Chronic Wasting Disease mandatory testing starts in parts of MO

(KFVS) - It's official. It's deer hunting season.

Dozens of Missouri hunters camped out this morning to get some of their first harvest of the season, however, hunters in some areas were required to take an extra step.

That extra step is to test deer for Chronic Wasting Disease.

No counties in southeast Missouri were required to do it, but some nearby areas are.

Jefferson County, Missouri is one area where hunters are required to take part in the testing.

This is the first-year CWD testing has been required in parts of Missouri.

Back in 2010, conservationists found the disease in one deer and have been making strides to prevent it from spreading ever since.

The process is quick and easy, once hunters arrive with their deer, conservationists cut out the lymph node and put it in a bag for testing.

Hunters identify where they harvest the deer and after that they're on their way.

Regional Supervisor Matt Bowyer said hunters he encountered today had no problem taking extra steps

"It's critical for us to be able to sample as many deer during the deer season like this," Bowyer said." Our goal is to get about 20,000 samples on the first couple days, so it's critical for us to be able to find a wide range of these 29 counties."

More than two hundred deer are expected to be tested this weekend at the Jefferson County location.

"Folks appreciate having a chance to come in and bring their deer in and they take pride in being able to help the department find CWD in the area," Bowyer said. "So they're bringing their deer in and they're open to the old check station days and they're bringing their deer in to be sampled."

There is no evidence to suggest Chronic Wasting Disease can be spread from deer to humans.

The testing process should take about four to six weeks.

The hope is to find out how prevalent CWD is in deer.

Bowyer said the chances are slim, but it's important to take the necessary precautions to make sure.

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