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Seven Reasons to Stop Baiting Whitetails Now

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March 12, 2009

Seven Reasons to Stop Baiting Whitetails Now

By Scott Bestul


Photo: Charles Alsheimer


I think baiting for whitetails has to stop. Now.

Okay, okay, before you peg me as a purist who thinks all baiters are slobs, hear me out. If you watch a spin feeder or camp near a pile of sugar beets, I’m not going to attack your character or question your allegiance to the flag. But I do think that if you gave up the bait, we’d all be better off.

Baiting divides us. Nationally, 28 states ban the practice in any form, while 22 allow it (eight with significant restrictions). And recent headlines point to deep divisions within individual states. Last spring, legislation passed by the Mississippi House and Senate would have allowed baiting in the Magnolia State for the first time had Gov. Haley Barbour not vetoed the bill. In Michigan, a state long synonymous with baiting, officials shocked the deer hunting community by abruptly banning the practice in the entire Lower Peninsula after a single game-farm doe tested positive for chronic wasting disease. In the Upper Peninsula, however, baiting remains legal.

What we need is to unify—against baiting. Not because it’s unethical (that’s a complicated argument and an ugly fight), but because deer hunters, deer hunting, and deer would all benefit. Here’s why:

1 | We’d see more deer during daylight. It doesn’t take whitetails long to associate bait piles with humans, and when deer know people are around, they wait for dark to feed. Studies from Texas, Michigan, and Mississippi all show that daylight buck visits to bait sites range from rare to virtually nonexistent. Whitetails already restrict their daytime movements. Why make it worse?

2 | Deer would generally be more active. Foraging whitetails must travel to find food. Bait reduces the need for this movement, creating not only a nocturnal buck but a lazy one.

3 | Deer would be healthier. Researchers have proved a link between baiting and bovine tuberculosis in whitetails. The CWD connection is shakier, but find me a biologist who thinks concentrating deer near a pinpoint food source is a good thing. Besides, baited deer in nonagricultural areas can get sick from eating too much grain. The disease is called lactic acidosis, and it can kill a whitetail.

4 | We’d be better managers. Baiting can lead to unnaturally high survival and birth rates, particularly in northern deer. It also concentrates whitetails, which eat more than just what we put out for them. That densely packed herd can wipe out native plant species and retard forest regeneration. We’ve long told the public, “We’re the managers who keep whitetail numbers in tune with their habitat.” Well, are we?

5 | We’d fight less with one another. We’re all aware of the battle lines drawn over the ethics of baiting. But beyond that, once a hunter puts out a pile of corn, his neighbors feel obliged to follow suit. Soon, a seemingly benign activity turns ultracompetitive. In 1984, only 29 percent of Michigan hunters reported using bait. Just nine years later, the figure had risen to 56 percent, and more than one in five hunters told the Department of Natural Resources that baiting to compete with other hunters was “very important” to them. Wisconsin DNR researcher Mark Toso estimates that Badger State gun hunters alone place 4.5 million pounds of corn on the ground each day—enough to feed the state’s entire herd of 1.8 million deer—during the firearms season.

Baiting is especially troubling on public lands, where hunters who place bait often claim ownership for their sites and a considerable territory around them. This practice—known as “homesteading”—ruins the hunting experience for everyone.

6 | We’d improve our public image. Surveys reveal that most of the nonhunting public supports our tradition as long as hunting remains a fair-chase, ethical endeavor. If the ethics of baiting is controversial among hunters, what must the general populace think? And make no mistake; what they think is critical to deer hunting’s future.

7 | We’d tag just as many deer. Baiting proponents argue they’d kill significantly fewer deer without the bait, but only one Texas study supports that. Other research reveals equal or near equal success. Just this past fall, Michigan hunters—despite complaints that the bait ban would slash their harvest—bagged nearly the same number of deer as they did during the previous season.

But suppose, just for the sake of argument, that we’d bag slightly fewer deer. So what? I’ll take that—along with better hunting, healthier deer, and one less wedge to divide us—any day of the week. --Scott Bestul

Comments (163)

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from idduckhntr wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I could care less either way the whitetail in the upper snake go nocternal after acouple days after the season opens anyway,but why bait fish if you cant bait deer.

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

idduckhntr,
fish and deer are different. It is incredibley difficult to catch a fish on just a hook, but it is not nearly as hard to tag a deer without bait.

I think all baiting should be banned. There i said it. If it's hunting to you to set up bait, go somewhere nearby for an easy shot, and wait for 'lazy' bucks to come and grab a bite so you can wait for the perfect shot, then i would like to know what is wrong with you and why you think that way.

Nate

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

As long as food plots are banned right along with bait piles. Otherwise your just saying that one form of baiting and drawing deer to your deer blind is called baiting and the other is called deer managment when they both are performed for the same reason. To draw deer to your stand not your neighbors.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Baiting deer in New York state is illegal, yet many clubs do it anyway. The practice tends to draw deer away from their natural movements to concentrated food piles. This torques off adjoining property owners and the food fight starts. Sometimes generating large sums of money spent at the feed stores.
That said, the north adirondacks are not a good agricultural area and the food piles, if maintained year around, have been the difference between a starved herd and a good survival rate with healthy yearlings and does.
I feel that well maintained food PLOTS are the way to go, planting crops native to the area.
As for nocturnal, deer here become night walkers as soon as sighting in shots start to sound before the season.

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from Douglas wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Baiting deer in New York state is illegal, yet many clubs do it anyway. The practice tends to draw deer away from their natural movements to concentrated food piles. This torques off adjoining property owners and the food fight starts. Sometimes generating large sums of money spent at the feed stores.
That said, the north adirondacks are not a good agricultural area and the food piles, if maintained year around, have been the difference between a starved herd and a good survival rate with healthy yearlings and does.
I feel that well maintained food PLOTS are the way to go, planting crops native to the area.
As for nocturnal, deer here become night walkers as soon as sighting in shots start to sound before the season.

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from idduckhntr wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Hey Nate nothing is wrong with me if people want to bait whatever. Its illegal out here, my point is if you cant throw out a hand full of corn for deer than dont put it on your hook, maybe for the simple fact that fish fish cant digest it. Have I ever sat over a bait pile?no will I?no I dont have to, in 23 years of hunting I've taged 22 deer all spot and stalk and 1 going to where I was goin to hunt. I would like to know whats wrong with you every time I read your post you're allways pissed off and never have anything positive to say about anthing oranybody.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I agree 100% on getting rid of the stuff. I joined a club that baits here in Eastern NC. But no bait was put out until general firearms season. I really didn't care and found it novel at first since I came from VA where no baiting was allowed. But after seeing the deer all archery season and muzzleloader season just shut down soon after bait went out during the daylight convinced me baiting sucks.

