Preliminary Test Shows Possible Case of Chronic Wasting Disease in Montcalm County Deer

With bow season underway and rifle season just around the corner, the DNR is asking hunters to help them track Chronic Wasting Disease.

This is after a deer in Montcalm County is suspected of having the disease.

The doe was taken during the youth hunt last month and preliminary testing indicated the deer may be positive for CWD.

The DNR is waiting for final confirmation from the Diagnostic Lab at MSU.

If confirmed, this will the 10th free ranging white-tailed deer to test positive for CWD in the state.

The family voluntarily took the deer to be checked and submitted it for testing.

The DNR says infected deer don’t look sick, having your deer tested is the only way to know if it has CWD.

Since 2015, the DNR has actively conducted surveillance for CWD.

To date, more than 14,000 deer have been tested since the first case was found, with nine cases of CWD confirmed in free-ranging white-tailed deer.

Those deer were in Ingham and Clinton counties.

Two Core CWD area exist in those counties where the deer were found.

But regarding this new suspect positive deer, the DNR is determining next steps as outlined in the CWD Response and Surveillance Plan. Proposed recommendations include:

  • Creating a nine-township Core Area that would include Douglass, Eureka, Fairplain, Maple Valley, Montcalm, Pine and Sidney townships in Montcalm County, and Oakfield and Spencer townships in Kent County. Within the Core Area specifically:
    • Instituting mandatory registration of deer within 72 hours of harvest, starting Nov. 15.
    • Removing antler point restrictions for the restricted tag of the combo deer license if license is used within the nine-township Core Area.
    • Allowing antlerless deer to be tagged using the deer or deer combo license(s) during the firearm, muzzleloader and late antlerless seasons.
    • Allowing the public to pick up road-killed deer and allow them to be possessed with a salvage tag if the deer head is submitted for testing within 72 hours of pick-up.
    • Allowing disease control permits, effective immediately, for landowners with five or more acres within the nine-township Core Area.
  • Banning the feeding and baiting of deer in Kent and Montcalm counties, effective Jan. 2, 2018, and encouraging hunters not to bait and feed in these areas immediately.

“With some hunting seasons already under way, we are not recommending that a new deer management unit be created for the area at this time,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer specialist. “If you purchase or have purchased licenses for DMUs 354 or 341, they can be used in the new Core Area, but it’s critical for hunters to follow the final regulations related to those nine townships.”

Starting Nov. 1, several new check stations near the new Core Area will accept deer for CWD testing. Archery hunters are strongly encouraged to have their deer checked at existing check stations during the early archery season.

A complete list of check stations, including locations and hours, as well as weekly CWD updates, are available at


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