In 2020 we need deer heads from southern Jackson, southern Isabella and western Gratiot counties, and from the core CWD surveillance area in the Upper Peninsula (portions of Dickinson, Menominee and Delta counties) for CWD surveillance. Deer harvested in Clinton, Dickinson, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm counties can be tested for CWD through the DNR from Nov.15-18 only.
Places to bring your deer head for testing include DNR deer check stations, or a DNR drop box.
Hunters are required to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines, staying 6 feet away from other people, at DNR deer check stations. At many check stations, hunters will be required to stay in their vehicles while their deer is checked. This fall, hunters coming in for disease testing are asked to bring only deer heads to check stations, removing them ahead of time, if possible. Those who would like to keep the antlers are asked to please remove those from the head but bring the antlers so that antler measurements can be taken. Also, if submitting a deer head for testing, be ready to give DNR staff the location where your deer was harvested including the county, township, range and section.
If you harvest your deer outside of these areas or time frame but would still like it tested for CWD (for a fee). The Michigan DNR has confirmed two USDA-approved Laboratories willing to accept deer samples directly from hunters. Please use the CWD test instructions and order form from Wisconsin lab for submitting to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will be accepting samples from hunters for CWD testing this season. Instructions will be posted soon. Hunters wishing to submit samples to MSU should collect and freeze lymph nodes until submitting them for testing. Hunters in DMU 487 who would like a CWD test, please contact a staffed DNR check station. For a list of stations, dates and times visit Michigan.gov/DeerCheck.
Please be aware that test results may require additional processing time this year. Available results will be posted at Michigan.gov/DNRLab. If CWD is found in a submitted deer, the hunter will be notified by phone. If CWD is not found, the test result will be posted online.