Deer Hunters Urged To Help With Tick Study

Local deer hunters can help with a tick study being conducted by A.T. Still University in Kirksville, in partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation

Deer hunters are asked to save ticks they find on harvested deer and mail them to the University. The ticks will be used for a scientific research study to help better understand the statewide distribution of tick species and the human pathogens they carry.

MDC Ecological Health Unit Science Supervisor Matt Combes says “During this time of year, we are asking the many Missouri deer hunters around the state to send us ticks they find on their harvested animals.”  He went on to say “The University needs more samples – especially of deer ticks, also called blacklegged ticks, which are commonly found on deer this time of year.”

Missouri is home to three common species of ticks that bite humans: lone star tick, American dog tick, and deer tick (blacklegged tick).  Deer ticks are the primary transmitters of a bacterial infection called Lyme disease.

To help with the research efforts, people are asked to place live ticks in a plastic zip-top bag with a piece of damp paper towel or moist cotton ball, then fold the bag and place it inside another plastic zip-top bag with a completed sample-submission form. The sample-submission form is available for printing from the University website at

People are then asked to place the bag and completed sample-submission form in an envelope and mail it to: A.T. Still University, ATTENTION: Deb Hudman — Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology, 800 W. Jefferson St., Kirksville MO 63501.


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