There seems to be some confusion and misinformation about the regulations regarding baiting and feeding wildlife in the aftermath of the Natural Resources Commission’s final enactment of the Chronic Wasting Disease regulations earlier this month. MUCC’s grassroots members have continued to support (since 2009) a ban on baiting and feeding deer so as to reduce the risk of human-assisted transmission of disease. Below, we attempt to share what the deer regulations are that have been enacted and clarify how they interplay with other wildlife baiting and feeding regulations.
- “BAIT” means a substance composed of grains, minerals, salt, fruits, vegetables, hay, or any other food materials, whether natural or manufactured, which may lure, entice or attract wildlife. “Bait” does not include the establishment and maintenance of plantings for wildlife (food plots), foods found scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural planting or harvesting practices, foods available to wildlife through normal agricultural practices of livestock feeding if the area is occupied by livestock actively consuming the feed on a daily basis, or standing farm crops under normal agricultural practices.
- “Single bite bait” shall mean shelled corn, nuts, beet pulp, deer feed or pellets, or wheat or other grain.
DEER AND ELK
- Effective immediately in 2018, the following twenty counties in the CWD and TB Management Zones will be under a DEER AND ELK baiting and feeding ban: Alcona, Alpena, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Montmorency, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oscoda, Ottawa, and Shiawassee counties.
- Statewide hunters will not be allowed to possess or use natural cervid urine-based lures or attractants not marked with the official Archery Trade Association seal of participation stamp in an area frequented by deer.
- Effective January 31, 2019, it shall be unlawful for a person to make use of bait to aid in the taking of a deer within zone 2 and zone 3 (the entire Lower Peninsula).
- The exception: Eligible hunters with disabilities participating in the September two-day Liberty Hunt (not including youth hunters) or four-day October Independence Hunt may make use of bait to aid in the taking of a deer if the baiting occurs only from the first day of the season to the last day of the season. In the 20 counties of the CWD and TB management zones only single bite bait shall be used. All bait shall be removed prior to any additional hunting during this season.
- For the Upper Peninsula and areas outside of the baiting and feeding ban, the existing regulations will continue to apply.
- In areas closed to deer baiting or deer and elk feeding, the only legal baiting material is meat, meat products, fish, fish products, or bakery, confectionery products.
- Statewide: For the protection of bears and other wildlife species, it is also illegal to use chocolate or cocoa derivatives in bear bait.
- There are only a few changes in counties that have been added to the CWD Management Zone that effect bear baiting for the 2018 season, including Muskegon, Newaygo, Mecosta and Isabella. The same four counties in Northeastern Lower continue to have this restriction in place: Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, and Oscoda. In 2019, the above regulation will be in place for the entire Lower Peninsula.
- It is illegal to use bait to aid in the harvest of a wild turkey in Michigan.
- Providing recreational or supplemental turkey feed is legal, but not recommended in areas with lower annual snowfall or when snow depths are below four inches.
- In areas where deer baiting and deer and elk feeding is prohibited, turkey feed must be placed in a feeder/container to make it inaccessible to deer and elk.
WILD BIRD FEEDER TIPS