Muscician and NRA board member Ted Nugent (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
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Arguably the most famously outspoken hunter from the world of music, Ted Nugent is chiming in on Michigan’s deer baiting ban.

By Eric Pickhartz

Avid hunter and Michigan-born musician Ted Nugent has told Michigan lawmakers that the state’s deer baiting ban will be detrimental to the state’s hunting heritage and business. He spoke in favor of new legislation that would allow the feeding of deer and elk, as well as baiting during deer hunting season.

Nugent was quoted saying the baiting ban would “chase hunting families out of the sport for absolutely no reason.”

The feedback came during Tuesday’s House Government Operations Committee Hearing at the State Capitol building. He testified in support of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, and Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, who had previously introduced similar legislation in the state Senate.

Currently, baiting bans are in effect during hunting season in the Lower Peninsula and parts of the Upper Peninsula.

The testimony given by Nugent gets a little heated at times, but maybe that’s not unexpected from the Motor City Madman.

Banning Bating to Fight Disease

Nugent questioned the scientific justification for the ban, saying, “If a disease can be transmitted by nose to nose contact, there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.” His argument that baiting deer has little to no effect on what would happen anyway is common amongst those on that side of the fence.

“I don’t have a lab coat and I’ve never spent a time in the laboratory,” Uncle Ted told lawmakers. “What I have observed and what I have witnessed every year of my life is totally opposite of what the epidemiologists have forced us to adopt.”

No one from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or the Natural Resources Commission was present for their own testimony. Officials from those agencies have been on record saying deer baiting can have negative effects on efforts to control the spread of disease, specifically chronic wasting disease (CWD).

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  1. The baiting ban is to halt the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in the state’s whitetail herd. Baiting causes individuals to congregate where they can transmit the disease. If Mr. Nugent wants Michigan’s hunting traditions to continue, we need to deal with this now.

    • I’m not sure where I stand on this one, as I’m from California and have never hunted in that region. But I do know that CWD is a growing problem that’s heavily affecting the Wisconsin / Michigan / Minnesota area and still spreading. Perhaps certain measures are necessary for the next few generations of the deer population to safeguard future deer and the hunting thereof.

      I love Nugent’s fervor, but tend to lean toward disagreeing with him on this one.

        • Government employed scientists who have data and expertise are just as partisan and political as anyone else and use their position and power to inflict their ideology on everyone else. It looks like most of the Pennsylvania Game Commission are actually anti hunting, and they are in charge of it.

          They do everything they can to prevent new hunters from getting into it and drive existing hunters out. They mismanage the deer population here so badly that even the most uneducated poorly informed non hunters can see it.

          I am not informed enough on the issue to offer an opinion of management of CWD, but I am informed enough to state that trusting government employees is always a terrible idea.

        • “This is definitely an instance where I’d prefer to delegate decision making to government employed scientists, who have data and expertise, rather than partisans who (however justifiably) have a political axe to grind…

          Anyone who hasn’t heard of this epidemic, should read up:”

          Your argument was convincing until you linked Wikipedia as a source for information when any hack or child can edit the information to their liking, pleas be more careful with your negligent discharge of links.

      • Herds and all eating out of the same trough are two different universes. If you hate hunting, then bait because it will ruin everything.

        And please don’t be so stupid. There is already plenty to go around.

        • Yeah, it’s not like herd animals bump uglies or sniff each other’s @ssh0les and other stuff that they only do when they’re baited. Or that herds don’t come across each other without benefit of baiting. They all live in little bubbles where all the deer are happy all the time.

        • It would appear that the above speaker is unaware that CWD, like scrappies and Krutzfeld-Jacob disease, are all just mad cow under different names. Call one thing by many different names, and this is the type of confusion which must follow.

      • Baiting brings herds together that wouldn’t otherwise come into contact.

