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Hunters

Hunters - please do your part!

  • Staffed sample collection locations and drop box info available at Michigan.gov/DeerCheck
  • Avoid long-distance movements with your deer carcass
  • Handle and dispose of your deer carcass in a responsible manner
  • If you hunt out-of-state, only bring back allowed animal parts
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest regulations, especially if hunting in or near CWD areas

Hunting regulations

Get up-to-date regulations for CWD and more in the current issue of the hunting digest.

Hunting digest

Surveillance and testing information

CWD surveillance area

In 2022, surveillance will be occurring mainly in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula. We need deer heads from the core CWD surveillance area in the Upper Peninsula (portions of Dickinson, Menominee and Delta counties, and the following counties in the Lower Peninsula:

  • Bay
  • Berrien
  • Branch
  • Cass
  • Gratiot
  • Genesee
  • Huron
  • Isabella
  • Hillsdale
  • Kalamazoo
  • Lapeer
  • Lenawee
  • Livingston
  • Macomb
  • Midland
  • Monroe
  • Muskegon
  • Oakland
  • Oceana
  • Ottawa
  • Saginaw
  • Sanilac
  • St. Clair
  • St. Joseph
  • Tuscola
  • Washtenaw
  • Wayne

Sample collection kits

Free hunter CWD sample collection kits for no-cost testing are available at some DNR field office locations for free testing from the following counties:

  • Clinton
  • Dickinson (outside of core area)
  • Eaton
  • Gratiot
  • Ingham
  • Ionia
  • Jackson
  • Kent
  • Montcalm

Testing for a fee

Deer harvested in all other counties in Michigan can be submitted through a participating USDA-approved laboratory (below) for a fee.

Please note

  • Remove deer heads prior to visiting a sample submission site.
  • If you would like to keep the antlers, remove them from the head.
  • Deer without a completed harvest report will not be tested.

Please be aware that test results may take several weeks to receive. Available results will be posted at Michigan.gov/DNRLab.

If CWD is found in a submitted deer, the hunter will also be notified by letter or phone and will be eligible for a replacement antlerless deer license.

Results from deer submitted to an approved USDA laboratory will be sent directly to the hunter from the laboratory.

Additional information

Testing deer for CWD

Lymph node extraction for CWD testing

Carcass transportation

There are regulations in place that limit the transportation of deer carcasses throughout the Lower Peninsula. Carcasses from areas with CWD should never be disposed of on the landscape in CWD areas. There are no carcass transportation regulations for the Upper Peninsula.

A deer harvested in Montcalm County in its entirety, Otisco, Orleans, Ronald or North Plains townships in Ionia County, or Nelson, Spencer, Courtland, Oakfield, Grattan or Cannon townships in Kent County cannot be possessed or transported outside of those listed areas, unless:

  • The harvested deer is 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 or skull cap cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue; hides, upper canine teeth, or a finished taxidermist mount OR;
  • The deer carcass is taken directly to a registered processor; AND/OR
  • The intact deer head detached from the carcass is taken directly to a licensed taxidermist.