With archery hunting season beginning soon, the Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services and the DNR are reminding hunters of the ‘Do Not Eat’ advisory for deer in an area of northern Michigan.

The order affects deer taken within five miles of Clark’s Marsh in Oscoda County and is the result of high levels of PFAS in that region. The advisory was initially issued in 2018 when PFAS was discovered in the venison from one deer of several taken from the area near Clark’s Marsh, which borders the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base. The DNR has estimated 5 miles to be the expected travel range of deer living in or near the marsh.

The advisory does not apply to cattle, chickens or other livestock raised in the area. In addition to the Clark’s Marsh deer advisory, MDHHS recommends no one eat organs (e.g., liver, kidneys) from any fish or deer in the state because many chemicals, including PFAS, can accumulate in their organs.

MDHHS and the DNR intend to harvest and analyze additional deer from the area in 2020. Statewide assessments of PFAS in other wildlife, such as turkey and waterfowl, are also being planned.


Signs will be posted to inform hunters of the current advisory area.

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