COLUMBIA, Mo. – As the fall deer season approaches, a one-day workshop in Columbia will provide new and experienced hunters a look at topics ranging from the ecology of white-tailed deer to hunting regulations to preparing venison for the dinner table.

Missouri Venison University, Oct. 20 at the University of Missouri, is sponsored by MU Extension, the MU Division of Animal Sciences, the MU School of Natural Resources and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).

“Hunting white-tailed deer is an extremely popular recreational activity for hunters during the fall, and one of the benefits of harvesting a deer is to have high-quality and nutritious venison to enjoy throughout the year,” said Bob Pierce, MU Extension fisheries and wildlife specialist.

The workshop has been designed to provide hunters with information and expand their knowledge of deer beyond basic hunting and field dressing procedures to producing wholesome, high-quality venison products, Pierce said.

“The course will complement the Missouri Department of Conservation’s hunter education class,” said Emily Flinn, MDC resource scientist.

Presenters will demonstrate field dressing, skinning, cutting and cooking techniques. There will be opportunities for hands-on participation by individuals and small groups.

“Demonstrations will emphasize food safety, quality and preservation of venison,” said Carol Lorenzen, MU professor and extension meat specialist.  “We have a great lineup of speakers who will share their expertise during the workshop.”

Participants will learn to recognize signs and symptoms of diseases of concern in Missouri’s deer population and have the opportunity to see what healthy deer organs look like.

Other topics will include:

-Ecology and management of white-tailed deer in Missouri, including an overview of Quality Deer Management.

-Information about the Share the Harvest, a joint program of the Conservation Federation of Missouri and MDC through which hunters can donate surplus venison to families in need.

-Preservation methods, including canning and making sausage and jerky.

-The history of deer management and hunting in Missouri and updates on hunting regulations and management programs.

The workshop will run 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, in Room 145 of the William Stringer Wing of Eckles Hall on the MU campus.

The $150 registration fee includes workshop materials, handouts, venison snacks and lunch. Enrollment will be limited to 50 participants. To register, contact Kathy Craighead at 573-882-2752 or [email protected].

For more information about the workshop, contact Bob Pierce at 573-882-4337 or [email protected]; or Carol Lorenzen at 573-882-2452 or [email protected].

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