Michigan Lifts 3-year bait ban

Corn is a common bait used to attract whitetail deer.

The big news in Michigan is that a three-year ban on baiting in most of the Lower Peninsula will be lifted for the fall season. The state’s Natural Resources Commission voted last week 4-3 in favor of the practice.

That narrow margin reflects how divided the Michigan public is on the issue.

Here’s a quick excerpt from the Detroit News that sums it up:

The DNR’s decision isn’t likely to quell the debate over baiting in the hunting community, which includes about 700,000 registered hunters in Michigan. In 2007, the last full year before the baiting ban was enacted, hunters shot nearly 484,000 deer, according to a DNR report.

Some hunters see baiting as cheating — a way to bag a deer in a short amount of time with minimal effort.

Others see the practice as a means to opening up the sport to more people and generating more revenues for the state.

Click here to read that entire article.

What do you think? Did the Michigan panel make the right decision?

10 thoughts on “Michigan Lifts 3-year bait ban

  1. Braveheart

    This issue pertains to Michigan, and the comments should be coming from people that reside there? I don’t tell people in Iowa how to hunt. I live and hunt in Michigan without the use of baiting, however, I encourage fellow hunters to embrace those do and any other individual that takes to the field in the persuit of fresh air and solitude. I wonder how many people would turn down a hunt in Alberta, Canada where the deer have a potential to score 180" + even though they use bait almost exclusively!

  2. PapaWayne

    I think the panel made the right decision. Those who are against baiting are free to practice their ideals of "fair chase" sans bait, while those who DO believe in the practice are once again able to do so without fear of prosecution.
    Personally, I believe in baiting. I use about five pounds of shelled corn; I’ve never seen a huge buck come to it, but I HAVE seen a plethora of other critters use my cornpile as a place to feed. And oh, the things it’s let me see!

  3. Jim

    Most of the negative comments are from hunters who hunt over food plots, or are on private land where the land can be manipulated to a hunters advantage. I find nothing wrong with this.
    I hunt the big woods. It is very hard to get deer patterned to come by your spot in the woods. There are no broken up spots to see them from long range like farm land, and then set up on them. There is a big difference. Baiting helps enhance the runway you are watching and get a standing shot.
    As far as the economics of deer hunting, it brings in huge money, and these days it is a factor whether we like it or not.
    The Outdoor shows don`t film here because the deer cannot be consistant to come to their stand. You can`t shoot what you can`t see.

  4. RichardPSmith

    The public isn’t as evenly divided on baiting as the Commission was in their vote. Two-thirds of the members of the public who provided testimony to the Commission over a 3-month period were in favor of baiting. The only reason the Commission vote was so close is some of them still believe DNR claims that regulated baiting with limited quantities (2 gallons) is responsible for the spread of diseases such as TB in spite of the lack of documentation of that fact. A ban on baiting has been in effect in the six counties where the ban will remain in effect since 2002, and the prevalence rate of TB has changed little over those nine years.

  5. python

    the idiots started the ban becouse a penned deer that was brought in from an other state had cwd so why dont they just ban penned deer in michigan in sted of telling me how to hunt

  6. Hunter

    Michigan is losing hunters in droves. I am neither pro or against baiting. I am not completely convinced baiting spreads disease. Anyone who hunts and observes deer in the wild know they are a very social animal anyway. I believe we need to focus more on getting young people out-of-doors, and learn the values in hunting as true sportsman, honor the animal when taken, and learn the basics. Bovine TB is just what it says…it starts with cattle..not deer. Also, I believe the insurance companies are also crying about all of the deer collisions. Regardless of what the DNR says..the deer taken is down in Michigan

  7. Deerman

    Michigans DNR and NRC are the biggest flipfloppers I have ever seen. They are not managing the herd with true biology but rather with the grand ole $$$ Party store owners gas stations owners still sold tons of carrots,beets,corn and apples even though the law said no baiting, so they went to Lansing and cried the blues that their business was loosing thousands of dollars and the NRC gave in. It’s all about the $$$ and nothing less. Baiting in time will make TB or CWD surface and then what type of Deer hunting will we have?? It will be over as we know it.

  8. BearHunter

    The ban was not only for baiting but feeding as well. I am all for hunting any way you your like with any advantage that is legal. Some of the same people who consider baiting an unfair advantage are using rangefinders, crossbows, compound bows, scopes on their guns, scents, planting food plots, and scent blocking clothing or sprays. What is the difference?

  9. Dan

    Fairchasehunter, I agree completely! I also think that reducing things to the lowest common denominator has severely affected almost all things in America. Competition is a great thing and it has it’s place. However, when the ethics of the game are reduced so much to allow someone that isn’t up to the work involved to succeed and/or overcome the challenge to the process, then we need to rethink what the point of losing the ethics was is the firstplace.

    What has ever become better or more enjoyable because of the lessening of the ethical standard by which it was created? It may be easier, but does that make it better?

  10. Fairchasehunter

    We have more deer now than anytime in recent history. Do we really need to bait them to have a decent chance of harvest? We lose out on so many elements of the hunt when we sit over a bait pile. To me, the chase is the hunt rather than the execution. I think we will continue to lose a generation of hunters if we allow hunting to be reduced to the lowest common denominator.

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