Private land licenses now available

Published 1:28 am Wednesday, December 24, 2008

By Staff
LANSING – The Department of Natural Resources has increased the number of private-land antlerless deer licenses available for Kent County (Deer Management Unit 041).
Demand for antlerless deer licenses has been much higher than usual this year, in the wake of the discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a captive deer in Kent County in August. Wildlife officials believe it is important to test as many deer as possible to learn if CWD is in the wild herd in that area.
It is also desirable to lower the deer population in the CWD surveillance zone to minimize spread of the disease if it is present.
CWD is an always fatal neurological disease that infects deer, elk and moose. The DNR initiated a surveillance program within Kent County as part of an effort to monitor wild deer for the existence of the disease.
By making more licenses available, additional hunters will have the opportunity to continue taking deer through the remaining deer seasons. Muzzleloader season concluded Dec.21 and the archery deer season concludes Jan 1, 2009.
The late, private-land, antlerless-only firearms season is opened Monday and runs through Jan. 1.
Hunters are reminded that all deer taken in the nine-township surveillance zone in Kent County must be submitted for CWD testing. Deer may be taken to the Howard Christensen Nature Center, 530 20 Mile Road, Kent City; the Rockford Sportsman's Club, 11115 Northland Drive, NE, Rockford; or the Red Flannel Rod and Gun Club on 18 Mile Road in Cedar Springs through Jan. 9, 2009.
All wild deer tested to date in 2008 have been negative for CWD.