Missouri makes quick changes to the 2015 deer hunting season after a deer tests positive for CWD.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (DOC) has made changes affecting 19 counties for the 2015 archery and firearm deer seasons in an effort to prevent the spreading of Chronic Waste Disease. This decision was made after a deer killed in Cole County tested positive for the disease last season.
Chronic Waste Disease (CWD) is a fatal disease that affects the brains of deer and elk. It causes them to dehydrate quickly, lose weight, and affects their behavior. It is contagious and is not able to spread to livestock or humans.
Cole, Callaway, Moniteau, Cooper, Miller, Morgan, and Osage counties are the central containment zones. Northern counties Knox, Scotland, Schuyler, Shelby, Macon, Adair, Linn, Chariton, Randolph, Sullivan, and Putnam have also been added as a precautionary containment area.
The new changes will include removing antler point restrictions to be able to take younger bucks and allowing hunters to kill up to two anterless deer instead of only one. These rules have been put into place to help thin deer populations and slow the chances of CWD from spreading.
The DOC is also asking hunters in these counties to skin and quarter deer on site so carcasses are not removed from the areas they are killed. This is not a law as of yet, but is in discussion of being added in future years.