CWD in Michigan-What Just Happened?! Recap

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission just completed the August 9, 2018 monthly meeting where the biggest item up for action was Chronic Wasting Disease Regulations (Wildlife Conservation Order Amendment  No. 12). Rather than take you through the pain of all the amendments and amendments of amendments, MUCC is providing this as a quick summary for the benefit of our members and the hunters of Michigan. This is not intended to be comprehensive, so please stay tuned for more information from the DNR and the new 2018 Hunting Digest.

Wildlife Conservation Order Amendment No. 12:

The CWD Management Zone was created to include 16 counties: Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ottawa, and Shiawassee.

Within the CWD Management Zone, there is a five-county CWD Core Area: Ionia, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, and Newaygo.

Baiting and Feeding Ban:

  • Baiting and feeding of deer will be banned in the CWD Management Zone as well as the existing ban in DMU 487 (TB Zone) effective immediately in 2018.
  • Baiting and feeding of deer will be banned in the entire Lower Peninsula as of January 31, 2019.
  • The Upper Peninsula will remain open to baiting and feeding under the current regulations.
  • There is an exception on baiting for hunters with disabilities who qualify for the Liberty or Independence Hunt.
    • Qualifying disabled hunters may use two gallons of single-bite bait (shelled corn, grain, etc.) in the CWD Management Zone and the TB Zone (DMU 487).
    • Qualifying disabled hunters may use two gallons of any currently legal bait outside of the CWD Management Zone and the TB Zone (DMU 487).

Lures and Attractants

Only synthetic cervid (deer family) urine and natural urine products approved with the Archery Trade Association (ATA) Seal of Participation will be allowed.

Carcass Transport:

  • Hunters may bring carcasses from a lower risk area to a higher risk area, i.e.  from outside of the CWD Management Zone into the Zone or from the CWD Management Zone into the Core Area.
  • Hunters may not transport whole deer carcasses from the CWD Core Area to the CWD Management Zone or remove carcasses from the CWD Management Zone to the rest of the state with two exceptions:
    • The deer must be properly checked within 24 hours of harvest at a DNR check station or head drop box, OR
    • Only these portions of the deer may be transported: hides, deboned meat, quarters or other parts of the cervid that do not have any part of the spinal column or head attached, finished taxidermy products, cleaned teeth, antlers, or antlers attached to a skullcap which have been cleaned of brain and muscle tissue.

Existing Deer Season Changes:

  • The existing September two-day and late-December antlerless seasons would be expanded to several Lower Peninsula counties. This encompasses the CWD Management Zone as well as some perimeter counties including Clare, Gladwin, Mason, Osceola, and Oceana.
  • Muzzleloader season would expand to allow all firearms legal during regular firearm deer season for the CWD Management Zone.
  • A possible January disease management hunt may be authorized by the Director if needed.

Antlerless License Changes:

  • CWD Core Area hunters will be allowed to take antlerless deer on a regular deer (buck) license or combo license within the Core Area.
  • There will be a cap of 10 private land antlerless licenses per hunter.
  • Six southern Upper Peninsula Deer Management Units (DMUs 122, 055, 255, 155, 121, and 022) will have an increase in public and private land antlerless license quotas.
  • Discounted $12 expiring antlerless tag available, valid for all private lands in the 16 county CWD Management Zone, which expires on the first Sunday in November.

Antler Point Restrictions (APR):

  • Thumb APR Proposal going forward: The Department will expedite the process to evaluate public opinion for a hunter-initiated antler point restriction in Huron, Tuscola, Sanilac, St. Clair and Lapeer counties. Results of this evaluation will be brought to the NRC so that the Commission can make a decision whether or not to implement a mandatory APR for the 2019 deer hunting seasons. The Department will share expenses with the Thumb Area Deer Hunters for costs incurred to conduct the required formal survey to measure support for the proposal and for subsequent surveys to evaluate continued support provided that the mandatory APR is implemented.
  • An Experimental Core Area APR will be considered: The NRC, in cooperation with the DNR, will appropriately establish a CWD assessment area within the five-county CWD Core Area for experimentally evaluating the effectiveness of regulations such as antler point restrictions on the prevalence and spread of CWD, increasing antlerless harvest and decreasing deer populations, to be in place for the 2019 hunting season. They will utilize Montcalm County as a focus area to evaluate the effectiveness of regulatory changes. Additionally, they will work with stakeholders to establish objectives of research and studies to be conducted in this area and field a formal survey to measure support for the proposal to see the effect of APRs on CWD.
  • Restricted deer tag of a combination license will be unrestricted in the CWD Management Zone — there will be no mandatory APR for the second tag (unless enacted in the above areas in 2019)
  • The Hunter-Initiated APR Process will be Reviewed: The NRC and the DNR will establish a committee to review and update the Guidelines for Initiation, Evaluation, and Review of Mandatory Antler Point Restrictions.

