Memo to Ted Nugent: Not all hunters hate Michigan’s deer bait ban

Deer bait ban

Baiting, which involves placing piles of produce to entice deer to hunters’ sights, was banned in most of Michigan in an effort to stem the spread of chronic wasting disease. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources)

LANSING  — A great debate is roiling Michigan deer hunters as they gear up for another season: Will a ban on baiting help preserve the state’s herd or hasten a long decline in hunting?

In an effort to halt the spread of chronic wasting disease in deer and elk, the Natural Resources Commission last year voted to ban baiting and feeding deer across the entire Lower Peninsula and parts of the Upper Peninsula. 

The regulations took effect in January, making this deer hunting season Michigan’s first with such a widespread ban against baiting, which involves placing large piles of grain, minerals or other produce to lure deer or elk within hunters’ sights.

Michigan’s early antlerless firearm weekend was last Saturday and Sunday, but deer season kicks off in earnest Oct. 1, with the start of bow hunting, which concludes Nov. 14 before resuming from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1. Regular firearm season is Nov. 15-30. 

Questions about baiting have long split Michigan’s hunting community, and this year’s ban has only fueled the controversy. 

The Michigan Farm Bureau supports the ban. So does the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, which encompases more than 200 hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoors clubs. Regulators based the policy on science and the need to protect deer herds in the long term, said Amy Trotter, executive director of the conservation clubs.

“The health of our deer herd needs to come first so the next generation of hunters have deer populations in order to hunt,” she said. 

But some hunters question the scientific consensus that baiting increases the risk of spreading wasting disease among deer. Those critics see the ban as an affront that could drive hunters out of Michigan.

Ted Nugent — the Michigan-born rocker, hunter and conservative provocateur — brightened the spotlight on the issue last week when he testified in favor of House Bill 4687, which would overturn the ban. At a hearing of the House Government Operations Committee, Nugent called the ban part of regulators’ “engineered ruination of our hunting heritage.”

Rep. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, introduced the bill, saying the baiting ban would mean “devastation” for hunting and related businesses. One industry group claims hunting generates more than $2 billion in annual economic activity to the state.

Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, sponsored similar legislation in his chamber — Senate Bill 37. Neither bill has drawn a committee vote.

Here’s what Michiganders need to know about the baiting ban.

What is baiting and feeding? 

“Bait” includes substances for consumption such as grains, minerals (think salt and salt blocks), fruits, vegetables, hay or other foods that might attract deer or elk to aid hunting. “Feed” encompases foods aimed at luring deer for reasons other than hunting. 

The ban does not apply to “food plots” — crops planted long before hunting season to attract deer. Those are considered “normal agricultural practices.” Certain “urine-based” lures are also allowed.

How many Michigan hunters use bait? And why?

More than half of Michigan hunters used bait in 2017, according to a DNR survey. Yoopers were particularly fond of baiting deer, with four-in-five doing so.

“The primary reasons that Michigan hunters have cited for using bait were to make hunting more exciting because they can see more deer and improve their hunting success,” the DNR reported. 

Baiting had “minimal effect” on total deer bagged in Michigan though it might have aided hunters in the U.P. and northern Lower Peninsula. 

Statewide, about 1.75 million white-tailed deer roamed across Michigan in 2016 through 2018, up from 1.58 million deer in 2015, according to the DNR. 

U.P. deer appear healthy this year but populations will remain relatively low, with few bucks — similar to last year, according to a DNR forecast. In the Lower Peninsula, populations appear similar or higher than last year. 

In 2018, about 554,331 hunters killed 361,000 deer — down 4 percent from the previous year, according to the DNR. 

And if hunters violate the ban? 

They would risk fines of $50-$1,000, possible jail time or loss of hunting licenses, according to the House Fiscal Agency. 

What is chronic wasting disease?

The fatal neurological disease attacks the brains of cervids (deer, elk and moose). The disease, known as CWD, is highly contagious and considered a big threat to Michigan’s hunting economy.  

