Hunting Fever Returns this Sunday

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Bowhunters will get things started as Missouri deer and turkey season starts for the fall.

One priority for the Missouri Department of Conservation this year: battling Chronic Wasting Disease — or CWD.

Francis Skalicky with the Missouri Department of Conservation encourages hunters to bring in any deer to increase their sample size to combat the brain wasting disease in deer.

“One thing we’re doing with archery season this year is voluntary CWD testing — voluntary testing for chronic wasting disease,” says Skalicky. “We’ve had 116 positive samples in Missouri since we found our first positive in 2012.”

Many of their samples will come in during the mandatory period in the first week of firearms season in November, but the next couple of months are all about bow hunting.

Things have been ramping up at Archery Quest in Springfield as the big day approaches. Owner Mark Rarrick says they have stayed busy.

“A couple weeks ago when it was really cool, there was a big spurt, and everybody has been getting in the mood. These 95 degree days have put a little skid on that, but there will still be the die-hards that’ll be out opening morning no matter what,” says Rarrick.

He says archers will want to be wary of a few things when they go to bag a big buck.

“You gotta know where the water source is because they gotta have a drink you know. Find the white oaks if you’re not hunting food plots because deer are going to be eating acorns. That’s the food source they’re going to be gearing for,” says Rarrick.  

He says Saturday’s full moon will also be a factor, as deer will spend much of the night feeding and may lay low early in the day Sunday.

As far as CWD testing, you can call the Conservation Department’s Southwest Office on where you can get your deer tested. For map of where CWD has been found in Missouri, click here.

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