DNR won’t be able to check as many deer for chronic wasting disease

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 5:08 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan wildlife officials say they won’t be able to check as many deer for chronic wasting disease (CWD) during the upcoming hunting season.

Officials say that staffing and financial shortages, due to both funding associated with long-term declines in the hunter base and the COVID-19 pandemic, will result in reductions in check station and drop-box locations, dates and hours operated, and the number of deer heads that will be accepted for CWD testing.

“It is an unprecedented time in our state’s history, with serious challenges that affect everyone. We ask for your patience and grace as we adapt to meet these challenges,” said acting DNR Wildlife Division Chief Dan Kennedy. “Michigan hunters have a long history of partnering with the DNR for the benefit and health of the state’s deer population. Let’s continue working together to protect public health, too.”

The heads of deer taken in certain sections of Jackson, Isabella, Gratiot, Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties will be accepted for testing from Oct. 3 to Jan. 4. Deer heads from Clinton, Dickinson, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm counties along with remaining sections of Jackson will be accepted for state testing only from Nov. 15-18.

Hunters elsewhere in Michigan who want a deer tested can submit it to a government-approved lab for a fee, according to the Department of Natural Resources. More information is availabe at

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