 

Partnerships in Education and Communications/Outreach:

The NRC has encouraged the DNR to work with stakeholders to consider additional opportunities to:

  1. Participate in achieving DNR surveillance goals, which could include sponsoring drop box locations where needed.
  2. Work with stakeholders to provide updates throughout the deer season related to surveillance goals and number of deer checked.
  3. Consider future technologies that will allow for alternative harvest reporting methods capable of measuring real-time progress toward deer harvest goals by DMU.
  4. Begin discussion with stakeholders to explore a cooperative position that will work with hunters in the CWD management area with various responsibilities.
  5. Work with stakeholders on joint communications about deer management and disease management in Michigan.
  6. Work with stakeholders to align management objectives on state property adjacent to hunter cooperatives.

63 Comments

  1. Jon Hall on August 9, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    So…… You want all the deer dead. Then we can’t have CWD. This is terrible and irresponsible. Muzzleloader season is now gun season but you still call it muzzleloader???? Why remove the restriction on the second buck tag? Why???? I’m furious at MI deer management.

    • David Pumford on August 12, 2018 at 7:06 am

      That makes two of us …..politicians should stay out of the woods and let nature take it’s corse with the deer population.
      Makes no sense and will do nothing for CWD

  2. Ryan Priest on August 9, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    This is going to be more detrimental to the deer population than CWD would be if rules were unchanged. Horrible for the future of Michigan deer and deer hunters

    • Matt Wheaton on October 11, 2018 at 12:52 am

      Yes, based on theory… Nature will win over Science on this one given the current approach so far.

  3. Jesse levora on August 9, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    I would like to see the numbers of states that use apr as a SUPPOSED control measure for cwd. Also the numbers if the disease has spread and % of growth or decline. I do not believe these stock holders have been challenged with the burden of proof for their claims. Especially if they take the stance as the majority. Sound science has all the numbers if a true well rounded study was done. Not the pick chose agenda gleaning we see a good bit of. Last I knew it was spreading in all areas. Some even dropped the apr in a attempt to change the course they may have help fostered. Not to mention water ways and crop contamination of cwd. And ANTLERS and AGE has nothing to do with overall health. Older animals actually get sicker quicker. Look at any animal species. Ask a farmer even. We need more effort into habitat not the idea of quick fixes. Proper habitat benefits all top to bottom. Wildlife and hunters

    • Matt Wheaton on August 30, 2018 at 8:03 pm

      I couldn’t agree more!! It’s over regulation on steroids!!

  4. Brian D on August 9, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    I’m a private land owner/hunter in Huron county as a hunter the baiting and feeding shouldn’t bother hunters in the thumb area due to the vast amount of farm fields and food plots people hunt over.. with the APR I am 100% for it I’ve seen some Gorgeous bucks on Facebook groups who are APR already and with me having property close to the Verona state land it’s hard to manage deer when people in the state land shoot anything that walks I think it’ll be great for our hunting community our kids getting into the sport. As long as people remember your not just out there for antlers but out there to enjoy the outdoors

    • Joseph on November 7, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Perhaps the meat hunters that you say shoot anything that walks . Would not have to do so if you as a private landowner would allow some to hunt your vast food plots that you call crops which would help prevent the disease.You could even charge a trespass fee by the day. Cash and you know where the major population of deer end after thr first day. But you would rather collect dozens of crop damage permits,pay high price for corp damage Ins. And or collect subsidies mony from money the state and DNR so you can set on your food plot/ crop field and complain about state land hunters you sound like only the Elite should be allowed to hunt. And yes i am a private landowner.

  5. Dan on August 9, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    The DNR/NRC did an APR survey and that was for the whole lower. Over 56% wanted them and they didnt do anything about it. A baiting ban in the whole lower isnt gonna help anything. The last time the DNR did a baiting ban i had to report 4 or 5 bait piles i found on public land. The only areas that should have it should be the core CWD area and any county that bordoers it.

    • Matt Wheaton on August 30, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      I agree!! Otherwise they should include the UP, too, in the ban!!!

    • Matt Wheaton on October 29, 2018 at 10:25 pm

      The Bias Commission acted on the recommendation on Aug. 9. The misguided purpose is to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD). It won’t work. CWD is spread by bodily fluid exchange, any bodily fluid, not just saliva left on a beet but also buck semen, vaginal fluids, blood sucking insects and more. This proposal will not stop the spread of the disease. On average, bait is on the ground less than one week a year for most hunters. Yet the breeding activity goes on for three months with multiple encounters and copulation fluid-exchange daily with almost all the deer involved. I have read the research and discussed with many state veterinarians and especially the State of Wyoming Veterinarians, where they have never allowed baiting and yet they have the most extensive spread of the disease of any state. With our current knowledge there simply is no known cure, preventative or way to slow the spread, short of lowering the deer population.

