CWD regulations in Michigan

Due to the regular amending of regulations in Michigan, it is recommended that before hunting you check these CWD regulations, as well as those of any other states or provinces in which you will be hunting or traveling through while transporting cervid carcasses. The contact information for Michigan can be seen below:

Click a section to expand:


FOR NATIONAL REGULATIONS GO HERE

Testing Laboratories in Michigan

Michigan Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Disease Laboratory
4125 Beaumont Road Room 250 Lansing, MI 48910-8106
517-336-5030

Michigan State University- Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health
Michigan State University 4125 Beaumont Road, Room 122 Lansing, MI 48910-8104
517-353-0635
www.dcpah.msu.edu/

Locations Where CWD Was Found

Counties (Accurate as of 2/2016)

1. Clinton 2. Ingham

Most Recent CWD News

  • All
  • 2
  • Recent News
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all

News by Year

2016 (1)2015 (3)2008 (4)2004 (6)2003 (6)2002 (2)

Category Archives: Michigan

Michigan confirms additional CWD-positive free-ranging, white-tailed deer, bringing the total to seven

Landowner assistance critical to continued management of deadly disease

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has confirmed two additional free-ranging deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose.

One of the newly confirmed CWD-positive deer is a 9-month-old male from Meridian Township (Ingham County), and the other is a 2 ¾-year-old female from Watertown Township (Clinton County).

Since May 2015, nearly 4,900 deer have been tested for CWD. Seven of these have tested positive for the disease.

At this time, samples are being collected through road-kill pickup and professional sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services. Since the initial case was confirmed, four of the last six positives were collected through efforts of USDA Wildlife Services staff.

In total, sharpshooters have collected just over 630 deer from the Core CWD Area, which includes nine townships. Of those, 467 deer were taken from Meridian Township, 108 from Williamstown Township, 41 from Bath Township, 12 from Lansing Township, six from DeWitt Township, and none from the remaining townships. Another 33 have been taken outside the core from Watertown Township.

“The partnership with area landowners and USDA Wildlife Services is a critical component of our surveillance efforts to determine the distribution of this fatal disease,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer specialist. “Now, with these additional CWD-positive deer, that support is needed more than ever.”

Stewart continued, “The intensive removal of deer in these areas has a two-part benefit. One, it helps us understand prevalence rates and spread so we can make informed decisions on disease management moving forward; and two, by removing individual deer around areas with known disease occurrence, it reduces the potential for spread and accumulation in our deer herd, which has benefits not only locally, but on the periphery of the management zone as well.”

Landowners who would like to directly help with surveillance can apply for disease control permits, which allow a landowner to harvest deer on his or her own property and turn in the head to the DNR for testing. To apply for a disease control permit, contact the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at 517-336-5030.

Another option for landowners to help address this disease is allowing USDA Wildlife Services sharpshooters access to their property to collect samples. Sharpshooters work closely with landowners on the number and type of deer that can be taken, and they will conduct surveillance only on property where they have permission. To inquire about working with USDA sharpshooters, contact the DNR Rose Lake field office at 517-641-4092.

To date, there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease presents any risk to non-cervids, including humans, either through contact with an infected animal or from handling contaminated venison. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.

The DNR asks the public to continue to report deer that are unusually thin and exhibiting unusual behavior (for example, acting tame around humans and allowing someone to approach).

To report a suspicious-looking deer, call the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. After hours, call the DNR Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800. Do not attempt to disturb, kill or remove the animal.

DNR staff will continue with road-kill collection in the Core CWD Area. To report road-kills found in the Core CWD Area, call the Wildlife Disease hotline at 517-614-9602. Leave a voicemail with location information and staff will attempt to pick up carcasses on the next open business day.

The DNR provides CWD biweekly updates online at www.michigan.gov/cwd.

DNR confirms third deer positive for CWD; hunter participation is critical this fall

Today, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that a third free-ranging deer in Meridian Township (Ingham County) has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). The deer was a 5-year-old doe. All three CWD-positive deer detected thus far have been discovered within a mile of one another.

