With the start of the fall firearms season on Saturday, the Missouri Department of Conservation is asking from deer hunters to find and limit the spread of chronic wasting disease.

MDC reminds deer hunters that the Wildlife Code of Missouri requires hunters who harvest deer during the opening weekend of the fall firearms deer season — Nov. 12 and 13 — in any of the 29 counties of the department’s CWD Management Zone to present their deer for CWD tissue-sample collection.

Hunters must take their harvested deer to one of 75 MDC CWD sampling locations throughout the 29 counties. Sampling locations will be open from 7:30 a.m. until at least 8 p.m.

Texas County is not included in the study area. The launch of the season has a big economic impact on the region as the county consistently ranks as one of the top harvest sites in the state.

The 29 counties of the CWD Management Zone are: Adair, Boone, Callaway, Carroll, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Putnam, Randolph, St. Charles, St. Louis, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Sullivan, Warren, and Washington.

Hunters can also present just the deer head with about six inches of neck attached. Deer must be presented by the hunter who harvested the animal.

Hunters presenting bucks bound for taxidermy should inform MDC staff of that. While staff will not collect tissue samples, they will still complete paperwork and inform hunters about participating taxidermists taking CWD tissue samples.

While testing is mandatory during firearms opening weekend, MDC staff will be available to remove tissue samples from deer harvested in the CWD Management Zone throughout the season.

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