Michigan has tested more than 60,000 deer for the disease since 2015 when state regulators first found the disease in a free-range deer. The Department of Natural Resources has flagged the disease in 122 free-ranging deer in nine Michigan counties: Clinton, Dickinson, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm.

Outside of Michigan, regulators have found the disease in 25 states and three Canadian provinces, according to the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance, a group that raises awareness about the disease. 

The disease spreads through direct contact between animals and through bodily fluids such as poop, spit, blood or urine.

Scientists have not found a cure for infected deer, elk and moose whose brains degenerate — causing the animals to lose bodily functions and look abnormally thin before they die. No evidence suggests the disease spreads to humans or other animals, according to the DNR. 

How could baiting and feeding spread the disease? 

Dan O’Brien, a veterinary specialist with DNR’s wildlife disease lab, said baiting and feeding artificially increases the rate of contact between deer and elk. That bolsters the likelihood of transmitting CWD or bovine tuberculosis. Artificial feed might even bring together separate groups of deer that might never otherwise connect, O’Brien told Bridge Magazine. 

Baiting also increases the risk of spreading the disease indirectly — if infected deer leave body fluids on or near the feed. 

“Those infectious agents — they get into the soil or on vegetation. Other animals that come along would come in contact with them,” O’Brien said.

The DNR relied on more than 40 studies in recommending the baiting ban. Those include a 2008 study by University of Wisconsin-Madison and U.S. Geological Survey researchers finding that Wisconsin white-tailed deer linger longer at artificial feeding sites, leading to “greater risk for direct and indirect disease transmission” compared to natural foraging. 

In legislative hearings, Nugent, VanderWall and other critics of the ban speculated that banning baiting would lead to fewer deer harvests — meaning disease would naturally spread more rapidly, and out-of-control deer populations would continue to bedevil some farmers and cityfolk

That’s not a concern among scientists, O’Brien said, in part because CWD’s spread doesn’t correlate to total deer populations. The bigger factor is how frequently deer interact, and baiting increases that trend.

Will the baiting ban mean less hunting in Michigan? 

That’s hard to know.

Some 50 percent of bowhunters and 31 percent of firearm hunters in the northeast Lower Peninsula reported hunting less because of a long-standing bait ban in that region to limit the bread of bovine tuberculosis, according to the DNR

Most Michigan hunters want regulators to take some action to combat CWD, according to the 2017 survey, but just 39 percent considered ban on baiting and feeding “acceptable.” Even fewer Yoopers backed the idea.

“This law is dramatically reducing revenue generation and dangerously reducing family recreation,” Nugent testified last week.

The debate comes as fewer Michiganders are hunting — part of a nationwide trend as Baby Boomers age and interest wanes from younger generations. Firearm deer-hunting licenses sold to residents have plunged more than 20 percent over the past two decades, down to 621,000 in 2017 from a peak of 785,000 in 1998, according to a recent demographic analysis from Michigan Technological University. 

The baiting ban might discourage some hunters, O’Brien acknowledged. But the spread of CWD could more dramatically limit hunting opportunities. 

“We're dealing with a disease that has the potential to compromise the deer herd for decades and decades to come,” he told Bridge. “This is a situation where we need to be able to make a sacrifice in the present — so that we can preserve this resource that we love for future generations.”

DNR Director Dan Eichinger doesn’t expect a decline in hunters, but “it is something for us to be sensitive to,” he said in an interview with a magazine produced by Michigan United Conservation Clubs

Eichiner pointed out that Michigan banned baiting in Lower Peninsula in 2008-2011, and it didn’t seem to speed the decline in participation. 

Wait, Michigan banned baiting and feeding before? 

Yes. Michigan banned baiting in feeding in 2008 after regulators confirmed CWD in a deer at a Kent County ranch. The Natural Resources Commissions lifted the ban in most of those counties in 2011 after three years of testing revealed no additional diseased deer. 

In 2011, the Alpena News reported:  “About the only thing a three-year lull in baiting proved is that Michigan deer hunters continued to bag their game, despite a baiting ban. In 2010, 44 percent of hunters shot at least one deer; in 2008, 47 percent were successful.” 

