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August 26, 2008

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Discussion Topic: Michigan’s First CWD Case Leads To Baiting Ban

From The Detroit News:

State officials are prohibiting deer baiting or feeding throughout the Lower Peninsula after they discovered a white-tailed deer in a small Kent County herd has Michigan's first case of chronic wasting disease.

The precautionary measure will change hunting practices during the upcoming firearm and archery deer seasons. Baiting and feeding have become common practice among hunters.

Officials also quarantined all 580 of Michigan's privately owned farms, hunting ranches and hobby facilities where deer, elk and moose are raised and kept in Michigan. Neither live animals nor their carcasses can be moved off these facilities, Agriculture Director Don Koivisto said.

Your reaction?



First TB now CWD, there aren't going to be any deer left in the state if the DNR decides to control CWD like they have TB. I used to hunt near the TB zone and it is sad to see how few animals are left. What is worse is that of the couple thousand deer killed by hired guns last year (not hunters), less than 10 had TB. That is less than .5% infection rate. Poor Michigan, your fate lies in the DNR's hands....


I kind of have to wonder how big a deal all of this really is. From what I've gathered, the most effected have been areas with severe over population. Simply areas where there are far too many deer in one area. Is this really a problem? Maybe it's natures way of thinning the herd.


Yeah its unfortunate that so many animals have to die to get rid of the few that are actually infected. But nobody really knows how fast cwd can spread among deer, from everything ive heard its pretty fast and very easy to spread cwd from deer to deer. I'd rather sacrafice a herd of deer if it ensures the health of the rest of the deer in the area or even the state. I also dont think nature thinning the herd has anything to do with it. If that were the case only the sick and old deer would be effected by cwd and thats just not the case, every deer that gets infected will become sick. If you dont think its a big deal I would recommend you do some research on cwd and how devastating it can be to the dear population.


First of all I question the ethics of baiting or feeding deer, unless it is under a Quality Deer Management plan. Then I question that baiting or feeding deer are the main cause of cronic wasting disease.

But the bottom line is that the affected herds must be eliminated as an attempt to contain this and other diseases - this should not be the only means of controlling cwd and other diseases. Research is needed. I would rather spend my tax dollars on supporting such research than on politicians own pork barrel projects.

To hell with the anti-hunting and or the anti-gun lobbies.


I'm unclear on how baiting has anything to do with CWD? Someone help me out here. I just really don't understand the connection. Is there one?


Cwd and baiting go together because it is now thought that cwd is transfered through deer saliva and obviously more than one deer are eating on a bait pile and it could be transfered then.


TB is transmitted through saliva, not CWD. Biologists are not certain as to how it's transmitted from deer to deer so as a precaution, baiting/feeding is eliminated "just in case". In the west there are localized cases of CWD that don't seem to be spreading out unless state biologists are keeping tight lips about it. It's not going away either. It's a double edged sword for Michigan: Poor economy and right before farmers harvest the carrots and beets for baiting it becomes illegal to participate this way. That's going to hurt many a business owner. The deer itself is a bigger business draw long term and hopefully in the forever term. Lets just hope this is just one deer with a bad prion?

don mitchell

this IS JUST ONE DEER in a fenced in farm just a few miles from my house, as for the bait ban,i thin the DNR jumped the gun on this one.
as an older hunter with bad legs, i bait during bow season. i may have to become an OUTLAW. HA HA.



Read alot on the subject. It seems raising deer in enclosed deer farms is the root of CWD. Is it possible these farms are feeding their deer food with meat byproducts in it ,like happened to cows to caused them to get mad cow illness. Not a bait pile for wild deer. I notice the most people who oppose baiting have farm land they hunt on or vast amounts of land. I live in Upper Michigan, I am sure we are next. First the horn rule . no baiting next, what else? All this seems to work for the people who are wealthy enough to have Farmland or large food plots to hunt over. IS THIS TYPE OF HUNTING FAIR CHASE? I think not. The deer stay where the crops are. I have sixty acres of forest. Do not see hardly any deer ,Menominee Co. heavy deer area ,on farmland that is. Oh well cut down the trees and put in a food plot.

P Ross

This ban on baiting will cause more harm than good. Like it or not, the great majority of Michigans deer hunters bait. The ban will reduce the number of hunters afield, and make criminals out of many of the rest of us. A ban on the entire lower peninsula makes no sense when the cwd was found in an isolated penned in area.


Having been fortunate to hunt a couple of times in different states that do not allow baiting. CWD is there--please look in the mirror when you say bait is the cause. In that case you better not hunt from an oak with acorns that the deer are eating.
By the way all natural food is bait---How do you difine the difference??? Still all grows from the ground---Dah!


Deer farms, more properly known as canned hunting, are unethical. Those who keep them in business are now reaping the consequences of inherent and unnatural immoral behaviors. Deliberately baiting any animal falls into the same category.

Man is not above natural law, no matter how He'd like to think. When we go too far, Mother Nature has an uncanny way of putting us in our place. This is merely one example.

CWD is huge because it stays in the environment, impervious to the elements, and even the CDC will not state for certain it is not zoonotic. Nor do they know the odds it will transmute into something that will easily affect humans. Once it appears, there is no way to get rid of it. With still-little understanding of how it is actually passed from animal-to-animal, but knowing that when cervids congregate in large numbers it spreads, it is only common sense to NOT encourage this behavior in them.

Enforce the bait ban and shut down deer "farms". Those who wish to hunt, go ahead and hunt but do so ethically.

It's not rocket science.


I would like to thank those in charge of finally banning shooting deer out of a barrel. There's a reason its been called deer HUNTING.Maybe now we can teach our kids what hunting really is.



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