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Hunters encounter new rules as deer firearm season begins

Flickr User C Watts

Hunters are heading out in the field today for opening day of firearm deer season.  And in many areas, they’re running into new rules from the state.  It’s an attempt to get ahead of the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in Michigan.

Chronic Wasting Disease is a contagious, neurological disease in elk and deer that causes loss of brain functions and eventually death.


Chad Stewart is the deer management specialist for the DNR. He said the DNR and hunters can work together to combat the disease.

“Either mandatory in certain areas where we have it or voluntary submission of deer for surveillance and sampling, and that’s a win-win for both the hunter and the agency. It gives us a better idea of where the disease exists and from a hunter's standpoint it gives sort of a peace of mind in knowing that the deer they’re about to consume is essentially disease free.”

Stewart said Mecosta, Montcalm and Kent counties have seen an increase in CWD in recent months.

Check stations are located across the state. Some areas require that deer be brought to check stations. Other locations have voluntary checkins. The DNR said hunters should check rules for their area.

Information on CWD and hunting restrictions can be found here.


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