Michigan DNR can’t check as many deer for chronic wasting disease

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources advises deer hunters to be prepared for big changes to DNR deer check stations this fall. (David Kenyon, Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan wildlife officials won’t be able to check as many deer for chronic wasting disease during the upcoming hunting season.

The state Department of Natural Resources said it’s facing staff and financial shortages as well as challenges from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We ask for your patience and grace as we adapt to meet these challenges,” said acting wildlife division chief Dan Kennedy.

The heads of deer taken in certain sections of six counties will be accepted for testing from Oct. 3 to Jan. 4. Those counties are Jackson, Isabella, Gratiot, Delta, Dickinson and Menominee.

Deer heads from Clinton, Dickinson, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm counties will be accepted for state testing only from Nov. 15-18.

Any hunter elsewhere in Michigan who wants a deer tested can submit it to a government-approved lab for a fee, the Department of Natural Resources said. There is information at Michigan.gov/CWD.

The archery season starts Thursday. The traditional firearm deer season starts Nov. 15.

Related: Michigan hunters should expect changes to deer check stations this fall due to COVID-19