NRC Proposes to Lift Baiting Ban

Mary Dettloff
DNR Public Information Officer

The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) yesterday proposed a regulation change to lift the deer baiting and feeding ban in the Lower Peninsula, which has been in effect since 2008. The proposal is not yet final, and will be voted on at the June 9 NRC meeting in Lansing.

The proposal includes the following provisions:

Hunters would be able to place two gallons of bait per hunting spot. No more than two gallons of bait could be on the ground at any given time. This is the same regulation currently in place in the Upper Peninsula, and was the regulation in the Lower Peninsula prior to the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease at a deer breeding facility in Kent County in August 2008. The only exception would be the bovine tuberculosis area in northeast Lower Michigan, where baiting and feeding has been banned for several years.

Recreational feeding would return to the Lower Peninsula, except in the bovine tuberculosis area.

The proposal directs the DNR to spend $50,000 this year on planting wildlife food plots on state-owned hunting land in the bovine tuberculosis area.

The proposal directs the DNR to work with the Legislature to stiffen penalties for baiting violations, including escalating fees, jail time and hunting license revocation. This would be similar to the penalties for violators who snag fish.

It is important to note that this is a proposal, and not final. It could change at the June 9th meeting. Many media outlets around the state are reporting this was already approved by the NRC. It has NOT been approved – it was simply proposed. The commission will vote on it at the June 9th meeting.

Michigan Deer Baiting Ban May End

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – Michigan wildlife policymakers tentatively agreed Thursday to remove a ban on baiting and feeding whitetail deer in most of the Lower Peninsula that was designed to prevent outbreaks of deadly diseases.

The state Natural Resources Commission scheduled a final vote for June 9 on its plan, which would allow hunters to spread up to 2 gallons of feed at each hunting site in the Lower Peninsula except for a section of northeastern Michigan where bovine tuberculosis remains a problem. The existing 2-gallon limit in the Upper Peninsula would continue.  More here…

Money for Trouble but Not the Antis

 This from the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance…

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has struck out in its quest for money from the estate of billionaire Leona Helmsley.  Helmsley, who died in 2007 with an estimated worth of $8 billion, left the bulk of her estate to care for dogs including $12 million to her own dog Trouble.   HSUS has been fighting ever since to get a piece of the pie- and last week a court denied a motion from HSUS and other national animal rights groups for part of the money.

SIG SAUER® Introduces New Additions to 1911 Series

EXETER, N.H.- SIG SAUER, Inc., the leading manufacturer of commercial, law enforcement and military firearms, introduces the 1911 TACPAC and two new options on the 1911-22®.

These pistols combine the American ingenuity of the venerable 1911 platform with SIG SAUER® refinements that enhance the pistol’s accuracy while still maintaining superior reliability.

The 100th anniversary of the 1911 has increased interest in the platform and driven more shooters to purchase their first 1911s. To accommodate these new 1911 fans, SIG SAUER has created the 1911 TACPAC. Read more

SCI Applauds Congressional Hearing to Import Polar Bears

Washington, D.C. – Safari Club International (SCI) applauds the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife for holding a hearing addressing Congressman Don Young’s (R-AK) legislation allowing the importation of approximately 40 polar bears.

Young’s bill, HR 991, will amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to authorize the Secretary to issue import permits for polar bears taken legally from approved populations in Canada prior to the importation ban imposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on May 15, 2008. The ban deprived these individuals of their rightful property. HR 991 would help rectify this unfortunate situation by allowing only the importation of these already harvested polar bears. The bill would not authorize the importation of bears hunted in the future. Read more

Men Arrested and Let Go for Stealing/Returning Antlers from NRA Convention

Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Two men working for an exhibition service at the National Rifle Association convention over the weekend were arrested late Sunday for stealing two sets of elk antlers.

According to Pittsburgh police, the antlers were stolen from a vendor’s booth while the operator was waiting to pack up his truck at the loading dock of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Read more:

And, the next thing you know, the charges are dropped because the two suspects were reportedly returning the antlers. Question: If they were not stolen in the first place, why would they need to be returned?

Charges against two men accused of stealing two sets of elk antlers from an exhibition at the National Rifle Association convention were withdrawn Tuesday, May 10.

Originally, Pittsburgh police reported that the two men were seen on the east side of the convention center walking with the antlers as the NRA event was ending on May 1.

