On Aug. 9, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Commission approved new regulations for hunting in chronic wasting disease (CWD) areas in the state for the 2018 deer season.
The new rules allow hunters to use any state-legal firearm during the muzzleloader season if they’re hunting in the 16-county CWD Management Zone (CWDMZ). All natural cervid urine-based lures and attractants (except those approved by the Archery Trade Association) are banned. Hunters will see feeding and baiting bans go into effect immediately in the CWDMZ and on Jan. 31, 2019 in the Lower Peninsula. Hunters with disabilities meeting certain requirements in the Lower Peninsula can hunt in the CWDMZ with 2 gallons of single-bite bait.
The new regulations limit each hunter to a maximum of 10 private-land antlerless licenses. Michigan is offering antlerless options on deer licenses and combo licenses during the firearm seasons in the five-county CWD Core Area (CWDCA), and is expanding the early and late antlerless seasons in specific counties. Hunters in the CWDMZ can use the restricted tag of the combo license to take a buck with antlers, provided the deer has at least one 3-inch antler. The state is also restricting deer carcass transportation in the CWDCA and the CWDMZ.
“We hope that by setting these specific CWD regulations we can limit the movement of this disease in Michigan,” said Vicki Pontz, Natural Resources Commission chairperson. CWD was first found in Michigan in a free-ranging deer in 2015. Since then, 60 free-ranging deer in six Michigan counties have contracted CWD.
For more information, go to michigan.gov/dnr.