Residents who hunt outside of Michigan this fall should be aware regulations have changed substantially related to the importation of harvested cervids such as deer, elk or moose.
Hunters who harvest a cervid in any other state or province only can bring hides, deboned meat, quarters (legs that do not have any part of the spinal column or head attached), finished taxidermy products, cleaned teeth, antlers and antlers attached to a skullcap cleaned of brain and muscle tissue.
“Hunters need to realize that the new importation regulations apply to any location they hunt outside Michigan, not just those states and provinces that have chronic wasting disease,” said Chad Stewart, deer and elk specialist. “These changes have been put in place in hopes of keeping potential cases of CWD from unintentionally being brought into Michigan.”
Chronic wasting disease is a contagious neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose from which there is no recovery. It attacks the central nervous system of infected animals and results in emaciation, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions.
The infectious agents causing CWD are prions, nonliving proteins that can persist in the environment for years.
“We’re asking everyone who hunts out of state to understand and follow these regulations,” said Dean Molnar, assistant chief, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “Those who don’t will face fines, penalties and confiscation of the animal. We need everyone to abide by the regulations and follow the law. The health of Michigan’s big-game population depends on the cooperation of hunters. We are all in this together.”
In April 2015, a female 6-year-old, free-ranging white-tailed deer in Ingham County was killed and confirmed positive for CWD. This marked Michigan's first ever case of CWD in a free-ranging cervid.
Since the discovery of that first animal, the DNR has sampled 13,458 deer from around the state as of August 2017. A total of nine animals have tested positive for CWD.
For those hunting in Michigan within areas where CWD has been found, there are specific regulations that must be followed.
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