In April, I posted a link on the Field Notes blog reporting that Michigan District Court Judge Patricia Morse ruled the Lower Penninsula’s deer-baiting ban “unconstitutionally vague” in tossing out a case in which one Ken Borton faced misdemeanor charges levied by the DNR because, according to the Lansing State Journal, his backyard bird feeder was attracting deer.
In your comments, several of you suggested that the DNR was overstepping, but MLH offered this:
[The Bortons] have a very popular website where people can view, night and day, all types of wildlife that come to their feeders. Turkey, deer, and bears show up. You could count on seeing deer at the feeder almost every night. Even though they aren’t baiting the deer for hunting, this setup pretty much counters the intent of the DNR to keep deer from eating in a confined space and potentially spreading disease._
And he got himself a -1 for his trouble. But it appears that MLH scooped the local media by about three weeks. Here’s the latest, from The Times Herald:
_Before you feel any sympathy for Ken Borton, consider three things:
He has been feeding deer in an area where deer infected with bovine tuberculosis have been found.
He was warned before he was ticketed.
He baits deer for money….
He’s putting the state’s deer herd in jeopardy to so he can keep his rental cabins full. Check out his Web site. He has taken down the deer photos. But there aren’t any bird photos, either. Instead, what you’ll notice are the photos of bears frequenting the feeders. Borton knows that deer and bears are attracted to the feeders and that’s what he’s using to promote his rentals.
It’s smart business. Borton knows exactly what he’s doing….
That’s why the state Attorney General’s office, on behalf of the DNRE, has appealed Morse’s ruling.
Check out the full story and tell us your reaction. Do these details change your mind about the case?