Travis Smola

Michigan DNR Says Potential CWD-Infected Doe Shot During Youth Season

Suspected CWD-positive doe taken in Montcalm County.

Michigan's youth deer season saw at least one young successful hunter's harvest end with some bad news. Initial tests show the deer may have had chronic wasting disease.

A lab at Michigan State University still has to confirm the diagnosis on the 3 1/2-year-old doe, but the news could mean a new CWD surveillance around where the deer was shot in Montcalm Township.

"We cannot thank this family enough for bringing in their deer to a check station," DNR state wildlife veterinarian Kelly Straka said in a DNR press release. "Without their effort, the disease may have gone undetected in this area. We encourage hunters from any part of the state, especially the south-central Lower Peninsula, to have their deer tested."

The DNR is not recommending a new management unit for the area at this time, but if it happens in the future, it could encompass a nine-township area including Douglass, Eureka, Fairplain, Maple Valley, Montcalm, Pine and Sidney Townships.

A management area would also affect two towns across the county lines in Kent County—Oakfield and Spencer townships.

If implemented, mandatory registration would be required and hunters would be able to take antlerless deer with their combo licenses. They would also remove antler point restrictions in the area.

The news of a potential new CWD discovery comes after a summer where the DNR had already recommended a new containment area for Montcalm and Mecosta counties around a deer ranch. Michigan also tightened up their carcass-importation rules to apply to all states and not just those identified as CWD-infected.