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Have your deer checked for CWD

Have your deer checked for CWD

November 7th, 2018 by Kevin Labotka in Local News

White-tailed deer

Photo by Missouri Department of Conservation

The rules for this year's upcoming firearm deer hunting season have not changed from last year's.

Nathaniel Hodges, the Conservation Agent for Moniteau County at the Missouri Department of Conservation, said the county is in a CWD or Chronic Wasting Disease containment zone.

"Anyone that kills a deer on opening weekend still has to take it and present the deer to be sampled at one of our sites," Hodges said.

There are two testing sites in Moniteau County. The first one is at Advanced Chimney Techniques, 365 W. Row St., Jamestown. The other site is at the Moniteau County Fairgrounds. The sites will be open 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 10-11.

The season starts Nov. 10.

Hodges said Chronic Wasting Disease affects Cevids like the white-tailed deer and elk. The disease affects the nervous system of the animals who have the disease.

"It causes a wasting of the nervous tissue," Hodges said. "We are testing certain places and we have this mandatory regulations for example in Moniteau and Cole, because there was a positive found several years ago in Cole County near the Moniteau County line.

"So, we established this zone to monitor and try to track the disease and hopefully even eliminate it, if it were possible. Basically, try to manage the disease because it is not a good thing; it is not something we want.

But, it is here in the state, so we have to try to manage it in some way in order to hopefully lessen the effect of it on our deer herd. As far as we know, the science is not conclusive that it can affect or infect humans.

"We do not know if it can affect primates, however we are recommending people in these zones get their deer tested."

Hodges said they do not recommend people knowingly eat deer infected with CWD.

When it comes to this year's upcoming harvest, there are a few factors that impact how the harvest goes such as the weather and the amount of people out hunting in the field. In the last 10 years, Hodges said they have seen record harvests, but there has been a slight decrease in recent years.

"It is nothing of any concerns, necessarily; populations naturally go up and down, so harvest will also go up and down," Hodges said. "I think we're shaping up for a good deer season. Our numbers are good in Central Missouri, so there is really no concern there."

Some safety tips Hodges had for first-time hunters are:

Be hunter-ed certified in Missouri, unless one is exempt from those requirements

Have the proper permits

Wear hunter orange jackets and hats while in the field hunting

Follow proper fire arm safety rules