Deer hunters and DNR on watch for CWD

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The start of firearm deer season is fast approaching in Michigan and officials are reminding hunters in five counties that they need to have their deer tested for chronic wasting disease.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials say that hunters in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Ionia and Shiawassee counties need to bring their kills to one of five DNR check areas in the five county area.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal, contagious disease that can spread quickly and infect large populations of deer.

CWD has been found in eight free-ranging white-tailed deer since May 2015.

DNR wildlife specialists say the eight infected deer were found in more than 5,900 deer tested.

“That’s somewhat encouraging. That gives us a reason to continue our aggressive approach,” DNR wildlife health section supervisor Kelly Straka said. “We’re trying to find and remove all of the CWD-positive animals on the landscape.”

Baiting and feed deer is not allowed in the five-county CWD Management area and deer hunters in the area are required to have any deer harvested tested for the disease.

It’s also important to remember that CWD has never been linked to humans, pets or domestic livestock.

In addition to deer the disease has been found in elk and moose in the United States and Canada.

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