Can You Legally Feed Deer pumpkins in Michigan- or is that baiting?
There’s a meme that has been going around telling people that they should take those rotting and old pumpkins off their porch and to feed them to deer in the area
And in most states, that’s probably an okay thing to do. But if you do it in Michigan, it could land you a big fine from Michigan’s DNR
Can I feed my old pumpkin to the deer in Michigan?
It depends on what part of the state you live in, but typically: no.
Feeding deer, even if you don’t intend to hunt them, is considered baiting. Michigan has a law against baiting deer with
According to the Michigan DNR, the law states:
In areas where baiting is banned, scents placed to entice deer, whether composed of natural or synthetic materials, must be placed so that they are inaccessible for consumption by deer and placed in such a manner to prohibit any physical contact with deer. This does not apply to urine-based products that adhere to the applicable regulations for using urine-based scents. Hunters can still use those urine-based products for mock scrapes, drag ropes, wicks, etc.
However, there are two exceptions to the rule. Now until 2025, people in the UP have had the baiting ban lifted with a few rules in place.
They’ve also made an exception in the lower peninsula for Hunters with disabilities who meet specific requirements may use bait during the Liberty and Independence Hunts only.
So if you’re planning on dropping that pumpkin in the woods for the animals, you may want to think again. However, some of the critters in your back yard might appreciate it so you can always try that option.