    • Matt Wheaton on November 10, 2018 at 9:14 pm

      Food Plots versus Spin-cast Feeders raises the cost considerably to hunters versus feeders/baiting. Both serve the same purpose. Irrationally, baiting is banned, but food plots are not! Neither contribute to the spread of CWD any more than the other data shows. The Ban is pure political… just like it has been in the other states. Banning Baiting will NOT work!!

  6. Brad eldred on August 9, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Why does the ATA endorsement mean anything as far as deer urine goes? I know they are testing nothing. Please explain

  7. John E Wencley on August 9, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    I’m very glad that there is no baiting next year in the entire LP. I’m 66 yrs old and I don’t need bait to kill a deer. I love the outdoors, I wish to be a part of it.

    I hope you don’t change your mind in the future. I’m also in favor of APR’s for the Thumb area. If I can be of any help please contact me.

    • Matt Wheaton on October 29, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      No one forced you to bait, either! Therefore, it should be an individual hunter’s option. Forcing compliance on a bias opinion, is Wrong!

      The Bias Commission acted on the recommendation on Aug. 9. The misguided purpose is to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD). It won’t work. CWD is spread by bodily fluid exchange, any bodily fluid, not just saliva left on a beet but also buck semen, vaginal fluids, blood sucking insects and more. This proposal will not stop the spread of the disease. On average, bait is on the ground less than one week a year for most hunters. Yet the breeding activity goes on for three months with multiple encounters and copulation fluid-exchange daily with almost all the deer involved. I have read the research and discussed with many state veterinarians and especially the State of Wyoming Veterinarians, where they have never allowed baiting and yet they have the most extensive spread of the disease of any state. With our current knowledge there simply is no known cure, preventative or way to slow the spread, short of lowering the deer population.

    • Dave Smith on November 28, 2018 at 7:05 am

      Amen to no baiting anywhere in the great state of Michigan. This was an undesirable tactic intiated by bowhunters wanting to get the deer to stand perfectly still and broadside for the ideal bow shot. When a number of rifle hunters noticed how effective the method was for “calling” deer in from great distances they picked up on the tactic and it spread like wildfire in the late 70’s and early 80’s!
      The Conservation Dept.(which at one time didn’t even allow the use of salt blocks as a deer attractant) was to gutless (or more likely the then director to complessant) to halt the unethical activity!!!
      While ending baiting in and of itself will definitely not stop the spread of CWD it is just one more instance of deer congregation(that does contribute to the spread of all communicable dieases)that we can easily stop!!

  8. William Bivens on August 10, 2018 at 12:11 am

    disappointing in that they want us as partners and refuse to try APR to give us a tool to work with the most committed hunters. “They had to hear our willingness to partner”. But not only NO but then to show the “Choices they make, by the actions they take”. What an insult, removing APR on restricted combo license. So instead of “partnering” to protect some young bucks for us to reduce the deer herd they rubbed it in our face. Allows a hunter in the OK to shoot two spikes or any two young bucks in the CWD zone. Yes, I know there will be a “Committee” to develop a test of APR in the hot zone, and I’m suppose to believe that. Thanks for the update and your work and chance “comment”. PS even the DNR was willing to keep the APR in the zone. I believe the NRC just goofed big and for only 5% who take two deer on the combo tag and many of those still will take bucks, they gained nothing and lost a lot.

  9. Jimmy Muscat on August 10, 2018 at 2:29 am

    10 tags per hunter in one area is legal? So my neighbor with 20 acres and 6 hunters can kill 60 does? Does that make scientific sense ?

    • Matt Wheaton on October 29, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      It’s the insanity of CWD Prevention slaughtering. Nature is much kinder!! We cannot win this fight, so let nature take it’s course. It’s been almost 50 years since they discovered it out west and they’re still hunting Cervids there!!

  10. Dave Smith on August 10, 2018 at 10:44 am

    The NRC has blown it again!!!!! They should have enacted a total statewide ban on baiting and feeding this year, including the Upper Peninsula (which shares a border with Wisconsin where CWD deer have been identified less than 20 miles from the Michigan/Wisconsin border!).

    Come on people when the DNR’s own biologist tell you baiting is a bad idea get rid of baiting!
    When you take a wild species like whitetails(without the benefit of vaccinations) and set up a non-natural gathering point like bait stations to induce congregation and enhance the chance of transmission of communicable dieases(like CWD) you are putting the resource at risk!!!
    I submit that the NRC by allowing baiting and feeding to continue in the face of this CWD outbreak is in direct violation of the mandate created by Proposal G passed by the people of Michigan in the general election in 1996!!!!

