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3.100 Taking of deer, prohibited firearms, "bait" and "baiting" defined, conditions for baiting established in certain area; unlawful acts.

Sec. 3.100.

(3) For the purposes of this section, "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 deer. "Bait" does not include the establishment and maintenance of plantings for wildlife, foods found scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural planting or harvesting practices, foods available to deer 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. For the purposes of this section, "baiting" means to place, deposit, tend, distribute, or scatter bait to aid in the taking of a deer.

(4) It shall be unlawful for a person to make use of bait to aid in the taking of a deer within the Lower Peninsula.


These are not happy days for hunter Richie Cunningham

Hunters begin paying the price for bait piles

Posted by [URL="http://blog.mlive.com/bctimes/about.html"]Tom Gilchrist | The Bay City Times[/URL] November 18, 2008 08:00AM

Categories: Outdoors, Statewide News, Top Stories

Jeffrey LaMonde | Times PhotoLeo Cartier of Howell looks through the assortment of deer hunting aids at Frank's Great Outdoors in Linwood. After a recent ban on deer baiting, hunters have had to resort to other methods for luring deer, such as scent neutralizers and deer musk. Cartier said thinks the baiting ban, intended to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease in deer, is "fine."

STERLING - These are not happy days for hunter Richie Cunningham.
The Arenac County man hasn't bagged a whitetail this fall, but he did get a ticket - from a state conservation officer - under a new law making it a crime to bait deer in Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

It's no consolation to Cunningham, 21, of Sterling, that he's not the only one convicted of a misdemeanor after getting ticketed by the state Department of Natural Resources.

"They say this baiting ban is to fight this chronic wasting disease (in deer), but I think it's all about money, personally," said Cunningham, who paid a $150 fine after DNR Officer Nick Atkin ticketed him Nov. 1.

Two other hunters have paid the $150 fine for illegally baiting deer in Arenac County: a 22-year-old Kawkawklin Township man and 19-year-old Roseville man.

The state imposed the baiting and feeding ban in the Lower Peninsula in response to the discovery in August of chronic wasting disease in a captive deer in Kent County. The agency hopes the ban will prevent the spread of the persistent, fatal disease to the state's deer herd.

The DNR continued using airplanes Monday to look for bait piles in Lower Peninsula counties, said Lt. Dave Davis at a DNR office in Roscommon.
"Probably at least 80 percent of the Lower Peninsula counties had some type of aerial surveillance in the five days prior to the firearms season for deer," Davis said.

"Basically, violations were located during every flight."
Cunningham said authorities discovered his bait pile only after an Arenac County Sheriff's Department officer pulled Cunningham over for driving a pickup truck without a light illuminating the rear license plate.

Though the deputy didn't ticket the hunter, Cunningham said the deputy alerted Conservation Officer Atkin of a bow - not housed in a case - in the bed of Cunningham's truck. Atkin also spotted two empty bags of deer feed, and two full bags of feed, in the truck bed, according to Cunningham.

The hunter eventually led Atkin to his bait pile, and he was ticketed.
The Times could not reach Atkin for comment.

Violating the deer-baiting ban carries a fine of $50 to $500, and a maximum of 90 days in jail. Different judges or magistrates may impose different fines or penalties, though.

Conservation officers have issued anti-baiting tickets for several weeks.
In Tuscola County on Oct. 8, a Bangor Township man received a ticket for illegally baiting deer in the Deford State Game Area. The man pleaded guilty and paid a $100 fine.

Conservation Officer Brian Olsen issued three tickets Saturday - the opening day of firearms deer season - in Ogemaw County.

Hunters ticketed in Ogemaw County are asked to pay a slightly lower fine - $140 - than the fine required in Arenac County, according to Lynette J. Mulkey, magistrate for Ogemaw County.

Mulkey said officers had issued about seven anti-baiting tickets before the three issued on opening day.

"One guy wasn't happy about it and he was going to ask for a trial," Mulkey said. "But he changed his mind and paid up. They've all paid up, so far."

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