Photo by Anna Mitterling

Summary of Proposed CWD Regulations

MUCC is providing this as a summary of the recently released Michigan DNR recommendation to the Natural Resources Commission on CWD management for white-tailed deer. The full document can be found here:

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/12WCO2018_CWD_Regs_INFO_624924_7.pdf

In a few days-time, we will have completed our reaction to the proposal, but in short we think that the individual components are unfortunately necessary in a disease context that could impact the future of deer and deer hunting in Michigan. There must be some short term and longer term actions to ensure that our deer hunting heritage is passed on to the next generation of hunters. However, we agree that the NRC should make amendments to this proposal to provide measurable objectives and increased transparency and accountability for both hunters and the DNR.

Statewide Regulations

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

Lower Peninsula

  • A deer baiting and feeding ban throughout the entire Lower Peninsula will go into effect January 31, 2019.
    • An exception will be made for hunters with disabilities outside of the 13-county CWD Management Zone during the Liberty (September 2-day) and Independence (October 4-day) Hunts.
  • Existing September two-day and late December antlerless seasons would be expanded to several Lower Peninsula counties, intended to encompass the CWD Management Zone (below) as well as some perimeter counties.

CWD Management Zone

  • Creation of a 13-County CWD Management Zone that includes: Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ottawa, and Shiawassee counties.
  • Deer baiting and feeding ban in place immediately for all 13 counties (In 2017 it has been in place for only 7 of the counties)
  • Discounted $12 expiring antlerless tag available, valid for all private lands in the 13 counties, which expires on the first Sunday in November.
  • Full price $20 antlerless tags by county, valid through all deer seasons.
  • Creation of a new early antlerless firearm season Oct. 11-14, 2018 on private lands. All firearm season regulations would apply, including the limited firearm zone restrictions and hunter orange. Hunters could use their antlerless license, deer or combination deer license to take an antlerless deer.
  • Muzzleloader season would expand to allow all firearms legal during regular firearm deer season for that area.
  • Additional restrictions on wildlife rehabilitators regarding deer movement or release.

CWD Core Area

  • Within the 13-county area, there would be a smaller CWD Core Area of 5 counties, which includes Ionia, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, and Newaygo counties.
  • Carcass movement restricted outside of CWD Core Area unless submitted for testing. Only deboned meat, quarters or other parts of a cervid that do not have any part of the spinal column or head attached, antlers, antlers attached to a skull cap cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue, hides, upper canine, or finished taxidermy mounts can be transported outside of the 5-County Core CWD Area, unless the carcass has been submitted to a designated drop-off location within 24 hours of harvest for testing. In short, this is mandatory check for people wishing to take their carcass out of the Core Area.
  • Possible January disease management hunt, authorized by the Director if needed.
  • Either-Sex Deer Licenses: Hunters hunting during firearm seasons in the 5-county Core Area will be able to use their $20 single deer license for a buck or a doe or buy a $40 combination deer license for 2 bucks (one with 4+ points on a side), 2 does, or 1 buck and 1 doe.

Photo by Anna Mitterling

59 Comments

  1. Matt on June 8, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    So we plan to go the Wisconsin route and just slaughter all the deer we can in the lower pennisula?

    • Jay on June 13, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      The DNR has been allowing that for the last 15 years in the NELP.

    • Jack F. Meikle on June 13, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      You People have your heads up your Ass. Screw the Bow Hunter again. Why don’t we just kill deer every Month.
      That’s sad We have to hunt out State to find quality deer and avoid these idiots that shoot anything that walks.

  2. Ralph Cavalier on June 9, 2018 at 5:21 am

    October firearm hunt . What the hell is wrong with you people …

  3. Rob on June 9, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Middle of Oct gun hunt might as well just eradicate archery hunting all together. The farms around me would be like Afghanistan. Bunch of terrible ideas. How about we look into replacing the idiots in charge.

    • Curt on June 13, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      Yes!!!

  4. J Hall on June 9, 2018 at 10:22 am

    soooo…… they just want to make all seasons a gun season????

    • Eric Stanaway on June 13, 2018 at 11:00 pm

      It sounded like it was only in the CWD management zone, not the entire lower penninsula.

  5. Dan Page on June 9, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Deer baiting and feeding should also include food plots that are planted specifically for attracting deer, because otherwise your blowing smoke. How can you discriminate between 2 gallons @ 2 to 20 acre? Big money seems to have you by the short hairs again! Here we go again with all the BS.

