If you spot any headless deer alongside a Michigan roadway, the Department of Natural resources says to not worry about it.

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Like on an episode of South Park where the town's police officer Barbrady says, "there's nothing to see here" is kind of what the DNR is saying about the headless deer alongside so of Michigan's roadways.

Why Are There Headless Deer Near Michigan Roads?

Roadkill - deer lies dead on a rural highway after being struck by a car.
Creativel/Getty Images

Sorry, the deer photo above has a head on it but I couldn't find any photos of headless deer, but I think you get the idea of roadkill.

I live in Newaygo County and drive through Montcalm County on the way to work and have recently seen two deer with their heads removed and thought it was a bit odd for spring. Don't get me wrong, it's always odd when a dead animal has no head but traditionally when I have seen this it was during hunting season when a car would hit a deer with a rack on it and the next day when you drive by someone has taken the head for the antlers.

MLive reported that deer being spotted headless on roadsides is due to ongoing testing by the DNR who is checking for Chronic Wasting Disease also known as CWD.

What is Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)?

Mule deer suffering the effects of Chronic Wasting Disease
SWKrullimaging/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Chronic Wasting Disease damages the brain of deer, elk, and moose. It leads to problems with their bodies, behavioral changes, excessive salivation, and then finally death.

What Are the DNR Doing About CWD?

An unhealthy Deer
Junce/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The reason you may see the headless deer roadkill is that it's an easy way for the DNR to grab samples to test to see if the deer has CWD.

Last year a couple of deer in Mecosta and Montcalm counties were found to test positive for CWD so the DNR continues to monitor and test deer herds throughout the state.

What Else May Lead to Decapited Deer on Roadways?

A deer head being prepared to be stuffed and mounted by a taxidermist.
GordonsLife/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The state of Michigan offers roadkill salvage permits that allow those who have them to take any portion of the deer that they want when they find one on the side of the road. Some people will take the meat of fresh roadkills to feed their family while others take parts like horns, heads, and legs to make items to sell. You would be surprised at how much money you can get from a restaurant, hunting store, or hunting lodge for a mounted deer head with a giant rack.

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