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Michigan DNR: Here’s how to get your deer tested for chronic wasting disease

CWD testing will continue free of charge for all deer harvested in the core CWD surveillance area in the Upper Peninsula (portions of Dickinson, Menominee and Delta counties) from now until Jan. 4.
A whitetail deer stops near the woods.
A whitetail deer stops near the woods.(Michigan DNR)
Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 11:02 AM EDT
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MICHIGAN (WLUC) - As you may have read, deer check station locations and hours and days of operation will be reduced in 2020 to prevent unnecessary risk to hunters and DNR staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CWD testing will continue free of charge for all deer harvested in southern Jackson, southern Isabella and western Gratiot counties, and from the core CWD surveillance area in the Upper Peninsula (portions of Dickinson, Menominee and Delta counties) from now until Jan. 4.

In addition, deer heads from counties where CWD has been detected (Clinton, Dickinson, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm) will be accepted for testing at no charge Nov. 15-18.

We understand CWD testing may be important to hunters and their families outside of these geographic areas and time frames. The DNR has partnered with USDA-approved labs to accept hunter-harvested deer from anywhere in Michigan for CWD testing. Please note this testing will come at a fee set by the receiving laboratory.

For the 2020 deer hunting seasons, the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab are both accepting CWD samples. If you plan to use these services, we recommend you look at the instructions now to save yourself time after your hunt.

Regardless of the route you take for testing, be sure to make a plan for how you will store your harvest until you receive your test results.

To lower the cost of testing and simplify shipping, hunters may wish to remove the needed lymph nodes from the head of their harvested deer. Watch this video for instructions. Due to potential safety concerns with bovine tuberculosis, hunters in DMU 487 should not attempt to remove lymph nodes themselves and should head to a DNR check station for assistance.

Find a list of check stations, dates and hours at Michigan.gov/DeerCheck.

Information about CWD testing and deer check station safety procedures can be found at Michigan.gov/CWD.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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