Where may Michiganders bait and feed deer? 

Michigan allows deer baiting in the Upper Peninsula with one large exception: a 660-square mile CWD “surveillance area” outlined by major roadways in parts of Menominee, Delta and Dickinson counties. 

That surveillance zone surrounds the spot where regulators found a CWD-stricken deer last year. Statewide, hunters with disabilities may use bait during Michigan’s Liberty Hunt (which occurred Sept. 14-15) and Independence Hunt (Oct. 17-20).

Do other states ban baiting?

Yes. Outside of Michigan, 23 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces ban baiting of cervids, and 15 others restrict the practice in various ways, according to research by the DNR. Those include some of Michigan’s neighbors. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota all ban the practice. Wisconsin bans baiting in most of its counties, a number that fluctuates depending on testing results. Ohio bans baiting only within a limited surveillance area. 

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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Tristan Brown
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 8:59am

Comprehensive and informative. Thanks

Trout Creek
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 9:13am

Sorry boys and girls, shooting deer over bait isn't hunting, it's just shooting.
There's no "hunting" involved at all.
And yes, I'm a gun owner and former deer hunter, now I shoot clays.

Vintage 30
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 6:45pm

I do not bait never have, but that said to say it is not hunting if you shoot deer over bait is ludicrous. I do not bait it seems like to much work for the reward to me, but i do search out a food source to set up on. It might be a apple tree or the corner of a bean field or the main runs that go over to the land owners feeder or food plot a half mile away Its no different really. Id also prefer a young person or a rookie to hunt over a bait pile and make a clean broad side shot through the vitals. Quick humane ethical kills is what we as hunters should strive for, and if a five gallon pail of bait can achieve this for some then why not? To say its not hunting is exactly what someone from peta would want you to say..

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 1:13pm

Here's a literate translation of your comment (middle school English):
'I do not bait never have, but that said, to say it is not hunting if you shoot deer over bait is ludicrous. I do not bait.

It seems like too much work for the reward to me, but I do search out a food source to set up. It might be a apple tree or the corner of a bean field or the main runs that go over to the land owner's feeder or food plot a half mile away. It's no different really.

I'd also prefer a young person or a rookie to hunt over a bait pile and make a clean broad side shot through the vitals. Quick humane ethical kills is what we as hunters should strive for, and if a five gallon pail of bait can achieve this for some then why not?

To say it's not hunting is exactly what someone from PETA would want you to say.'

The GOP here wants to gut education and you are a perfect example of why they wish to do this.

Robyn A Tonkin
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 9:39am

I almost didn't read this article because the title was addressed to an ancient entertainment personality. However, I am glad that I persevered, as the article was well written and mentioned the grandstander only once. The organism that causes chronic wasting disease is a prion. Mad cow disease is caused by a prion. Mad cow disease has jumped the species barrier. It seems logical to me that we should perform what measures we reasonably can to limit infection in the deer herd. Greater and greater numbers of infected deer means an ever increasing chance that chronic wasting disease will be transmitted to humans, possibly via a route involving deer/domestic cattle interactions, since current research indicates a low probability of direct infected deer to human route for transmission. All rural people understand that deer use cattle pastures, and have seen them grazing in close proximity to each other.
Taking reasonable measures to guard against the spread of chronic wasting disease has nothing to do with raw numbers of hunters. The glory days of hunting, fishing, and hiking are over. Young people like to sit and gaze continually into tiny screens instead of actually live. so do an awful lot of old people.

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 9:40am

I didn't miss a deer hunt for over 5 0 years but I quit because of baiting.

Bait piles are left out at night. The deer browse from one pile to the next all night and then mostly bed down all day because they aren't hungry. As baiting increased, the number of deer I'd see over the years decreased. Baiting eventually ruined the hunt. CWD or no CWD, baiting is a practice that needs to be forever banned.

