Conservation officials in Missouri want deer hunters to take precautions this fall in order to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.
CWD cases are so far limited to a containment zone in north central Missouri, with the state's first documented case occurring three years ago. Joe Jerek with the Missouri Department of Conservation says hunters should wear latex gloves when field-dressing a deer.
"We encourage hunters to remove the meat in the field if possible, and leave the carcass behind, and even bury it if possible," Jerek said. "If hunters are processing their harvested deer at (a) deer camp or at home, then we encourage them to place those carcass parts in trash bags and properly dispose of them through a trash service or a landfill. For those hunters who are having their deer processed for them, we encourage them to take their deer to a licensed commercial processer to assure proper carcass disposal."
Jerek says deer with CWD stop eating and tend to stumble around. The disease cannot be transmitted to humans, but conservation officials fear it could affect the state's recently restored elk herd in southern Missouri.
Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport