A deer baiting ban is still in effect in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. As deer season opens, state officials say some people wrongly believe the baiting ban was overturned in the courts this year.
"The reality of the matter is that it was not changed in any way, and it is still illegal in the Lower Peninsula to put out bait for deer or elk. And it's also illegal to recreationally feed deer in your backyard," says Debbie Munson Badini, with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
An Otsego County judge did rule earlier this year that the ban was "unconstitutionally vague." But that ruling was later overturned in the state Court of Appeals.
The DNRE is trying to control the spread of diseases in the deer herd, including tuberculosis and chronic wasting disease.
"We have a real problem with tuberculosis, bovine tuberculosis, in the northeastern part of the Lower Peninsula, and we know from research that having bait piles and recreationally feeding those animals can contribute to the spread of disease," Badini says.
There has also been a major outbreak of Bovine TB in Emmet County.
Baiting could be allowed again for next year's hunt, though. Wildlife officials are expected to take up the question again early next year.