MDC officials remind residents in CWD counties not to place food attractants for deer

Published: Jan. 1, 2023 at 2:37 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Missouri Department of Conservation is reminding residents who live in counties with deer affected by Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to not place out food attractants.

A new MDC rule states, grain, salt products, minerals, and other consumable products used to attract deer are prohibited year-round within CWD Management Zone counties, with a few exceptions. Those exceptions are:

  • Feed placed within 100 feet of any residence or occupied building
  • Feed placed in a manner that excludes access by deer
  • Feed and minerals used solely for normal agricultural, forest management, or wildlife food-plot production practices

Counties in the Ozarks with deer affected by CWD include Barry, Barton, Camden, Cedar, Christian, Greene, Hickory, Howell, Laclede, McDonald, Ozark, Polk, Pulaski, Stone, St. Clair, Taney, and Vernon.

Chronic Waste Disease Misosuri map
Chronic Waste Disease Misosuri map(KY3)

MDC says is a prion disease, or a disease that affects an animal’s nervous system and affects deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer, and moose. The department hopes restricting the feeding of wildlife will slow the spread and frequency of the disease.

“MDC recognizes that people may want to place bird feeders or other attractants to watch wildlife near their house. The rule allows you to place feeders near your residence, and MDC encourages the use of bird seed that does not attract deer, such as safflower and nyjer. Through using bird seed that does not attract deer, residents can still enjoy birdwatching without drawing in other animals such as deer. When animals are forced into a confined location for easy availability of food, disease can spread more rapidly than normal. In counties where CWD is spreading, avoiding the artificial congregation of deer is a priority,” MDC states.

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