest deer in any of 31 select counties of MDC's CWD Management Zone during opening weekend, which includes all counties surrounding St. Louis, must present their harvested deer at one of the Department's 61 CWD sampling stations on the day of harvest so staff can collect tissue samples to test the animals for CWD.

The Weldon Spring sampling station in St. Charles will be among the most closely-accessible stations from the St. Louis metro area.