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Montcalm County deer may have had chronic wasting disease

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GOWEN, Mich. (AP) — Wildlife regulators say a doe killed in Montcalm County during Michigan’s youth deer hunting season probably had chronic wasting disease.

Preliminary tests indicate the 3 ½-year-old female may be the 10th free-ranging deer in the state diagnosed with the deadly illness.

The Department of Natural Resources says it’s awaiting confirmation from the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disorder affecting white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose.

Michigan’s previously detected cases were in Ingham and Clinton counties.

The DNR says it’s establishing a “core area” including some townships in Montcalm and Kent counties. Starting Nov. 15, all deer killed in that area must be registered.

The agency says baiting and feeding deer in those two counties is discouraged and will be banned in January.

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