    • Doug on June 14, 2018 at 6:55 am

      Umm…multiple deer standing nose to nose in a 10×10 area eating bait poured on the ground is nothing like deer grazing over a 2-20 acre plot or field. That’s how they feed naturally…plots are there for entire growing seasons for the herd, not dumped out in a pile to sit over during “hunting” season…big difference. However you view it, let’s not quarrel as hunters…deer in an area use licking branches as communication sites. They are nose to nose naturally as they are social animals. So no matter what, they will spread disease. It’s money and politics here. More seasons mean more opps, more licenses, & mo’ money…even with discounted sales. Let’s make it no bucks for 3 years, hence doe only and remove a large amount of the deer herd by taking deer that have one or 2 every year that have another one or two and so on…and as well, have more and older bucks. People would be more open to taking doe and would pass on the young bucks knowing there are plenty of mature bucks to harvest after the 3 year period…let’s start with that in the 13 county area…or how bout the DNR just omit all of our countless “seasons” and benchmark a state that has good deer management practices already in place? However that would be conceding that they don’t have a good handle on what or how to manage vs. knee jerk reactions…tough situation and easy to Monday morning quarterback it for us…

    • D Allen on June 14, 2018 at 8:32 am

      so then we will have to ban farmers from planting also because the deer feed together in those fields as well….

  6. Ken on June 9, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    You better stop people planting food plots for deer hunting if you are banning baiting. It’s a proven fact in other cwd areas that bait piles dont spread cwd as badly as food plots. Food plots are in the same place year to year well bait piles do move around.

  7. Lee Feldpausch on June 9, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    All BS
    Came upon a deer at the corner of Francis Rd & Clark in Clinton County, a 1 1/2 old buck standing 30 yards of road.
    Called DNR waited for them to show up.
    I had pictures of buck at 10′ and it would almost fall over and then steady itself. No visible injurys.
    They killed it after 3 shots. First shot at just 10 yards with AR. Never followed up with me and when I called them twice said they had no record of a deer brought in from that location.Told me to call MSU they said there was no sample delivered to them. Isn’t there interesting?
    Went to info mtg at DeWitt 90% of the answers were we just don’t know. Thousands of deer killed by predators, poachers, cars and starvation. 56 deer positive 2 actually died from CWD. DNR answer is to kill thousands more, kill million dollar industry in the state. I believe this has been in the deer herd for many a century.
    We lost thousands of deer to EHD where was the big plan for that. DNR should have reduced doe permits and made 1 buck only till herd came back but instead gave out more doe permits.
    If this fluid transfer is their answer the deer herd is in trouble anyway from bucks not wearing condoms.

    • Eric Stanaway on June 13, 2018 at 11:07 pm

      Insurance companies bought policy yet again. They won’t be happy until all the wildlife, our Pittman Robinson taxes paid to support conservation, are completely wiped out

  8. Daniel Black on June 9, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    I think this is too extreme and an overreaction. I support getting rid of those employees supporting this proposal. A gross massacre of the herd is not necessary. We need QDM not a shoot them all mentality.

  9. John Dickmon on June 10, 2018 at 8:46 am

    While I agree with the elimination of “natural” urine based scents & lures, the rest, not so much.
    BUT.. I knew the response was going to be swift and severe.

  10. John Bell on June 10, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Once again it is the property owners “haves” against the public land hunters “have not’s”. You can have food plots–by definition an area designed to attract and feed deer–but Joe stump sitter cannot spread a bag of carrots, corn etc. to attract deer. Proof once again that money has its privileges.

  11. Randy on June 10, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Sounds like the exact thing Wisconsin tried years ago – kill all the deer they can. Guess what? Didn’t work then, won’t work now. The NRC is in the farming and auto insurance lobbies pockets and that needs to change.

    Recent science suggests that some (not all) deer seem to have natural resistance to CWD. If we kill them off in our haste to slaughter off the herd, how does that natural resistance get propagated? CWD has been know to be around for the last 50 years. Millions has been spent studying it. The return for the $$ spend has been abysmal. By the way, there are still deer in the original locations CWD was discovered 50 years ago. Think about that.

  12. Ed Kleinjan on June 10, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    I’m disappointed there is nothing about further restrictions on, or better yet elimination of captive cervid operations. The very 1st confirmed case of CWD in Michigan was at a high fence operation in Kent county.
    Since you can only test for CWD on dead animals, I feel it would be best if only synthetic urine lures are allowed. By the time it is figured out that the captive herd has CWD, the bottles produced at a facility will have been poured all across the environment.

