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Hunters in southwest Missouri inspect deer for fatal diseases on the first day of the rifle season



POLK COUNTY, MO (KY3) – On Saturday, hunting for rifles was opened in Missouri. Some hunters in the Ozarks had to take their catches to test sites to look for chronic garbage diseases. [13] The 13-year-old Lila and her father Reg hunt together since childhood, but Saturday was a first for both of them.

"This is the first time I actually have to shoot and clean, helping to deliver the deer myself," Lila said.

After Lila and Reg bagged their first doe, they took them to a test station near Bolivar to look for chronic garbage.

"This is the first time I've been part of the test process, it went well, it was easy," Reg said.

Francis Skalicky, media specialist of the Missouri Department of Conservation, said CWD earliest in the lymph node of a deer is found.

"So we pull the lymph nodes off and send the lymph nodes to the sample, and if we find a positive sample, we'll notify the hunter," said Skalicky.

He said that testing is required in or near counties where the deadly deer disease has already been found.

"It is always deadly to deer, so it would be devastating for Missouri to settle here, because stags are a big deal," he said.

The MDC listed 29 counties where CWD tests are mandatory on the opening weekend. Eleven of them are in the southwest, including the counties of St. Clair, Cedar, Hickory, Polk, Christian, Barry, Stone, Taney Ozark, Howell and Oregon.

"Well, yes, it's here, but yes, we are ahead of the game, and such sampling helps us, in collaboration with the hunters, to be ahead of the game," said Skalicky.

Skalicky said that since 2002, the state has tested about 1

34,000 deer, and only about 170 have been positive for CWD. He said that while this is a low percentage, it is still important to find out where the disease is and how it moves through the state.

"Unfortunately, we can not put all deer in a row and get them vaccinated, as you can do in livestock, which is probably the next best thing we can do, we can try, we can identify where it's found We can take some steps to minimize the spread, "said Skalicky.

Skalicky said 20,000 deer were tested at Missouri's opening weekend in 2018, and he expects an even higher number this year.

The counties of Missouri are included in the list of compulsory tests as the disease spreads in the near north of Arkansas.

Reg grew up hunting without the risk of his deer getting infected with CWD disease progression so his family can continue to hunt for years.

"We want it for my generation and [Lila’s] generation and their subsequent generation who can still practice and do the American tradition of hunting," Reg said.

Compulsory tests continue on Sunday. The results of the samples for the opening weekend should be available in about three to four weeks. The MDC will only contact hunters whose stag test is positive for CWD.

Hunters who would like to see this The results of their deer can be clicked HERE
.

Click HERE to view the test sites.

The MDC also offers voluntary CWD testing throughout the season. Information can be found here.

For more information on chronic wasting disease, see HERE.


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