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Feeding deer

The state has made feeding deer illegal in many counties as one way to try to curb the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease. Still the deadly health concern continues to spread across the Midwest.

The Missouri Department of Conservation reports that a young buck harvested in Stone County in early November has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

According to MDC, this is the first detection of CWD in Stone County and the first detection in the far southwest region of the state.

The yearling white-tailed buck was harvested on private land the opening weekend of the November firearms deer season near Reeds Spring, approximately 15 miles from the Arkansas border. MDC staff have notified the hunter and landowner of the CWD confirmation. More than 400 cases of CWD have been found in deer and elk in northwest Arkansas since early 2016.

The positive test result is from one of more than 20,000 tissue samples collected by MDC from hunter-harvested deer during its mandatory CWD sampling efforts in 31 counties the opening weekend of the fall firearms season, Nov. 10 and 11. MDC reports that testing of the samples continues with more than 60 percent of sample test results already reported to hunters. Hunters can get free test results for harvested deer they submitted for CWD sampling at mdc6.mdc.mo.gov/applications/cwdResults/

MDC also reports 10 other deer have tested positive for CWD this season with 1 from Adair County, 4 from Franklin County, 1 from Jefferson County, 3 from Macon County, and 1 from Oregon County. The 11 new positives for the season bring the total cases of CWD in Missouri to 86. For more information on CWD cases found this season and in past years, visit mdc.mo.gov/cwd under “CWD in Missouri.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been no known cases of CWD infecting people. In areas with CWD, the CDC recommends hunters strongly consider having their harvested deer tested for CWD before eating the meat. The CDC also recommends not consuming an animal that tests positive for the disease.

MDC continues to offer voluntary CWD sampling and testing of harvested deer statewide through the remainder of the deer hunting season at MDC regional offices and at participating taxidermists and meat processors. The season continues with archery hunting through Jan. 15, the antlerless portion through Dec. 2, and the alternative methods portion from Dec. 22 through Jan. 1.

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