Deer season begins Saturday in Missouri.

Texas County ranked fourth in Missouri into the second day of the fall firearms season.

The total was 1,563 at about 1:40 p.m. Sunday. The breakdown: bucks, 900; button bucks, 140; and does, 523.

Other leaders in the state: Franklin, 1,799; Howell, 1,622; and Wayne, 1,587. 

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, a deadly illness for deer.

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 on the day of harvest. 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 will 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.

TIME-SAVING TIPS FOR HUNTERS

Hunters can help reduce their wait times at a CWD sampling location by:

•Telechecking their deer before going to a sampling location.

•Having their completed permit information ready.

•Being prepared to locate their harvest location on a map.

•Positioning their deer in the vehicle so the head and neck are easily accessible for staff to take tissue samples.

•Having the detached head with about 6 inches of neck attached bagged and ready.

For more information on CWD in Missouri and CWD testing locations. visit mdc.mo.gov/CWD.

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