Biologists believe that some white-tailed deer might be carrying the Chronic Wasting Disease, so hunters should be very careful this month. Although the deer season has just begun, the officials are already counting how many specimens have been taken down.
Deer Season Statistics
Franklin ranks first with a total of 1,799, Howell with 1,622, Wayne with 1,587, and Texas County with 1,563. Specialists from the Missouri Department of Conservation are asking hunters to make sure they don’t spread the Chronic Wasting Disease among the animals.
This life-threatening disease has never been found in humans, but experts prefer to take no risks. Hunters are required by the Wildlife Code of Missouri to provide samples from every deer for Chronic Wasting Disease testing. Also, the samples must be presented on the same day of the hunt.
All hunter must present every harvested deer to any of the 75 MDC sampling locations across the 29 counties. They are open during the deer season from 7:30 am to 8 pm. However, Texas County is not part of the research site, even if it is one of the top hunting areas throughout the state.
The County List
In addition, the deer season comes with a significant benefit for the local economy. This is the list of the 29 counties included in the chronic wasting disease Management Zone: Washington, Warren, Sullivan, Shelby, Scotland, Schuyler, St. Louis, St. Charles, Randolph, Putnam, Osage, Morgan, Moniteau, Miller, Macon, Livingston, Linn, Knox, Jefferson, Gasconade, Franklin, Crawford, Cooper, Cole, Chariton, Carroll, Callaway, Boone, and Adair.
Besides samples, hunters can also provide the animal’s head with around 6 inches of its neck. It is worth mentioning that the samples will not be accepted if they are not presented by the hunter himself.
The Signs of Chronic Wasting Disease
According to Kate Hasapes, a biologist from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, this condition is a bit like Mad Cow. Nevertheless, Mad Cow usually affects just the spinal column and the brain of the animal, whereas CWD attacks the entire body of a deer.
Common symptoms of the Chronic Wasting Disease can be recognized when a deer doesn’t fear humans and sways its head down. Plus, infected animals get very skinny after a while, but even so, Hasapes says that these symptoms are also caused by other conditions such as EHD (blue tongue) or rabies.
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