  11. James Maturen on August 10, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Of the first 29 deer to be found with CWD 38 percent were young bucks yet the NRC is still considering APRs. There appears to be a lack of seriousness in the effort to control CWD and appeasement to a small segment of deer hunters.

    • Chad Sickon on August 19, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      I can’t agree more!!! Protect the most prevelant carrier of the disease and slaughter does is trophy deer farm tactic bull crap. I wonder who the “stake holders” are? I be willing to bet hunt clubs and such?

  12. Maurice Shaffer on August 10, 2018 at 11:43 am

    $12 expiring antlerless tag When will these tags be used and what dates and by what means will they be used. And where will these be used? Did you take away more of our bow season?

  13. Tom Boman on August 10, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Thank You for the recap………

  14. Dan Hatchew on August 10, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    So my ? Is hunting in newaygo county u have to apply for an antlerless private deer tag but it says here I can get 12 tags in that core area. Why do I have to go through the lottery and spend the 5-10 dollar lottery charge if I can buy them over the counter

  15. Bruce J Finch on August 10, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Does the exception of disabled hunters using bait continued through out the whole deer archery and rifle seasons?

  16. Scott LaMontagne on August 10, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Any idea if added antlerless licenses for the u.p. dmu 022 will be available this season? Public or private? The original quotas for area 022 are 0 for both types..

  17. Mark Wilcox on August 10, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    I don’t mind that baiting is being banned as of Jan 2019. I just hope that every gas station and sports store aren’t allowed to sell bait.

    • Matt Wheaton on October 11, 2018 at 12:45 am

      Banning Minerals supplement for Deer will reduce the size racks those Trophy Hunters hunt for!

  18. Leo Pauli on August 10, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    I live in lapeer county,and I’,m all for antler restrictions better yet would be a one buck limit this state over harvests its bucks

  19. Robin Pressey on August 10, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Wait so basically what im seeing is you wanna do a sectional deer genocide to get rid of this issue for starters for this to happen you need to convince 100k michigan hunters that hunting doe isn’t a bad thing cuz most of them are weekend wannabes out for a rack second banning baiting but keeping food plots does not resolve shit next bean field you go by look closely they eat in a fkin 20 foot circle no matter how big the field is lastly how about you ass hats do your fking job and answer hunters questions when they call instead of just hanging up we pay your god damn wage that makes us your boss and i want to see yall fkin fired

    • Matt Wheaton on October 29, 2018 at 10:36 pm

      The Bias Commission acted on the recommendation on Aug. 9. The misguided purpose is to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD). It won’t work. CWD is spread by bodily fluid exchange, any bodily fluid, not just saliva left on a beet but also buck semen, vaginal fluids, blood sucking insects and more. This proposal will not stop the spread of the disease. On average, bait is on the ground less than one week a year for most hunters. Yet the breeding activity goes on for three months with multiple encounters and copulation fluid-exchange daily with almost all the deer involved. I have read the research and discussed with many state veterinarians and especially the State of Wyoming Veterinarians, where they have never allowed baiting and yet they have the most extensive spread of the disease of any state. With our current knowledge there simply is no known cure, preventative or way to slow the spread, short of lowering the deer population.

  20. Cle Collins on August 10, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    You killed the wolf. The deer population has become a nuisance.

  21. Dave Moulds on August 10, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Why on earth would they expand antler less hunting in the UP? Did they just end antler less hunting even during archery season because of low deer numbers. Did they not say that April was so harsh that deer numbers may hit a scary low? The deer in the UP migrate! ???????????????? What are they doing? No CWD in the UP. They obviously just want the deer killed off.

    • Matt Wheaton on October 11, 2018 at 12:49 am

      Ask anyone living near WI in the UP, they have CWD migrating into MI there, too. However, the density of Deer is less because of Wolves, Bear and other introduced predators like the cougar!! DNR mismanagement results in the UP.

    • Matt Wheaton on October 18, 2018 at 11:03 pm

      CWD IS IN THE UP!!!

      Oct. 18, 2018

      ** Deer tests positive for CWD in Dickinson County – Upper Peninsula of Michigan **

      A 4-year-old doe killed on a deer damage shooting permit in Dickinson County’s Waucedah Township has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, marking the first confirmation of the incurable deer disease within Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

      The finding was verified by Michigan State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in East Lansing and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

      The deer was shot on an agricultural farm about 4 miles from the Michigan-Wisconsin border.

      “We remain committed to maintaining healthy Michigan wildlife for the residents of, and visitors to, this great state, now and into the future,” said Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh. “Fortunately, over the past few years, with the help of hunters, the U.P. CWD Task Force, DNR staffers and others, we are far better prepared to respond to threats posed by chronic wasting disease in the U.P.”

