Senate bill would allow hunters to set bait for deer

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A bill making its way through the Alabama Legislature would allow hunters to set bait to lure in deer and feral hogs.

Senate Bill 66, currently in the Alabama Senate's Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee, would allow hunters to buy a permit to set bait for deer.

Currently, baiting for deer is illegal in Alabama. The state has an area designation for feeding that allows for piles of corn for deer, as long as they are more than 100 yards away from a hunter and not in his or her line of sight.

The bill, filed by Mobile Republican Sen. Jack Williams, would allow resident hunters to spend $15 for a bait license. It would cost $51 for nonresident hunters.

Under the proposed bill, the commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources also would have authority to designate zones to manage cases of disease, such as chronic wasting disease. Chronic wasting disease hasn't been found yet in Alabama, but cases have been reported in Mississippi and Tennessee.

Hunting with bait would not be allowed in any of those designated zones. The bait ban would also apply to any county containing a portion of a disease management zone.

An effort to pass a bill approving of bait hunting died last year in the Legislature.

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