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from buckhunter wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Good article Scott. Here is what I think about baiting. Deer are natural browsers and will only stay at a bait pile so long before moving on. Larger deer tend to run the smaller ones off a bait pile so the notion of a crowded pile of bait rarely exist. The large buck that everyone wants to shoot will rarely be seen on a bait pile in the daylight if at all. Mture deer prefer the safety of a common undisturbed source of food where they can get to it and leave without being harrassed.

With that being said I think baiting deer is overrated.

Kids are the only ones who hunt my feeders. It's always a nice controlled still broadside shot from a steady platform.

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

idduckhntr
i wasn't accusing you of it i was just stating some facts.

Nate

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from 2Poppa wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Here in Kentucky they call "baiting" a poor mans food plot!

"We’d see more deer during daylight. It doesn’t take whitetails long to associate bait piles with humans, and when deer know people are around, they wait for dark to feed."

Here in Kentucky that statement is untrue. I have a buddy that has corn out where he has set-up a trail cam, and has deer visiting it daylight,(mostly)and dusk and dawn.Even though he hasn't seen any "big bucks" he sees a lot of does.

"Baiting is especially troubling on public lands, where hunters who place bait often claim ownership for their sites and a considerable territory around them. This practice—known as “homesteading”—ruins the hunting experience for everyone."

I agree with the above statement, but homesteading practices include tree stands too. I wouldn't want another tree stand within 50 yards of mine either.

"In 1984, only 29 percent of Michigan hunters reported using bait. Just nine years later, the figure had risen to 56 percent, and more than one in five hunters told the Department of Natural Resources that baiting to compete with other hunters was “very important” to them."

Perhaps the 27 percent rise was due to hunters realizing that it was now "legal" to bait.If it's legal,they will come. If it's illegal, some will still come to use bait.
I would have liked to see how the question was placed before the hunters.To compete,implies having a sense of rivalry and of striving to do one's best as well as to outdo another:
If I placed corn out, I wouldn't be competeing with other hunters, but for the deers attention!

"What we need is to unify—against baiting. Not because it’s unethical (that’s a complicated argument and an ugly fight), but because deer hunters, deer hunting, and deer would all benefit."

Amen Scot,Amen to that!

I personally am not for it,or against it ... I just love to hunt deer!

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from Mud Dawber wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Basically what you are saying is that only hunters with lots of agricultural land or food plots have the rights to shoot deer?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

well this article gave me more reasons to dislike vbaiting. mabe some one will stop bvaiting

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wallofsam wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I'd be a hypocrite if I said I have never baited, but being from MI(when in rome...???)I hunted over bait untill a couple of years ago. What I personally have found is that there would be alot better quality bucks around if there had'nt been bait around for so long. Alot of 1 1/2yr. old bucks get taken off of bait piles because they are ignorant (in my opinion) until they reach 2 yrs.old. When I did have bait out, the only time I would see a buck over 2 1/2 yrs.old, was in the middle of the night on my trail-cam. It should be banned in every state. And to Walt Smith, "What's the difference between a farm crop and a food plot?" There isn't one! If someone want's to put the time and effort, not to mention the money involved, into a food-plot more power to them. I don't think it's so much about keeping the deer away from a fellow hunter, but about giving yourself a chance at harvesting a whitetail.

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from MLH wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Great article - good to see a summary of the concerns with baiting.

Food plots? I think those need to be viewed somewhat differently. Heck, farms are just big food plots for all the deer care. What about hunting preserves that plant corn and sorghum for cover? Manmade clear cuts where tree tops are left for browse? CRPs? Are forest and land management practices creating food plots? State wildlife agencies plant "crops" on public lands to support wildlife - not just deer. Where do the lines get drawn? Banning food plots begs for definition. A bad one could give anti's and preservationists a foothold.

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from senkoman12 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

i dont like baiting i think its not right if you are a hunter

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I have always disagreed with both baiting and food plots. Food plots and "growing" deer just doesn't sound like hunting to a westerner like me. I don't buy it that feeding deer during winter is necessary because deer have been surviving during winter for a long time before humans were part of the picture. the reason given in the article are are the best arguement i've heard to end baiting.

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from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

wallosfam, The way I see it a farm crop is planted by a farmer who is going to harvest the crop for their cattle or for money. A food plot is planted by a landowner who doesn't harvest the crop, its left in the ground with no intention for it other than to draw game to the other side of the fence. This is called Deer Managment. If you pay sales tax you're NOT a farmer. Understand now?

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from stickbow13 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

to bait or not to bait, young kid for a first time deer, or a seasoned vet trying to fill the freezer????

minerals or no minerals????

for me walking into the woods finding a tree and sitting to see what comes by is half the fun.

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from victorytw228 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Im from Texas we bait. We have game cameras up, our feeders go off at sunrise and hour before dusk. Dont see diffrent deer at night, if we see any. Hogs usually are in our pics at night meaning they run off our deer. So in my case I like feeding, it helps us take the maturest bucks and it helps us take the deer that shouldnt breed... which in turn helps our deer popualtion and health.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Boy I'm torn here, I had a different attitude, but I have to say Walt Smith seemed to have won me over. What truly is the difference between throwing food on the ground or planting food and then not harvesting it? In Missouri we can't bait, but we sure as hell can plant food and hunt over it. Or we can plant food and we can knock it down -not harvest- 10 days before hunting season opens, not 9. Whatever suits our needs. I'm not sure the difference.
So Scott, what is your opinion about these hunting shows on TV hunting over food plots? You know the ones. Jeff Foxworthy and his Techhomonty seed plots, Biologic, etc, etc,. it's all the same. Is it ok for the big boy advertisers and not for us?
I say send this question to the big guys that promote hunting over food plots and I'd love to hear their response.

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from FairChase wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Baiting is wrong. I can understand the competition aspect, when your neighbor has all the deer eating out of a pile and you dont have one so you start baiting. So the best solution would be to ban it nationwide. As elkslayer said deer dont need our help to survive. If we feed em one winter and not the next that can be harmful to the herd as they grow dependent on that food source. But I dont see anything wrong with food plots. To compare baiting (pile of corn) to a reasonably large food plot is ridiculous.

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

also idduckhntr,
The reason i'm always negative is that i choose to post on topics that i have strong opinions about and i almost never feel strong positively about anything. Especially on a topic such as this one and many, it's not easy bein positive. But i get my point across better if people hate me, ya know :)

Nate

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from Edstoresit wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

There is a phenomenal difference between a food plot and baiting/feeding. First, implementation of a food plot program can increase the carrying capacity of a given piece of property. If one plants and maintains a foodplot of at least 30% protein crops, and these crops contain a cold weather tolerant species (i.e. Brassicas) then you are adding a significant increase in the amount of tonnage per acre available as food.
Baiting exists to try and bring a deer to a specific locale. And while food plots can do the same thing, you cannot control where the deer will end up in the plot. A corn feeeder will bring deer to aspecific locale, as in the 10 yd area in which it throws the corn.
While I don't necessarily think that corn feeders are going to increase your chances on a mature buck, they can be an effective way to thin out does. In some areas of the country without corn feeding, one would have a very hard time even seeing deer. Anyone who has hunted in the brush counrty of southern Texas can attest that without cutting cenderos and baiting with corn, you would be lucky to SEE deer let alone shoot them.

