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JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JAN. 30, 2023 – Missouri Department of Conservation officials found a CWD-positive deer during firearms season on private land near Prairie State Park. In an effort to keep the disease from spreading, MDC is planning a controlled culling of deer within the park.

Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a fatal, neurological illness that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. This contagious disease can be transmitted freely within and among deer populations.

Controlled culling will begin Feb. 1 and continue throughout the month. Portions of the park may be closed and visitors should check the Park and Site Status Map at before visiting.

Based on available scientific information, MDC officials said they believe localized removal of deer through targeted culling is an effective means to minimize the spread of CWD and reduce the rate the disease spreads through the deer population. Removing a greater number of potentially infected deer from the population can slow disease growth rates and minimize the amount of CWD contamination in the environment. Removing additional deer from where CWD has been detected can also help reduce disease transmission within the local population. Limiting population reductions only to areas where CWD is present helps reduce impacts to populations in the surround areas.

As a reminder, hunting is prohibited in state parks, except for specially designated hunts and culling operations. For inquiries about CWD culling, contact MDC at For information on trail closures, call the park office at 417-843-6711 or visit the website. Prairie State Park is located at 128 NW 150th Lane in Mindenmines.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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