Terry Kreeger / Wyoming Game and Fish Department/CWD Alliance

Archery season for deer started over the weekend, and that means state officials are gearing up to test more deer for chronic wasting disease

The disease is contagious, and it’s always fatal for the animals. It creates tiny holes in their brains, and deer get very skinny and start acting strange.

Since it was first found in wild deer in Michigan last year, seven deer have tested positive, with an 8th case suspected.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials confirm a Berrien County deer has died from a disease that killed more than 12,000 Michigan deer in 2012.

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD, is spread by flies. The disease causes extensive internal bleeding.

There have been no cases reported in Michigan during the past few years.

But four years ago, Michigan experienced its largest EHD outbreak ever, which devastated some deer herds.

The current detection rate of chronic wasting disease is low, but Chad Stewart warned that the disease could decimate Michigan's deer population if left unchecked.
flickr user Rachel Kramer /

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer.

The State Department of Natural Resources is concerned about the spread of CWD through Michigan's deer population. 

Two more deer confirmed to have chronic wasting disease

Mar 18, 2016

Since May of last year, Michigan has now had seven deer test positive for chronic wasting disease.

The two latest cases come out of Ingham and Clinton Counties. Officials with the Department of Natural Resources have been testing deer across the state, having checked around 4,900 animals so far.

Deer program specialist Chad Stewart said he's not ready to call this an "outbreak" yet, but the findings aren't great. 

"It is disheartening that we keep finding more positives because the more we find the more likely that the disease becomes established," he said.

Male deer
coloneljohnbritt / Creative Commons

The Department of Natural Resources says another deer killed in the Lansing-area appeared to have chronic wasting disease.

If confirmed through additional tests, it would be the fifth deer with the disease, which attacks the animal's brain and nervous system.

There were no obvious symptoms in the 1 1/2-year-old doe that was killed by an archer in Clinton County's Watertown Township, a new location for the disease. The hunter agreed to have the deer tested.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan wildlife officials are closing out a year of battling chronic wasting disease in the state’s free-ranging deer.

The first case of Chronic Wasting Disease turned up in Ingham County in April.  By the end of the year, a total of four confirmed cases of the fatal neurological illness were confirmed, among the nearly four thousand deer that were tested.

In order to decrease the chances of CWD spreading, Gov. Snyder this week signed a law extending a ban on feeding wild deer. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

UPDATE: A change has been made in the planning, and parks will now be open on the weekends.

Starting Jan. 1, there will be no more late-afternoon, evening, or early-morning strolls in 26 designated Ann Arbor parks and nature areas.

The parks and nature areas will be closed to the public for "deer-control efforts" from 4 p.m. until 7 a.m. daily from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2016, according to a recent announcement from the city of Ann Arbor.  

Lindsey Scullen/Michigan Radio

Amy Beth Edwards posed this question to our M I Curious team:

Why doesn't road kill get picked up on a timely basis in Michigan?

Edwards says she sees dead animals so often along her commutes to Chicago that she had to know why they're all there.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A group that was unsuccessful at stopping a planned deer cull in Ann Arbor is now planning to try to recall as many as five city council members who voted for the cull.

Sabra Sanzotta, a resident of the city's second ward, filed recall petition language with the city clerk this week, seeking a recall election against Kirk Westphal.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Firearm deer season is underway today in Michigan.

The hunt is giving state wildlife officials a chance to expand the search for more cases of chronic wasting disease.

In April, a 6 year old doe tested positive for CWD, a fatal neurological disease. It was the first case of a free ranging deer coming down with the disease. Since then, two more deer have tested positive. All three deer were from Ingham County and were related.    

Jerry Oldenettel / Flickr

"Who teaches kids to kill?"

That's the first sentence of one of the emails and leaflets being distributed by the Humane Society of Huron Valley after the Ann Arbor City Council voted 8 to 1 to approve a deer cull.  

The email continues,

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State wildlife officials are shifting their investigation into Chronic Wasting Disease in deer in mid-Michigan.  

The Department of Natural Resources has examined the brains of roughly 600 deer since the first case of CWD was confirmed in Ingham County in May. In all, three have tested positive for the fatal neurological disease.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Another free-ranging Michigan deer has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease. 

“This news is not surprising,” said Dr. Steve Schmitt, DNR wildlife veterinarian. “The good news is that all three deer came from the same small area.” All three deer are related and were found in a one mile radius in Ingham County.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer, moose and elk.   It is not a threat to humans.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials say a second mid-Michigan deer has tested positive for a fatal neurological disease.

“Finding this second positive deer is disappointing, however, not unexpected,” said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. 

The second deer was discovered about a mile from where the first deer was found in Ingham County. Wildlife officials are genetically testing the two deer to determine if they are related.   

Terry Kreeger / Wyoming Game and Fish Department/CWD Alliance

Last week, state officials confirmed they found chronic wasting disease in a wild deer for the first time. Michigan now joins 22 states and two Canadian provinces where the disease has been found.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A serious health threat to the state’s wild deer population has been detected in mid-Michigan. 

A six-year-old doe found in Haslett last month has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. 

The neurological disease is always fatal.  The disease is transmitted through saliva and other bodily fluids.   The disease is fatal to deer, elk and moose. 

Ann Arbor may use sharp shooters to thin deer

May 15, 2015

Ann Arbor administrators have released a report that recommends using sharp shooters to help manage the city's deer population.