“As we stated with the second positive deer, this news is not surprising,” said Dr. Steve Schmitt, DNR wildlife veterinarian. “The good news is that all three deer came from the same small area.” Genetic analyses carried out by Michigan State University’s Molecular Ecology Laboratory indicate that all three positive animals were related as part of an extended family. Previous research has shown that CWD often is transmitted within family groups because of their close contact.

Hunters are critical to helping the DNR understand the prevalence and geographic distribution of the disease.

“We have focused our efforts thus far in the area around the first case,” Schmitt continued. ”We need individuals who have always hunted in Ingham County and surrounding counties to keep hunting. The DNR can’t fight this disease without their support. Hunters need to have their deer checked and tested so we can determine if this disease is established over a broad area or just persisting in a local pocket.”

In addition, it is critical that if an individual hunts outside Michigan in a state or province that has CWD in their free-ranging deer, elk, or moose that only the following parts of deer, elk, or moose carcasses are brought into Michigan:

  • Deboned meat.
  • Antlers.
  • Antlers attached to a skull cap cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue.
  • Hides.
  • Upper canine teeth.
  • Finished taxidermy mount.

If a hunter is notified by another state or province that a deer, elk, or moose that was brought into Michigan tested positive for CWD, that hunter must contact the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab within two business days (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at 517-336-5030.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. It is caused by the transmission of infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other body fluids of infected animals. Susceptible animals can acquire CWD by direct exposure to these fluids, or from environments contaminated with these fluids or the carcass of a diseased animal.

Some chronically CWD-infected animals will display abnormal behaviors, progressive weight loss and physical debilitation. There is no cure; once a deer is infected with CWD, it will die.

To date, there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease presents any risk to non-cervids, including humans, either through contact with an infected animal or from handling venison. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.

The DNR provides CWD weekly updates online at www.michigan.gov/cwd. Announcements of additional CWD-positive deer within that same area will be listed online. Additional news updates will be issued if a CWD-positive deer is found outside the immediate area.

Michigan confirms chronic wasting disease in second free-ranging white-tailed deer

The Michigan departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) have confirmed a second free-ranging deer in Meridian Township (Ingham County) has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. This second case is a 2-year-old male found less than a mile from the initial positive female deer, confirmed this past May. Genetic testing is being conducted to see if the two deer are related.

“Finding this second positive deer is disappointing, however, not unexpected,” said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. “We will continue with our aggressive surveillance throughout the summer and fall. With the assistance of hunters, we hope to determine the distribution of this disease.”

To date, 304 deer have been tested in the Core CWD Area. Only two have tested positive for CWD.

Upon the finding of the initial CWD positive deer, the DNR established the CWD Management Zone consisting of Clinton, Ingham and Shiawassee counties.

Additionally, the Core CWD Area consisting of Lansing, Meridian, Williamstown, Delhi, Alaiedon and Wheatfield townships in Ingham County; DeWitt and Bath townships in Clinton County; and Woodhull Township in Shiawassee County, was created. Feeding and baiting of deer and elk are prohibited in the CWD Management Zone. Mandatory checking of deer will be required in the Core CWD Area during hunting seasons and restrictions will apply to the movement of carcasses and parts of deer taken in this area.

“Michigan has a long tradition of hunter support and conservation ethics. Now, with these CWD findings, that support is needed more than ever,” said Steve Schmitt, veterinarian-in-charge at the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab. “Because hunters are often familiar with the deer herd locally, one of the best things they can do to help manage this disease is to continue hunting and bring their deer to check stations this season.”

In the Core CWD Area, there is an unlimited antlerless deer license quota and the deer license or deer combo licenses may be used to harvest antlerless or any antlered deer during firearm and muzzleloading seasons. Additional deer-check stations will be established in the Core CWD Area and the CWD Management Zone to accommodate hunters.

To date, there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease presents any risk to non-cervids, including humans, either through contact with an infected animal or from handling contaminated venison. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.

