State Rep. Michele Hoitenga’s plan to end the ban on baiting deer and elk in Michigan was approved today by the State House Tuesday 57-49.
Hoitenga said the ban – issued by the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in August 2018 amid concerns about the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) – is hurting outdoor enthusiasts and local businesses.
“Baiting is a method that hunters have relied on for generations, and there’s absolutely no evidence it contributes to the spread of disease,” Hoitenga said. “It’s silly for the NRC to ban hunters from scattering apples around their deer blinds when every day deer graze on apples that fall off trees in nature.”
The plan, House Bill 4687, would allow people to engage in baiting during open seasons on deer and elk in Michigan.
“The ban is doing more harm than good by chasing hunting families away from the sport,” Hoitenga said. “The revenue generated from hunting licenses helps support conservation efforts carried out by the DNR, and hunting enthusiasts play a crucial role in supporting our state’s northern and rural economies.”
Last year, hunting and fishing license sales made up 20 percent of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ entire annual budget, equal to $83.5 million. These funds were used to aid the recovery of endangered and threatened species, including restoring thousands of acres of habitat and wetlands.
According to one recent study, 171,000 jobs are created and supported annually across Michigan by hunting and fishing activity. Hunting generates around $8.9 billion in economic impact, the study said.
The bill now moves to the State Senate for consideration.