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CWD hunting regulations
The following rules and regulations are taken from the Michigan Hunting Regulations booklet, a condensed digest of the Wildlife Conservation Order that is issued for hunters' convenience. A table of CWD regulations in other parts of North America is also available for your review.
Are there additional restrictions for transporting deer?
Yes. 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.
What are the rules for transporting game?
You may transport your own and another person’s lawfully taken game. You cannot destroy the identity or evidence of the sex of any bird or animal, except for processed or butchered deer, bear and elk as noted above.
If you are transporting migratory birds, one fully feathered wing must be left on the bird. If transporting another person’s migratory birds, they must be tagged with the person’s name, signature and home address, and the number of birds by species, dates of kill and hunting license number.
Exception: If you submit the head for bovine tuberculosis or chronic wasting disease testing, you must have the kill tag and disease tag receipt in your possession. Nonresidents may need to comply with restrictions in other states for importing game taken in Michigan.
Can I pick up a roadkill deer?
Yes, but you must apply for a permit. You may NOT possess the carcass, or parts thereof, of a roadkill deer outside of the county where the deer was killed by collision with a motor vehicle except for deboned meat, quarters or other parts of the cervid that do not have any part of the spinal column or head attached, antler, antlers attached to the skull or skull cap cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue, hides, upper canine teeth, or a finished taxidermist mount. This is part of the DNR’s efforts to respond to and manage chronic wasting disease in the state. Roadkill salvage permit applications are available at Michigan.gov/RoadKillPermit.
Can I bring my deer, elk or moose back to Michigan from an out-of-state hunt?
You may bring only the following parts from a free-ranging or captive deer, elk, moose or other cervid hunted within another state or province into Michigan: hides, deboned meat, quarters or other parts of the cervid that do not have any part of the spinal column or head attached, finished taxidermy products, cleaned teeth, or antlers attached to a skull cap cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue. Hunters bringing an entire head, carcass or other prohibited parts into Michigan will be subject to penalties such as fines, jail time and revocation of licenses. In addition, the illegally imported cervid will be confiscated.
If you are notified by another state or province that a deer, elk, moose or other cervid you brought into Michigan tested positive for CWD, you must contact the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab within two business days (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at 517-336- 5030 and provide details. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture may have regulations on importation from Canada; contact USDA at 301-851-3300.
Can I bait during the Independence Hunt?
Hunters with qualifying disabilities may participate in the Independence hunt and use bait. To qualify, an individual must fit one of the following criteria:
- Be a veteran who has been determined to have 100% disability, or a resident rated as individually unemployable by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Have been issued a permit by the DNR to hunt from a standing vehicle.
- Have been issued a permit by the DNR to hunt using a laser-sighting device.
- Be blind. “Blind” means an individual who has a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correction or has a limitation of his or her field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angular distance not greater than 20 degrees, as determined by the Commission for the Blind.
- Be deaf. An individual is deaf as defined by section 2 of 72 PA 1978, MCL 408.202. “Deaf person” means a person who is not able to process information aurally, with or without amplification, and whose primary means of communication is visual or by receiving spoken language through other sensory input, including, but not limited to, lipreading, sign language, finger spelling, or reading.
The bait may be any food type. Hunters with disabilities may begin baiting on Oct. 8 and continue through Oct. 16 for the Independence Hunt. All bait must be removed from the bait site by the final day of the season (Oct. 16). Please remember that, although you can place bait five days prior to the start of the Independence Hunt, you can only hunt over the bait during the season, Oct. 13-16. Bait cannot be left on Commercial Forest lands unless the landowner gives permission.
Bait volume at any hunting site cannot exceed 2 gallons. Bait dispersal must be over a minimum 10-foot by 10-foot area. Bait must be scattered directly on the ground. It can be scattered by any means, including mechanical spin-cast feeders, provided that the spin-cast feeder does not distribute more than the maximum volume allowed. For more information on baiting and feeding, please see pages 56 and 61-62.
Can I bait for deer in the Lower Peninsula outside of the liberty hunt or use scented attractants?
No, BAITING AND FEEDING IS BANNED IN THE ENTIRE LOWER PENINSULA. This includes both public and private lands.
Bait means a substance intended for consumption by deer composed of grains, minerals, salt, fruits, vegetables, hay or any other food materials used as an aid in hunting.
Feed means a substance composed of grain, mineral, salt, fruit, vegetables, hay or other food material that may attract deer or elk for any reason other than hunting.
You can use food-scented materials - whether composed of natural or synthetic materials - made inaccessible for consumption by deer and placed in a manner to prohibit physical contact with deer. (Examples: oil-based attractants, scented wicks, etc.)
You may not possess or use lures or attractants in an area frequented by game that contain or claim to contain cervid urine or other bodily fluids originating from cervids, except for products produced by manufacturers that are actively enrolled and participating in either the official Responsible Hunting Scent Association or Archery Trade Association Deer Protection Program, which has been tested for the presence of chronic wasting disease by a qualified laboratory and certified that no detectable levels of chronic wasting disease are present and is clearly labeled as such.
You may not construct or maintain a food plot or artificial garden to attract wildlife on public lands, but they are allowed on private land. Food plots are naturally occurring foods, standing agricultural crops or food placed as a result of using normal agricultural practices and are not considered to be bait or feed.