ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – This weekend is the start of the November firearms season for deer hunters in Missouri.
This will be the first time the Missouri Department of Conservation is requiring hunters to take their deer to a testing station before it is harvested. The reason for testing is to monitor Chronic Wasting Disease in Missouri’s deer population.
CWD was first detected in a Missouri deer in 2010 according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. It’s not widespread and conservation officials want to keep it that way. They are trying to get out the word about this weekend’s mandatory testing.
“We’re really trying to get a handle on this,” said Dan Zarlenga, MDC spokesman.
He said hunters should keep in mind there is no evidence to suggest CWD can be spread from deer to humans.
“But you know it’s probably a good idea to use caution,” Zarlenga said.
Deer hunting is a billion-dollar industry. Zarlenga says that’s one reason the MDC wants to make sure CWD doesn’t wipe out Missouri’s deer population. He said another deer are also part of the natural landscape. Zarlenga said the department is being proactive and trying to make sure they catch any potential problems before it’s too late to do something about them.
St. Louis area counties are part of the mandatory testing area because a deer in Franklin County tested positive for CWD.