Conservation Connection – Curbing the spread of a deer-killing disease

We’ve talked about chronic wasting disease before on Conservation Connection. CWD kills deer and it’s in now in Missouri. To get a better handle on the spread of the disease, the Missouri Department of Conservation is taking special measures this weekend. Regional Wildlife Supervisor John Vogel visits KPLR 11 News at Noon to discuss those measures.

Q. Give us a quick refresher on CWD.
• Fatal nerve disease that attacks cervids like deer
• First detected in Missouri in 2010
• Transmitted by prions via animal-to-animal contact or contaminated soil-to-animal contact
• No cure, no vaccine and once contracted, it’s 100% fatal
• Only positive test for CWD must be done post-mortem

Q. What`s the significance of this weekend?
• Opening weekend of November Firearms Deer Season
• Hunters who harvest deer this Saturday and Sunday in any of the 29 CWD Management Zone counties are required to present their deer for CWD sample collection
• Must be brought the day of harvest
• Hunters also have the option of presenting just the deer head with about six inches of neck attached
• Deer must be presented by the hunter who harvested the animal

Q. Where will these sampling stations be located?
• 75 locations throughout the 29 counties
• Check http://www.MDC.mo.gov/CWD or the 2016 Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Information and Regulations Booklet—available at permit vendors and MDC offices
• Sampling locations will be open from 7:30 a.m. through 8 p.m.

Q. What can hunters do to help speed up the process?
• Telecheck their deer before going to a sampling location
• Have completed permit information ready
• Be ready to show on a map where the deer was harvested
• Position deer in the vehicle so the head is accessible take to tissue samples from the neck
• Or have the detached head and neck bagged and ready

Q. What if a hunter wants to have their deer mounted?
• The hunter should inform staff that their deer is intended for taxidermy
• Staff will still complete paperwork and also instruct the hunter to have the taxidermist take a tissue sample and submit it to MDC

Q. Why is MDC undertaking this initiative?
• Hunters take about a third of our state`s total annual deer harvest during these two days
• Focusing our efforts on this key weekend is the best opportunity to collect the most tissue samples in a short time period
• This will give us the data we need to help determine the extent and spread of CWD

Mandatory Deer Sampling for CWD
Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12-13
Learn more at MDC.mo.gov/CWD