Missouri Department of Conservation requires sampling of deer
COLUMBIA — Firearm season started for deer hunters on Saturday, Nov. 12. All deer shot are required to be brought to the Missouri Department of Conservation for sampling.
A small piece of tissue from the deer is tested for chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disease that has been found in deer in 5 counties. A chronic wasting disease special management zone covers 29 counties, according to the Department of Conservation's website.
The disease can be transferred from deer to deer and can deplete the Missouri deer population.
The Department of Conservation said this disease has become more prevalent and the mandatory sampling can determine exactly how prevalent the disease is.
Chronic wasting disease can eventually affect hunting in Missouri. The Department of Conservation said they hope the sampling can give them insight and allow them to figure out a next step, although there is currently no cure for chronic wasting disease.
Test results are free and posted online.
While there is no proof that chronic wasting disease can be transferred through different kinds of species, the Department of Conservation said this is not a food safety test. They recommend not eating deer with any kind of disease.
Sampling at the Columbia regional office will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday of opening weekend. During the remainder of the season hunters can take their deer to any regional office on any day for testing.
[Editor's Note: A previous version of this story stated that chronic wasting disease had been found in deer in 29 counties. The disease has been found in only 5 counties.]