        Trust me, this is not an attempt to hobble hunters. Populations in much of the Lower Peninsula are too high, and the DNR has been taking measures to increase harvests in the CWD zone. They’ve relaxed antler restrictions, expanded seasons, they’ve even opened up the muzzle loader season to all firearms within the zone.

      • The first case of CWD in TX was only discovered in 2012. In time, it may spread, or not. Except for the experts in the MI legislature and on this blog who know everything, nobody knows what’s going to happen.

        • But that case was a penned herd. It’s never been discovered in a wild herd here. At least as far as I know.

    • did you even listen to his testimony where he addresses that ridiculous fallacy that the only time deer swap spit is at the baited area? go back to your lab nerd.

    • To whom it may concern possible Ted Nugent. He wrote the song Fred Bear. I am willing to bet that Fred bear did not hunt over bait or on game farms you want to be a man ted come to Wisconsin and hunt the public land in the north woods on the ground along a trail in the spirit of the wild grow a pair and shut your mouth

  2. AND I nearly hit a doe 2 hours ago picking my son up from work. Honked at it and it finally moved back. Rather unusual at 12:45 PM. Giant rats. Kill ’em all😄

  3. I’m definitely against baiting. Here in Texas it has made the Hog population explode. Deer Hunters i know will not shoot hogs during the Deer Season because they think it will scare away the big one. And the pigs have a buffet set out for them every day.

    • Hunting is not a “sport”, it is the needless slaughter of animals. There is plenty of ways to acquire food without killing. Yes, I am aware that someone kills the cows, pigs etc; however, that does not change the definition of “sport”! Baseball is a sport as is football and tennis.

      • Baseball is not a sport any more than golf or bowling. Besides a colossal waste of time, baseball is a drag on the economy by providing a charade of a sport so chunky kids can stand around in uniform waiting for their participation trophies to be handed out right after the cops haul away the fighting parents.

        And hunting is no sport either. Just a skill or activity. Modern sporting rifle my ars.

      • Unlike useless kids games with balls and bats you get food out of hunting.
        And since the predators were largely eradicated to protect humans and livestock now there is a population problem. Hunting solves that to a degree.

      • I love venison MI deer are in trouble with sickness and not having enough heards to breed the deer where Fred Bear hunted Lingerlongers Graying are in bad shape I know because I have spent most of my life going north every weekend and vacation in my Dad’s trailer on Lingerlonger Rd
        I don’t know if we should bait but maybe we could move some deer in a relocating some like they did in Kensington park.

      • Hey, Hush, as long as the meat is being used and eaten, exactly what difference does it make?

        Oh, wait, a deer is cuter than a cow, is that it?

        Meat is meat and it all comes from animals, cute or ugly. Get over yourself.

    • Baiting deer has not increased the wild pig population. We’ve been baiting deer the same ways for the last 70 years.

      • Dude, one we started enforcing the dog leash law, urban deer exploded. Claiming a 70 year run on non-issues is proof of anything is like claiming a 70 year run on 2A in America is plenty of reason not to care about today’s politics.

        Stupid is as stupid does. FG

  4. If an area is fighting a contagious disease, I favor banning baiting in a trough because that obviously increases spread of the disease.

    What is wrong with broadcast spreading of apples, beats, carrots, or corn? Not only would that virtually eliminate spreading disease, it would slow down the deer (taking them longer to eat their fill) and keep them over the bait longer, increasing chances for the hunter.

    • When anyone says that something “obviously” has a certain effect, it means that they have no proof and don’t need proof because it’s, well, obvious.

  5. The baiting ban has killed more wildlife through starvation than have ever been hunted!

    The baiting ban destroyed the Atlantic Flyway were wildlife died from starvation and the corrupt Gov tried to cover it with a lead ban.. trying to blame massive lead ingestion for the deaths!

    All Lies of the Lead Bans!

    Its funny back in the decades b4 the lead ban with millions more hunters lead was not a problem… no dead ducks found unless they were shot.

    Local Farmers,Wildlife and Jobs prospered when hunters baited their wildlife!

