Michigan House Votes To Lift Ban On Baiting, Feeding Deer

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration

WWJ News
November 05, 2019 - 6:25 pm

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Legislation advancing in Michigan would lift the state's ban on baiting and feeding deer in the Lower Peninsula and parts of the Upper Peninsula.

The state House approved the bill 56-49 Tuesday. It goes to the Senate for future consideration.

The ban, initially instituted by the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in 2018, prohibits the use of such as corn or vegetables, throughout the Lower Peninsula and in some areas of the Upper Peninsula (see a map here). 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says baiting and feeding concentrates animals beyond their normal movement patterns, increasing the spread of chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Michelle Hoitenga of Manton, said the ban is "silly" and is hurting hunters.

Democrats and some Republicans opposed the bill, including Republican Rep. Gary Howell of North Branch who said voters entrusted the commission to make decisions about hunting.

Among those speaking out in support of lifting the ban has been musician Ted Nugent, also an avid hunter, who said the ban "is going to chase hunting families out of the sport."

Earlier Tuesday the DNR reached out on social media to clear up any confusion and remind hunters that the ban remains in effect as the bill moves through the legal process.

"We will notify the public of any significant changes to deer regulations that may occur," the DNR said.