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Science and the Environment

MDC Reports first Case of Chronic Wasting Disease in a Deer in Southwest Missouri

Tony Webster

A young buck harvested in early November on private land near Reeds Spring has tested positive for the deadly deer disease, CWD, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.  The site in Stone County is just 15 miles from the Arkansas border.  More than 400 cases of CWD have been found in deer and elk in northwest Arkansas since early 2016. 

The positive test result is from one of more than 20,000 tissue samples collected by MDC from hunter-harvested deer during its mandatory CWD sampling efforts.  Those took place in 31 counties the opening weekend of the fall firearms season, Nov. 10 and 11. MDC said testing continues with more than 60 percent of results already reported to hunters. 

MDC reports 10 other deer have tested positive for CWD this season with 1 from Adair County, 4 from Franklin County, 1 from Jefferson County, 3 from Macon County, and 1 from Oregon County. The 11 new positives for the season bring the total cases of CWD in Missouri to 86.

In areas with CWD, the CDC recommends hunters strongly consider having their harvested deer tested for CWD before eating the meat. The CDC also recommends not consuming an animal that tests positive for the disease.

According to MDC, the organization  continues to offer voluntary CWD sampling and testing of harvested deer statewide through the remainder of the deer hunting season at MDC regional offices and at participating taxidermists and meat processors. The season continues with archery hunting through Jan. 15, the antlerless portion through Dec. 2, and the alternative methods portion from Dec. 22 through Jan. 1.

Find out where CWD has been found in Missouri this year and in previous years here.