November 23, 2014

Board proposes trial period for deer baiting in Oscoda County

By Jeff Patrus
News Editor | news@oscodaherald.com
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MIO — Oscoda County is hoping to get the state of Michigan to allow deer baiting in six Northeast Michigan counties, including its own, in hopes of attracting more hunters to the area.

At its June 28 regular meeting, the Oscoda County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution encouraging the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Commission to implement a two-year trial period in which hunters in the six-county area would be allowed to bait deer. The county is expected to send copies of the resolution to DNR Director Rodney Stokes, NRC Chairman Timothy L. Nichols, and Gov. Rick Snyder.

On June 9, the NRC lifted the deer baiting and feeding ban in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula by a 4-3 votes. The ban had been in place since 2008, when Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was detected in a deer at a private deer breeding facility in Kent County.

Although the ban has been lifted in most of the Lower Peninsula, it remains in effect for Oscoda County, as well as Alcona, Alpena, Iosco, Montmorency, and Presque Isle counties. Those counties comprise Deer Management Unit 487, the six-county bovine tuberculosis zone in the northeastern Lower Peninsula.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Joe Stone said Oscoda County is the first of the six affected counties to formally urge the state to implement the trial period. He expects that the other five counties will soon follow suit.

“Our resolution will go to the other five counties for them to adopt,” he said.

The resolution states that a trial period would allow the DNR time to study the effects of baiting on whitetail deer harvesting, as well as the impact on incidents of bovine tuberculosis for both deer and cattle.

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