  13. Dan Leo on June 10, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Why have a early doe season on private land right in the middle of bow season ? Bow only ? Once a gun is fired bucks are spooked should have to use weapon of that time frame safety ?

    • Tony Smith on June 18, 2018 at 9:49 am

      Dan Leo, are you calling for an end to the Mid October pheasant opener too?

  14. Rich on June 10, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Yea last year when you from a deer in northern Kent county in Montcalm area. It took you two months to determine that that deer was taken on a ranch but you put all this banning in feeding deer before you found out that the deer was on a ranch. So I ask you why do the rest of us have to suffer from not feeding our deer year around due to you finding a deer on a ranch with CWD. That really is not fair to rest of us. And to the heard and those of us who feed them year around. And here in Kent county you issue damn near unlimited doe tags which is uncalled for as well. But you also want the deer heard down in Kent county due car deer accidents being so high. I don’t think this is a good enough reason to issue so many tags. Thank you for your time.

  15. Keven Iutzi on June 11, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Most of these ‘preventative’ measures won’t do anything except take more freedoms away. You know the DNR was gleefully waiting to ban feeding. They are a government agency. A government bans stuff. They almost never solve anything.

    Next the DNR will eradicate all wild apple trees and require a 12 foot fence around orchards. Deer might eat apples otherwise. After that they will ban farming because deer eat in the fields.

    How about investing some effort into a cure or a vaccine? And a realistic way to deliver those, That’s the only real answer.

    • John on June 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      You raise an excellent point with your last question! Is there any effort at all being put forth to investigate a vaccine or cure? It would be a tough delivery system but perhaps it could be added to the “bait” by hunters…

  16. Joe Wilson on June 12, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    I am completely in favor of all of these recommendations. I am not sure how much research people are doing before commenting but I recommend everyone do more reading because the facts about CWD are startling. 100% fatal to all contaminated deer (there was mention of one deer who had a resistance to it in one study). Extremely contagious. Prions can be found in soil for years after a deer has left them there. Strict and swift action needed to be taken to ensure the future of deer hunting and that is what the DNR is doing. Leaving the deer herd at current levels is asking for trouble because most areas in southern Michigan are overpopulated and will only serve to increase the spread of this disease. Bring the herd levels down and try to stop the spread, your kids and grandkids will thank you.

  17. Paul Vincent on June 13, 2018 at 9:05 am

    MDNR members need to be sterilized

  18. Avid MI hunter on June 13, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Same as what Wisconsin tried many years ago and not only did it hurt their deer population but it also hurt the money that was brought in by other hunters. CWD is not scientifically proven to be transferred to humans. The DNR has done research on over 30,000 deer in the past 2 years now and only 56 deer have been found with this CWD. That is less than 1%. Is killing off our deer and taking the chances of hurting our economy really worth it? Not only this but they also have to look at the factor of our predator population. Once we do this free for all kill we will see more coyotes in heavy populated areas.

  19. William on June 13, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Let the NRC know what you think, don’t just post it here! I agree that a wide area ban on baiting is a bad idea for hunters, and hasn’t been proven to reduce the spread of CWD
    CONTACT:
    Cheryl Nelson, Assistant
    Phone: 517-284-6237
    NRC@michigan.gov

  20. Kevin on June 13, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Our DNR is a complete joke, there not conservationist there politicians, all they care about is the all mighty dollar!! Fire all of them!!

  21. Blake longwell on June 13, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    With so many naysayers out there I feel obligated to chime in. The DNR has been working hard to find a solution to a nearly unsolvable problem. They have very few options to choose from, the only feasible plan is to attempt to erradicate CWD from our deer population before it spreads to the entire state.

    As a bow Hunter, the last thing I want to see is and extension of gun season and the reduction of my herd. However, I would trade 3 years of bad hunting for 100 years of healthy deer. It is selfish to worry about your own hunting success when the long term health of the entire population of deer is at risk.

    Although copius amouts of money have been spent on research to find a cure or even a better way of testing for CWD. They haven’t figured it out yet. That’s why this disease is so damn serious. There is no cure.

    Suppose there are 120 deer wondering around southern Michigan today with CWD. If we can manage to remove them from the population over the next year we have a chance of starting from scratch again with a pure herd. Then we can just work on keeping CWD out of Michigan and rebuilding our herd back to normal levels . This won’t be hard to do , deer are unbelievably skilled at reproducing and rolling with all of the punches society has thrown at them for the past 300 years.

