It has been just over a year since the first case of a positive CWD wild deer was announced by the Michigan DNR. Since then, DNR initiated the CWD response plan, a hunting season came and went, and after much testing and surveillance, we are now at a total of 7 confirmed positive CWD cases in our wild deer herd, out of over 5,000 that were tested. For more information on CWD, and the DNR's plan and tools you can utilize as a landowner, please visit the DNR's CWD website.
This news had a major effect on several of the deer cooperatives in central Michigan. Hunters have gathered together to learn more about the disease, and how they can best manage their local deer to help minimize the spread and impact of this nasty prion. Unfortunately, with the spread of location with the last two positive cases, the CWD regulation restrictions have spread to include Ionia and Eaton counties, in addition to Clinton, Ingham and Shawasee counties.
To answer questions, and provide more information, DNR is hosting town hall meetings and informal Q&A sessions.
Town hall meetings
Two town hall meetings are scheduled:
Wednesday, June 1 in Lansing
6 to 8 p.m. at the Foster Community Center, 200 Foster Ave.
Tuesday, June 7 in Ionia
6 to 8 p.m. at the Armory Community Center, 439 Main St.
At each meeting, local DNR wildlife biologist Chad Fedewa and Chad Stewart will present information on CWD, its effects on deer and deer populations, and how the DNR has continued to respond to the discovery of the disease. There will be plenty of time for questions.
Informal Q&A sessions
In addition to the two larger town hall meetings, the DNR also will hold informal question-and-answer sessions at local restaurants in early June. Chad Stewart and Chad Fedewa both will be present.
These morning meetings will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. at the following locations:
Wednesday, June 1 in DeWitt
Family Tree Café, 129½ S. Bridge St.
Thursday, June 2 in Haslett
Blondie’s Barn, 5640 Marsh Road
Friday, June 3 in Grand Ledge
Sophia’s House of Pancakes, 1010 Charlevoix Drive
More information about these events can be found here.
CWD is a disease that is always fatal to the whitetail deer, moose, and elk. The disease is not known to travel beyond the deer family - but testing of deer in and around the CWD areas prior to consumption is HIGHLY recommended, if not required, depending on where the deer was taken.
Legislation was recently passed in the House, now on to the Senate, to increase fines associated with bringing in deer, moose, elk from other states with known CWD. More about these proposed changes can be found here. Do NOT bring in anything other than the de-boned meat, and cleaned skull cap of ANY deer, elk or moose from out of state, and do not transport deer outside of CWD Counties without following the same practice.
Also, if you are a leader of a deer cooperative in or near the CWD counties, and you want to know more about how your cooperative can support the management of CWD in your area, please contact Anna Mitterling, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org