As hunters enjoy the final days of this year’s firearm deer season and prepare for the archery season restart Dec. 1, it’s important to keep CWD testing in mind – especially in areas of the state where chronic wasting disease has been confirmed. This fatal, neurological disease affects deer, elk and moose. Since the first case was confirmed four years ago in a free-ranging white-tailed deer in Ingham County, CWD now has been found in eight additional counties: Clinton, Dickinson, Eaton, Ionia, Jackson, Kent, Gratiot and Montcalm.
Each year, CWD surveillance goals are created to help biologists understand the extent of the disease in the local deer herd. Hunters can help by bringing their deer to check stations so deer heads can be tested. Though surveillance goals already have been met in most counties, deer heads from Gratiot, Isabella and Jackson counties, as well as from the Upper Peninsula CWD core surveillance area, are still needed for testing. Anyone hunting those areas is urged to have their deer tested.
Even in areas where DNR surveillance goals have been met, the department will continue to test for CWD if hunters are interested in having their deer tested.
Hunters can check the CWD testing results page to keep track of whether deer are needed from certain areas. For more on this deer hunting season, including regulations, deer check stations, places to hunt and more, visit Michigan.gov/Deer.
Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.