DNR’s bait ban won’t slow deer disease

The DNR has proposed to the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) a statewide ban on baiting (LP only). The Commission will act on the recommendation in the next few weeks and announce on Aug. 9. The purpose is to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD). It won’t work. CWD is spread by bodily fluid exchange, any bodily fluid, not just saliva left on a beet but also buck semen, vaginal fluids, blood sucking insects and more. This proposal will not stop the spread of the disease. On average, bait is on the ground less than one week a year for most hunters. Yet the breeding activity goes on for three months with multiple encounters and copulation fluid-exchange daily with almost all the deer involved. I have read the research and discussed with many state veterinarians and especially the State of Wyoming Veterinarians, where they have never allowed baiting and yet they have the most extensive spread of the disease of any state. With our current knowledge there simply is no known cure, preventative or way to slow the spread, short of lowering the deer population.

I worry that, if this ban goes into law, it will never return. It will be gone forever. Voice your opinion now by writing to the NRC, 525 W. Allegan St., PO Box 30028, Lansing, Mich., 48909 or e-mail the NRC at NRC@michigan.gov

At the NRC Commission hearing on Thursday, July 12, the headquarters representative of Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), Kip Adams, revealed their unpublished policy opposing baiting. As a 20-plus-year member, I was unaware of such ill conceived policy and I can no long support QDMA when they work against my interests. I remain supportive of QDM, however.

JOHN WAGNER,

owner of Iosco County deer farm