The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has expanded its restrictions on feeding deer and placing minerals for deer to seven new counties in response to finding cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in or near them. The seven new counties are: Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Grundy, Madison, McDonald, Mercer and Perry. The feeding ban for these seven new counties became effective July 1.
These seven new counties join 41 existing counties of the Department’s CWD Management Zone where feeding deer and placing minerals for deer is restricted.
According to the Wildlife Code of Missouri, the placement of grain, salt products, minerals and other consumable natural and manufactured products used to attract deer is prohibited year-round within counties of the CWD Management Zone. Exceptions are feed placed within 100 feet of any residence or occupied building, feed placed in such a manner to reasonably exclude access by deer, and feed and minerals present solely as a result of normal agricultural or forest management, or crop and wildlife food production practices.
“CWD is spread from deer to deer and the potential for transmission increases when deer are unnaturally congregated,” said MDC Wildlife Disease Coordinator Jasmine Batten. “CWD can also spread when healthy deer come into contact with salvia, urine, or feces shed into the environment by infected deer. Placing feed and minerals for deer can facilitate the spread of diseases such as CWD. Recent research has confirmed the presence of CWD at mineral sites, which further supports this ban.”
For the seven new counties, MDC has also increased the availability of antlerless permits, and expanded the firearms antlerless portion to help harvest more deer in the counties and limit the spread of the disease.
MDC confirmed 33 new cases of CWD following the testing of nearly 24,500 free-ranging Missouri deer through its sampling and testing efforts last season. These new cases bring the total number of free-ranging deer in Missouri confirmed to have CWD to 75.
For more information on the feeding ban, visit MDC online at mdc.mo.gov/cwd under “Feeding Ban and Other Regulations.”