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 3:23pm


Mon, 09/23/2019 - 9:47am

Please help us understand the difference between baiting and farming as described above. Looking into a farm field in the early evening , it is not out of the ordinary to see forty to fifty or more deer feeding together. How is the urine , saliva and co-mingling of herds not happening ? What exactly is different ? While I am not a believer in huge bait piles, I do believe in seeing the game I am pursuing. The more I see, the more time I spend in the woods. Success is not necessarily measured by bagging the buck but in the quality of the hunt. Michigan has seen one of the largest declines of license sales in the Great Lakes states over the past 20+ years. There are too many other things that can attract and keep our attention than sitting for hours and not seeing what we are pursuing. Let’s face it, we also seem to have less and less time to devote to our pursuits as well. The $ that the sportsmen and women spend in the state aids in all the conservation programs . Without these monies, all of the taxpayers in the state would have to dig deeper.
The DNR dispenses special permits to farmers to control their crop damage, sets up special youth hunts, free fishing weekends and special hunts in specific areas to thin the deer population. Why not special hunts in CWD areas ? Bovine TB areas ? Etc.
None of the ideas they have pushed have resulted increased license sales nor in controlling the spread of the diseases.

Tue, 10/01/2019 - 7:26am

That crops can attract deer is not evidence that baiting is OK. Baiting is an additional avenue for transmission that we can stop. If you want to argue that "food plots" or agriculture in general should also be banned fine, but you made no such proposals, and it will be very hard to write such legislation. I'd love to hunt in perfect wilderness with no farms anywhere near me, but that is hard to do around here.
There are many special regulations to increase the kill in the CWD areas. That's true in TB areas too - I was just up in deer management unit 487 Sep21-22 when they let you shoot does with bullets, and they have a late season, and nearly unlimited antlerless deer tags are available. They even let you shoot does with the buck tags.
I care less about how many hunters there are or licenses sold than that we are keeping the deer densities low enough. 5 guys buying buck tags and killing one buck do far less to help with that than 1 hunter with a doe tag killing a doe, though it's true they spend more money.

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 8:21pm

That's the whole problem .....TIME.... It takes a lot of time to scout, move around and hunt hard to get a nice buck. Now without bait there is no reason to go, I simply don't have enough time.
So, my 17 year old don't want to go anylonger he says it's no fun unless you at least see deer, now what, go for a weekend and hope a nice buck walks by within bow range. Not even worth putting a tree stand up. Good luck! I lost my hunting partner.. I'm with Ted!!!!

Bob Newton
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 9:51am

Hunting is a sport, in which you get off your butt and actually hunt. Baiting is not hunting It's like sitting outside of a McDonalds, Ted Nugent isn't anything more than a coward crapped his pants so he wouldn't have to serve his country.

Wed, 09/25/2019 - 4:25am

So your saying if you were hunted you would be at McDonald's. First of all it doesn't matter what animal you hunt just like game birds your not going to hunt grouse in a field are you?? No your going to hunt them in oaks or slashings topically with a good hunting dog. So take the dog away and you have to hunt the fields not there feeding spot. Every one here acts like there Fred Bear or something wake up people!!! Disease happens in all species Wow

Not What You Think
Wed, 09/25/2019 - 3:11pm

That isn't at all what the poster was saying, but if you want clarity or to impart clarity, you should have someone edit your post. It's difficult to follow your logic. Try again. You don't eat diseased animals, do you?

Fri, 02/28/2020 - 2:03pm

wow,get over it already. I love Ted Nugent I always have and I always will doesn't mean I like what he's done in the past or does now,Live and Let Live buddy, we'll get along a lot better

Fri, 02/28/2020 - 2:07pm

wow,get over it already. I love Ted Nugent I always have and I always will doesn't mean I like what he's done in the past or does now,Live and Let Live buddy, we'll get along a lot better

Fri, 02/28/2020 - 2:09pm

I love Ted Nugent always have and always will doesn't mean I like what he's done in the past or he does now you need to Live and Let Live we'll all get along a lot better at least he's speaking for the people he doesn't eat McDonald's either

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 9:52am

What can go wrong when people with guns eat animals with a fatal neurological disease that attacks the brains of their prey?

