Conflicting Amendments to CWD Regulations Proposed; Decisions to Come in August

The July 12, 2018 Natural Resources Commission was another display of passionate discussion about necessary hunting regulations, metrics, and management and education activities to contain the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in Michigan.

The proposed Wildlife Conservation Order Amendment 12 of 2018 (MUCC summary available here) has been up for discussion for the last 2 months and is planned for NRC action at their August 9 meeting. In light of the feedback NRC members have been receiving, they have requested that the DNR prepare further amendments to the order that could be voted on as they approve the final set of regulations.

Chair Vicki Pontz asked, on behalf of the NRC, that the DNR update the current proposed order for action on August 9 to remove the proposed October antlerless firearm hunt in the CWD Management Zone and add Jackson, Calhoun, and Hillsdale Counties to the 13-County CWD Management Zone (Making it a 16-county zone).

The rest of the NRC members offered possible further amendments for consideration. It is important to note that some of these are in conflict with one another, so it will be up to each individual commissioner to decide how they want to vote on these various options before them.  Public feedback on the options before them is critical in the next three weeks, find the NRC contact information here.

Proposed Amendments to the Chronic Wasting Disease Regulations (by NRC Commissioner who proposed it):

J.R. Richardson:

  • Resume the antlerless harvest option on a deer license during archery season for 6 southern Upper Peninsula Deer Management Units (DMUs 122, 055, 255, 155, 121, and 022)

John Walters:

  • Expand the proposed discounted expiring antlerless license to the TB Zone, DMUs 487 and 452.

Rex Schlaybaugh, Wildlife and Fisheries Committee Chair

  • Create a whole deer carcass transport restriction (unless checked and tested) for the counties in the CWD Management Zone outside of the 5-County Core Area (which already has a carcass transport restriction proposed). Deboned meat and other products (without brain or spinal matter) would be allowed to move without checking the deer.
  • Require that an assigned lottery license expire if not purchased by the hunter by November 1st and reissue leftovers over the counter.
  • Establish targeted antlerless harvest goals by DMU in the CWD Management Zone.  Create an Antler Point Restriction (likely 3+ on a side) on the deer license and add an APR to the unrestricted tag of the combination license for the entire CWD Management Zone (the current proposal keeps the 4+ on a side APR for the restricted tag of the combination license). These APRs would be removed if there is a failure to meet the targeted antlerless harvest goals established.

Chris Tracy:

  • Remove restrictions from antlered deer licenses in the CWD Management Zone and TB area, allowing hunters to harvest does on the deer tags with any hunting method
  • Remove APR (4+ on a side) from the restricted deer tag in the CWD Management Zone and TB Area.

Christine Crumbaugh:

  • Eliminate the carcass movement restrictions (unless checked and tested) from the 5 county Core Area and create a restriction only in the 7 counties where CWD has been detected (Ingham, Clinton, Kent, Montcalm, Ionia, Mecosta, Jackson). Unless checked and tested, whole carcass could not  be moved to or through any county that CWD has not been detected. Deboned meat and other allowed products can still be transported without restriction.
  • Change the proposed feeding and baiting restrictions:
    • Create a deer feeding ban in the CWD Management Zone
    • Ban baiting in the 7 counties where CWD has been detected
    • Restrict baiting to only 2 gallons of shelled corn in the remainder of the CWD Management Zone


  1. Michael hatch on July 19, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Reduce cost of doe tags so more people harvest does instead of bucks and done

  2. Steve Hickman on July 21, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    If they want to stop baiting for the whole state its not right,some of us people cant afford our own property and have food plots, and deer can still go in a farmers corn fields making contact.

  3. Joe DeVoll on July 27, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Stop baiting in the core areas of the infected animals only. The average sportsmen cannot plant food plots on public property, hunting favors the well to do sportsmen already.

  4. Ross E on August 1, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Just like I’ve said many times I will just spend my money DEER hunting in a different state if they get a State wide bait ban. I Bear hunt Canada now because we have to wait way to long to get a bear tag.

  5. Jace Hollabaugh on August 1, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    Out of all the the proposals the only one I agree with is Rex Schlaybaugh’s only because I agree we need to fix the buck to doe ratio. With that said I honestly don’t understand the the hysteria around CWD. Out of 23000 deer tested since may of 2015 only 30 deer have tested positive for CWD. Thats 0.13%. Ford pickup trucks kill more deer then CWD.

  6. Steve Tonkovich on August 2, 2018 at 11:55 am

    A baiting ban will not have an impact on solving the CWD problem. WYOMING has never allowed baiting and they have a huge CWD problem.

  7. Randy Rice on August 9, 2018 at 6:59 am

    Vote no on establishing APR’s in the cwd zones. Protected and infected bucks could spread the disease for years. Lower the price of antlerless tag to encourage greater harvests. APR’s were voted down in the TB zone, and should be here too. Missouri dropped their APR’s in cwd zones.

  8. Nick Stoyk on September 9, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Kill every deer near the cwd zone for 3 years, with no baiting, then slowly work your way back to normal regs. Also, small pockets of high density deer areas should be surrounded by stricter regs!

  9. Nick Stoyk on September 9, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Kill every deer near the cwd zone for 3 years, with no baiting, then slowly work your way back to normal regs. Also, small pockets of high density deer areas should be surrounded by stricter regs! APR’s raise old disease ridden deer! Loose them near problem areas!

  10. MICHAEL B GIRDLEY on December 10, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Aprs are a joke. All they do is let bucks pass by hunters safely to transmit CWD . They dont grow huge racks. As soon as those bucks are legal they get killed before they can reach their full antler potential.The Dnr/ Nrc is hoping to sell more doe tags to help control the disease? Nah they need the license revenue when the rest of us stop hunting cause we cant shoot a buck. All the guys that sit in their raised platform hunting shacks trophy hunting picking and choosing which buck is big enough to go on the wall enjoy your hunt. Im not against how your able to hunt your land.But please dont tell me how to hunt mine. By the way where did all the money for these apr billboards come from? I hope that wasnt hunting license money. By the way some of the states Michigan keeps bringing up as models for Aprs are going to quot them because of the increase in the disease.

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