The DNR asks that the public and hunters continue to report deer that are unusually thin and exhibiting unusual behavior (for example, acting tame around humans and allowing someone to approach).

To report a suspicious-looking deer, call the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab at 517-336-5030 or fill out and submit the online observation report, found on the DNR website.

DNR staff will continue with road-kill collection in the Core CWD Area. To report road-kills found in the Core CWD Area call the Wildlife Disease Hotline at 517-614-9602. Leave a voicemail with location information and staff will attempt to pick up carcasses on the next open business day.

More information on CWD, including Michigan’s CWD surveillance and response plan and weekly testing updates, are available at www.michigan.gov/cwd.

Michigan confirms state’s first case of chronic wasting disease in free-ranging white-tailed deer

The Michigan departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) today confirmed that a free-ranging deer in Meridian Township (Ingham County) has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. This is the first time the disease has been found in Michigan’s free-ranging deer population. In 2008 a white-tailed deer from a privately owned cervid (POC) facility in Kent County tested positive for CWD.

The animal was observed last month wandering around a Meridian Township residence and showing signs of illness. The homeowner contacted the Meridian Township Police Department, who then sent an officer to euthanize the animal. The deer was collected by a DNR wildlife biologist and delivered for initial testing to the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health in Lansing, Michigan. After initial tests were positive, samples were forwarded to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for final confirmation. The Michigan DNR received that positive confirmation last week.

To date, there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease presents any risk to non-cervids, including humans, either through contact with an infected animal or from handling contaminated venison. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.

“This is the first case of chronic wasting disease to be confirmed in a free-ranging Michigan white-tailed deer,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh.

“While it is a disappointing day for Michigan, the good news is that we are armed with a thoughtfully crafted response plan,” Creagh said. “We are working with other wildlife experts at the local, regional, state and federal level, using every available resource, to determine the extent of this disease, respond appropriately to limit further transmission, and ultimately eradicate the disease in Michigan if possible.”

The confirmed positive finding triggers several actions in the state’s surveillance and response plan for chronic wasting disease. The plan was developed in 2002 through cooperation between the DNR and MDARD, and was updated in 2012. Actions the DNR will take include:

  1. Completing a population survey in the area where the CWD-positive deer was found.
  2. Establishing a 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. Unlimited antlerless deer hunting licenses will be available. Mandatory checking of deer will be required in this area during hunting seasons and restrictions will apply to the movement of carcasses and parts of deer taken in this area.
  3. Creating a CWD Management Zone, which will include Clinton, Ingham and Shiawassee counties.
  4. Implementing a deer and elk feeding and baiting ban, which will include the Core CWD Area and the larger three-county CWD Management Zone.
  5. Prohibiting the possession or salvage of deer killed by collision with a motor vehicle within the Core CWD Area. Also, residents are asked to call in the locations of road-killed deer within this area so DNR staff can pick up for testing. Research shows CWD-infected deer are more likely to be hit by vehicles because of their illness.

DNR Director Creagh will issue an interim order approving immediate implementation of these actions.

“MDARD is working with the state’s privately owned cervid facilities within a 15-mile surveillance zone to ensure compliance with CWD testing requirements,” said MDARD State Veterinarian James Averill. “For POC facilities located outside of the surveillance zone, there will be no impact. We are, however, encouraging all POCs to continue to be our partners in the state’s CWD testing program.”

Chronic wasting disease first was identified in 1967 as a clinical disease in captive mule deer at the Colorado Division of Wildlife Foothills Wildlife Research Facility in Fort Collins, Colorado. Since then, most CWD cases have occurred in western states, but in the past 15 years it has spread to some midwestern and eastern states.

The disease is caused by the transmission of infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other body fluids of infected animals. Susceptible animals can acquire CWD by direct exposure to these fluids or from environments contaminated with these fluids or the carcass of a diseased animal. Once contaminated, research shows that soil can remain a source of infection for long periods of time, making CWD a particularly difficult disease to eradicate.