Ted Nugent rants in a series of DN editorials about extremism. He is someone who could better use his celebrity to advocate for cleaning the environment in Michigan, especially PFAS, and studying the causes of diseases like CWD, to actually make hunting healthier for hunters. Instead, Ted Nugent loathes environmentalism, he mocks the fishing and hunting advisories against eating fish and deer in heavily contaminated PFAS areas. Ted, you talk about advocating for the environment in the 1970's when Lake Erie caught fire, but what have you done lately?

Do you care about coal and fossil fuels and industries dumping toxins into the air and water of your prey, let along your fellow human beings? Where is your advocacy?????

Ted, if you love Michigan hunting so much, please switch gears and advocate to protect the environment which will preserve your love of hunting. Oh, and if you enjoy the trill of hunting so much, why would you need to feed the wild animals in order to kill them? Isn't that a bit lazy? It's almost like caging the animals and shooting them. Sounds a bit pathetic to both the "sportsperson" and the game.

They say that so far, there have been no known cases of CWD being transmitted to humans. That doesn't mean it can't or hasn't already happened. The incubation period for these diseases in humans is measured in years or even decades. Furthermore, scientists have successfully infected monkeys using CWD-tainted deer and elk meat. It is indeed quite likely that CWD someday will appear in humans.

Most hunters don't have their game tested for CWD. So it's possibly like the mad cow disease, only more unregulated because it's happening in wild animals. It remains to be seen if there will be crossover cases where the CWD transfers between the wild animals and farm cattle and vice versa.

When you were a kid, Ted, there may have been pollution, but there was far less in terms of the magnitude of chemicals that have been accumulating in the environment over the years, since. While some things are better, others are even more dangerous and their effect widely unknown. Quit whining like a baby and be part of making our state/country better for everyone.

Grant Fry
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 10:01am

The ban ignores a couple of factors. First, people owning private property have been busy planting food plots which will on private property. It is illegal to construct a food plot on public land. If you don't own land in the lower peninsula, you will have trouble attracting deer off of private property. This will cause weekend hunters to probably give up. Second, I question the CWD data and causation. Two deer in private contained herds have tested positive for CWD. The rest of the heard associated with these deer were negative. We should have seen a lot more positive tests in those herds if the transmission mechanism is correct.

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 10:09am

Real hunters don't need to bait game!! They study their habits and know how to find them! It's called putting in the field time instead of being too lazy to!!

Gerry Niedermaier
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 10:17am

Ted Stugent is an ancient has been. I would like to buy him for what he's worth and sell him for what he thinks he's worth....LOL.

Ben James
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 11:17am

Ladies and gentlemen, pedofile, self defecator, chicken hawk, draft dodger, statutory rapist, convicted wildlife poacher, blatant bigot and racist Ted Nugent!
A well known outspoken racist bigot Nugent has made numerous blatantly racist remarks in the press. More than enough to prove without a doubt his bigotry and racism. These include the reference to president Obama as a "sub-human mongrel."

Add to that how he brags he crapped in his own pants for a week before his to avoid service to our country in Vietnam and now advocates for wars he is too much of a coward to fight.

In the late 1960s, prior to his first marriage, Nugent fathered two babies out of wedlock with different teenage girls, a baby boy, and a baby girl, which he dumped into adoption programs to dispose of them. Nugent never attempted to make any further contact with his babies. Teddy has bragged repeatedly about sexual relationships with underage minors even wrote a song called "Jailbait" proudly detailing his pedophilia and molesting behavior with 13 year old girls.

Ted was 38 when he began a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl in Hawaii. Due to the fact that could not cohabitate with the minor Ted paid off her parents to make himself her legal guardian, an arrangement that Rolling Stone magazine ranked as one of the "Sleaziest Moments in Rock History."

Ted Nugent took a guilty plea to poaching black bear in a national park in Alaska he illegally killed with a high powered scope equipped sniper rifle. Nugent made the admission of guilt while begging for a plea agreement with federal prosecutors that was filed in U.S. District Court.

Chicken hawk, draft dodger, statutory rapist, pedofile, self defecator, convicted wildlife poacher, blatant bigot and racist. Other than that he a fine upstanding American!
HUGE HINT: Don't let uncle Teddy alone with any of your children especially the girls!

