Missouri’s firearms-deer season ended yesterday, but collection stations for chronic wasting disease samples will remain in place, and free testing will continue to be offered through the remaining deer seasons, which continue through mid-January.
Conservation officials are asking hunters to help combat the spread of the disease by volunteering to have their kills tested.
“CWD is an emerging wildlife disease, and we’re trying to learn as much as we can,” said Kenton Lohraff, Natural Resources Branch chief for Fort Leonard Wood.
Lohraff has coordinated efforts between his office and the Missouri Department of Conservation officials since Oct. 28, when deer harvested near Waynesville tested positive for CWD, the first time the disease was found in Pulaski County.
Since then, MDC has arranged two drop-off sites in Pulaski County for hunters with freezers to hold their samples: The Outdoor Adventure Center, located in Bldg. 2290 on FLW K Road, and LMC Convenience Store in Waynesville, located at 1302 U.S. Route 66 at the junction of Ichord Avenue.
Hunters should leave the head with 6 inches of neck attached and the antlers removed. The drop-off freezers have instructions and materials hunters will need to provide samples and contact information. Hunters will be able to check their test results online using their Telecheck ID at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZuE. MDC will notify hunters directly if a sample tests positive for CWD.
“The more participation we get, the better,” Lohraff said. “The more tests we receive, the more we learn about the disease.”
If a deer tests positive, the Centers for Disease Control advises hunters not to consume the meat and have it properly disposed of through a trash service.
Jeffrey Barrett, Supervisory Recreation Specialist at the OAC, said the drop-off receptacle there was set up for hunters with access to Fort Leonard Wood.
“The Natural Resources Branch is helping us out with this initiative, and they come and collect the samples weekly,” Barrett said. “It seems very user friendly. The bags and everything hunters need are right in (the freezer).”
Upcoming deer seasons include the late youth firearms deer season, which begins Friday and continues through Sunday; antlerless deer season, which is scheduled Dec. 4 through 6; alternative methods season Dec. 26 through Jan. 5, and the late portion of deer archery season, which begins today and ends Jan. 15.
For more information about the OAC drop-off, hunters may visit or call the center at 573.596.4223. The OAC is currently operating on winter hours and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Fort Leonard Wood has also posted more information about CWD testing on its iSportsman web portal at https://ftleonardwood.isportsman.net, and MDC has additional resources on its site at mdc.mo.gov/cwd.