      Chronic wasting disease is a fatal nervous system disease found in deer, moose and elk. The disease attacks the brain of infected animals, creating small lesions, which result in neurologic symptoms. The disease is always fatal in animals that contract it.

      To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans.

      “We are taking immediate action to address this situation in the Upper Peninsula. In the short term, stepped-up testing and active surveillance is the priority to better understand where the disease exists,” said Russ Mason, chief of the DNR’s Wildlife Division. “To do this, we need to step up our efforts to collect deer heads for testing in this area. We need to determine if this deer is an individual outlier or whether there are more deer infected in the area.”

      The DNR has tested hundreds of deer from Upper Peninsula counties bordering Wisconsin. This year alone (as of Oct. 11) a total of 625 deer-damage permit, roadkill and hunter-killed deer have been tested from Dickinson, Gogebic, Menominee and Iron counties.

      “It was our surveillance efforts that revealed the disease in this particular deer,” said Kelly Straka, state wildlife veterinarian. “It is now especially important that these efforts continue.”

      Chronic wasting disease has been found in free-ranging deer in six additional counties in Michigan – Clinton, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm. A total of 63 deer within these counties have tested positive for the disease.

      The DNR recognizes that deer movements, densities and habitat vary from the U.P. into the Lower Peninsula. DNR officials will review Michigan’s CWD Surveillance and Response Plan and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ CWD Best Management Practices in considering additional measures going forward.

      “For next hunting season and beyond, the DNR will discuss possible response actions with U.P. hunters and other stakeholders to determine the best approach to fighting CWD in the region,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer management specialist.

      A conference call with stakeholder groups is scheduled for early next week.

      A roughly 10-mile core area has been set up, centered on Waucedah Township. Within this area, the DNR has set a goal to test a minimum of 600 deer to better determine the extent of possibly infected deer.

      “We need hunters to help us reach this goal, by voluntarily submitting entire deer heads for testing. Hunters can keep the venison,” Mason said. “At this point, we are not establishing a mandatory deer check in the area, but that may become necessary, if we don’t reach our goal.”

      Several actions will be taken by the DNR including:

      Providing additional drop boxes for deer heads within the area, especially in convenient, high-traffic places.
      Offering disease control permits to interested landowners who have more than 5-acres of land and are within 5-miles of the center of the surveillance area.
      Allowing baiting for deer to continue for the rest of this year. Future decisions on feeding deer will be based on the results of the surveillance efforts.
      An ongoing DNR U.P. deer migration study will be adjusted to include the affected area within its boundaries. Deer will be collared in the area to better understand the movements of deer.

      “The actions of hunters matter in battling CWD,” Stewart said. “Keep hunting and get your deer checked. Responsibly transport, process and dispose of your deer carcass. Visit the website to learn about proper carcass transportation into Michigan from out of state. Please pass these tips on to other hunters.”

      In North America, a total of 25 states and three Canadian provinces have confirmed the presence of chronic wasting disease in free-ranging or captive deer, elk or moose, or both.

      More information on chronic wasting disease – including Michigan’s CWD Surveillance and Response Plan, locations of deer check stations, fact sheets and testing data – is available at michigan.gov/cwd.

  22. Shane brooks on August 11, 2018 at 12:10 am

    DNR is ruining the hunting in Michigan they will not be happy until the deer herd is all but gone and taking restrictions off shoot all the does and kill all the little bucks WTF

    • Matt Wheaton on October 29, 2018 at 10:39 pm

      Not surprised! Their BIAS and not Standardized. Looking out more for their careers and funding than us hunters!

  23. Scott Boehning on August 11, 2018 at 7:08 am

    This happened here in Wisconsin and they tried to kill all the deer around the Madison area unsuccessfully the deer population is still hi there I do not believe the DNR really knows what to do. CWD has been in the northern states for many many years. Mother Nature has her own way of correcting the deer population. Insurance companies influence politicians with their money to change these laws and try to curve the deer population!

  24. Mark Davis on August 11, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Why not public land hunters getting more permits some of rely on public land to hunt, and good luck on the bait ban, I can guarantee private land owners will still grow food plots and bait and you can’t enforce it either along with lures and attractive are you going to tell big retail not to carry those products HA what a joke!!!

