Michigan DNR: Deer Baiting And Feeding Ban Remains In Effect

WWJ News
November 05, 2019 - 5:02 pm

(WWJ) The Michigan Department of Natural Resources wants to make it perfectly clear to hunters that the state's much-debated deer baiting ban remains in effect. 

"We have heard some confusion about the status of the deer baiting and feeding ban in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the Core CWD Surveillance Area in the Upper Peninsula, The ban remains in effect," the DNR said Tuesday.  

"Legislation to lift the ban has been approved in the Michigan House Government Operations Committee. However, it has not been passed into law. We will notify the public of any significant changes to deer regulations that may occur."

Later in the day, the full state House approved the bill (House Bill 4687) to lift the ban 56-49, but that still doesn't change anything. It now goes to the Senate for future consideration. 

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission in 2018 banned 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, death. 

Few people responding to a "no baiting" reminder by the DNR on Facebook were supportive; most comments in opposition to the ban.

Joshua James wrote: "Ban made by people who probably haven’t ever sat in the woods to provide for their family before. Reverse it fast."

Alec Schwartz commented: "I hope the baiting ban will not hurt the sugar beet farmers in the thumb. It is a big spike in annual sales for them."

While others wondered why gas stations and other stores are still selling the bait, R.M. Christensen joked: "Good thing I labeled my food piles with very clear signage that says 'squirrels only.'"

Get more information about deer baiting and feeding rules in Michigan HERE. Learn more about CWD HERE.