In a 4-3 vote deer baiting is now allowed in Michigan again, except in the area where bovine tuberculosis is present. Michigan had put a ban on baiting deer since 1998 when a deer with chronic wasting disease was found at a farm in Kent County. By not allowing baiting there would not be a concentrated number of deer eating the piles of food, spreading the disease. The case in Kent County was the last one reported.
No more than 2 gallons of feed is allowed, and also needs to be spread not piled. Feeding deer for recreational viewing is also allowed now year round, except in the areas with bovine TB. Baiting deer with feed is allowed October 1 - January 1. Hunters are split on the feeding of deer. Some think it is unethical and made the deer change their eating habits to night when they are more difficult to hunt. Others say it increases their chances of a successful hunt.
The Natural Resources Commission also voted to revisit the issue in three years or earlier if needed. The ban on deer baiting was hard to enforce.“This is a very controversial and emotional issue,” said John Madigan, a Natural Resources Commission member who voted in favor of lifting the ban. From Detroit Free Press .