Deer Baiting Ban Plows Ahead In Michigan Legislature
Michigan State Senators are approving legislation to block the current deer baiting ban affecting hundreds of thousands of Michigan hunters, mostly in the lower peninsula. Voting pretty much along party lines, the Republican majority in the Senate approved the plan with most democrats voting against the change. But the Senate added a couple of minor changes including restricting the site of bait that could be used and to revisit the issue in two years. The legislation heads back to the state House because of the Senate changes. But the House is now on break. There is a chance the lower chamber might reconvene for a single day session next week but there’s no word on how that looks yet.
A majority of Republican lawmakers at the Capitol are openly challenging the experts being cited by the Department of Natural Resources to support its administrative order eliminating baiting. The lawmakers are challenging what the DNR says is proven science to stop the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease among Michigan’s whitetail deer herd.
The regular firearm deer season in Michigan opens tomorrow. Many hunters won’t be out this year. They’re upset about the DNR baiting ban hampering their chances of success.
The legislative action may all be for nothing. There is no indication that Governor Gretchen Whitmer will sign any legislation reversing the DNR’s administrative rule.