However, the charges were withdrawn Tuesday after several witnesses in the case told police that they believed the men were returning the antlers, not stealing them, said Mike Manko, a spokesman with the Allegheny County district attorney’s office.

Read more:

City’s Gun Buyback Program Draws Competition

For the third year in a row, the city is working with local sponsors to offer a pre-Mother’s Day gun buyback program. But this time, there might be some competition.

The city is offering vouchers or gift cards in amounts of $100 and $200 to individuals who bring in weapons today to six different sites – with no questions asked about ownership or identity.

However, this year, a local gun-rights activist plans to show up at the Mission Hills site to inspect guns and refer owners of useful firearms to local gunshops that will be willing to purchase them More here…

Lightfield’s New MAG-20 Hard Hitting 20 Gauge


In the past few years the 20 ga. shotgun slug has been getting a lot of attention. Improvements in performance that trickled down from the 12 ga. technology, combined with lighter guns and less recoil than the 12 ga., have given the 20 ga. a significantly greater presence in the deer woods. 

The typical 20 ga. sabot slug, based on a 45-caliber pistol bullet design, is more efficient than a 12 ga. In terms of ballistics. In fact, on paper, the ballistics of today’s 3″ 20 ga. designs match those of most 2 ¾” 12 ga. in the deer woods. Read more

A Feast for the Eyes While Scouting Turkeys

By Glen Wunderlich

Spring has been a long time coming and it still doesn’t seem like it wants to be here.  Even returning perennial plants don’t seem to be sure it’s safe to venture all the way out.  But, I just made a bold move in spite of the weather’s fickleness and the rock salt and snow shovel have been stored.  No way around the calendar, however, and it says turkey season has arrived!

My friend, Joe, and I hadn’t done any scouting and only two days remained before our May 2nd opener.  Our plan was to get up with the birds and hide and watch.  The perfect location for the task was inside our deer hunting shack dubbed the chalet, which overlooks acres of food plots.  We put the heat on and opened the plexiglass windows with the sun at our backs. 

The legume plots were sprouting with valuable nutrients for the birds and winter-stressed deer. Some of last season’s brassica plants had begun to emerge from their roots, but were far behind their flowering stage, as they were this time last year.

Rain water forced worms and night crawlers to squirm to the earth’s surface to avoid sure drowning, only to face the ravenous craving of crows, robins, sandhill cranes and other birds of the carnivorous feather.  We hoped for turkeys to join in the heaven-sent bonanza.

By 8am the field was alive with the sounds of spring.  A magnificent male gold finch lit atop a nearby spruce whistling his song of love.  Song sparrows got their licks in, too.   And, sure enough, turkeys poked their way into the mix.

I had a spotting scope for the purpose of critical identification so I focused it on the small gang.  Three hens and one proud Tom had already made our day, as they began what turned out to be a rather protracted display.

The gobbler was very much in full bloom – as puffed up as a piñata. He danced, while changing colors before our eyes and belted out a distinctive gobble now and then.

His lady friends?  Well, I’m not even sure they knew he was there.  I think they may have been deaf and blind.  Maybe they were his sisters.  In any case, he was being ignored.  But, the lack of cooperation by the opposite sex didn’t distract him.  He may not have been the biggest potential suitor but that sure didn’t stop him from trying.

For several hours Read more

Pre-Season Scouting Adventure

By Glen Wunderlich

On my first turkey scouting expedition this season, our vantage point came from the chalet – our no-nonsense gun blind.  Joe and I were hoping to find out if any wild turkeys were in the vicinity, so we opened up the windows and turned on the propane heat.

In Search of Love

There’s no better justification for maintaining perennial food plots than to see how the wildlife benefit during srpingtime green-up.  Whether they chomp on last year’s rape, which is flourishing from the root, or are devouring tender legume plants, it’s all good.  Worms and night crawlers add to the smorgasbord of nature.

A gang of turkeys began their feast in the field of alfalfa and clover.   The lone gobbler, on the other hand, had nothing but love on his mind.  He pranced and paraded for two and a half hours, hardly ever stopping to share in the nourishing bounty.  He took a few turns at gobbling, seemingly for practice, because the accompanying hens paid no attention.

Later a lone hen was headed up the path toward the chalet, so I hastily moved into camera position.  In so doing, I made enough noise to alert the turkey to my presence and it proceeded to make a wide half-circle pass around us.

"I didn't like the sound of that."

All in all, a good day of scouting and a great day to partake in nature.

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