Bob Cos
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 1:11pm

Good for you, being honest about that low life, And to understand he is the poster child of NRA,
Thank you for being forward about perverts,and one of America's greatest low life individuals. He must already have chronic wasting in is genes, Because that fool has some kind of brain rot.

Vintage 30
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 7:07pm

Heres a piece of advice for ya Ben James do a little research on someone before you try destroying their credibility and character. You probably have no issue with Jimmy Page or Elvis Presley do ya?? How bout Muhammad Ali or the thousands of others who lived through that era in life and did some of the exact same things. NOPE Just Ted because he is not a liberal minded kinda guy huh Ben ? Smh oh and by the way a lot of that rant you put together was not very accurate. Research Ben research there two sides to every story not just the one you read in High Times magazine.

Please Spare Us
Tue, 09/24/2019 - 10:11am

Nice try at deflection, but what is the other side to the Ted Nugent story? You didn't rebut any of the heinous allegations. You just tried to detract with unrelated comments and names of other people. You probably belong to the Church of Bone Spurs who practices your style of hypocritical religion, as draft-dodging gun-toting patriots that like to cage children and shoot animals that you bait. Please take a moment and do some self-reflection.

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 12:08pm

Hey look, the Putin defense. Yeah, I'm horrible, but everyone is horrible, so idc.

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 1:24pm

Fake news! Author doesn't even know what a whitetail deer looks like. That's a European Roe Deer in the picture.

Nit Picking
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 3:45pm

Um, there is no reference in the caption of the photo indicating that they are whitetail deer.

Monica Williams
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 6:21pm

Thanks for your keen eye and for pointing that out.

-- Monica Williams, Bridge production manager

Priscilla Massie
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 2:05pm

First off Ted Nugent, you haven't lived in our state for over 20 years- please stay in Texass - you lost your rock n roll vibe long ago - hunting deer does not make you an expert, shame on our legislators for letting you even speak - would love to see your biology degree -By the way - feeding deer apples and then shooting them is not a sport - if you like it so much just go feed your chickens and cows and then shoot them. We in Michigan respect what the DNR biologist are studying and telling us, and also groups like the Michigan Farm Bureau, these folks like myself are out in the woods every day we see what is happening to our deer population. Thank you Bridge Mag. for a fair and informative article

Vintage 30
Mon, 09/23/2019 - 6:48pm

Spoken like a true peta member congrats.. smh go read Dr james kroll’s take on cwd.

Thinning the herd
Thu, 09/26/2019 - 7:16pm

CWD and TB, keep eating it.

Thinning the herd
Thu, 09/26/2019 - 7:16pm

CWD and TB, keep eating it.

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 4:56pm

They also did not implement other laws that COULD possibly increase CWD. You bunch over look that factor. You think killing off a older age bracket of does is the key. But then increase a higher prone disease carrier. Most hunters understand what they are seeing. Older bucks still are higher infectious rates. Even the CDC document's this. They have been studying this disease for decades with NO BIAS intentions or twists. THATS SCIENCE! And bucks do actually travel larger areas during breeding seasons. Use licking branches, urinate, deficate,etc. This is not as much to do about protection of resources as is being claimed.Plus how many states that have implemented Mandatory antler point restrictions that have seen a decrease in the disease? Non its not a tool to even be applied as a control tool as many twistingly claim. Education in the real tool unbiased science TRUE CONSERVATIONISTS know this. Good habitat, education on why taking older animals is best decrease herd size while actually improving habitat that has been neglected for decades. Especially on the public lands. They have been mismanaged for a very long time. By so call expert conservationists. Thats sad all by itself. There is plenty of evidence of the state not holding itself up to the responsibility of their true stockholders "the citizens of Michigan " not organizations that push self serving agendas.

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 7:18pm

Author needs to check up on regulations. You can’t hunt over minerals and there are no large piles to hunt over ether. Bait must be spread over a 10 foot diameter and no more than two gallons at site. Not a baiter, not my concern how other people harvest there animals when it comes to that subject

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 7:25pm

But a person can still put out water for deer, which arguably would have the same effect if CWD is what they're trying to prevent.

