09/28/2020- The Michigan DNR advises deer hunters to be prepared for big changes to DNR deer check stations this fall. Staffing and financial shortages, due to both funding associated with long-term declines in the hunter base and the COVID-19 pandemic, will result in reductions in check station and drop-box locations, dates and hours operated, and the number of deer heads that will be accepted for chronic wasting disease testing. The DNR still needs hunters’ help to learn more about the status of CWD in Michigan, but with this reduction in resources, the department will prioritize collecting deer heads from in and around known CWD areas to gather more information about the extent of the disease in these locations. In 2020, deer heads from the core CWD surveillance area in the Upper Peninsula, which includes portions of Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties, will be accepted for CWD testing from Oct. 3 to Jan. 4. Hours and locations of deer check stations can be found at Michigan.gov/DeerCheck. Additionally, to protect hunters and DNR staff, some procedures will be changed at these sites, including requiring hunters to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.
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