Culling deer herd reduced chronic wasting disease

By CARIN TUNNEY
Capital News Service

LANSING — Federal sharpshooters and more hunting permits that reduced the deer population helped fight chronic wasting disease among white-tailed deer, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reports. Results are in from the first-year management strategy for chronic wasting disease in Michigan. Wildlife officials confirmed the disease in the state’s wild deer herd in May 2015. During the past 16 months, the DNR tested more than 6,000 animals killed by hunters, sharpshooters employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or in traffic accidents. Eight tested positive, the report shows.

Of wolves, deer, wildflowers and maples

By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Grey wolves are good for wildflowers like the nodding trillium and the Canada mayflower in the Great Lakes region. They’re also good for young red maples and sugar maples. That’s because white-tailed deer are bad for both wildflowers and maple saplings. And wolves are bad for deer. With the resurgence of wolves in the region, smart deer are learning to keep away from areas with many of the predators, meaning that wildflowers and young maples there have a better chance of survival, according to a recent study by scientists from the University of Notre Dame and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).

DNR steps up chronic wasting monitoring

By JOSHUA BENDER
Capital News Service
LANSING – In an effort to protect Michigan’s deer, the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wants to double the number of core areas monitored for deadly chronic wasting disease. This expansion would include six new townships in Eaton County and two in Clinton County. The fatal disease interferes with the digestive abilities of deer, literally causing them to waste away in its later stages, said Drew YoungeDyke, chief information officer for Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the state’s largest hunting organization. The disease can cause deer to become delirious, walking in circles for hours and being unable to even properly drink water, he said. “They become kind of robotic.”

The full extent of the spread of the disease is not yet known, said Chad Stewart, the DNR’s deer management specialist.

Deer Infected with CWD found in Clinton County

By Liam Tiernan
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

One deer in Clinton County was among two deer in mid-Michigan that tested positive for CWD, bringing the total up to seven in the past year. Department of Natural Resources officers report that a three-year-old female harvested by Department sharpshooters in Watertown Township tested positive for the disease. CWD, or Chronic Wasting Disease, affects deer, moose, elk, and other cervids. The disease is neurological, affecting and attacking the brain and central nervous system, causing death. The disease is spread through contact with infected bodily fluids.

CWD found in deer in Meridian Township

By Julie Campbell
Meridian Times Staff Reporter

A 9-month-old male deer was found in Meridian Township with a disease known as CWD. CWD stands for Chronic Wasting Disease, a fatal disease that affect white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. Deer in Meridian Township have been on close watch by the citizens, as it’s important that the township keeps track of the prevalence rates and spread. “The township parks department, police, and administration are cooperating with the DNR to monitor the spread and attempt to control the disease,” said Capt. Greg Frenger of the Meridian Township Police Department. “It is unclear how the disease came to Michigan.

Chronic wasting disease brings new rules for deer hunters

By Courtney Kendler
Holt Journal Staff Reporter

With the Michigan deer-hunting season in full swing, local hunters should be conscious of new hunting regulations being enforced due to the presence of chronic wasting disease in deer. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has created new regulations that will prohibit the possession or salvage of deer that have been killed in motor vehicle collisions and will also enforce the mandatory testing of deer during the hunting season. The goal of these new regulations is to “help determine the geographic distribution and magnitude of the disease and lower deer population density, which may lower the propensity for further disease transmission,” said National Wildlife Health Center Emerging Disease Coordinator Bryan Richards. According to information from the DNR, the first case of chronic wasting disease, a neurological disease found in deer and elk that attacks the brain and produces small lesions that result in death, was confirmed in Meridian Township in April 2015. Two additional cases have also been confirmed so far this year.

Do the crime, pay fine – but what is a deer worth?

CAPITAL NEWS SERVICE
By ERIC FREEDMAN
LANSING — Is a 21-point trophy buck worth 25,000 bucks? Not according to poacher John Baker Jr. who was convicted of illegally shooting one on property belonging to Valhalla Ranch, a private hunting resort in Grayling. Maybe — or maybe not — according to the Court of Appeals, which upheld Baker’s criminal conviction and prison sentence but ordered a Crawford County Circuit Court judge to reconsider the amount of restitution he owes the ranch. Valhalla promotes itself as “a premier hunting destination, nestled in one of the most picturesque locations in Northern Michigan” and as “a place of incredible whitetails with massive antlers and body size.”

The tangled tale of the poached buck’s price tag — and Baker’s legal woes — began in October 2012 when he and another man were hunting on a friend’s land adjacent to the ranch. A 10-foot fence surrounds the ranch.

Meridian's managed deer harvest comes to Lake Lansing Park North

By Maleah Egelston

Ingham County Chronicle staff writer

This fall, a small number of people will be able to bow hunt deer at Lake Lansing Park North for the first time. The hunt is part of Meridian Township’s managed deer harvest program designed to control and reduce the area’s overpopulation of deer. Hunting is allowed only at or near one the four hunting blinds set up by Meridian township officials. Park manager Pat Witte said each blind is required to be at least 450 feet away from any walking trail, building or park amenity in order to ensure the safety of park guests. Any trail cameras intended to be used must be put through the game camera review committee.

On the road, are dead deer cash cows?

By LAUREN GENTILE
Capital News Service
LANSING – When dusk hits, it’s time for Russ Stoddard’s business to begin because the combination of deer and vehicles keeps him busy all fall long. “November is easily the busiest month of the year,” said Stoddard, owner of Michigan Highway Hazard Recovery, a private cleanup company in Capac. “We can get sometimes up to 100 per day.”
Stoddard is contracted to clean up deer and other animal roadkill in several counties across the state, including Oakland, Kalamazoo, Allegan, Calhoun, St. Joseph, Branch and Berrien. Oakland was one of the top five counties for deer-vehicle accidents in 2011, according to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

Oh deer, more deer in the U.P.

By JON GASKELL
Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan’s mild winter could mean more deer in the Upper Peninsula this year. Experts say unusually warm weather could make more food sources available, giving deer access to more forage sites and an advantage over predators. Those patterns could forecast an exceptional hunting season in the fall. Brent Rudolph, deer and elk program leader for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), said if mild temperatures and low snowfall persist through the rest of winter, deer populations could reproduce in greater numbers. “The most critical time, in terms of having an impact on population, is early spring,” Rudolph said.