Michigan DNR Hopes To Ban Melatonin From Being Used As Bear Bait
The Michigan Department of Natural resources is trying to get ahead of a potential bear-baiting problem with hunters using melatonin supplements in the bait.
Baiting For Michigan Black Bear
If you have ever hunted for a Michigan black bear, then you know it is almost impossible to see one in close proximity if you are not hunting off a bait pile.
The reason it's so hard to get close to a black bear while hunting is that the bear's sense of smell is 7 times greater than a bloodhound. Since bears do everything they can to not come in contact with humans unless there is some food nearby they are not coming by you because they already know you are there. The bear just decides if a tasty donut is worth having to deal with a hunter.
What Can't You Use For Bear Bait In Michigan?
In 2017, chocolate was banned for use to bait bears in Michigan. There is a chemical in chocolate called theobromine that is toxic to many animals like dogs, bears, wolves, coyotes, and other species of wildlife.
Other than chocolate, everything else is pretty much fair game to bait bears with. The only other thing you cannot do when baiting for bears is use metal containers, plastic, wood, concrete, glass, fabric, cloth, paper, or other man-made materials left with the bait. The bait has to be on the ground and you can only use dead downed trees, hollow stumps, rocks, soil, and other natural materials for your bait station.
DNR Working To Ban Melatonin From Being Used in Bear Bait
There are some dietary supplements that use melatonin and are used by humans as a safe way to help you sleep. What the DNR is concerned about is hunters using this to give them an advantage in the woods.
It's legal to use gummy bears for bear bait, but there are sleep gummies that have melatonin in them and those would be illegal to use if the DNR gets the law passed.
I'm not sure why a human would use this because it creates more of a danger for bears, especially when hunting in the Upper Peninsula where there are wolves because a disoriented bear would be easy for another predator to attack.
According to WOOD, the DNR will be voting against hunters being allowed to use a stupefying substance in bear bait as to keep the hunt a fair chase. The vote will take place in March.