We always love coming across a family of deer quietly grazing or stealthily slipping through the forest as we hike through their home. When I see these majestic creatures it always reminds me why we always attempt to leave no trace. In order to keep Missouri's deer population (which includes white-tailed deer, mule deer, and their hybrids) the Missouri Conservation Commission has recently approved proposed regulation changes to the Wildlife Code of Missouri regarding the operation of local hunting preserves and wildlife breeding facilities.
These proposed regulation changes are up now, via the Secretary of State's Office at http://www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/moreg/current/v39n14/v39n14a.pdf (beginning on page 7) and primarily address the Missouri Department of Conservation's strategy to minimize the spreading of diseases such as Chronic Wasting Disease, in Missouri's deer population. Chronic Wasting Disease has been identified in some captive-deer operations and is always fatal, with no known cure as of now.
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation website (mdconline) the cliffnotes version of the proposed regulations include:
- Banning the imports of live deer from other states
- Requiring new and expanding captive-cervid facilities to improve their fencing
- All deer six months and older that perish in one of the captive facilities are to be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease
- Requiring captive facilities to establish better record keeping
- Prohibiting any new captive facilities to be built or established within 25 miles of confirmed Chronic Wasting Disease deaths
Keep in mind a healthy deer population is a huge boon to the state of Missouri, and with half a million deer hunters, two million wildlife watchers and many Missouri landowners who manage their property for deer all culminate in an annual economic benefit of a billion dollars!
More Information:MDConline: Cronic Wasting Disease
MDConline: Protecting Missouri's White-tailed Deer