  25. Todd Davis on August 11, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    I am a retired employee of the State of Michigan and the experience left me with one conclusion. “Pure Michigan” is “Purely Corrupt” I believe nothing the NRC or DNR spit out of their mouths. Insurance companies want our deer heard slaughtered. And there are plenty of pockets within the State Government and DNR to accept their “Contribution’s”. They are saying baiting and deer urine spreads CWD but can’t provide or produce any scientific research to prove it. CWD is a lame excuse to have our deer heard slaughtered off to appease the insurance companies for their generous Contribution’s. As for Antler point restrictions (APR) …. I am so sick of “Let’em go Let’em grow” I could puke. I have talked to dozens of people who say they are Big Buck Hunter’s and ” We manage our deer”. When I ask them what they do to manage their deer I get same laughable answer every time…”WE ONLY SHOOT BIG BUCKS”. Which are 2 1/2 year old 8 points which are the ones they should let go and let grow. Not every Buck will develop into a big buck. Genetics control antler size. And you the “Hunter/ Deer Heard Manager” need to identify and remove Bucks with inferior genetics. And stop killing those 2 1/2 year old perfect main frame 8 and 10 points allowing them to pass on their genetics and grow bigger than 16 inch spreads with 5 to 6 inch tines. You have a restricted tag. Use it for that “Big Buck” that is what it is for. You have a unrestricted tag. Use it as a management tool and remove a Genetically inferior buck from your heard instead of letting it pass on it inferior genes. And identify and remove barren old Does. I don’t need the DNR to tell me how to manage a deer heard….. I don’t need a bunch of individuals with a framed piece of paper on their wall with no common sense to apply it dictating what I can or can’t shoot and removing my or my neighbors ability to properly manage the deer roaming our properties. I’m

    • Norm Mackey on August 16, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      As for barren old does, I think the Michigan Prey/Predator project determined they keep having fawns until they die. Cant think why anyone would want to fake that

    • Matt Wheaton on October 29, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      You said it! This is the general consensus of MOST Northern Michigan Hunters!! Only a few speak out!

    • Matt Wheaton on October 29, 2018 at 10:56 pm

      The DNR’s motto is “PURGE MICHIGAN DEER”, not “Pure Michigan!” No state has accomplished anything banning bait/feed byr purging the deer herd to control CWD! CWD is uncontrollable! All we can do is monitor it. Quit panicking and using scare tactics to push for increasing your research funding agenda on CWD!! Focus on better understanding about this mysterious prion without bias and politics, to eventually come up with steps to a common sense solution. We’re fooling ourselves with the current approaches administers in the past 30-50 years trying.

      As long as prion contaminated soil remains a contributor to spreading CWD and it’s also spread through all Cervids body fluids including breeding, then the repeated policy failures on repeated attempts to slow the spread will fail as it has in all states where found.

  26. Dan Dood on August 12, 2018 at 7:38 am

    Folks has anyone else done the math??? According to the DNR website, 60 positive deer and total tested 31,377. Ah… that’s less than 1% (or .2% actually). How is it that we have an Epidemic? Statistically this is normal or below normal for diseases in a wild population. I own land in both Montcalm and Isabella counties and talk quite a few of the farmers. NOBODY has seen any deer exhibiting any symptoms. NONE! Again back to the .2%. This is the DNR buckling under pressure from the insurance companies. Plain and simple!

    • Matt Wheaton on October 29, 2018 at 10:57 pm

      Maybe they use that “NEW” Math being taught currently in our school systems!!

    • Matt Wheaton on November 10, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      The percentage of Cervids dying from EHD nationally dwarfs the national CWD percentage several times over. However, the lesser number always get’s the biased attention. Politics & Animal Rights Activist and other negative groups are having a field day with this and spreading misinformation.

    • Buckmaster007 on November 19, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      Exactly what I’ve been saying! They are finding more deer with CWD because they are testing more deer. The percentage has stayed the same. There were deer with CWD before 2015 here in Michigan, they just werent testing for it.

  27. Ty on August 12, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    This is a terrible idea shunning the research of a man that has made a living and a name for himself studying deer, stating these measures will do nothing for the herd. Mark my words hunter reqruitment will drop as well as numbers of hunters in general. Scientific research should have been reviewed better and studied in the core area before dumping this on the entire lower peninsula. Not only does this effect hunters this will effect alot of farmers and businesses in a huge way!

    • Matt Wheaton on October 11, 2018 at 12:43 am

      They seem to ignore Dr. James Kroll’s assessment of CWD, because it doesn’t follow their agenda! He seemed to have a better kowledge and assessment than anyone I’ve heard to date!

  28. Cowboy on August 13, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    I have pictures from June where deer exhibited signs of CWD here in Calhoun County. Also have pictures of large deer herds in almost every block around where I live at the same time period.

    My job is spraying county roads in multiple central lower Michigan. Driving around every day before the corn started getting full height, would quite literally see hundreds of deer every day. The population is a lot more dense than many posters here realize.

    I think that the higher number of kill tags is a good idea, but should be targeted to specific townships, not whole counties. Some townships have a much larger population than others.

