MDC collected more than 18,800 tissue samples from hunter-harvested deer for CWD testing during opening weekend.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) thanks the many thousands of deer hunters who participated in its mandatory CWD sampling efforts in 29 counties Nov. 16 and 17 during the opening weekend of the November portion of the fall firearms deer season. Thanks to hunter participation, MDC collected more than 18,800 tissue samples from hunter-harvested deer for CWD testing.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a deadly disease in white-tailed deer and other members of the deer family. MDC’s CWD sampling and testing efforts find cases of the deadly disease to help the Department limit its spread. Learn more about CWD at

According to MDC, the opening weekend of the fall firearms deer season is the most popular two hunting days for most deer hunters. Hunters take about a third of the state’s total annual deer harvest during those two days. Focusing on this key weekend gives MDC the best opportunity to collect the most tissue samples during a very concentrated time period.

MDC’s statewide, season-long, voluntary CWD sampling efforts continue through Jan. 15, 2020. Learn more about voluntary CWD sampling at under “Voluntary CWD Sampling All Season.”

MDC sends collected tissue samples to the University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory for CWD testing. Hunters who submitted tissues samples from their harvested deer for CWD testing can get free test results for their deer at

According to MDC, the prevalence of CWD is still very low in the state. The Department’s CWD surveillance and management efforts aim to keep CWD rare in Missouri and to prevent CWD from spreading to a level where sick deer are routinely observed, and regional population declines occur. Learn more at under “CWD in Missouri.”

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