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from Mud Dawber wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

In NC our family had leased the same 180 acres for 18 years. The land was made up of predominately white pine forest with very little mast or forage. It was common practice to bait at least one of the two personal stands that we all used. Deer were taken at a 50-50 bait to non-bait ratio with large deer almost never taken over bait. My kids shot their first deer over bait.

Two years ago our leased land was sold to the State and is now used as a state game lands that can be hunted only by drawing. My family was fortunate enough to draw the first firearms permit after two years of no hunting. We looked forward to hunting big deer that had not been hunted in two years. What we saw was NOTHING! Not one deer showed after 3 days of hard hunting! I think that one can conclude that the only thing that brought deer into our property was the bait.

People can claim the snobby side of no bait, but they probably have a great place to go. Most of us have to make a living, send kids to school, and plan for retirement. Baiting just helps us make a crappy location work.

BK

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from estanaway wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I personally enjoy baiting deer, on our property in the northern lower peninsula we have trail cam photo's of some pretty respectable bucks, for the area, coming to feed between 11:00am and 2:00pm everyday on the bait pile, so the claim that deer don't move during daylight when baited is HOGWASH. I also enjoyed the exercise, when at deer camp I would fill a pack basket and walk from stand to stand refreshing the bait piles. Also last year was the only year in 15 years that I didn't shoot a deer, and more especially a buck, why? Because I started hunting after baiting was legalized and know how to get into an area that held deer, but used bait to bring deer in close enough to my stand to take an ethical shot and to distract them while I drew my bow and keep them calm so that I made an clean kill. I also believe that the number of deer taken last year in Michigan is skewed, because there were a great many people who continued to bait even though it was outlawed.

In the end I think that baiting should be allowed in all states and those who chose not to use the option should keep their opinions to themselved!

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from Molson wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

We need more rules and laws to follow?
Let's have the DNR do a study on Public land first,
they can ban baiting there and see how well those hunter do.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from estanaway wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I would also like to add to my comment above, that if we are going to start telling other hunters how they can hunt I suggest that we stop all hunting with firearms, and only allow unsighted traditional bows with stone tips and wrapped feather fletching! This will also portray a better image because we are not able to take shots and kill game at 300+ yds when the animal has no idea a threat exists, also this would be no different than taking a baiting away as a tool! I also think that we should stop allowing the use of ATV's during deer season, since this gives the Anti's the image of lazy fat weekend warriors, with no respect for the land, tearing up the woods.

What we really need is to stop nitpicking other hunters who practice the sport in whatever way they see fit and start fighting the real fight to keep our hunting rights! It is people who try to force their opinions on others that are in the wrong, just like the anti's are doing!

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

estanway,
it all needs to go away. Baiting is just as much of a problem as long range hunting.

Nate

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from Dances with Deer wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Baiting typically works well if you don't overdo it, can get there without spooking bedded deer and hunt it only when the wind is right; even then, once they are spooked by a hunter at or near a bait, you can kiss it goodbye for the most part during daylight hours. It leads to more poaching after hours too. If everyone used no more than an apple or two just to position a deer or get it to stop for a better shot, there would be no problem. It's the piles. The thousands and thousands of piles. It's a black eye for deer hunters. But if banned, I'd bet many will still do it. They do in states where it is banned.

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from estanaway wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

60256,

Baiting isn't the problem, I probably didn't convey the message I wanted to earlier, what I was trying to point out is that everytime we loose a tool to hunt with it is battle won for the anti's and the anti's are using debates like this one to weaken us from the inside, they aren't attacking us directly they are bring up a point of contention between hunters and letting us fight it out until it is outlawed, the same thing they did to the dove season in Michigan. If we continue to strip away different ways of hunting we all might as well lock our guns in a safe, register them with the FBI, and move to Canada. The bottom line is that the anti's are destroying our sport from the inside and if we don't stand up and recognize this now it will forever be lost!

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from CPT BRAD wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Ok OK you guys won me over, I will immediatly sell the Soy bean farm and stop feeding the cows and putting out minerals. Hope you guys like Soy burgers... oh wait I already sold the soy bean farm. Well on second thought I think I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

Have a great day!

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from idahooutdoors wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I suppose every area of the country is different. I love to hunt deer in the National Forest where the challenge is the greatest. But that is why I hunt, for the challenge. Baiting takes away a lot of what I like about the hunt so it is not for me. I also don't like hunting near Agricultural areas for the same reason, it just is not as natural of an environmet. That being said, I hate telling other hunters what they do is wrong, or forcing my beliefs on them. I worry that if we argue to much amongst ourselves we will only be helping all the forces out there that want to stop hunting all together.

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from teufelhunden wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

While we are at it I think we should ban modern firearms because I read a study somewhere.....

plus i do not like them so since I write in F&S I must know what I am talking about....

It would give us a better image.....

Bowhunters are the only true sportsmen....

Blah, blah, blah.....

You should have just said "Why dont we all unite on my side because I do not like the way other people do things"? Your "facts" are at least argumentative and at worst outright lies.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjismokin wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

As like any other blog that has this for a topic, this blog is blown up with feedback!
As I read through them and picked through majority of the "BS" that people post, I have come to the conclusion that no matter where ya go or who ya talk to, their reason or reasons for baiting or not are all relatviely the same.
I, for one, dont really see the harm in it as long as you keep it regulated and have set limits, but I am not going to say that I truely believe it should be allowed.
I have had my mind set that it should be legal and that we already have enough laws and regulations that we sure dont need another hundred, but I have changed my mind. I believe that there has to be a reason for the disease spread. It may not be because of baiting, but if banning baiting is a key to help with stopping that spread, then Im all for it.
We need to keep in mind that this is a national past-time and if we want to keep it we need to do what is right for nature, not us.

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from Alex Williams wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Great insight and i completely agree with you.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Alex Williams you are the only logical man that has posted here today.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TheEasternShore... wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

the problem is what if you take the baiting away to quickly and the deer starve because they don't know how to rely on anything else. it is a fact that some deer rely on food plots and baits.

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from adaboshi wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

MLH made a good point.

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from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Here in Northern Mexico we use to feed the deer with corn, but in my experience, the feeders are not that effective, except to atract racoons and javelinas (they get so adicted to it that you have to literally kick them off). I preffer to spread corn and sometimes apples along the roads to slow down the bucks when they cross them or to keep the does -which I cannot shoot- near for the bucks to come by.

