The ban was an unpopular move among many in the hunting community, as well as others who made their livelihoods in the bait business. A group of farmers and business owners sued the DNR over its decision, but lost in court in October 2008. Thursday's 4-3 decision by the DNR's Natural Resources Commission means baiting will be allowed when deer hunting season rolls around in the fall._
"The DNR's position has been that we don't favor baiting," said Mary Dettloff, the department spokeswoman. "But with the ban now lifted, we request people follow the regulations as they are written." Hunters will be allowed to place as much as two gallons of bait -- covering as much as 10 square feet -- on a single spot between Oct. 1 and Jan. 1. The ban, however, will remain in place in Alcona, Alpena, Iosco, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties. The DNR's decision isn't likely to quell the debate over baiting in the hunting community, which includes about 700,000 registered hunters in Michigan. In 2007, the last full year before the baiting ban was enacted, hunters shot nearly 484,000 deer, according to a DNR report.