By Louie Stout
Bow hunters who kicked off the 2016 season earlier this month should see more deer this fall than they’ve seen in recent years.
That’s the report from area biologists who say all indications are that the deer herd has rebounded from the EHD (epizootic hemorrhagic disease) that killed a lot of Michiana animals in recent years.
“I think we’re going into the season with solid numbers,” said Ken Kesson, wildlife manager at Crane Pond Game Area in Jones, Mi. “We’re seeing positive response in areas that were previously impacted by EHD.”
Kesson said he’s had one confirmed report of EHD in Berrien County but other areas have been quiet.
(Provided by MDNR)
Since May 2015, the Michigan DNR has been conducting surveillance for chronic wasting disease (CWD). To date, more than 6,000 deer have been tested since the first positive was found, with seven cases of CWD confirmed.
However, a 3.5-year-old buck taken recently in Meridian Township is likely to be the eighth positive and the first discovered since March of this year. The sample is currently being tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, to finalize confirmation.
The suspect deer was taken as part of the DNR's CWD management program through targeted sharpshooting, which actively removes deer that are more likely to be affected with the disease in and around areas where previously identified CWD-positive animals had been detected.
"This latest suspect positive reinforces the notion that the disease is still occurring in Meridian Township and perhaps elsewhere," said Chad Stewart, DNR deer specialist. "We are counting on hunters to bring their deer in for testing so we have a better understanding about the scope of the disease."
(Provided by MDNR)
The Michigan DNR reminds hunters that antlerless deer application results are now available.
Application results and leftover license availability can be found at mi.gov/deer.
Any leftover antlerless deer licenses not issued in the drawing will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Sept. 8 at 10 a.m. EDT until license quotas are met.
The 2016 antlerless deer license quotas for each DMU also can be found at mi.gov/deer. Please note, DMU 333 has unlimited antlerless licenses that may be purchased without application beginning Sept. 8 at 10 a.m.
For additional information, the 2016 Michigan Antlerless Deer Digest is available online at mi.gov/dnrdigests.