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from hardineric wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I'm a former teacher, and an avid bowhunter in Kentuc ky. I agree, baiting needs to go. many of the young people I taught do not know how to hunt a deer. they are very good at shooting deer over the corn pile and they equate this with all hunting. Many did understand why you couldn't bait turkeys in the spring, why bother with all that calling stuff.
you are also right on the mini-arms races baiting sets off...a friend of mine was talking about some guys on a lease who are bringing in corn by the truckload.

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from hunt_fish_sleep wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I tried to bait here in NC for several years. I never saw a deer over my bait pile during shooting hours. All that ever happened was the deer and coons raided my bait at night and I was left spending all my money on corn to support their addictions. I stopped bothering with bait all together and have killed 8 deer in the past three years.

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from USAF_outdoorsman wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Hunting is called hunting for a reason. If your not in it for the hunt, wouldn't it just be called baiting? Hunting isn't about success every time you go out into the woods, theres more to it than that. If you don't know what I mean, your missing out.

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from huskerguy wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Like the artical. I'm not a fan of baiting. To me, it seems like you lose part of the hunting experience. Whats the point of scouting and having to really work and learn from the deer if you know where they will come to get a fast bite.

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from stickbow13 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I know this is a touchy subject about baiting but when it comes to bait what is good baiting and bad baiting? like people baiting bears for hunting purposes? It's the some as people baiting for big bucks...or im I just not seeing the big picther?? To me each his own I guess... I don't bait but I know people who do, it seem to easy, go sit and wait for a deer to come in and pick the one you want. what's the trill in that???

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from rjbedrock wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

to 60265 (Nate)
AMEN...THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

In my 35 years hunting deer in NC, I have seen no anecdotal evidence to support many of the theories that have been presented here. We bait my friends farm although not with huge cornpiles. I have yet to shoot a deer over the bait. Most of the deer I shoot are during the rut and they don't seem to pay much attention to the bait. I have seen a few small deer come out and nibble on the corn and then leave and go browse in the field. One thing that was said that is true is the coons, squirrels, and birds sure do eat a lot of corn. I am not convinced that a nationwide ban on baiting is a cure-all for all states and all hunting areas. Every hunting area is different and the deer are imprinted to their home range. A good example is the boys from the mountains of NC swear by rubbing peanut butter into the rough bark of a tree to attract deer. You can try that down east till the cows come home and all you will bait are beetles.
I have said this before and I'll say it again; if anyone hunts in or adjacent to a soybean, corn, or peanut field, and for those up north in old apple or fruit orchards and don't think they are hunting over bait are just fooling themselves.
Baiting is highly over rated as someone has previously mentioned. Unless there is solid, localized, empirical data such as that from Michigan that baiting has indeed aided the spread of CWD then my opinion is let the issue rest. I sometimes have to ask myself when these issues arise "what's next"? Do we ban hunting deer with buckshot because buckshot is not permitted in some states?

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from bowhunter352 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Cool, Im glad this blew some steam up some peoples butt. lol, if it was up to me... I would ban ALL firearms and only allow bowhunting[compound or traditional]. I would only allow baiting in the offseason[like mineral licks and such... more like treats, not baits.] Then for the older fellows who can't use a bow, use crossbows... haha, that sounds like a suppppper good way to up our population for deer, even if we only do it for a year or two. lol, just a thought.

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from ricefarm wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

We have red squirrels all over the woods we hunt in, I'm not sure if you put bait out a day early that the deer would even see it. I farm the area around where I hunt and the eating patterns of the deer are very interesting and variable. One year they seem to spend more time foraging where corn was grown (long since harvested) the next year they are more interested in fields that had soybeans in them. I have tried some food plots but my experience is whatever I have planted they aren't interested in. Other hunters in my area see the same thing, what seems to work one year is useless the next, so in the end it often ends up being a lot of effort for nothing. The guys who have the most success are the ones with the spots that have the least human traffic throughout the year.

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from scottprice wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

here in PA baiting is prohibited. that is...unless you live in the southeasdtern part of the state where deer numbers are huge. also, the late bow/flintlock season is an extra 2 weeks longer than the rest of the state.

i think baiting should only be allowed in this circumstance, to control overpopulated areas.

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from steve182 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I agree with the Anti-baiting movement,...or i did. Here in Jersey its legal and huning spots are limited. The woods are very thick, with lots of swamps, laurel and briars. Lots of cover for deer. If u don't bait, you see very few deer. They're just down the road at or near the next guy's baitpile. Everyone's baiting. The deer bed close to the bait. Another reason it is nessecary here is because it's so flat here in south Jersey that it's hard use the terrain to your advantage. I don't usually hunt bait, but sometimes i do

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from YooperJack wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

All in all, I think a baiting ban will be very difficult to enforce. Speaking as a forester, who also drives a lot of miles every year, I'm concerned as to what affect a baiting ban will have on total deer kill in Michigan. We need a substantial harvest for both growing trees and safe driving. My concern is twofold. First, many hunters up here have never hunted without bait. Some will hunt unsuccessfully, others will quit hunting. Second, to hunt without bait requires more land. You have to still hunt, drive deer or maybe use a tree stand to cover more area.
I don't bait. My take on this subject is totally pragmatic. Frankly, as long as there are no disease problems up here, I really don't care. I do care every time I nail one with my car or truck.

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

To all you wonderful people that gave me negatives for saying that baiting is just as much a problem as long range hunting,
Here's the problem.
Baiting is luring a deer to an easy shot, and long range hunting is shooting a deer at unethical range because you can't get close enough to it. See any similarities? I do
They're both wrong and can be compensated. Split the difference.

Nate

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from alpettibone wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I understand the baiting vs. Foodplot arguement must you must also realize that the food plots are there for species other than deer. Quail, pheasant, and other animals use food plots for a source of food and protection. Just a thought...

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from estanaway wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

60256,

Your point is taken, and my analogy isn't that 300+ yds. is too long to shoot deer, any competent marksmen with a high powered rifle in the 270 win. class or larger should be able to easily hit the 8 inch vital area of a deer at that distance, and is no less moral, ethical or wrong than baiting, so should we illegalize shots at big game animals over 100 yds or hunting with firearms because it is too easy??? Should we stop all hunting with firearms because it promotes a bad image, since a hunter doesn't have to watch the wind, or worry too much about noise at those distances? Should we ban the use of telescopic sights and binoculars since we can see the game animals further than they can see us and sense danger? When we start saying one thing is right and another thing is wrong we are traveling down a slippery slope that WILL destroy hunting by dividing us!

Also I would like to add, that I am of the generation that grew up being able to hunt out of tree stands and use bait. I am also a working father, and don't have tons of time to scout the area's I hunt because they are a distance from where I live and personally I would rather spend my "scouting" time raising my daughter, doing homework, taking her to and from practice, etc. I am still debating on hunting this year or again until I retire, Michigan does away with the early firearms season or we are allowed to bait again, because I just plain don't have the time or money to travel back and forth to my hunting area so I can "scout" without neglecting my duties as a dad.

