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