Tuesday, October 7, 2008

In Michigan's Lower Peninsula: All Baiting and Feeding of Deer and Elk is Prohibited

2008-2009 DEER AND ELK

Due to the confirmation of a deer with chronic wasting disease in Kent County, it is no longer legal to bait or feed deer or elk in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. The ban applies equally to feeding for recreational viewing as well as hunting.

Frequently asked questions:

What is Baiting? Bating is defined as putting out food materials composed of grains, minerals, salt, fruit, vegetables, hay or any other food material, whether natural or manufactured for deer, to attract, lure, or entice them as an aid in hunting. A person baiting deer must comply with the current baiting regulations. Baiting for elk is illegal.

What is Feeding? Feeding is defined as placing food materials out that attract deer or elk for any other reason except hunting.

Recreational Feeding is feeding for wildlife viewing purposes only. A person feeding deer must comply with the regulations for recreational viewing.

Supplemental Feeding of deer and/or elk is prohibited in Michigan except for specific portions of 8 counties in the Upper Peninsula. Supplemental feeding of deer is by permit only, if specific conditions are met, and is only allowed in a specific portion of State. The supplemental deer feeding area is all portions of Ontonagon, Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, Alger, and Luce counties, and those portions of Marquette and Chippewa counties north of the T43N-T44N boundary line. Contact a DNR office if you have questions.

Food plots are naturally occurring foods, standing agricultural crops, or foods that are placed as a result of using normal farming practices, and are not considered baiting or feeding.

What are Cervids? They are ruminant mammals, in the scientific classification of family cervidae, or deer, elk, and moose.

Is this ban necessary? Yes. Biologists have long known that disease is easily spread among animals that are drawn into close physical proximity by feed. Although the exact means of transmission of chronic wasting disease is not known, most scientists believe any exchange of bodily fluids -- saliva, urine, feces – facilitates transmission. A healthy white-tailed deer population in Michigan is important for the following reasons:
• Chronic wasting disease can spread through the deer herd.
• Without appropriate management within the current CWD surveillance zone, the disease may spread to other areas of the state.
• All deer infected with CWD die from the disease.
• White-tailed deer are native to Michigan and it is important to preserve our native wildlife.
• Any regional threat to a healthy deer population is a statewide concern.
• A healthy deer herd is important for hunting traditions. Michigan has more than 725,000 deer hunters who have harvested an average of 450,000 deer annually during the past decade. Deer hunting contributes more than 10 million days of recreation every year.
• Deer hunting annually generates more than $500 million dollars impact to the state’s economy. A healthy deer herd is critical to the state's economy.

In the Upper Peninsula:

The volume of bait scattered on the ground cannot exceed two (2) gallons at any one hunting site at anytime. This includes new and old bait combined. Baiting can occur only from October 1 to January 1. The bait material may be of any food type. The bait must be dispersed over a minimum of a 10-foot by 10-foot area. The bait can be scattered directly on the ground by any means, including mechanical spin-cast eders, provided that the spin-cast feeder does not distribute on the ground more than the maximum volume allowed.

Recreational Feeding for Viewing:
The volume of feed on the ground cannot exceed two (2) gallons per residence at any time. This includes new and old feed combined. Feed must be placed within 100 yards of a residence, on land owned or possessed by that person. The feed must be scattered or dispersed directly on the ground at least 100 yards from any area accessible to livestock such as: cattle, goats, sheep, new world camelids, bison, swine, horses, or captive cervidae. Any type of food materials can be used.

Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1, www.workwear1.com, Local Distributor of Carhartt WorkCamo clothing, Redford MI

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