Again remember baiting is a management tool, and allows busy people, like me, to get out and enjoy hunting even if it is a controversial way of hunting. I had planned on someday after my family is raised, to go back to hunting with a longbow, napping my own arrow heads, and hunting in the traditional way, but for now I have a choice to make, one that I hoped never needed to be made!

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from em17 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

In georgia you can bait but you cant do it during the season.I bait and I have a deer camera over it and i see some big deer on there every once in a while.I think you should be able to bait as long as its gone when season comes in.

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

The problem with baiting off season and no baiting during the season is enforcement and sabotage. There are difficulties associated with enforcement and during the hunting season it is a means to get back at one's neighbor by throwing some corn out on his field (I've seen that done). If one is caught hunting near the bait the terminator Wildlife Officer could care less how it got there. You will get a ticket for hunting near bait period! The fact that you didn't know it was there is not a defense. You should have checked the field or area first (is what you're told).
I have to admit as a matter of fairness, that I understand where many hunters are coming from. Technology to some degree has taken the hunt out of hunting. Simple is usually better. The flip side of that however is that deer have increased dramatically in the last 25 to 30 years to the point where there is now deer hunting in areas where 15 years ago there were no deer. As we continue to manage deer successfully there will be more deer and to keep the deer populations healthy with a dwindling hunter base we may have to employ a little bit of technology just to keep up with the deer. A good example of this is our very large coastal Whitetail population here in NC and on one barrier island community there is a deer problem. I will see 6 to 8 deer hit by cars on the side of the road during the summer on my way to work. I won't even ride my motorcycle up there in the evening hours during the rut! There are only a few limited areas in that particular location to hunt them; shotgun, bow, and/or muzzleloader the legal weapons. The deer almost have to be baited away from all the exotic browse planted in some of the fancy private (and some gated) subdivisions. The moral of the story is there are no easy solutions and a nationwide ban on baiting may be great in some areas, but counter productive in others.

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from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I think that you raise some pretty good points. And most of your reasonings make sense and yes would benefit hunters in a multitude of ways. The problem really is just getting people to hop on board. It is gunna take a majority of hunters to get baiting outlawed. This is gunna be hard to do due to the fact that some hunters swear by baiting while others despise it. I think that this provides some helpfull arguements wen discussing the affects of baiting. Thanks!

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from Sakindamouf wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

They'll eat it at night idf it is there. Move it beofore night fall extra work but it will be worth it!

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from buckslayer33 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

listen here chief what is the difference between me putting in a food plot and baiting. what about hunting a corn field or and field with crops in it. do you think it is unethical to hunt a bedding area? what else do you think is unethical?

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from Chris Carpenter wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

any idiot can throw some corn on the ground and hunt over it but it takes skill and patience to hunt without it.

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

estanaway,
i've never been a big fan of managing deer using food plots and such, because i believe the best managament is letting the deer be and then disposing of the weak, because maybe i'm just different that way.

Nate

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Did you know none deer approved corn mostly contain toxins and poisons

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from MPN wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Nate,
You need to learn when to stop talking or typing, And instead of worrying about your rank on a website go out and actually hunt and fish.

It's nice to see ya again yooperjack!

To the point, I do mind baiting but not hunting over food plots. To me food plots are just small versions of farmer fields.

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from Short Tract hunter wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Nate,
Stop trying to act like you know the answer to everything cause you really don't.

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

All,
the whole point of blogging is to give your opinion on a subject and discuss with other people, is it not? I give my opinion, and just because you people don't like it, you've gotta trash it to the ground! So what if i don't like baiting, it's my opinion!
It's like, say you have an opinion about a certain gun that you don't like and you say that you don't like it and people say you're stupid or need to shoot that gun some just because you don't like what you think, well that's what's happening here. I say i don't like baiting and you people say i need to get in the field more. Well fine maybe i'll just go out to the land i have that is only touched by hunters. No crops, bait, attractent or any of that crap. Maybe then i'll discover why you people agree with it so much.

Like i said, i'll give my opinion because that is the purpose of blogging.
P.S. MPN: I'm 'racking up points'. I haven't even filled out a gear tester survey and even if i did they would notice that i'm a kid and wouldn't give it to me anyway.

Nate

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

O and also,
Short Tract Hunter,
tell me where i'm wrong then if i'm such a stupid guy that has no idea what im doin.

Nate

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from MPN wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Nate,
I have no problem with your opinion, just the way you address people. Show some respect to your elders! Some of us have been hunting longer then you've been alive and you seem to forget that we grew up with different values and morals.

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from ikillcoyotes223 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I personally think that baiting defeats the entire purpose of hunting. I just figure to do it the old fashion way.

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from Geoff2u wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

For the most part, I agree with this article. I live in West Central Ohio and we have a lot of farm land. The deer have enough to eat in the fields and don't come to bait all that well except for minerals or salt blocks, and maybe apples or sugar beets in some areas. But all it does it make for some nice night-time photos on trail cams- but no more deer sighted in the day time during leagl shooting hours. I cna have more luck setting up near between a bedding area and food source at first light or near the end of shooting time.

I've had more luck with mock scrapes and rubs than baits or food attractants such as c'mere deer, etc.

As long as we can use scents, lures, treestands, blinds and decoys- I don't think we need to bait.

As for the suggestion of not using any (or live) bait for fishing, that's just plain idiotic and ridiculous. You might as well do away with fishing with kids. Besides, it's not even the same thing.

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from BromleyTriple7 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

We're all deer hunters. The key word in that phrase is "HUNTER". I live in Michigans Lower Peninsula, even though this season wasn't as successful as last years i wouldn't say baiting (or lack of) had anything to do with it. Like i said before we're hunters. We should hunt the deer, not just wait for 'em to walk up to a pile of corn.

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from Dakota.Woman wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I farmed / ranched for most of my adult life, and farm crops tastiness resulted in a huge increase in deer in our area, to the point where we laughed & called them "field fleas" because we could look out the kitchen window to the corn or alfalfa fields & count 150 or more at a time. We didn't mind; we hunted them & enjoyed them & so did 19 of our friends. But we didn't bait because there is no sport in hunting over bait. So far as I'm concerned, the crux of the argument has to do with "management of the game" & "sportsmanship".

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from crosbychief wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I am all for a ban on baiting deer for the purpose of sport hunting. This comes from 31 years of deer hunting experience, and, more important, 29 years as a conservation officer. When I started as a CO in the western UP in 1978, the only people who used bait were archery hunters who used an apple or two to make a deer stop and hesitate. Firearm hunters believed (mistakenly) that it was unlawful to use bait. As baiting became more prevalent as more and more folks learned that it ws NOT illegal, the first problem I noted was the alienation of deer hunters within our ranks. Prior to baiting, when my feet got cold at 9:00 on opening day and I decided to walk around and warm up, I tried to avoid other hunters but it was still easy to bump into another hunter who was watching a trail or a scrape. I felt badly, and waved....he would be sort of glad to see me, moving around and making deer move a bit, and he would wave back...and we were still friends and colleagues in the deer hunting fraternity.

