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Rules for Baiting and Feeding Deer

In the rest of Michigan, the following baiting rules apply:

"Bait" means a substance composed of grains, minerals, salt, fruits, vegetables, hay or other food materials, which may lure, entice or attract deer as an aid in hunting.

Baiting is illegal in Alpena, Alcona, Montmorency, and Oscoda counties. Feeding of any kind is illegal in DMU 487.

In the rest of Michigan, the following rules apply:

  • Baiting may occur only from Oct. 1 - Jan. 1.
  • Bait volume at any hunting site cannot exceed two gallons.
  • Bait dispersal must be over a minimum 10-foot by 10-foot area.
  • Bait must be scattered directly on the ground. It can be scattered by any means, including mechanical spin-cast feeders, provided that the spin-cast feeder does not distribute more than the maximum volume allowed.
  • To minimize exposure of deer to diseases that may be present, the DNR recommends not placing bait or feed repeatedly at the same point on the ground, and only baiting when actively hunting.

In the rest of Michigan, the following rules apply to feeding for recreational viewing:

"Feed" means a substance composed of grain, mineral, salt, fruit, vegetable, hay or other food material, that may attract deer or elk for any reason other than hunting.

  • Feed volume at any residence cannot exceed two gallons.
  • Feed may be no more than 100 yards from a residence on land owned or possessed by that person.
  • Feed must be scattered on the ground. It can be scattered by any means, including mechanical spin-cast feeders, provided that the spin-cast feeder does not distribute more than the maximum volume allowed.
  • Feed must be at least 100 yards from any area accessible to cattle, goats, sheep, new world camelids, bison, swine, horses or captive cervidae.
Food plots, naturally occurring foods, standing agricultural crops or food placed as a result of using normal agricultural practices are not considered to be bait or feed. Food plots may not be planted on public land.
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