The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announces it has reduced the number of counties in its management zone for chronic wasting disease (CWD) from 48 to 29 starting in July. Changes to the CWD Management Zone will impact restrictions on feeding deer, antler-point restrictions, antlerless permits for some counties, and mandatory CWD sampling.
The 29 counties now included in MDC’s CWD Management Zone are: Adair, Barry, Cedar, Chariton, Christian, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Hickory, Howell, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Macon, Mercer, Oregon, Ozark, Perry, Polk, Putnam, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Warren, and Washington.
CWD is a deadly, infectious disease in white-tailed deer and other members of the deer family. The disease has no vaccine or cure and eventually kills all deer it infects. CWD is spread from deer to deer and through the environment. MDC has found 116 cases of CWD in Missouri since 2012. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/cwd.
MDC designed the CWD Management Zone in 2012 to include counties within 25 miles of where cases of CWD have been found. The 25-mile-radius was based on existing research from other states that shows deer may disperse up to 25 miles from the area where they were born, especially young bucks in search of territory or mates.
Recent MDC research shows more than 90 percent of bucks in Missouri disperse less than 10 miles.
Based on this recent research, MDC is removing the following counties from its CWD Management Zone because they are more than 10 miles from locations where cases of CWD have been found: Benton, Bollinger, Boone, Callaway, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Cole, Cooper, Dade, Grundy, Livingston, Madison, McDonald, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, and St. Louis.
MDC notes that Cole and Moniteau counties were removed because no cases of CWD have been found in the area after extensive follow-up CWD testing after a single case was confirmed in Cole County in 2015.
MDC added Christian, Howell, and Oregon counties to the CWD Management Zone because of recent CWD detections in Oregon, Stone, and Taney counties.