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Bovine Tuberculosis Information for Hunters

In 2011, bovine tuberculosis (TB) was found in 17 wild white-tailed deer from five counties in Michigan: Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle. Statewide 6,021 deer were tested. Since 1995, a total of 703 deer have been found positive from 195,061 deer sampled in Michigan.

The DNR is urging hunters to submit their deer's head for TB testing if it was harvested in the following twelve counties: Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford, Emmet, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle and Roscommon. Hunters are asked to submit deer carcasses with chest lesions suspicious for TB from anywhere in the state. The list of deer check stations is available on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/deer. Get your lab results on-line at this site: www.michigan.gov/dnrlab 

As a part of Michigan's strategy to eliminate TB in deer and elk, hunting regulations in the six-county area (DMU 487), which includes Alcona, Alpena, Iosco, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties, have been designed to reduce the deer population, which will help decrease possible transmission of the disease. Feeding and baiting deer and elk also remains illegal in the six-county bovine TB zone or DMU 487.

ribcage of TB-infected deer
Tuberculosis-infected deer may have multiple pea-sized tan or yellow lumps on the inside of the ribcage (above)...
lungs of TB-infected deer
... or on the lungs (above). The lesions may be different shapes and sizes than shown.

What Hunters Should Look for When Field Dressing Deer

Deer with severe TB may have tan or yellow lumps lining the chest wall and in the lung tissue (see photos above). If you see a deer with this type of infection, please contact the DNR so the carcass and viscera, in addition to the head, can be examined. Hunters taking deer in any of the counties listed above should turn in the deer's head for testing whether these signs of infection are present or not. For more information on Bovine TB in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/bovinetb.