    If you aren’t scared of CWD yet, do some reading about how Canadian scientists have managed to prove that CWD can transfer to primates. This disease is currently only affecting our deer , but someday it might come to a point where we are at risk as well. Hunting deer wouldn’t be so much fun if you couldn’t eat the meat.

  22. Jeffery P. Merritt on June 13, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Now the bow hunters will have to hope they don’t get shot by gun hunters.NOT WELL THOUGHT OUT.THERE WILL BE TROUBLE BETWEEN BOW AND GUN HUNTERS .I bow and gun hunt but will be very pissed if a gun hunter ruins my bow hunt .DON’T THINK I WILL BE ALONE IN THAT.

  23. John on June 13, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    Its all BS! If I cant bait I don’t see deer, and I do not have the luxury of having private land to plant food plots.
    The DNR needs to be stopped, lets get together an stop buying licences for one year, then we will see change!
    Banning baiting is going to make a lot of illegal hunters!

  24. Bob schleiffarth on June 13, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    No early gun season!…archery already ruined with all the gun hunters and cross bow hunters. Totally not necessary.

  25. Jim Phillips on June 13, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    I guess I will sell my crossbow and my muzzleloader and just hunt with my 450 all year that’s what the DNR wants me to do kill them all. A few deer die and they panic

  26. Eric on June 13, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    My 5 gallons of feed on the ground is no different than 5 deer eating off the same apple tree . Kill all the deer but make it harder to do makes no sense.

    • Tony Smith on June 18, 2018 at 9:56 am

      5 gallons, eh? SMH

  27. Jeff on June 13, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Sounds like a croc of shit. I just hope everyone with private land is not stupid enough to kill everything they see. Every time there is a issue it’s always kill kill kill. How is that working for the TB zone. 20 years of shooting everything

    • leroy on June 14, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      TB zone deer are nocturnal and raise the fawns to be that way too. Only pics I got of bucks were at nite all season long.

  28. Terry Gump on June 13, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    I agree no follow up Wanted two deer check last year never heard a thing

  29. Eric on June 13, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    A lot of seriously ignorant comments here. If you want good information on CWD in general and the massive difference between it & EHD & bovine tuberculosis check out episode 70 of the MeatEater podcast.

  30. Rex on June 13, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    50000 deer are involved in car accidents each year. Maybe dnr should ban cars on roads between 5 pm til 10 am

  31. William Dykstra on June 13, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    I don’t believe these regulations will be any better than the ones they had before,with the EXCEPTION of banning baiting.Baiting should never have been allowed in the first place.Then when it was,no one in the DNR realized it was a big mistake until something like this happens…It got way out of control,with too many people getting dependent on selling bait,and people abusing baiting.So now you want to come up with all these new rules,and regulations.Pretty soon,it will be just like all the new trout regulations.You will soon need to have a PHD to figure out all the rules.Get so sick,and tired of all these DNR people just trying to make names for themselves by coming out with all kinds of new ,”Great Ideas.”CWD has probably been around for decades.How about just banning baiting,and not trying 10 different things at once?Reminds me alot of how they do water testing on the beaches now…Never had it years ago-but now they close the beaches..This stuff has been around for decades.Leave well enough alone!

  32. John on June 13, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Although I understand the need to improve the health of the herd, I’m not convinced that half of the DNR’s suggestions to the NRC will work. Running concurrent archery and rifle seasons is problematic to say the least. I would suggest, instead, that muzzleloader season take place the entire month of January in all three zones. Extend the gun-deer season from two weeks to four, beginning November 15th as tradition dictates, and running through Thanksgiving into the first two weeks of December. Change the licensing system to make the combo license for one buck & one doe. If a second buck license is offered, it can only be procured after the DNR issues it with proof of both tags being filled. This of course, would require checking in all kills.. Doesn’t Illinois do that?

    After someone dumped the carcasses of 7 does on my property this past November, I am concerned about the transmission of CWD by means other than sharing small bait piles. We all have to take action to protect our resource and our sport. That said, the current recommendations don’t pass the smell test…..

  33. Mike Rypczynski on June 13, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    If you can’t harvest a deer without bait you should not be hunting just place your trail cams out you’ll pattern the deer and know where and when the deer will show up It’s that simple I have not used bait in 20 years Even back then I took more deer with out bait And did not have a trail camera Now I have 10 trail cams all WiFi they send me the pic right to my phone 24/7

  34. Brett Ulanch on June 13, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    Wow all this and the dnt can’t even get the dead deer off the sides of the road so their carcass don’t spread cad or anything else they have plenty of dead animals to check.every road has some.

