VanderWall testifies in favor of bill that would reverse deer baiting ban

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Curt VanderWall on Wednesday testified before the Senate Committee on Natural Resources on his bill that would enhance hunting activities in the state.

Senate Bill 37 would reverse the Natural Resources Commission ban on baiting and feeding deer in the entire Lower Peninsula.

In the late 1990s, almost 800,000 people were hunting deer in Michigan. Twenty years later, that number has dropped by around 25 percent. VanderWall cited this decline as one of the reasons behind the bill.

“A decline in Michigan’s hunting economy trickles down to other economies as well,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. “Tourism, hospitality and agriculture all stand to lose something if Michigan continues to lose hunters. This baiting ban is likely to further that trend.”

VanderWall said conservation funding in the state would also suffer as hunting licenses help pay for conservation efforts.

“The long-term sustainability and health of our deer herd is our number one goal,” said VanderWall. “However, there is no good reason for this baiting ban because there is no convincing scientific evidence that banning bait piles will effectively reduce chronic wasting disease.”