LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos is reminding Southwest Michigan hunters about new regulations and laws aimed at stopping the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) — a deadly neurological disease found in deer, elk and moose.
“Chronic wasting disease poses a serious threat to our deer population and a hunting industry that supports our outdoor recreation operations and contributes roughly $2.3 billion annually to our economy,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “There is no cure for CWD, and an infected deer can live with the disease for years and spread it through contact with other animals.”
According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the disease first was discovered in Michigan in a free-ranging deer in 2015. To date, more than 31,000 deer in the state have been tested for CWD, and it has been confirmed in 60 deer.
New rules recently adopted by the Michigan Natural Resources Commission include limits on lures, a ban on baiting and feeding in an expanded CWD Management Zone, restrictions on transporting deer carcasses in some counties and expanded deer hunting in the zone.
The 16-county management zone starts in Hillsdale County and travels north to Calhoun County and the Lansing area and then west to Lake Michigan through Kent and Ottawa counties.
Regular firearm season in Michigan starts on Nov. 15, but people can begin hunting deer in Indiana reduction zones on Sept. 15 and as a part of Michigan’s liberty and early antlerless hunts on Sept. 22-23.
“I want to remind hunters that the law now prohibits hunters from bringing certain parts of a deer carcass into Michigan from out of state,” Proos said. “The law was enacted to guard against exposing our Michigan deer to CWD from out-of-state sources. It exempts certain parts that do not pose a CWD risk, such as hides, deboned meat, finished taxidermy items and antlers.”
Residents can find information on CWD and the new regulations at www.michigan.gov/cwd.
“I also encourage hunters to help stop this devastating disease, preserve our wild game population and protect our hunting heritage by having their deer checked,” Proos said.
Locations for Michigan DNR check stations can be found at www.michigan.gov/deercheck.