A ban on deer baiting could spread to the Upper Peninsula for the 2019 hunting season.
Last year, the first deer tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in the U.P. and that prompted the recommendation by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The deer was found in southern Dickenson County.
Chad Stewart, deer and elk specialist for the DNR, says the ban would not be across the entire U.P.
“We’re proposing just a small area focused around that index case that we identified last year,” he says.
Earlier this year, a deer baiting and feeding ban went into affect throughout the entire Lower Peninsula. The DNR says CWD, which is fatal, is spread when deer congregate over a food source.
Scent products used by hunters to attract deer are also prohibited under the ban, but a new proposal could change that.
Stewart says hunters still want to use scent products to attract deer; as long as the animals don't consume the actual material.
“That’s something we could probably allow for hunters and it would not really increase the level of risk of contamination or transmission on the landscape,” Stewart says.
The DNR is hosting a handful of public meetings throughout the state over the next few months. The Michigan Natural Resources Commission will vote on both proposals in July.