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Checking for CWD in the northwestern Lower Peninsula
November 06, 2023
As part of a newer, rotational approach to testing deer for chronic wasting disease, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources this year will focus testing efforts primarily in the northwestern Lower Peninsula. Over the past two years, the DNR has concentrated its testing in selectedgroups of counties around the state. The goal is to take a closer look at areas where intensive testing hasn't already occurred.
Counties in this year’s focused testing area include Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Isabella, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, Osceola and Wexford. Except for Isabella County, these areas have not had a CWD detection or been part of intensive testing efforts, so little is known about the status of the disease there.
In light of the recent CWD detection in Ogemaw County, adrop box has been added at the Rifle River Recreation Area to test for CWD in deer harvested within the county. Deer from Ogemaw County also can be brought to the staffed deer check station at the DNR West Branch Field Office for CWD testing.
Management of CWD is most effective when the disease is detected early.
Hunters who want to help with early CWD detection can submit a sample from their deer for testing in a couple ways. In each of the counties listed, at least one drop box is available 24/7, with instructions and all supplies needed (make sure you have the deer head removed and bring a smartphone). Another option is to ask game processors or taxidermists if they are assisting with CWD sample collection. Several are – the DNR appreciates these businesses that make it very convenient for their customers to get deer tested.
Bovine tuberculosis testing in the northeastern LP
In the northeastern Lower Peninsula, testing for bovine tuberculosis is ongoing. Successful hunters in Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle and Roscommon counties can find the locations of staffed deer check stations and 24-hour drop boxes at Michigan.gov/DeerCheck. There are several cooperating game processors and taxidermists assisting with sample collection in these counties as well – ask if yours is participating in head collection if you’d like to get your deer tested.
For questions about chronic wasting disease or bovine tuberculosis testing in the northern Lower Peninsula, contact Emily Sewell at SewellE@Michigan.gov or 231-340-1821.