When a hunter like me stumbles into a baited station with a hunter perched in a tree, he is instantly angry, protective of his bait and territoriality takes over, and there is definitely no sense of comradeship. Time and time again conservation officers have been called upon to referee a dispute between angry, armed hunters over a bait pile on land open to public hunting...a waste of time for the COS and another small blight on the wonderful pastime of deer hunting.

In my career, the happiest deer hunters I knew, who seemed to enjoy the greatest fulfillment, were the folks, many from lower Michigan, who drove to the UP, set up a tent camp, year after year, and hunted hard on foot. Deer populations come and go in the UP, especially north of M-28 (250 inch annual snowfalls are common, and deer didn't evolve there...they moved north out of central Wisconsin when the forests were cleared by loggers in the late 19th century. Moose, woodland caribou and elk evolved up there, long-legged cratures that can handle snow and routinely browse on spruce and fir)...but those fellows in those camps usually went 40-50% on bucks, and they knew how to hunt.

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from SteelForce20 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

To be honest I think that baiting a deer is not right. I mean if you can't call em in or stalk em that usually means your hunting low populations. Granted that food plot are legal and I don't mind that but to drop a bucket of apples in the hardwoods or a pale of corn in a wheat field isn't right. I feel its not a sportsman's way of hunting and its the easy way out. Why does anyone go hunting then. I go for the thrill and also for the relaxation of the hunt. If this is what its coming to I may as well sit on my back deck and drop a front loader full of apples in the yard while i read a book or some gay thing.

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from willkillsdeer wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

(i don't but)i think hunting over food plots is ok becuse your giveing deer food all year round if you plant alfalfa or something like that i tried baiting once didn't work havn't tried it since

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from Deepwoods wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I gave up deer hunting after 51 years and 28 bucks. I always hunted in the same general areas, about eight or ten of them, before the baiting hit Marquette and North Dickenson Counties of the UP in Michigan. After trying to hunt these areas for an additional three years and being pushed away by baiters that now claim these areas as their own (you can't even still hunt through them without being yelled at, or worse). One flat tire and one broken windshield later I gave it up and decided to stick with squirrels. I'm getting to old to fight with someone you know has a "loaded gun and no witnesses" (their yelled words, not mine).

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from Erik wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Baiting must end as quickly as possible for all the reasons cited. I think it is unethical and is not fair chase and if hunters can't see or understand this, the sport is in deep, deep trouble. If baiting continues to be allowed, at least here in Wisconsin, it should be confined to only private property, not public. I hunt the National Forest and have accidentally run into a bait area (i.e., no prior knowledge that someone was using corn), and was angrily confronted by the "hunter" watching the corn, telling me to beat it because this was "his area." It was definitely not a pleasant experience.

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from LYNN GELLES wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

If your main concern is just getting outdoors, enjoying nature and pitting your stalking and outdoor skills against an animal in the wild utilizing it's survival skills....great. That is what "HUNTING" is all about. If you are good and/or lucky enough, you get to harvest that animal. If not, that's OK too. On the other hand, if your main concern is the actual "HARVESTING" of an animal for food....great. Sit over bait and wait for the animal to come to you if that is your choice. You still have to use outdoor skills to be successful. For those who are physically challenged, a stand over bait may be the only way this person can enjoy the sport. Either way, it's the individual's choice. Who are we to tell someone else how to enjoy their favorite sport. To each his own !!

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from steve182 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I wonder what artificial means those who denounce it use while hunting? Store-bought or artificial Scents? Manufactured Calls or Decoys? Chemical scent-elimination sprays? So stop with the Holier-than-thou crap. I am not a Baiter, but in certain areas and situations, I have hunted bait. It was(is) not "shooting fish in a barrel" and it is no different than hunting Food Plots planted specifically to attract Game. In most States or areas it is not neccesary, and i enjoy non-baited hunting much more, and do so 95 % of the time. Let he who lives in the glass house cast the first stone.

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from arniebuss wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Enough already! Come on guys/ladies. Be real hunters like in the western part of the states. We don't bait deer, elk or moose. The hunting areas are vast in finding your game, but we do harvest animals without baiting. It is a lot harder I agree, but the reason we hunt is not only to harvest a animal, but to marvel at the great outdoors.

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from Jeffrey D wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Researchers have proved a link between baiting and bovine tuberculosis in whitetails.But what they dont mention is the link between cattle that had cwd and the dispossal of there carcasas. In the 1980s in alpena michigan a group of cows (200) were put down becouse of the disease and barried in a shallow grave.Years latter unlimited tags were given to shoot all the does in that county and the surrounding countys. Only a few deer a year in michigan were even found with the disease.also deer dont move much during the day until the rut everyone knows that. To band baitng would also stop my 80 year old grandma from watching the wildlife in her yard that feed at all times of the day.

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from Raymond wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I agree with all the points Scott brought up and agree with him that "baiting" is not the right thing to do. However, from where I stand there is one big item he did not address. As a dairy/beef farmer, I have sold off most of my cattle which allows me to sell my now excess field corn to the "hunters" as "deer corn" -- and for, I might add, a whole lot more profit than it brought by running it through the herd. If my state, or the Feds, were to outlaw baiting it would nearly bankrupt me (except for my bonuses) -- should this happen is it likely the current administration will offer me a bailout? I doubt it, therefore I'll change my mind and view "baiting" as the right thing to do.

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from estanaway wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

arniebuss,

The west and mid-west are two totally different animals so to speak. In most of the west you have area's that you can see long distances, and spot game then make a stalk. You also are much more arid than we are here so watering holes can be hunted like bait here. You see in Michigan, we have tons of trees, swamps and water, so spot and stalk hunting isn't as practical if even possible, in fact the only way I have been able to see deer while on the move and hunt is to drive deer which is impractical for bow hunters, and dangerous since we have a large hunting population. It is also annoying to have a hunter disturb you while on stand.

I would also like to ask the question about how all the anti's on here recommend introducing a child to the sport. I know that baiting had a big hand in getting me hooked. I could dress warmly and saw all sorts of animals from deer and turkeys, to squirrels and rabbits and all kinds of song birds and birds of pray chasing the small game. I was also able to shoot a few deer off bait which made me successful early on and had me hooked until last season where I didn't see but 10 deer in 3 months and only 1 buck. I know for a fact that if I hadn't seen deer regularly as a young hunter I would have not learned to love hunting or been hunting for the last 20 years! Children don't have the patience to sit still without seeing animals and more especially the game they are hunting and as we make the hunting age younger and younger and more and more challenging the fewer hunters we are going to recruit into the sport.