Some chronically CWD-infected animals will display abnormal behaviors, progressive weight loss and physical debilitation. There is no cure; once a deer is infected with CWD, it will die.

Although this is the first positive CWD finding in the state’s free-ranging deer population, it is important to note that from Jan. 1, 1998, through Dec. 31, 2014, tens of thousands of free-ranging Michigan deer were tested and no evidence was found of chronic wasting disease in this population. In fact, that testing included 34,207 deer, 1,607 elk and 70 moose – a large sample of animals with no positive finding. In privately owned deer populations, approximately 21,000 samples have to date been tested for CWD. All of those have been negative as well, with the exception of the 2008 Kent County case. MDARD conducts ongoing surveillance of Michigan’s 365 registered, privately owned cervid facilities.

Public awareness, support

“Strong public awareness and cooperation from residents and hunters are critical for a rapid response to evaluate any deer suspected of having chronic wasting disease,” said Steve Schmitt, veterinarian-in-charge at the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab. “We’d like to thank the resident who called local authorities, as well as the Meridian Township Police Department for its swift response.”

The DNR asks help from the public and hunters in reporting deer that are:

  • Unusually thin.
  • Exhibiting unusual behavior (for example, acting tame around humans and allowing someone to approach).

To report a suspicious-looking deer, call the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab at 517-336-5030 or fill out and submit the online observation report found on the DNR website.

To report road-kills found in the Core CWD Area call the Wildlife Disease Hotline at 517-614-9602 during office hours. Leave a voicemail with location information and staff will attempt to pick up carcasses on the next open business day.

Additionally, Schmitt said hunters will play a key role in helping the state manage this new wildlife challenge.

“Michigan has a long tradition of hunter support and conservation ethics. Now, with the CWD finding, that support is needed more than ever,” Schmitt said. “Historically, areas where chronic wasting disease has been found have experienced a decline in hunter numbers. Because hunters are often familiar with the deer herd locally, one of the best things they can do to help manage this disease is to continue hunting and bring their deer to check stations this season.”

Once the DNR has conducted targeted surveillance in the CWD Management Zone, staff will have a better understanding of needed changes in hunting regulations for upcoming deer hunting seasons.

Despite the CWD finding, Schmitt said there is reason for optimism.

“When it comes to chronic wasting disease, Michigan isn’t alone. A total of 23 states and two Canadian provinces have found CWD in either free-ranging or privately owned cervids, or both,” he said. “Michigan will take full advantage of the collective expertise and experience of those who have for years now dealt with chronic wasting disease on a daily basis.”

Get more information on CWD – including Michigan’s CWD surveillance and response plan, FAQs and a link to the CWD Alliance website where more photos and video are available – at www.michigan.gov/cwd.

Tests of More Than 1,000 Deer Find No More Cases of Chronic Wasting Disease

Statewide, 1,095 deer have been tested, with 964 testing clean and 131 awaiting results. More than 300 wild Kent County deer have been tested and found to be clear of chronic wasting disease after the highly contagious disorder was found in one northern Kent County farm-raised deer in August.

As of Tuesday, state Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Mary Detloff said, no new cases of the disease had been discovered in Michigan.

Statewide, 1,095 deer have been tested, with 964 testing clean and 131 awaiting results. In Kent County, along with 305 that tested negative, 89 are awaiting results. And in a nine-township “hot zone” in northern Kent County around the area where the farm-raised deer was found, 224 deer have tested negative with results pending on 67 more.

Testing of deer continues as the state hopes to ensure the disease is not spreading in the wild population. It aims to test 8,000 deer this year. Deer being tested are brought in by hunters as well as harvested with special permits in the hot zone area.

To prevent large numbers of deer from visiting single locations where the disease might spread, the DNR in September instituted a complete ban in the Lower Peninsula on feeding deer, whether as bait for hunting or for recreational viewing. The illness spreads through an abnormal protein carried in deer feces, urine and saliva that can survive for years in the ground.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!