Don't forget to check your Michigan deer for CWD.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking hunters in areas where deer have been affected by chronic wasting disease (CWD) to have harvested animals checked during the firearm deer season, which begins today, Nov. 15.
"The firearm deer season is our single best opportunity to collect sufficient samples to understand the extent of this invariably fatal disease," said Chad Stewart, DNR deer specialist.
The DNR is requiring hunters to check harvested deer within a nine-township Core CWD Area consisting of Alaiedon, Delhi, Lansing, Meridian, Wheatfield and Williamstown townships in Ingham County; Bath and DeWitt townships in Clinton County; and Woodhull Township in Shiawassee County.
In addition, the DNR encourages hunters to check their deer and have them tested for CWD in a broader CWD Management Zone, which consists of Clinton, Ingham and Shiawassee counties.
A hunter from Dewitt Township harvested a 1.5-year-old buck early in the week of Nov. 9 that may be positive for CWD.
"The hunter was notified of the potentially positive deer and has been extremely cooperative and helpful," said Dr. Steve Schmitt, DNR wildlife veterinarian. "It really indicates that hunters want to be part of the solution. We commend him for following the law and getting his deer checked. This news could change our assessment on how far-reaching the disease is at this point."
The DNR doesn't usually share suspected positive results but with the large number of firearm hunters taking to the woods, it did so in order to determine the extend of CWD in Michigan's deer.
From now through the end of deer season, the DNR says there will be no mandatory regulation changes. After conducting CWD surveillance this fall, the DNR will decide what additional steps, if any, might need to be taken for the 2016 deer season.