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from chuckles wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I have to side with the people who want to ban baiting. When I see a TV show where a guy eats a breakfast someone prepared for him, is driven to the stand, sits in a comfortable chair till the feeder goes off and them shoots a deer, well that doesn't seem much like hunting to me. More like paying to kill. I know it is tough to find time to scout, set stands, get permission but that is hunting. My nephew has sat through three freezing cold seasons without seeing a deer but he still looks forward to next year. Am I worried he will quit? You bet I am. So I go out of my way to tell him how much I respect his perseverance. I am positive that when he does kill a deer it will be that much more valuable for having toughed it out! Our culture has become focussed on the results and forgotten how to enjoy the process. I am eating three tags this year, archery, rifle and muzzleloader but it was the best year of hunting I have ever enjoyed because I was able to spend almost 25 days in the field. Freezing cold, sunburned, exhausted after slogging through frozen plowed fields and loving every minute. Did I get frustrated? Sure, but I hunt for the joy of living and connecting with my quarry and the natural world. I love to eat deer but not so much that I feel I need to lure them to a pinpoint location in front of my stand with bait. It never even entered my head. So take a good look at your priorities. Take you kids with you to scout and ask permission on new ground. Sit with them and analyze the photos on Google Earth. Help them research and learn about their quarry. Get them out in the woods and help them (and yourself) reconnect with the natural systems they are a part of. My guess is you will end up harvesting deer and enjoying the successes more and regretting the lack of success a lot less. Hunt hard, hunt safely and hunt often and you will find yourself less dependent on bait for your success. Throw in the danger of spreading disease by artificially concentrating deer and the case is closed as far as I am concerned.

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from BigAl wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I would have to agree with chuckles. I have just started hunting and im 22. Baiting takes away from what hunting is all about. The whole sport of it is to have a good time with friends and family. So dont take the sport out by causing the deer to come to you each time. It just doesnt seem fair.

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from stacey ronquillo wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

hunting today is changing quickly. weather it is baiting, using shooting sticks, range finders, etc has changed the sport of hunting to the kill of hunting. baiting is not to be considered sport, as far as fair chase should be considered. too many distractions these days from the sport. too many aids to make it just a kill. i agree ban all baiting.

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from jon628 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I agree just do not believe in baiting my idea of hunting was to enjoy the outdoors and using skill and knowledge to pursue the game you were after,and to take it in a fair and responsible way.as the gentleman said these shows make it seem like hunting is going to a farm and shooting game.

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from jon628 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I agree just do not believe in baiting my idea of hunting was to enjoy the outdoors and using skill and knowledge to pursue the game you were after,and to take it in a fair and responsible way.as the gentleman said these shows make it seem like hunting is going to a farm and shooting game.

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from bear hunter wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

HOW MUCH SENSE DOES IT TAKE TO REALIZE BAITING AND FOOD PLOTS ARE THE SAME THING!!! IF WE CAN HAVE PLOTS WE SHOULD HAVE BAITING!!!!!!!!!!!

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from hjohn429 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

The best and most important reason to stop baiting deer is the spread of CWD. Baiting deer also may make them dependant on the bait for food. But there is a huge difference between baiting and food plots. I say people should deffinately be allowed to use food plots.

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from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Bear Hunter you are absolutly correct, 100%. Someday other sportsman who aren't just out to protect their way of baiting will admit you're correct also. I applaude you and the others who understand there is NO difference.

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from qzzs35 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Scott,

Have you ever hunted in the Northern Lower Michigan For the Deer Firearm/Rifle Season? I was born and raised in Traverse City, MI. I am an avid deer hunter and fisherman. It's a BIG BANG on Public Land 25-60+ hunters/guns per square mile! The Private land in the Norhwest Lower Pennisula is all busted up into small 10,20, and 40-acres parcels, the only Sanctuary from the crazy public land shooting gallery is to sit in the center of your private property and draw the deer to you.

In Big woods Country,in my opinion that is baiting. I have also been on several successful whitetail hunts to Canada,all the Guides/outfitters I have been with use bait. Just so you don't think I am a habitual "Master Baiter" that what we call deer baiters in Michigan. In farm country of Southern Michigan where I bow hunt the rut I never use bait the small wood lots and farm fields create great travel coridoors with funnel areas to ambush the bucks.

Your article points: Ban Baiting:

1. See more Deer during daylight? Not likely, Michigan with it's 750,000 hunters hitting the woods supresses deer movement bait or no bait.

2.Deer More active:Same point as above.

3.Deer would be healthier: Not likely in the snowbelt areas on NW Mich, we only have 10-15 deer per square mile or less.Deepsnowkeepdeer numbers in check especially after a winter like this one.

4. Better Managers: Questionable, especially for Bow hunters in Big Woods areas, bait allows for a more ethical standing still broadside shot. Also allows hunter at close range to observe the deer to determine age, sex,etc...much easier.

5. Fight less with one another: I have rifle hunted N.Mich for 24-years,I have never heard of such a thing and never had a problem at our deer camp.

6.Improve Public image :Those opposed to hunting like Peta and HUS,are against hunting bait or not. What is the difference between a bait pile,a food plot, or hunting over a corner of a farmfield where one has left a couple rows of corn up. Any way one cuts it, the hunter is putting food out to lure deer into a specific spot for harvest.

7. Tag as many deer: Depends,Since 1980 in Mi when the DNR made baiting legal,folks with small private parcels built box blinds where they can sit comfortable all-day overlooking their bait. This offers a unique opportunity to see all kinds of wildlife coming into the "Deer Gold"Kernal corn :birds, turkeys, squirrels,and maybe even harvest a nice deer. with bait one can almost guaranteed daily deer sighting from the blind. Now without bait in big woods territory with only 10-40 acres to hunt,no seeing any deer for several days is now common place.

My two cents.

Mike "Deerslayer" Bobay
Troy, Mi.