This comes after some Ann Arbor residents complained deer were damaging their landscaping and gardens. Residents also expressed concern over health risks and deer-vehicle accidents.

Noel Zia Lee/Flickr

A recent community meeting in Ann Arbor illustrates a challenge urban areas throughout Michigan are facing: deer. Specifically, deer that are a road hazard or destroy parks and gardens.

Ann Arborites heard details of lethal or non-lethal ways to control the deer population.

A biologist from the city of Rochester Hills described his city's non-lethal program, relying on better road signage and much more community education.

Tawni Grosman Lambroff

Not much happens in the tiny Detroit suburb of Pleasant Ridge, Michigan -- I would know, because I grew up there. 

But last spring, an unlikely visitor came to town: a mother deer who was pregnant with a fawn.

People were surprised that the mother deer would choose Pleasant Ridge, because the town is wedged between Woodward Avenue and 10 Mile Road, both busy streets.

After giving birth, fears for the safety of the deer were realized. The mother deer was killed by a car on Woodward, leaving behind her fawn, now known as "Baby."

People in Pleasant Ridge wanted to be sure that the same cruel fate wouldn't befall Baby, so they began taking care of her.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This is shaping up to be a disappointing season for firearm deer hunters in the Upper Peninsula.

An early-season storm and lake effect combined to dump more than three feet of snow in parts of the U.P. last week. 

Russ Mason is the chief of the Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division. He says the deep snow is preventing hunters from reaching deer in the U.P.

“You would need a four-wheeler with tracks or a snow machine, and guys just aren’t prepared for that,” says Mason. “I expect the U.P. numbers are going to be way down this year.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Tens of thousands of deer hunters are in Michigan’s woods and fields this weekend.

Michigan’s firearms deer season started today.

Russ Mason is the chief of the wildlife division of the Michigan DNR. He says the herd is still recovering from a virus that killed thousands of deer in 2012.

“(Bow) hunters are having pretty good reports seeing bigger bucks than they expected to see otherwise,” says Mason.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

  TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Farmers in five northern Lower Peninsula counties are getting a dispensation from Michigan to shoot deer as a way to reduce damage to their fruit trees and other crops.

  The Michigan Natural Resources Commission has approved the hunts in Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.

  Farmers have received special allowance for years under the Deer Management Assistance Permit, but only during normal hunting seasons.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan wildlife is struggling this winter, just like the state’s human population.

State wildlife officials say the next few weeks will be critical for Michigan deer, pheasants, and other animals.

As the days grow longer, animals become more active. Their metabolisms pick up and they need to forage for more food.

But when the snow is several feet deep, and a layer of ice coats normal food sources, finding enough food can be a problem.

This is a big day for thousands of Michigan deer hunters. It’s the beginning of bow season.

Hunters should expect to see more deer in southern Michigan this fall.

Last year, nearly 15 thousand deer died of Epizootic hemorrhagic disease or EHD.

The disease is spread to deer by small insects. It was the largest EHD outbreak in Michigan history.

Noel Zia Lee/Flickr

MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — The state says it has confirmed an outbreak of an insect-spread disease among white-tail deer in Muskegon County.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan State University announced Monday that a deer has been found with epizootic hemorrhagic disease, known as EHD.

The DNR says it's the first confirmed outbreak this fall.

The department says a type of midge spreads the virus that causes EHD. It says the disease doesn't affect humans and venison from infected deer is safe to eat.

The DNR says infected deer can suffer extensive internal bleeding, lose their appetite and fear of humans, grow weaker, salivate excessively and lose consciousness. It says sick or dying deer often are found along or in bodies of water.

Lilly the deer's Facebook page

State wildlife officials have agreed to let a Genesee County family keep its pet deer.

Lilly the deer was born shortly after her mother was struck and killed in an auto accident.   

A family took the animal in and for the past five years has raised it as a pet.  Lilly has the run of the house and the fenced-in yard.

But it’s against the law in Michigan to keep a deer as a pet. After receiving a complaint, the Department of Natural Resources tried to remove Lilly from the home.

Michigan hunters feed the hungry

Nov 19, 2012
Ron Abfalter / flickr

This week on Seeking Change, Christina Shockley spoke with Dean Hall. He is the president of Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger. The group donates it's game venison to soup kitchens and food pantries across the state. He says, "We can use the benefit of deer management to people that need the help sorely."

mwanner_wc / creative commons

Hunters in much of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula will have a cap on the number of deer they can take home this season. A disease that’s killing thousands of deer has prompted the state to enforce new hunting restrictions.

Last winter was unusually warm and that’s helped create fertile breeding ground for the biting fly that spreads Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease. It has infected deer in a record 30 Michigan counties; killing at least 13,000 deer this year. EHD does not affect humans.

Brent Rudolph runs the deer and elk program at the Department of Natural Resources.

Michigan's archery season began this morning.
Charles Dawley / flickr

Michigan’s deer season has officially begun.

Thousands of archers took to the woods this morning to mark the start of bow season, which runs through November 14, then resumes from December 1 – January 1.

According to a state report, over 300,000 archers participated during last year’s ten week season.

mwanner_wc / creative commons

Thousands of deer have died in Michigan due to a virus in the last few months.

State wildlife officials hope to hear from deer hunters this week as they try to track the disease.

This past weekend, thousands of Michigan deer hunters took to the woods.  A few were legally allowed to hunt deer, but most of them just to track deer they will try to bag when bow season starts next month.