MDC adds major changes to harvesting deer this season - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

MDC adds major changes to harvesting deer this season

(Source: Pixabay) (Source: Pixabay)
(KFVS) -

If you plan on deer hunting this season, there are some important new changes you need to know about.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been a growing concern among deer, and now the Missouri Department of Conservation is stepping to take action.

CWD affects thousands of deer per year, and now hunters in Missouri will have to take an extra step this year. 

Deer hunting season - a time many hunters wait all year for. But with more Missouri deer testing positive for CWD, it could be a less than stellar season.

Jacob Michelson hunts in Bollinger County.

"Our family lives off deer meat," Michelson said. "That's what gets us through the summer for meat and keeps food on our table!"

Missouri hunters like Michelson will now have to check in their deer using the MDC's app if they hunt in certain counties around the state.

"I think it would be a good idea to help stop and try to prevent the disease from spreading any further if they can," he said.

CWD is a contagious condition that causes deer to lose bodily functions and die.

Luckily for deer hunters in southeast Missouri, no deer have tested positive for the disease as of yet.

But it has shown up in other nearby regions.

This map shows just how close conservation agents have found deer dying from it. 

Hunters that take a deer in the affected counties will also need to bring the entire deer or the head with six inches of the neck in place to a sampling center.

"It's better for my family that we see the prevention of the EHD and that disease moving down south to where we're at," Michelson said. "It's good to know they're looking out for us outdoorsmen and hunters!"

So far, Missouri conservationists have said there is no evidence that indicates CWD affects humans.

To see the complete list of CWD sampling centers, click here.

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