MDC to hold open houses on CWD found in Macon County

JEFFERSON CITY Mo – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will hold two open houses on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to further inform the public about two cases recently found in free-ranging adult bucks in northwest Macon County. MDC staff will update attendees on efforts to obtain more tissue samples for CWD testing by working with local landowners on sampling additional deer in the area. MDC staff will also be available to answer questions and provide information on managing private land for deer.

The CWD Informational Open Houses will be held in Macon County on Feb. 11 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the New Cambria High School, 501 S. Main St., and in Linn County on Feb. 18 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bucklin Community Center, 202 East Fourth St.

For more information, contact MDC Public Involvement Coordinator Michele Baumer at 573-522-4115, ext. 3350, or Michele.Baumer@mdc.mo.gov.

“Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt deer and Missourians care deeply about conserving our native wildlife,” said MDC Deer Biologist Jason Sumners. “Partnerships with landowners and hunters allowed us to hopefully detect this infection early.”

Sumners added that early cases of CWD tend to cluster in local areas so the additional sampling effort will focus on the immediate area where the CWD-positive deer were harvested.

MDC is working with landowners in Linn and Macon counties to sample up to 600 additional deer for CWD testing. MDC will take all harvested deer to a meat processor. Ground venison from each deer will be identified and held separately by the processor pending test results. Landowners will be offered ground venison from deer taken on their property. Remaining ground venison from deer that test negative will be donated to the state’s Share the Harvest program for distribution to local food pantries. Deer carcasses will be taken to a permitted landfill.

MDC received the two positive test results for CWD in January from 1,077 tissue samples taken from free-ranging deer harvested by hunters in north-central Missouri during the 2011 fall firearms deer season. The two cases are the first CWD-positive results for free-ranging deer in Missouri.