Gaylord Man Wins Case Against State Baiting Ban

A Northern Michigan judge has made an important ruling that affects the Michigan Baiting Ban. Yesterday an Otsego County judge dismissed the case against a Gaylord man, who the DNRE ticketed when deer ate from his bird feeders. Now that ruling could have an impact on similar cases around the state. The ruling applies only to a particular part of the baiting ban — and that is for recreational feeding of deer. That statute has even changed since this case began, but the defense attorney says the same arguments that won this case are still valid. It all started with Ken Borton's backyard webcam, or the Snowman Cam as it's called. People all over the world look at it online (www.snowmancam.com) to check weather conditions and watch birds feed. Eventually the DNRE learned that deer occasionally stop and eat the bird seed from the ground. They say Borton was illegally feeding deer. But a judge has now thrown out the case, saying the law is too vague. The prosecuting attorney on the case did not return calls we made to him today. He does have the right to appeal the ruling. The DNRE says they are still reviewing the opinion and have no comment at this time. Erika Waddell and photojournalist Justin DePrekel have the story.

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