    For instance, Ionia County along the Grand River and north into the wooded areas exhibit many less deer than those south down to the bottom row of townships in the county from what I have seen.

    I also read a comment about how closely deer graze that has me shaking my head. Other than a doe with her current year fawns, I have rarely seen wild deer forage nose to nose under normal conditions with other adults. Food plots if done correctly should have a mixture of feeds growing scattered in a localized area. The same with bait piles to replicate apples falling from a tree.

    The problem is that everyone puts it all in one concentration pile, where the deer crowd in and eat litterly nose to nose. It’s similar to eating ear corn across the table with a sick person vs eating on the same ear of corn with the sick person at the same time. (Speaking of which Hepatitis is being spread by kids sharing drinks and food.) There is a gigantic difference in the probability of contracting a virus at 6 foot vs 6 inches. I am not apposed to using attractants if done responsibly, but actually piling is lazy and unsportsmanlike.

  29. Todd Davis on August 13, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    If the DNR is so terribly concerned that CWD will/is killing off the deer population….. Then why is their remedy to save the deer heard to SLAUGHTER THE DEER HEARD!!!! As Scott Boehning commented above ” Mother Nature has her own way of correcting the deer population”…. We have a Youth hunt, a disability hunt, a liberty hunt, a Independence hunt, a early Doe season, Bow season (Does), Rifle season (Does), Muzzleloader season (Does), Late Bow season (Does), and last but not least a Late Firearms
    (rifle) Doe season. (I don’t disagree with the Youth, Liberty, Disability, or Independence hunts, only the time of year they take place.) But can you say Slaughter the Deer Heard!!!! It is up to us as Hunter’s not to buckle to the lies told by our DNR and to not do what they want us to do, Slaughter the Deer Heard!! I have seen the Insurance companies reports on the number of car/deer accidents per County. And one car/ deer accident is to many to them. They cry like babies. This is all about the all mighty dollar,. baiting = tax dollars/ State., Car/Deer accidents = Insurance companies not wanting to spend ( our insurance premiums ) What really infuriated me a couple of days ago was what a farmer told me ( Montcalm County ) He was told by the DNR and I quote.. don’t worry about the block permits ( Does ) shoot them all Bucks, Does, Fawns cut off their head and send them in… End Quote!!!! If you want to believe the Department that told/tell’s us there are no Cougars in lower Michigan, The one that reintroduced Wolves to the U.P. (Canada has a bounty) And I am sure we will have “Just really Big Coyotes” running around down here sooner than later. Then believe them. Me… It’s a scam. Perpetupated by the State and funded by the Insurance companies. They can’t make us pull the trigger…so don’t!!!….. I spent 26 year’s working for the State of Michigan…26 year’s of having someone with a framed degree hanging on their wall.. dictating to me and my co-workers how to do our job… Yet not only have they never done our job… The have never stepped into our work environment. And that’s the way it is for all the ” Departments” of this State. Do it this way today…do it this way tomorrow… Why… Because someone in Lansing said so… We always said ” Yep, someone in Lansing trying to preserve their job again” you know… The assistant of the assistant of the assistant of the assistant job preservation.

    • Carl Smith on September 20, 2018 at 2:23 pm

      At some point the people leaving these comments will realize t;hat the NRC and DNR only care about one thing. “MONEY FROM LICENSES”. Ban baiting but allow food plots wow no sense whats o ever.

      • Matt Wheaton on October 11, 2018 at 12:36 am

        The income from License will diminish more as the hysteria increases! It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy by our own DNR.

      • Matt Wheaton on October 11, 2018 at 12:39 am

        License revenue will diminish soon enough given the unsustainable budgets for supposed CWD combat!

      • Matt Wheaton on November 10, 2018 at 9:26 pm

        ** Raising the costs/fees certainly hasn’t improved Hunting in Michigan!!! Implementing unwarranted Bans doesn’t improve hunting either and raises costs more if the alternative is food plots.

  30. Launy dmith on August 15, 2018 at 7:48 am

    This sucks we just got baiting back a few years ago up here in otsego County County. This has tobe a DNR money thing so they can write more tickets for baiting. Not worried about the small person selling sugar beets corn apples and carrots. This wont put more hunters inwoods. Its harder to hunt whitetail in the north woods than down south in the feilds with 2 or 3 Acres of woods. So baits do help hunters in the north put meat in the freezer

