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September 25, 2008

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Discussion Topic: Michigan Bait Ban Faces Court Challenge

From the Ludington Daily News:

A petition was filed in Lansing Circuit Court seeking to have the DNR’s ban on baiting and feeding deer overturned Tuesday. The ban was issued by Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries August 28 after one deer was found to have chronic wasting disease at a captive deer operation in Kent County. The DNR has stated that baiting and feeding can concentrate deer and cause diseases like CWD to spread more rapidly.

The petition and a motion for an expedited hearing were filed by attorneys Edward J. McNeely III and Matthew Malleis of Grand Rapids. The case is expected to be heard by Judge Joyce Draganchuck.

Check out the full article and tell us what you think.


I'm in school right now

I hate the whole idea of baiting. Its not hunting. You sit and let the deer come right where you wanted them to. Hunting, in my opinion, is actual scouting out rubs and scrapes and stalking the deer, not finding a nice comfy place to watch them come in.


Mike Diehl

Baiting and feeding has no place in hunting. If that is someone's game, they need to go into business as a stockman.


Mike Diehl:
I'd love to agree with you but if you disallow baiting in MI, you'll eliminate eighty per cent of the hunters and deer kill.
I don't bait. I taught my son to post, still hunt and drive deer. He's very good at all three. Unfortunately, just about everyone else I know hunts from a wooden blind or tree stand. Its always over bait, usually placed in a permanent food plot.
If that was my hunting season, I'd probably watch a lot of football!

Walt Smith

If we eliminate 80% of michigan hunters by doing away with baiting then think about how many more deer there will be for the 20% of us who can hunt without it!! Heck I'm deffinatly all for it now!!! I guess I didn't realize just how piss pore most Michigan hunters were. Thanks for bringing this to light for the 20%.


In some places(like where I live) you are not allowed to still hunt. In my area, you have to be at least 6 ft. off of the ground to hunt with a firearm of any type. I don't understand it, but that is how it is. Most people hunt out of permanent stands built over cropfields or other high deer-traffic areas and put out corn nearby.

jersey pig

i defy anyone here to find a deer worth shooting in the jersey pine barrens without bait.

Teak Phillips

I've never been comfortable with the idea of baiting deer, but how is it different than baiting fish? We put worms on hooks and wait for the fish to bite.
I suppose the difference is that we can't effectively stalk, call, or decoy fish. Still, from a wildlife management perspective, it seems a bit like a double standard.
I doubt I'd ever sport hunt over bait, even if I could. Predator & invasive species control would be a different issue.

Apex Outdoors

Whether you agree with it or not baiting is a part of hunting. I personally don't hunt over bait however a large number of hunters do. The issue has to do more with the economics around baiting. The revenue lost from a baiting ban is going to be significant. Many farmers plant entire crops with the intent of selling the crops for bait. Michigan has one of the highest populations of hunters so a reduction in turnout impacts the local economy as well as DNR revenue for conservation efforts. It's unfortunate that the actions of few impact so many.

John C.


You must live in an area that has extremely flat terrain or high population densities, as I think the logic behind the six feet off the ground requirement is that it supposedly limits the distance any stray bullets can travel before digging into the ground because you are forced to shoot at a downward angle.

I could be wrong, but my wife's uncle told me a few months ago that he went deer hunting in one of the midwest states that had a similar requirement, and he was told that it was to limit the distance bullets could travel.

Walt Smith

Baiting is a all around bad deal. Unknowledgable weekend hunters dump piles of bait and hunt over it for two days and then leave. Deer eat off from it and then in the winter they rely on it being there, miss their opportunity to head to the yarding areas and then they starve to death.One year not to long ago a neighbor of ours in the U.P. fed the deer right up to january, until he couldn't get into his cabin anymore. In the spring we counted 27 deer carcases on our 10 acres alone. People do not realize the impact that feeding has on a wild animal. You basicly condition the animal into believing the food will always be there and when its not sometimes you'll kill them all off. You don't need to bait, you just need to get off your butt, most hunters could us the exercise.

E Pender

Why is it that hunters can't stick together? Why do you care if anyone hunts over bait or not? I remember a time when it did not matter, hunters were friendly to each other and was happy a guy or gal was secsessful. As long as it was taking leagally. I don't recall ever being ask (by another hunter) did you get that over bait or stalking. Please just relax and enjoy the sport that is slowly fading away. Don't let those who want to tell us what they think is right or wrong, take away our sport. Next time you feel the erge to tell someone how they should hunt, tell yourself not to worry about what they do, worry about what you do.
Maybe, we as sportsman can take control and stick together. That way we all win.


Mike Diehl: There are 6 of my family that hunt and we hunt over food plots and we use bait. My dad is 83 years old and a twice wounded WWII veteran who actually landed at Omaha Beach and was shot there. If he wants to hunt over bait on the land we own and manage for deer that's our business, we have earned it. We bought 6 less deer licenses this year and if these rules continue we may stop deer hunting all together. All this debate is doing is driving more and more of us out of hunting and when the anti folks come calling again, and they will, maybe this time we won't stand and fight for your right to hunt. Weigh it out carefully.


I think it's great that the some of the hunters are lucky enough to have deer rich environments to scout, stalk, and drive deer. It must be great! In reality, they are the minority imposing their opinions (that good fortune brought them) on the rest of us. When you can only afford 4 acres of woods in in a section which used to be open for all to hunt, but is now owned by some of the "good fortune hunters" who can not only afford enough land to scout, stalk, and drive deer, but can also afford fences, and signs to keep everyone else from doing the same. In this case, what choice do we have but to sit on our "lazy butts" over bait? Maybe the "good fortune hunters" should come down off that hi horse and let the less fortunate share in the harvest. After all, most of them already have a freezer full of beef and only hunt for the macho trip.

Good luck to all!

Walt Smith

The state of michigan has millions of acres of state land for those who do not own their own property to hunt. All you have to do is go there and have a little ambition. If you feel the need to bait and feel the state is not being fair by banning it then by all means continue to do so. Just remember that when the CO catches you in the act, they usually don't have much sympathy for those who break laws.


The State of Michigan does indeed have millions of acres. Have you hunted it lately? My experience for the last 30 years has been, the only thing most State land hunters really hunt for are the free blinds someone else built after scouting and doing the work for them.
Why would I be upset about the baiting ban if I were to bait anyway? The reason to be upset is the fact that I can no longer bait because it's against the law. The fines mean nothing to me because I don't bait. If you are still a State land hunter, and enjoy it, I wonder who built your blind. (If that's not the case, I apologize) My last time hunting on State land ended with my buddy being injured by a hunter who wandered into the woods directly out in front of him, and after napping woke up and shot at what he thought was a deer. My buddy wasnt hit by the bullet, but the bark from the tree that the bullet hit was close enough to draw blood. No, I'll continue to hunt on my land, and you rich guys just keep doing what your doing. Patroling your precious deer hunting property on your quads, and trucks to keep the riff raff out. I too have no simpathy for law breakers being in law enforcement, but I do beleive even the people who can't afford to run with you big dogs should be able to share equally in the deer harvest. In my case, I feel baiting is the only chance I would have had to partake in the harvest.

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