Find deer check stations, TB/CWD testing sites

(Photo by Windigo Images)

Again this year, deer check station operations will look different than in years before the coronavirus pandemic. Hunters can expect extra measures to be in place to protect the health and safety of all. Hunters are required to wear face masks to DNR deer check stations and to remember social distancing guidelines, staying 6 feet away from other individuals at the check station. You will be asked to remain in your vehicle at most check stations.

When submitting a deer head for chronic wasting disease or bovine tuberculosis testing at a DNR check station, come prepared with information about the county, township, range and section where your deer was harvested. Your deer head should also be removed, with 2-3 inches of the neck remaining. If you would like to keep your antlers, please remove those from the head, but bring them with you when you visit a check station so antler measurements can be taken.

Deer cooperator patches will be available ONLY at DNR deer check stations, during check station hours of operation, while supplies last.

Deer testing samples are needed from Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Otsego, Oscoda, Presque Isle and Roscommon counties. The DNR needs samples from these counties to meet bovine tuberculosis surveillance goals, which will help biologists understand the scale of infection in the local deer herd.

The DNR is beginning a five-year process of strategic, focused CWD surveillance by testing deer heads around the state. This year, testing will be occurring mainly in the southernmost three tiers of Michigan counties. Over the next four years, the remainder of the state will be systematically sampled to determine if CWD is present in other areas where it has not yet been identified.

Testing for CWD surveillance will continue free of charge for all deer harvested in Allegan, Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Eaton, Gratiot, southern Isabella, Hillsdale, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Joseph, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, and also from the core CWD surveillance area in the Upper Peninsula (portions of Dickinson, Menominee and Delta counties). Deer heads from these counties can be submitted at any open deer check station from now through early January (see link below for check station locations/hours).

Deer harvested in Clinton, Dickinson, Ingham, Ionia, Kent and Montcalm counties can be tested for CWD for free through the DNR from Nov.15-18 only. U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved lab testing is available for hunters in these areas at any time for a fee.

If you hunt anywhere in the remainder of the state and you want your deer tested for CWD, your deer head or the lymph nodes from the deer must be submitted to a USDA-approved lab for testing. Hunters will be charged a fee. Visit Michigan.gov/CWD and click on “For Hunters” for information about USDA-approved labs conducting CWD testing.

Categories: Hunting News, Whitetail Deer

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