SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – In its ongoing search to determine the prevalence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Missouri, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is once again offering hunters voluntary deer head drop-off sites at select locations around the state, including at a number of sites in southwest Missouri.
CWD is a neurological disease fatal to deer. Each year, mandatory sample collection from deer harvested in counties comprising Missouri’s CWD management zone takes place during opening weekend of the November firearms deer season. This large-scale two-day sample collection effort will take place again this year on Nov. 12-13, but in addition to that, MDC also offers voluntary CWD sampling opportunities for hunters who harvest deer in other seasons (archery, youth, etc.)
Each of these voluntary sites have a freezer that will preserve dropped-off deer heads until they are picked up at a later date by MDC staff for CWD testing. These self-serve sites enable hunters to submit deer heads at their convenience throughout the 2022-23 fall deer hunting seasons. In southwest Missouri, these voluntary drop-off sites fall into three categories.
MDC Offices: The MDC offices listed below as voluntary sampling locations typically can accommodate sampling during normal business hours. However, hunters are encouraged to call in advance to ensure staff are available for collecting samples.
- Cedar County – El Dorado Springs Office, 1109 S. Main St., El Dorado Springs, 417-876-5226
- Greene County – Southwest Regional Office, 2630 N. Mayfair Ave., Springfield, 417-895-6880
Non-MDC Sampling Partners: Each year, MDC partners with taxidermists and meat processors to offer hunters additional locations to have their deer sampled for CWD. Availability and hours vary so hunters should call these locations in advance before taking their deer or deer head for sampling.
- Barry County – Scott’s Taxidermy, 520 Farm Road 2190, Exeter, 417-835-2053
- Barry County – Reflections Taxidermy, 101 N. Central Ave., Monett, 417-235-8848
- Barton County – Gary’s Taxidermy, 631 SW 30th Road, Lamar, 417-214-1165
- Benton County – Rifles and Reels Taxidermy LLC, 29919 State Highway UU, Warsaw, 660-223-3939
- Cedar County – Cedar Creek Wildlife Arts, 13295 South 825 Road, Stockton, 417-995-2012
- Cedar County – Sharps Taxidermy Studio, 3050 E. 1974 RD, Jerico Springs, 417-955-0069
- Cedar County – Bear Creek Meats, 19827 E. 1450, Stockton, 417-808-0093
- Christian County – Mitchell’s Taxidermy, 12751 State Highway 125, Chadwick, 417-634-2085
- Christian County – Woods Fork Taxidermy, 3425 Wood Fork Road, Highlandville, 417-860-4630
- Christian County – Oldfield Packing LLC, 192 Andrews Road, Sparta, 417-634-3943
- Greene County – Matthews, Wildlife Art Taxidermy, 9880 North Cedar Valley Lanes, Fair Grove, 417-838-3900
- Greene County – Ozark Forest Taxidermy, 10929 N. Farm Road 177, Fair Grove, 417-838-3900
- Hickory County – Hays Processing, 13663 Highway 83, Quincy, 417-399-3437
- Laclede County – Clemens Taxidermy, 26445 Rustic Drive, Lebanon, 417-532-5008
- Laclede County – Calton Machinery & Processing, 12818 Pecan Drive, Lebanon, 417-589-2892
- Laclede County – Roberts Cattle Co., 31210 Highway O, Lebanon, 417-531-5206
- Stone County – Pete Dickenson Taxidermy, 20646 Old Highway 160, Reeds Spring, 417-527-0695
- Taney County – Real Trophies Taxidermy, 414 S. Fork, Branson, 417-544-0870
Freezer drop-off locations: These sites feature self-serve freezers. Hunters will be responsible for packing their deer heads and filling out an information tag. Directions, packing supplies, and tags will be available at these locations. People who have questions about these sites can call 573-815-7901, ext. 3901 or e-mail WildlifeHealth@mdc.mo.gov.
- Barry County – MDC Cassville Office, 601 State Highway 248, Cassville
- Cedar County – Stockton State Park, 19100 South Highway 215, Dadeville
- Christian County – MoDOT Ozark Office, 1810 Selmore Road, Ozark
- Greene – MDC Southwest Regional Office, 2630 N. Mayfair, Springfield
- Hickory County – Pomme de Terre State Park, 23451 Park Entrance Road, Pittsburg
- Laclede County – MDC Lebanon Office, 2350 S. Jefferson Ave., Lebanon
- McDonald County – MoDOT Goodman Office, W. Main St. and East St. intersection, Anderson
- Polk County – MDC Bolivar Office, 417 Killingsworth Ave., Bolivar
- Polk County – City of Humansville Police Dept., 105 E. Lee St., Humansville
- St. Clair – MDC Osceola Shop, 3827 Missouri Highway 13, Osceola
- Stone – MoDOT Galena Office, 1880 St. Highway 248, Galena
- Taney – MDC Branson Office Shop, 226 Claremont Drive, Branson
- Taney - MDC Drury Mincy Conservation Area, 3441 Gunnison Road, Kirbyville
An interactive map showing all voluntary CWD testing drop-off sites throughout the state can be found at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZCH.
Hunters should cut off the deer head (and antlers for any bucks) while leaving about six inches of neck attached before coming to the drop-off site. Hunters can use the data sheets, zip ties and trash bags available at the freezer sites to label and bag the heads.
Hunters will need to record their name and contact information, as well as their Telecheck ID number and the location where the deer was harvested. Hunters can leave the deer head in the freezer and MDC staff will collect the heads and pull samples that will be submitted for testing.
Hunters will be able to check the results online using their Telecheck ID within three weeks. MDC will notify hunters directly if their sample returns a positive result. The Centers for Disease Control does not recommend consuming meat from a deer that has tested positive for CWD.
These voluntary drop-off sites will not be available for use during the opening weekend of the November portion of the firearms deer season (Nov. 12-13) in counties where mandatory CWD sampling is required. On opening weekend of the November season, hunters who harvest deer in mandatory CWD sampling counties are required, by regulation, to go to the MDC staffed sampling locations to have samples collected.
Since CWD was first detected in Missouri’s wild deer in 2012, there have been 292 positive tests found in the more than 210,000 samples that have been collected. From the outset, hunters have played an important role in helping MDC monitor and track the disease in the state by their assistance with sample collection.
More information about CWD in Missouri can be found at mdc.mo.gov.