  31. Jordan Thompson on August 15, 2018 at 9:48 am

    The DNR should have banned captive Cervids years ago (deer farms) but didn’t because people would have said it was gov’t overreach. It made rules for these establishments to follow but lacked the ability to enforce, so the Illegal importation and movement of these captive animals brought the prion to our state and public herd and now that the cat is out of the bag these same folks criticize the DNR for taking sound measures to control the spread. Outside the controversy of the baiting and attractant issues, how many do you think will even heed the carcass rules when the deniers all think this is a bunch of crap that won’t effect them? How many carcasses do you see dumped on state land? It will spread because the prion stays in the brain and spinal chord which then spreads the CWD agent to others. What rules are in place for carcasses from deer processors in these areas or statewide for that matter? It will spread because collectively too many think they know what’s best and won’t follow the rules. MUCC needs to step up and either side with science or side with uneducated political opinion. It needs to educate members and get ahead of issues, not sit back and become a platform of dissent. It should have been at the forefront of this issue advocating tougher captive cervid regulations 15 years ago when the WIsconsin CWD issues were emerging…but now are relegated to trying to appease the masses that the practices of the past don’t need to change and worse yet that the proposed changes won’t make a difference. Unfortunately the DNR is in a no win situation, one that we sportmen put them in…the importance of this issue will only be elevated when the prion makes the jump to human transmission, but by then it will be way too late.

    • Matt Wheaton on November 10, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      It’s already too late! Research/mad science is at fault for CWD, not hunters!! Wildlife Management was experimenting with injecting scrapies in mule deer. They had this in their research(captive) mule deer pens! Then some escaped….

  32. Larry Spivey on August 19, 2018 at 9:31 am

    This why I quit hunting over 5 years ago to much politics an to many restrictions especially for disabled hunters like me it’s sad but I’m not even going to teach my granddaughter about hunting it’s become a joke always changes every year0

  33. Matt Wheaton on October 11, 2018 at 12:34 am

    No matter how much they regulate the hunter, they cannot regulate the free-range Deer herd habits! The degree CWD is theoretically spreading has gone largely unhindered by these type bans in every state with CWD. Interesting how much it is spreading in the USA and a lot less in Canada by comparison!

    Until biologist & science better understand in the wild how actually CWD is spreading like all the way over in Finland & Norway, it will continue to spread in spite of what they ban!! This hype about slowing it down is political over-reach rhetoric. According to their own data, Cervid’s would have to be eliminated entirely for 20+ years until all thePrions left in the ground expired before reintroducing Cervids and avoiding a continual spreading of CWD!!

    Until they truly understand 100% about CWD prions and it’s nature, they will never win this fight. It’s already been nearly 50 years. Without unbiased Standardized testing, scientific research and process of data. They’re grabbing for straws on this. Everyone is trying their own theories out in every state with it and failing!

    Bias Politics, media & agendas have contaminated any true attempt to resolve this growing threat. Hunters lack trusting the DNR and those who think they know what to do, given their track record. Deer Farmers are not to blame. Weird scientific experimenting is more likely.

    If they can contain it in zones like TB, then so be it. Leave the rest of us alone until it’s proven to be every where! Cervid hunting may go extinct much earlier than the cervid’s by CWD.

    So far the record shows that more Cervid’s die from autos, hunting, CWD testing & culling than ever from CWD itself.

  34. Scott Dykstra on November 16, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    I know it will never happen but we as hunters should boycott and stop hunting. Even if for one year doing so would harm all small businesses and that’s not good but we need to stand together and show the insurance company’s who are at the root of all this that they need to play fair we hunt in an area where we will see no deer without baiting. Stopping this will do no good. If some hunters don’t like to bait then don’t I truly believe that Mother Nature will work things out and the den should stay out of its way

  35. Dave Smith on November 29, 2018 at 5:09 am

    Most of the comments left on this site are the opinions of each individual author. With most backed up with little or no actual scientific evidence!
    But what simply cannot be denied is two elemental FACTS: 1. CWD is a TSE(transmissible spongiform encephalopathy) 2. A TSE is a horrible way to die for any mammal( including humans).

    I would suggest that before anyone writes a comment suggesting that the DNR/NRC is acting too harshly in their efforts to limit the spread of this diease (by banning baiting or reducing deer numbers by additional doe harvest, etc.) That they attempt to get a “TSE” education (not just a CWD education)!
    Those who wish can cite Dr. James Kroll all they want to about the management of deer! I am sure his credentials are impecable in that area. But when it comes to the management of dieases I would rather get my info from people like the CDC(Center for Diease Control) and the WHO(World Health Organization)!!
    Both organizations, by the way, strongly urge that humans take every precaution to not ingest CWD contaminated material!!
    To date there is no “known” case of cervid TSE(CWD) making the jump to human TSE(CJD).
    But then again the same thing was once said about bovine TSE(mad cow diease) before that jump was made in England and many Brits died a horrible death from a variant strain of CJD ( the human TSE).

    Therefore I can assure everyone that the steps the DNR/NRC are taking now to curb this “cervid” diease will seem mild compared to what the CDC might suggest if that jump to humans is ever found!!!

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