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Michigan Becomes Only the Second State to Ban Chocolate as Bear Bait

Travis Smola

Michigan becomes the second state to ban chocolate as bear bait.

Bear hunters in Michigan will have to change the way they bait bears this season after the Natural Resources commission voted on several changes to bear hunting regulations.

The ban on chocolate is notable because Michigan is only the second state to ban its use for bear hunting. reports the other state that bans its use as bait is New Hampshire.

While chocolate is popular as bait in many states and bears do enjoy it, the decision was made because it isn't good for bears. Theobromine, a chemical in chocolate, can poison bears. It's the same chemical that can make dogs and other animals sick if they ingest it.

Baiting will still be legal, but hunters will have to find something else to substitute for chocolate or cocoa products. Luckily, bears are known to eat just about anything.

The DNR is also increasing quotas on bears in certain parts of the state. An additional 155 licenses will be available in some areas of the Lower Peninsula. The Natural Resources commission also increased the number of dogs that can be used in hunting or training for bear.

The limit used to be six but is now eight.

"We are excited for the upcoming bear season," said the DNR's bear and wolf program management specialist Kevin Swanson.

He further said in the press release they have had a lot of input from different departments on the changes to bear regulations this year.

You can read more of the specifics on these regulation changes in the DNR's press release. The earliest bear seasons in Michigan star on September 10. Application periods for the drawing are from May 1 to June 1.


Michigan Becomes Only the Second State to Ban Chocolate as Bear Bait