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The Missouri Department of Conservation thanks the thousands of deer hunters who participated in its mandatory CWD sampling efforts last weekend in 31 counties.

Thanks to hunter participation, MDC collected more than 20,000 tissue samples from harvested deer for CWD testing.

According to MDC, mandatory sampling dramatically increases the number of tissue samples the Conservation Department can collect in a brief period of time. The increased number of samples gives MDC scientists a much better understanding of the distribution and prevalence of the disease - where it is and how many deer may have it. It can also help find new cases in new areas.

MDC adds that opening weekend of the firearms deer season is the most popular two hunting days for most deer hunters. Hunters take about a third of our state’s total annual deer harvest during those two days.

Focusing on this key weekend gives MDC the best opportunity to collect the most tissue samples during a very concentrated time period.

MDC has also collected nearly 800 tissue samples for CWD testing over the past several months through its ongoing statewide voluntary CWD sampling efforts and from road-killed and sick deer.

MDC sends test samples to an independent laboratory for testing and will report test results as they become available. Stay up to date on test results received by MDC at mdc.mo.gov/cwd under CWD in Missouri.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been no documented cases of CWD in humans, but it is important to prevent human exposure to CWD.

As a safeguard, the CDC recommends hunters strongly consider having their harvested deer tested for CWD before eating the meat if the animal was harvested from an area where CWD has been found.

The CDC also recommends not consuming an animal that tests positive for the disease. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/cwd under Human Health Risks.

MDC CONTINUES TO OFFER VOLUNTARY CWD SAMPLING STATEWIDE ALL SEASON

Hunters who harvest deer anywhere in Missouri throughout the entire deer hunting season - Sept. 15 through Jan. 15, 2019 -- can have their harvested deer sampled for free CWD testing at select MDC offices around the state and through participating taxidermists and meat processors located in the CWD Management Zone. Sampling is voluntary.

MDC asks hunters to field dress and Telecheck deer before taking them for sampling. Hunters can bring the entire field-dressed deer, or just the head with about six inches of neck in place. Heads that have the cape removed for taxidermy can be sampled.

Find voluntary sampling locations and more information at mdc.mo.gov/cwd under Voluntary CWD Sampling All Season.

GET FREE TEST RESULTS

Hunters can get free test results for their deer from both mandatory and voluntary CWD sampling online at mdc.mo.gov/CWDTestResults.

Due to the volume of test samples submitted, test results will take up to four weeks from the time of submission.

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