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September 12, 2008

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Hunters and Farmers Open Fire On Michigan Bait Ban

From The News Observer:

Thousands of hunters and owners of small businesses are in turmoil over a Lower Peninsula-wide ban on baiting and feeding of deer that state officials have imposed because of Michigan's first chronic wasting disease case.

State officials want to protect the state's hunter-based marketplace, but critics say the ban threatens autumn's $500 million hunter-based economy.

Deer feed suppliers, hunters and owners of commercial deer facilities packed a state House hearing on Tuesday. More are expected at a meeting today of the State Natural Resources Commission, which is considering an extension of the six-month ban .

"If this ban is not lifted, it puts me in bankruptcy," Saginaw grower-wholesaler Tony Benkert told the committee.

Check out the full story.


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The deer was in a fenced in game ranch. If you are going to ban baiting wouldn't you ban the township and the surounding townships to no baiting and not eliminate the multi-million dollar industry in a allready strugling Michigan economy.

don mitchell

Its typical guv. screw up and the hell of it is they wont talk to any body face to face. all they did was answer written questions.this farm is about 10 miles from where i live and so far,no deer out side has it.they are going to test about 300 deer from the surrounding townships. I bait when i bow hunt because i cant walk far with my bad hips.
Don M.

Dr. Ralph

Never hunted over bait but it seems baiting brings the deer to one area so that they are more likely to be exposed to CWD... Michigan is suffering enough, but hunting over bait is not really hunting. Don't need to find the deer, just throw out some corn and wait?

Has anyone noticed the deer are already moving? I saw a roadkill 10 pointer this week with no velvet and I've seen velvet during bow season which is about three weeks away! Not only that but I almost ran over a doe and fawn yesterday and just this week saw nine deer and none in the five preceding months. Early rut is what I'm thinking or too much food because of great weather this year or just a lot of deer? Strange happenings in Tennessee...

Walt Smith

Nobody likes to hear it ,but, you do not need to bait deer to harvest deer. There are way too many YOUNG HUNTERS in Michigan who only know how to hunt deer by means of baiting. I grew up with a camp full of old farts who never baited. These fellas would still hunt, stage two man drives, pick up a fresh track and follow it all day,or sit on runways all day long, YES, ALL DAY LONG without a heater or a shanty, just a lunch and a military blanket. These are the ways I still hunt today with very good results.If it takes a baiting ban to protect the states herd from CWD then so be it. If you make your living from selling bait, then you need to diversify your product.

as moeggs

Finally!!!!!!!!!!Hopefully the DNR sticks to there guns on this one. It will be painfull to some for a while, but it's best for our Michigan deer herd. I'm tired of people blaming everything on our economy. First people blame Granholm on our doom and gloom, then they blame the government on high gas prices. Why is it always someone else's fault when things don't go your way? My Grandpa is 85 yrs old, bad knees and all and he doesn't need to bait. Quit whining all ready and hunt!


as moeggs,

High gas prices are the Govt. fault, when they decide to bail out banks that made horrible decisions, they either Borrow money or they Print the money, therefore devaluing our already existing money, the less our money is worth the more things cost. Oil hasn't gone up much comparitivly to Gold, a commodity that can't be inflated. As for the Economy its still Govt. fault primarily the Federal Reserve (just like the above) who creates these bubbles by artificially lowering the interest rates, which causes malinvestment. With the constant bandages that they keep putting on the bubble, it allows the bubble to get bigger and then suddenly when it does pop its goin to take a very long time to fix. This is not an effect of free market capitalism.

I agree with Walt Smith that theses guys definitely needed to diversify thier products, that is thier own fault.

I do have a question pertaining the baiting ban. Are food plots outlawed also, and if not whats the differnce between hunting over a food plot or hunting over a bucket of apples?


Food plots are like natural food sources, they don't bring the deer into extreamly close contact with each other. Feeders do. I have feeders and they are a good supliment, but deer can and will survive on natural food sources. This would help until they get a handle on what's happening...(if they really know what they're up against) With the price of corn being as high as it is, I've already cut back and let them forage for fall mast.

alberta hunter

I agree with Walt Smith, there are lots of ways to get deer while they are naturally browsing. the old methods of being out all day regardless of the weather actually work. with our modern weatherproof cloting and gear its even easier and year after year I have tagged deer when others said they had all moved out etc. Just sitting on a hillside all day observing opens up a whole new world and I started taking pics of animals i passed on or other species moving about. calls also work too. good luck to all this season.


I live in Maine and Baiting Whitetail is illegal, always has been. A lot of box stores sell stuff like Acorn Rage etc. and I don't think people realize it's illegal. I agree get out and hunt all day. You won't find a deer in your living room

Michael Rogers

The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) opposes the deer feeding ban because of the negative impact it will have on hundreds of small businesses that sell bait, and depend on hunters for business. This includes retailers, bars, restaurants, motels and numerous other businesses that count on increased sales during the hunting season. For more details contact Greg Rambat at [email protected] or (800) 362-5461.

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