With all the buzz surrounding deer baiting in Michigan since the CWD incident, I wondered just how many states in our great 50 allowed baiting of deer. This was no easy task to find out! I was amazed at just how hard it was in some of the state hunting regulations to find out if baiting of deer was legal or not. Some states make it next to impossible to know if it is allowed, I had to read carefully on a lot of these guides to understand the law and regulations. Some are vague and some are bold in their explanations. I would tend to think that this issue would be spelled out in great big bold letters so it would cause no confusion. Boy was I wrong!
After a careful search of the guides and a few emails to friends in states that I couldn’t get clarification, I came up with the list of baiting states and those that don’t. Out of our 50 states there are 22 states that allow baiting of deer for hunting purposes in either the whole state or in selected parts of the state. The remaining 28 do not allow it at all. In the 22 states that allow baiting of deer for hunting, 14 of them allow it state wide, the remaining 8 allow it only in limited areas.
Here is the list that I came up with, now if I have mis-spoken or mis-stated the states listed please email me or comment and I will do further research on this issue. I could have mis-understood the rules and regulations.
No Bait Allowed:
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming
Baiting Allowed In Entire State:
Arizona, Hawaii, Kansas, Nevada, New Hampshire, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Washington
Baiting Only In Selected Areas:
Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin
Looking at the results there is 56% of the states that do not allow deer hunting over bait what so ever, and if you combine the limited baiting to that, it only leaves 28% of the states that allow it state wide. Half of the states that allow deer baiting for hunting have either had CWD in their state or in an adjoining state that has CWD found in it. Three of those states, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Utah have had cases of CWD in their states. Of the states that allow partial baiting, only Florida does not have CWD or boarder a state with CWD. This conclusion comes from the CWD cases map on the CWD Alliance website. Baiting and CWD have not been positively connected as one causing or promoting the other. With that being said, scientists do concur that baiting does help spread CWD, or at least the absence of baiting helps to stop the spread of CWD.
I guess what we can draw from this is that only three states with CWD currently still allow baiting on a statewide scale and the states of Michigan and Wisconsin have limited the areas you can bait in. It looks as if the states that are dealing with CWD are either limiting the bait or stopping it all together. I don’t know what the answer is, but I did think this was an interesting look at where baiting is being allowed and where it isn’t as compared to Chronic Wasting Disease in the cervid populations in the U.S. Look at the map and draw your own conclusions, it is now up for debate!