LANSING (WWJ) – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is reminding deer hunters of new regulations taking place this fall.
The new regulations apply to those who plant to hunt outside of Michigan and then bring their bounty back home across state lines. The DNR says rules related to the importation of harvested cervids — such as deer, elk or moose — have changed substantially this year.
Hunters who harvest a cervid in any other state can bring back only the following parts into Michigan:
• Deboned meat
• Quarters (legs that do not have any part of the spinal column or head attached)
• Finished taxidermy products
• Cleaned teeth
• 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,” Chad Stewart, DNR deer and elk specialist, said in a statement. “These changes have been put in place in hopes of keeping potential cases of chronic wasting disease from unintentionally being brought into Michigan.”
Chronic wasting disease is a contagious neurological disease affecting members of the Cervidae family, including deer, elk and moose. It attacks the central nervous system of infected animals and results in emaciation, abnormal behavior and loss of bodily functions. There is no recovery.
“We’re asking everyone who hunts out of state to understand and follow these regulations,” said Dean Molnar, assistant chief of the 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.”
Michigan’s first-ever case of chronic wasting disease was detected in April 2015 in a 6-year-old, free-ranging white-tailed deer in Ingham County. 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 the disease.
For those hunting in Michigan within areas where chronic wasting disease has been found, there are specific regulations that must be followed. For more information, visit mi.gov/cwd.