NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — One of the most popular past-times in our state brought a room full of people to the Capitol on Friday morning.

House Bill 1151 is not even a full page long but invited more than two hours of testimony. It discusses allowing hunters to use bait during deer season.

Right now, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department has banned baiting in 20 out of the 38 units in the state.

That comes after biologists found positive tests for Chronic Wasting Disease among deer harvested.

The bill would allow hunters to use bait during hunting on private land.

“I stood before this very committee a couple of weeks ago talking about a variety of things. One of those is that there are times where the game and fish department doesn’t win popularity contests dealing with issues,” said Jeb Williams, the North Dakota Game and Fish director,

“There’s still going to be some buying tags. So game and fish is happy because they’re selling tags. But what I look at is, how many of them are actually out in the field? And when that opportunity is taken away, and that interest level drops, it will plunge,” said Velva Resident Randy Schepp.

The energy and natural resources committee didn’t take any action on the bill on Friday.

It’ll now go to a subcommittee for more consideration.