  35. william richmond on June 13, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    come on guys, if they get ride of the deer herd our insurance rates will go down, hahahaha, not. maybe we should all quit hunting and buying lisences for a year and see what happens when they lose 500 million dollars and the 5300 lost jobs directly related to that money.

  36. Mike on June 13, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    I can’t believe you’re putting a gun antlerless season in the early bow season. Now every yahoo will be tromping through private lands ruining the bow season.

  37. Jeremy Vincent on June 13, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Why don’t we just kill all the dam deer. Make the insurance company’s happy. And my kids don’t need deer to hunt they can see pictures of them . Don’t mind the ban on the bait went back to the basic. But we need to use or dam heads here I’ve been hunting the same 120 for 20 years not one case of CWD. And I’m in Shiawassee county. Just think the DNR need to find a better way to handle this. My two cents. Yes I shoot does and bucks as well. Just want my kids to be able to have a Chase to hunt deer on the family farm like I have

  38. Steven Q. Weaver on June 13, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    I agree with many of the comments already left, especially that some deer are resistant to CWD. Believe CWD is part of the equation and we’ll be wiping deer that are strong, healthy, and resistant and once they are eliminated they can no longer pass that characteristic down. Instead all we’ll be left with is a smaller herd and more regulations. BS is all this is.

  39. Alex C. on June 13, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    That’s what we need. More days for crazed idiots to thoughtlessly mow down more deer. Forget ‘s. They’re gonna be all gone if they don’t get the chance to grow. They need to shorten the deer seasons, not expand them! smdh.

  40. Don Killey on June 14, 2018 at 5:36 am

    so may as well drop bow season and just open everything to gun and drop all buck tags and just kill everything off as that is what it sounds like the DNR wants done. I have no problem with the stopping of baiting and the urine stopping issues. But let modern fire arms in muzzle season and rifle in bow season totally wrong. Do not agree with 95% of what the DNR is doing and I just may beginning taking my hunting to a different state.

  41. Melvin barboza on June 14, 2018 at 7:32 am

    More bullshit. To much speculation and not enough facts. Once again it’s about destroying the herd and appeasing the insurance companies . Just like the TB scare years ago the herd built up a natural tolerance against it and the balance was restored. Nature heals itself as ALWAYS. The only way the herd is destroyed is when WE destroy it our self by over hunting and mass slaughter. You young ones get out your history books and read and learn only then can you look them in the face and tell them you see the lie and you know the truth.

  42. William honey on June 14, 2018 at 7:51 am

    I think guns in October is a dangerous idea with all our bow hunters. There is already far to many seasons for deer it’s getting ridiculous your going to lose hunters I guarantee it. Why not make it one buck and three doe tags for everyone. This would give people their venison and aid in bigger bucks being harvested. I like the idea of no baiting, but you also have to listen and hear what people on state land are saying about people complaining about their food plots. People are losing faith in the dnr I know you have to adress the cwd issue but guns in October, really your asking for trouble. Once again it appears your doing the wrong thing

  43. D Allen on June 14, 2018 at 8:58 am

    I defiantly agree that guns in bow season is just wrong. I also believe in hunter’s choice, and that the deer do become resistant to diseases, given the time needed. The muzzle loading season is ass backwards and if we are having a separate season for it, it should be a primitive season ahead of regular gun season. The youth hunts are mostly a parent shooting an early buck, sad to say. Also in my book food plot are no different than a farmers field so what’s the beef there. Baiting from a pail sometimes leaves rotting food and molded food on the ground that NO ONE will clean up…..

  44. Outdoorsman on June 14, 2018 at 11:35 am

    This is a plan to wipe out the deer herd completely. Its more than likely controlled by the auto insurance industry. Foolishness and corruption at it’s best! Fight it as hard as possible.

  45. Blake on June 14, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    What a joke. This is going to negatively impact hunter satisfaction and further worsen our extremely imbalance deer herd. Further exploitation of our resources… MI is not a Hunting destination or a place to buy recreational land, way to go DNR.

  46. Timothy lee sabourin on June 14, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    How about getting rid of deer farms. Killing all of our deer is wrong. Back in the 80’s we had more deer than we do now. Now since more deer farms are around we have this issue.

  47. Devin Lee on June 15, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Wow when will this clown show end?
    The Dnr has slaughtered thousands of deer in Shiawassee County. And what have they come up with??we won’t have to worry about the disease the Dnr will take care of all the deer for us. Hell Dnr might as well start the new gun control also.

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