    When u have politicians who know nothing about the subject making laws u end up with stupid laws!

    My Dad and many b4 him dumped 2000lbs of corn… Several times a week into the water for ducks to eat while maybe 2 hunters showed up during the season! The owners of the property(Millionaires) also raised and released tens of thousands of ducks!

    In the 50’s 60’s 70’s when baiting was banned…the grasses also disappeared leaving waterfowl with no food to make the long migration journey down the eastern seaboard!

    So they starved & died! It was a great plan Gov!

    The words baited and bated are two terms that sound alike but have very different meanings. What adds up to the confusion is that their spellings are only separated by a single “i” in baited. This post will help you identify the differences between these two so you will be able to tell them apart and use them properly in your writing.

    The word baited is most commonly used as the past tense of the verb bait which means “to lure or entice.”

    On the other hand, the term bated is used as an adjective meaning “in great suspense; very anxiously or excitedly.” It is most commonly used in the phrase with bated breath which means “with breath drawn in or held because of anticipation or suspense.”

    • Also slang for manual sexual manipulation. I was slightly frightened by the title of the article. I don’t agree with bating deer, but if both parties consent, bate on!

  6. Of course I don’t bait deer. I put out corn for rabbits and squirrels ONLY. If I catch a deer eating any I’ll shoot it!

  7. Baiting isn’t hunting. It’s a means to an end for meat harvesting. There’s no sport in it, and I refuse to call it hunting.

    However, not everyone gets tagged up for the sport of it. Some simply do it for the meat, and that’s fine by me.

    • Well said. As long as you properly buy your tag, no harm n foul in my book. I would also go so far as to say that many folks who would beat their chests and declare baiting as cheating probably eagerly plant alfalfa or corn or apple trees within sight of their tree stand. moving an apple is somehow different than hunting near where an apple falls naturally? total BS. fill your freezer however you wish. Some folks are not rich enough to afford dozens of acres where they can plant shit that deer like to eat.

      • Lot more effort in getting that alfalfa or soy bean crop to grow and a lot more benefit to the herd than pouring out a bag of corn. Huge difference.

  8. More than half of WI has a ban on baiting, and as it was stated previously, the bans are primarily done to prevent the spread of CWD…

    Banning baiting isn’t really a big deal, unless you like to do “canned” hunts, because hunting over a bait pile/spreader/etc, is just that, a “canned” hunt, more like shooting rather than hunting…

  9. Yes baiting is not hunting.
    Anything artificial to gain the advantage of the hunter is not fair.
    Laziness is prevalent and lazy so-called “hunters” are everywhere.

    • “Laziness is prevalent and lazy so-called “hunters” are everywhere.”

      Which is evident opening morning, when you hear a string of 4-6 shots at the same dear, or bullets are hitting above your head as you sit in a 15′ treestand…

    • Outdoors Man,

      In areas of high population density with significant hunting pressure and tiny fractured property parcels, hunters have pretty much zero chance without bait, especially if deer otherwise see nothing of interest on the property where you have permission to hunt.

      • Then perhaps you should be hunting elsewhere.

        There is no excuse to feed game. If the plots of hunting area are small, go find somewhere else to hunt.

        There are always excuses to take the easy way. Perhaps you would enjoy shooting fish in a barrel as well.

      • Outdoors Man and Red (and maybe Wisconsin Patriot),

        And by whose authority do you claim that “fair chase” is inviolable and more important than controlling deer populations and providing food for yourself and your family?

        As implied in my question above, I elevate these principles:
        (1) Providing meat for yourself and your family is EXTREMELY important.
        (2) Keeping deer populations in control is EXTREMELY important.

        One year in particular my family was in severe financial distress. That year I was fortunate enough to take three deer and that was 90% of our meat for that entire year because we could not afford beef and could only afford small amounts of chicken. You bet your @$$ I used bait that year. Or would you rather have me tell my children, “Sorry you are hungry and we have no meat again for dinner. But it is really important that we give deer a fair chance.” Or would you rather have me work 14 hour days at minimum wage jobs and not be around to raise my children and instill proper values?

