Post-Season Targeted Culling

Targeted Culling Helps Reduce the Spread of CWD

After the close of deer hunting season, MDC staff work with landowners on a voluntary basis in the immediate areas around where recent cases of CWD have been found to remove additional deer from mid-January to mid-March. Increasing harvest in areas where CWD has been found increases the chances of removing more infected deer.

Post-season targeted culling is the only tested method of slowing the growth of CWD in a local deer population. States such as Illinois have had success in stabilizing the level of CWD in areas through targeted culling. Learn more at sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167587713002894. Limiting the number of CWD-infected deer in an area also helps minimize the accumulation of CWD in the local environment.

MDC does NOT conduct targeted culling on a county-wide level. Targeted culling occurs in locations within 1-2 miles of CWD detections. The exact size of the culling operation depends on the number of positives detected and where they were found.

 

Deer Harvested During Winter Targeted Culling Operations
Location Spring 2010 Winter 2012 Winter 2013 Winter 2014 Winter 2015 Winter 2016 Winter 2017 Winter 2018 Winter 2019 Total
Total 148 654 99 147 349 889 755 1485 2212 6738
Northeast Missouri 148 654 --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 802
Adair Core Area --- --- --- --- 195 274 179 293 347 1288
Cole Surveillance Zone --- --- --- --- --- 176 77 --- --- 253
Linn Surveillance Zone --- --- --- --- --- 171 68 45 --- 284
Macon-Linn Core Area --- --- 99 147 154 131 140 214 201 1086
North Franklin Core Area  --- --- --- --- --- 137 35 41 57 270
SW Franklin Core Area  --- --- --- --- --- --- 98 86 178 362
Jefferson Core Area  --- --- --- --- --- --- 158 141 121 420
Linn-Sullivan Core Area --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 151 186 337
Mercer Core Area --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 175 175
Oregon Core Area --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 286 286
Ste Genevieve Core Area --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 105 124 229
St Clair Core Area --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 409 420 829
Stone Core Area --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 83 83
Taney Core Area --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 34 34

MDC Post-Season Targeted Culling Areas

Areas in red show current post-season-targeted culling. Gray sections show past areas of targeted culling.

View a larger version of this map.

Increased Landowner Harvest During Deer Season

During deer season, MDC allows for additional numbers of deer to be harvested beyond normal limits for landowners with five or more acres in core areas where CWD has been found. While this additional harvest is helpful, the number of deer harvested by landowners through this method is not enough to limit the spread of CWD to more deer in an area or to other areas.

Targeted Culling Is Voluntary for Landowners

MDC staff ALWAYS get permission from affected landowners before any targeting culling occurs. Landowners have the choice to allow or refuse targeting culling on their lands. Participating landowners either get written authorization from MDC to harvest deer on their land or give permission to MDC shooting teams to harvest the deer.

Harvest Methods Are Different for Targeted Culling

To maximize the effectiveness of post-season targeted culling, landowners and MDC shooting teams may deviate from hunting-season regulation restrictions. With permission from MDC, they may use spotlights or place limited amounts of bait to help harvest targeted deer on designated areas.  

What Happens To Deer Harvested Through Targeted Culling?

Deer harvested through targeted culling that do not test positive for CWD are offered to the participating landowners or donated to the Share the Harvest Program for local food banks and food pantries. Deer that test positive for CWD are properly disposed of by MDC staff or meat processors.