Spring is here, which means Michigan's native wildlife is coming back to life, and you may see some of them moving out and about.

Photo by Saad Chaudhry on Unsplash
Photo by Saad Chaudhry on Unsplash
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Deer can be some of the biggest problems when it comes to drivers in West Michigan. According to the Michigan State Police50,000 reported vehicle-deer crashes happen in the state of Michigan every year. About 80 percent of these crashes occur on two-lane roads between dusk and dawn.

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So seeing a deer on the side of the road isn't that strange, however, what about deer who are missing their heads?

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Turns out, it's not some sort of horror movie plot, it's how we watch for diseases amongst the deer population.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said recently not to panic if you spot a headless deer hanging out on the side of the road, it's just a part of ongoing testing that the department is doing this spring.

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They say people in Vicksburg and Three Rivers specifically have been reporting seeing these deer more frequently, and while they appreciate the heads up- it's nothing to be alarmed about.

What are they testing for?

curious deer standing in winter scene
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The department says they are conducting testing for CWD or Chronic Wasting Disease. According to the CDC, Chronic Wasting Disease is a prion disease that affects deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose.

It takes around a year to detect, and causes the animals to lose weight rapidly, stumble, and they generally will have other signs of neurological loss. It's important to test early and frequently, to prevent the spread of the disease.

Have they found any cases of CWD yet?

Whitetail Deer
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So far, the testing has come back without any cases, which is great news for the deer population of West Michigan. So, yes the testing is alarming, but these preventative measures will help.

So don't panic and call the police if you think a weirdo has been hurting these deer, it turns out we're just making sure they're happy and healthy, even if it's in a very bizarre way.

Get Planting: 10 Deer Resistant Flowers & Plants

We plant, and the deer eat. Not that we mind seeing the adorable four-legged friends making their way around our yards, but when they turn our hard work into their private banquet, that's a different thing. Planting these flowers & plants may keep Bambi and the gang away from your flower beds and gardens.