With the 2014 fall deer seasons under way, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages hunters to properly dispose of carcasses from harvested deer to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases in deer, such as the always-fatal chronic wasting disease (CWD).

With the 2014 fall deer seasons under way, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages hunters to properly dispose of carcasses from harvested deer to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases in deer, such as the always-fatal chronic wasting disease (CWD).

“The main thing is to try to dispose of the carcass in a proper manner, dispose of it through a waste service — bag it, put it out for the waste service that goes to a proper landfill to be disposed of,” MDC agent of Newton County Jarid Wilkinson said. “Or if you are on private property, you can put the carcass on the back of the place and let nature take its course. Most of the time the wildlife will clean it up pretty quick and there’s no fear of contact with other deer.”

Wilkinson said chronic wasting disease was found several years ago in Macon and Linn counties and those remain the only known cases in Missouri. He said the department responded with the application of additional regulations in a CWD Containment Zone established in those two counties, plus Adair, Chariton, Randolph and Sullivan.

Many who will hunt in this corner of Missouri will transport their harvest out of state and Wilkinson advised they should either have the whole carcass boned out while leaving the spinal column and brain intact, or dispose of it where they killed the deer.

“The spinal column and brain cavity is where the disease is carried,” he said. “So as long as they are either transporting it home or they are boning it out where they have killed it, that’s fine.”

Wilkinson warned that many times when a hunter cuts into the skull to harvest the antlers, they actually cut into the brain cavity. He advised just ripping the antlers from the skull plate and ensure they are clean of any muscle or brain tissue before keeping them.

Though no additional cases of CWD have been confirmed in Missouri, Wilkinson said the department continues to vigilantly check.

“If you see a deer that looks sick or you have questions or concerns about it, contact us and we’ll come look at it,” Wilkinson said.

He said the department also encourages hunters donate tissues samples from their harvest.

“If someone has a concern about it, we can come out and take a look at it, harvest a tissue sample and have it tested,” Wilkinson said.

To help prevent the introduction of CWD into new areas of Missouri from other states, the Wildlife Code of Missouri requires hunters who harvest deer, elk, or moose in other states and bring the animal with spinal column or head attached to call toll free, 877-853-5665 and report the animal’s entry into the state within 24 hours. They must also take the carcass to a licensed meat processor or taxidermist within 72 hours of entry.

The archery deer season in Missouri continues through Friday and the 11-day fall firearms deer season will then commence from Saturday, Nov. 15 through Tuesday, Nov. 25.

The archery season will then reconvene the following day, Nov. 26, and continue until Jan. 15, 2015. Several other special hunts are planned.