Michigan wildlife officials won’t be able to check as many deer for chronic wasting disease during the upcoming hunting season.
The state Department of Natural Resources said it’s facing staff and financial shortages as well as challenges from the coronavirus pandemic.
“We ask for your patience and grace as we adapt to meet these challenges,” said acting wildlife division chief Dan Kennedy.
The heads of deer taken in certain sections of six counties will be accepted for testing from Oct. 3 to Jan. 4. Those counties are Jackson, Isabella, Gratiot, Delta, Dickinson and Menominee.
Deer heads from Clinton, Dickinson, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm counties will be accepted for state testing only from Nov. 15-18.
Any hunter elsewhere in Michigan who wants a deer tested can submit it to a government-approved lab for a fee, the Department of Natural Resources said. There is information at Michigan.gov/CWD.
The archery season starts Thursday. The traditional firearm deer season starts Nov. 15.