        And the deer population in my region is way over desired numbers. Deer are eating everyone’s landscaping plants in their yards. And about 90% of our population will hit a deer with their car. Reducing the deer population by any means is a good thing.

        Now, if the deer population was cratering, I can entertain the mantra of “fair chase” in order to sustain the deer population. In my region, that is not a problem.

  10. I think Terrible Ted’s biggest problem is someone telling him what to do on his 900 acres. He’ll still bait on his land, they will spot it with a drone, he’ll get arrested.
    Maybe that’s what he wants.

    • When you bait game, you are affecting more than your 900 acres. Deer and whatever game you are baiting will come from without your land. Ted can hunt all day long on his land, but “hunt” does not mean bringing the deer to you by feeding them nonstop for weeks and then sitting right there and popping them off. That is more “camping” than “hunting”.

  11. Baiting and running dogs are not hunting and should be banned. In rural Va I hate that hunters can run dogs with impunity to chase deer off land that landowners and still/bow/blackpowder/stalking hunters might not want for various reasons. The issue is that them good ol boys have a lot of local sway and they claim running dogs is a heritage “sport” hunting. Bull$hit. As stated above there are health and population reasons not to bait but I also feel it is a lazy person’s way of “hunting”. Rather than learn the animal, lay of land, etc it is easier for Bubba to toss some corn in a feeder and sit on his porch to get the big one.

  12. As a life long hunter of 50+ years. Killed my first deer at age 9. I have never needed to bait a plot in order to take game of any kind. Most so called hunters use this tactic to draw in trophy animals. So they can prove to themselves and their buddies what big hunters they are. Teddy is no different than any number of other people who have the own TV shows. Spouting their Xpertise on killing trophy animals. It about Ego and generating monetary gains. It is in no way and should not be called Hunting.

  13. I do not hunt, so, I have no standing to discuss whether baiting should be allowed in hunting.

    It seems a legitimate concern that baiting increases the liklihood that deer from different herds will be exposed to each others spittle. This wasting disease is caused by prions; they are persistent and not easily destroyed.

    Does CWD have anyone worried about eating deer meat?

    • LifeSavor,

      I know people (I am one of them) who are seriously concerned about eating venison from deer infected with Chronic Wasting Disease.

      The problem: no one seems to know for certain whether or not humans can contract Chronic Wasting Disease from venison.

      My personal opinion: it is too similar to the prions that cause Mad Cow Disease to dismiss it.

      If anything I said is factually incorrect, please correct me.

    • Baiting deer and other game isn’t really “hunting”.

      Instead of relying on your skill at finding deer, etc., instead you teach them to come to you.

      Same for “hunting” with dogs. You rely on the dogs to do what YOU should be doing.

  14. Imagine telling a fisherman/woman (insert pronoun of choice) that they are not allowed to chum. My preferred manner of fishing is with a speargun (and they want to ban these also) and to do so I have never used bait nor chum. The previous catch on my stringer does not count.

  15. Since the introduction of wolves in northern Wisconsin there is not enough deer to congregate around a bait pile anyway.

  16. Baiting game is the lazy hunter’s method. It creates a need for the animals to come to the same spot to be fed, so the hunter can just sit in the same spot and “hunt”.

    It also creates lazy game, that instead of finding food where they can, depend on man for their food.

    Sorry, Ted, you’d dead wrong on this one.

  17. Plenty of people harvest deer and elk in Colorado, and I have no idea how long it’s been since baiting was allowed.

  18. Author,
    Please have someone who can actually write edit your work. The headline sounds like Ted wants hunters to use a “bat” to hunt deer. Not sure how the flying type could help and the baseball type just seems too brutal.
    Thanks for your consideration.

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