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 5:15am

Being kind of long in the tooth, it's been a while since having been in the woods with both bow and rifle. Gave both to a younger nephew. If missing the silence, except for an occasional bird breaking into song and wind rustling through fall colored trees while hunting on a warm autumn day, is close to a religious experience, rememberence of a successful hunt itself, is very pleasurable.

That being said, baiting is for lazy hunters, who should have stayed home, purchased a side of beef at a local butchery while saving a lot of money spent for for deer hunting equipment. Baiting also is hypocritical in that it cannot be explained as some primordal return to a period when humans had to track down and kill their prey as a matter of survival. In a very few cases, it represents a minimal amount of time spent in the forest while abetting a greater desire to get back to camp and drink beer and play cards.

Baiters cannot legitimately claim to be hunters in the best sense of that word. All they are interested in is an effort-free kill.

Three cheers for the scientists at the Department of Natural Resources. They are right.
On the other hand, the gibberish of Ted Nugent deserves not one second of attention.

middle of the mit
Tue, 09/24/2019 - 8:50pm

I am not against baiting, I think that the bait may make the deer linger just long enough in the right position to get a good kill. Without that, we may see a lot more gut shots and worse.

I can understand the reasons behind it though and have had discussions on the subject. It basically boils down to some people saying CWD isn't passed by baiting because that is how deer greet each other.

Here is where I disagree with that. I can go out in my garden and pick some fruit or vegetables after shaking hands with my neighbor and not catch a cold. My chances of catching a cold go up significantly if I go to the grocery store and push a cart.

Not baiting doesn't mean you are or aren't going to get a deer. It might be good. More does might be taken, which would let the bucks grow up and grow some real antlers, and there would be less car crashes.

Wed, 09/25/2019 - 8:28am

Most neighbors don't swap spit, like deer.

middle of the mit
Wed, 09/25/2019 - 8:39pm

Didn't quite grasp the comment?

I don't have kids. I rarely get sick. The more human contact you have the more likely you are to get sick.

If you bait deer more deer will follow those deer. And instead of being dispersed throughout a hundred or more acre field chewing corn and wheat and clover, they are huddled around a 10 ft baitpile. not only greeting each other more often but also eating the spit and lickings of the other deer, especially with sugar beets, corn on the cob and apples.

I am not against baiting because this will hurt the elderly and disabled hunters the most because they will not be able to lure dear to them. But to stand back and watch and do nothing, what will happen if it affects your area and your deer are sick and you can't eat them. Oh well.

Measels and mumps here we come. Oh that already happened.

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 9:57pm

I would love a baiting ban. I'm a hunter and totally disagree with how Nugent hunts. Anybody that hunts behind a fence is not a hunter in my book. Sitting over a bait pile is a lazy way to hunt. Not much better.Get out and scout,learn about the animal you hunt and set up on a area that looks good.

Wed, 09/25/2019 - 10:40am

Shooting deer at a bait trap doesn't seem like hunting to me.
How about allowing baiting in the suburbs where the overabundance of deer is ruining natural plant communities. I'd use bait if somebody would "hunt down" some of the deer in my back yard. Maybe the state will get serious about deer culls when Lyme disease cases gets overabundant.

Wed, 09/25/2019 - 8:51pm

Reminds me a lot of the global warming crap. I stopped hunting and fishing 20 years ago because of the complexity of the regulations. By doing that you create more jobs and less people paying for those jobs thru licenses. True liberal thinking.

Thu, 09/26/2019 - 11:36am

God forbid we regulate the commons so that they can be used in a sustainable manner by all

Thu, 09/26/2019 - 5:43pm

Those ideals aren't working so well in Somalia?

Off Topic
Fri, 09/27/2019 - 2:17pm

Your rant is off topic, but "across the world, businesses, scientific institutions, investors, and governments are effectively unanimous in recognizing the urgent need for action on climate change. The science has made it inescapably clear that business as usual leads to disaster. Many debates remain over the best path forward, but the basic case for action has become unassailable." If it's crap and liberal thinking, why are businesses and governments along with scientist in support of taking action on the climate crises? It takes a massive financial toll on all of us, well, other than the fossil fuel industry.

