Michigan Legislature Sends Whitmer Bill To Lift Ban On Deer Baiting

She is expected to veto it

WWJ News
December 03, 2019 - 7:27 pm
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LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Michigan's Republican-led Legislature has given final approval to a bill that would lift a state ban on using bait to hunt deer, but it faces a veto from Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Baiting deer and elk is prohibited throughout the entire Lower Peninsula and parts of the Upper Peninsula under a ban that was initially approved by the state Natural Resources Commission in 2018. It bans baits, such as corn or vegetables, throughout the Lower Peninsula and in some areas of the Upper Peninsula (see a map here) to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease -- a contagious, neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. According to the DNR, CWD, which can be spread in deer saliva, causes a degeneration of the brain resulting in emaciation (abnormally thin), abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and then, in all cases eventual death. 

While the Michigan Department of Natural Resources agrees with the comission that baiting and feeding that concentrates animals beyond their normal movement patterns increases the likelihood of disease transmission, Republicans disagree, saying the ban is driving hunters away and hurting efforts to control deer overpopulation. 

While the legislation, House Bill 4687, won final House passage Tuesday, it's not expected to be signed into law as Whitmer said she believes the ban should stay intact to continue curbing disease.

The DNR took to social media last month to remind hunters about the ban, which has been publically bashed by musician and avid hunter Ted Nugent, who said it's "going to chase hunting families out of the sport."

Get more information about deer baiting and feeding rules in Michigan at this link