Michigan adds firearms deer hunt to aid CWD surveillance
The Michigan DNR today (Wednesday, Dec. 20) announced that an additional firearms deer hunt has been added in Ionia and Montcalm counties to help with chronic wasting disease surveillance.
Hunt dates are Jan. 4-7 and 11-14, 2018. The hunt will occur on public and private land in the following townships: Easton, Ionia, Keene, Lyons, North Plains, Orleans, Otisco and Ronald in Ionia County, and Bloomer, Bushnell, Crystal, Day, Evergreen and Ferris in Montcalm County.
“Unfortunately, we continue to detect chronic wasting disease throughout the nine-township core area in parts of Montcalm and Kent counties,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer specialist. “Because it is likely that CWD exists outside of this core area, we are counting on hunters and their willingness to harvest deer to support our surveillance efforts. Better, broader surveillance of deer herd health is critical to better understanding this wildlife disease.”
Licenses, including a deer license, combination deer license, private-land antlerless deer license for DMU 354 or DMU 419, or a public-land antlerless deer license for DMU 354 or DMU 419, are valid, the DNR said in a news release Wednesday announcing the additional hunt. Antlerless deer may be tagged using the deer license or combination deer license. All other license restrictions apply. All rules and regulations for the firearm deer season apply.
Hunters participating in the hunt will be required to turn in heads of harvested deer, within 72 hours of harvest, for disease testing. The Flat River State Game Area Office (6640 Long Lake Road, Belding) will be open to check deer Jan. 4-17, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There also will be self-service drop boxes, available through Jan. 17, at the following locations:
- Parr’s Deer Processing, 2028 W. County Farm Road, Sheridan
- Blanchard’s Thriftway Deer Processing, 903 S. Main St., Crystal
- Village Market, Carson City, 10715 E. Carson City Road, Carson City
- Slater’s Deer Processing, 1224 Prairie Creek Road, Ionia
- Jones Farm Market, 7965 Potters Road, Saranac
Instructions for the drop boxes are posted on-site. For questions about checking deer or using the drop boxes, call 616-794-2658.
Hunters who have submitted deer heads for CWD testing should process their deer as needed, but wait for test results before consumption, the DNR said.
To learn more about CWD – and the current known distribution of CWD in Michigan – visit michigan.gov/cwd. Results are updated weekly.
On Monday, Dec. 18, the DNR announced that an additional antlerless deer firearms hunt has been added in the northeast Lower Peninsula to help with bovine tuberculosis management. Dates for that hunt also are Jan. 4-7 and 11-14, 2018, with the hunt planned on private land in Alpena County, south of M-32.