Steve Carrico
Fri, 09/27/2019 - 10:14am

I stopped reading your article after the third paragraph when you started lying and I could see right through your bias.
That baiting rules in Michigan didn’t allow “placing large piles of grain, minerals, and other produce to lure deer and elk within hunter’s sights.”
The law in Michigan was 2 gallons spread over 100 square feet. Not piles.
If you want to be taken seriously when writing about a subject and you want to present an unbiased view based on facts you should be factual. Otherwise people will just stop reading your story after the third paragraph like I did. I don’t care what you had to say after that.

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 2:22pm

Why the need to bait? Old? Child? Disabled? Lazy? No time? Fear of humiliation from not bagging something? Escanaba in da Moonlight syndrome?

Dave g
Sun, 10/13/2019 - 11:05am

Why not? Shouldn’t it be a choice?

Darwin Herron
Sat, 09/28/2019 - 7:45pm

Cwd and baiting ban is bullshit, I know my family won't hunt this year.

Mon, 09/30/2019 - 3:56pm

Spoken like a true peta member congrats

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 8:32am

Is wild game healthier? Some people think so, but you don't know what you're eating. Aside from possible PFAS contamination, there are so many unregulated problems, including CWD and TB.,4570,7-350-79137_79770_79780-481144--,00....

Wondering if animals used to baiting are weaker, more likely to be unhealthy, because they become reliant on the easy pickings. Why take the chance to feed your family that stuff?

Dave g
Sat, 10/05/2019 - 10:56am

Let the hunters vote on it!!

David g
Sun, 10/13/2019 - 9:48am

Let the hunters vote on it. Only Lisence buying hunters! Without baiting the deer population will go up, that’s a fact. Higher population is bad for the herd. Baiting ban hasn’t stopped the spread of TB so why do the so called scientists think it will work for this??

E Miller
Mon, 10/14/2019 - 3:14pm

Do we want more government control? This is just another thing to stomp on the people that cannot afford private land, or thousand dollar hunt club memberships.

Fri, 10/25/2019 - 9:31am

Yea I’m sure the auto body guys are good with the baiting ban. Less deer killed during hunting season means more deer to get hit by cars

Fri, 10/25/2019 - 9:31am

Yea I’m sure the auto body guys are good with the baiting ban. Less deer killed during hunting season means more deer to get hit by cars

Fri, 10/25/2019 - 9:31am

Yea I’m sure the auto body guys are good with the baiting ban. Less deer killed during hunting season means more deer to get hit by cars

Wed, 10/30/2019 - 4:54pm

"200 hunt clubs support the ban..." et al. How ironic? In the mid 80's and early 90's, some hunt clubs used to haul in bait by the semi load. Then the DNR restricted baiting amounts and all of the sudden food plots became the new norm on the hunt clubs. Hmmm. Everyone has an opinion on baiting and nothing can change that. But, one has to wonder if baiting was a contributing factor in competing for deer on small parcels of land adjacent to large hunt clubs. With no ability to bait, it pretty much renders small 10/20 acre parcels useless without food plots. Many of these parcels would not support food plots. If you think this is not political and only for deer management, you aren't thinking. Some of the craziest scenes I've witnessed in my life have been between deer hunters...

Don G
Thu, 11/07/2019 - 12:28am

It must suck to be a Democrat always slamming a person for saying what they think. But Ted was only saying how he felt about it

Sun, 11/24/2019 - 2:36pm

Hunted almost every day in Northern lower since Oct 1st. Saw only 10 deer and killed one doe. Absolutley sucks

Concerned hunter
Wed, 12/04/2019 - 10:37pm

If you are against further spread of CWD. The you should also be against mandatory antler point restrictions. Just as much if not more say older age classes cause the spread more then just baiting.

Wed, 11/18/2020 - 8:33am

Fudds everywhere here!