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from rabbittdog wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Having grown up in east Texas and hunting with my Dad from the time I was 4 and on stands by myself by 10 and this era of hunting strecthing out for well over 50 years I have been blessed to see the best of both worlds, feeders , food plots and 'El Natural'. When I was a kid a deer stand usely consisted of a 2x4 in the crotch of a tree with a few boards nailed on the tree for a ladder. A delux stand was a 2x6 or 2x8 in the fork of said tree .You did not nail this up in any tree but did a lot research 'now refered to as scouting" and found the trails used at known crossings along creeks or fence lines. If you were lucky enought to find a scrape it was like a gold mine and you hunted that area and let no one else know about it. If you were very lucky you may see 2 or 3 deer all season. As I have grown older things have changed. Not nearly the number of farms exist now yet the deer population has grown greatly. As the farmers died out or moved to town where they could make a living the taxes still had to be paid on the land. More and more land was leased to hunters to cover these cost and that was when the change started. Not only did the deer benefit but the economy in many towns across Texas. Hunters were not only feeding corn but protien and minerals as well. The deer were not the only ones to benefit but birds and small game numbers also increased. I like going to my farm in East Texas and seein 50 to 60 different deer in one day. I must admit I like Getting into a stand with walls and a roof and being able to stay all day without geting sick. Someone comented that a lot of young deer are harvested and sad to say that is true. However , we have been trying new laws here,such as antler restrictions and taking more does in overpopulated counties and it seems to be working and these laws are expanding into 52 more counties this year. I guess if you have read this far you have figured out that I am for supplemental feeding and yes I have lived long enough to see the benfits of it. I am not a biologist but I have been told the reason they do not like this in the North is because it kills a bacteria in a deers intestines and he can not brake down the brouse that is a large part of their winter feed and they actualy starve with a full stomach of brouse. Whatever your preference remember you dont have to kill everything you see , and take a kid hunting and teach him or her that. Happy Hunting.............

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from dmaynard wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Although I have harvested a few deer on management land I think that baiting takes the thrill out of the hunt. When setting bait or putting your stand at a feeder you know exactly where the deer will be. If you dont use bait you have to find the deer which is the hunt.

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

well for one you got to use bait for fish you cant use gill nets,,and two looks to me like if that many tons of corn are used in one state every day to feed deer ,,it should be worth more then three dollors a bushell,,i dont agree with it tho ,why does eveyr thing have to be high dollor any more,,,my self i think it should be like it was back in the 60`s when i was growing up and hunting

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

most these people all they got on there minds is a set of horns....i put in for extra doe tags evry year because i like to bow hunt, i know people here that wouldnt dream of putting in for a doe tag thats why there is so many left over to me them people dont really love bowhunting,they just love to have a set of horns bigger then the next guy,,and i shoot big deer to but you know what when i fill my buck tag i do go doe hnting till the season closes,ive passed up does alot of times ,just so i can go hunting again

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from whiteriverguide1 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

To each their own! I definetly see more deer over my feeders. My ground here in Arkansas is to rocky to put a quality food plot in, so I bait. I feel it gives me more control to manage the herd. I have time to see ALL the deer in my area. I can get an idea of what needs to be harvested. To me their is no difference in a food plot or a feeder. I rarely see a mature buck in the daylight at my feeders. They only come in the daytime when I put out doe estrous in a scent bomb. Are scents bait? To me they are. They help bring the deer to the stand! Period. Just do whatever you want and not diss the other methods! Just follow the rules and regs in your state.

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from rightwing wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

My Opinion is Your an IDIOT. First don't forget most hunters don't get to hunt on hundred acre private highfenced ranches. Some if not most are just happy to find a small piece of state land to hunt on away from the main trails and prime locations so it may take a little bait to bring them in. Second of all your worried about anti-hunters not liking us and if we stop baiting maybe we can get them to like us. Are you serious? Good thing our Founding Fathers did'nt think like you we would still be British. You are nothing but a coward afraid to fight for what is right. By the way your little anti-hunting friends don't like the pointy tips on your arrow either maybe you should hunt with out them to so you can make more friends.

Brian Sturgess
West Branch
Michigan

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Brian,
very well said.

Nate

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from Coach88 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I have several feeders out with trail cams. So far I haven't seen any decent bucks use the feeders. I also raise alfalfa for hay which deer use quite heavily with some decent bucks using the field. I use the feeders to thin the does and get minerals to the deer during times of stress. My family has over 2000 acres and this last year I just concentrated on taking does off the alfalfa. I think there are places and times to use feeders, I don't use the feeder concentrate the deer, there were up to 63 animals using the alfalfa field before any feeders were set up. I have a lot more trouble with road hunters and people who sneak in than I do with feeders. I also don't put as much feed as a lot of people on my feeders.

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from tunadave wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Living in MI, I can honestly say that I hunted over bait just once. Being a meat hunter because 1.I like the meat, 2. I don't have a good recipe for antlers, 3. I have 2 whole shelves in my barn loaded with antlers that don't have a real purpose in their future. That said, I pulled down on a nice doe with my muzzleloader and had a rare misfire (cap went, load didn't). The doe took off like a bat out of heck. I recapped and 5 minutes later she's back with her nose in the corn again. Successful ignition this time, but had their not been bait I would never have seen her again. It was like shooting fish in a barrel, and I wasn't proud of it. Could I call it hunting? Honestly, no. It was sort of funny this last year hearing all the former baiters come to grips with having to relearn their lost skills and discovering how to actually HUNT deer again. As I said, I compromised myself one time. Before I made that one mistake, and ever since, when baiting is discussed I give out the same line of reasoning: an antihunter is an antihunter and you probably won't change their mind. But, how do you explain to a non-hunter who might ask that it's acceptable to wait over a bait pile for a chip shot at a deer and call yourself an ethical hunter? The argument won't fly, folks. If we ever should lose our privilege to hunt because public opinion is colored by the baiting issue, I don't want part of the blame to rest with me. You just can't legitimize the argument for using bait to a non-hunter.

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from hockeyguyno9 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Why is this becoming such a big deal? You either bait or you don't! For the "non-baiters" who get pissed at the "baiters", why are you so mad? Is this affecting your hunting? You talk about how these "baiters" aren't true hunters and they lure the deer in, so be it. You (Non-baiters) talk about true hunting and taking your game ethically. If the guy next to you is baiting and your not, and you stop seeing deer on your property, you need to adapt, you need to take your hunting skills that you know and apply them to be a better a hunter. Just because your not seeing deer doesn't mean that they left, it means you stopped trying to hunt. You (non-baiters) should try taking this as a challenge to yourself. Figure out what you need to do to start seeing deer once again. This may require scouting again, re-learning the deer patterns in your area, and trying to relocate to a new stand site. I am a "non-baiter", i could care less if people bait, the deer will still be there regardless. i have found that the bigger, mature deer frequent my property more because of all the baiting. Usually baited areas mean that the area is hunted often and has high pressure. We need to put this issue to rest, we as hunters and sportsmen/women have more bigger important things to think about, such as, our right to bear arms, fighting off anti-hunting orgs. (i.e. PETA, etc.), and protecting our traditions for our next generations.

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

let me bring up a little fact .. around here all the land owners usally claim the deer as there deer...BUT..when it comes time because a field or some thing got ruined or ate,,then it becomes every body elses deer,,and the game and fish haul corn in to these places to cover what the deer ate,,now,, as far as a feeder there is a difference in that and a a 100 yard square field,,or a mile square field,, the deer are coming to ten square feet,,,that covers whos deer it is and the difference in a food plot and a feeder,......and all these people that dont like the anits should of thought of that before they voted for there number one suporter.OBAMA...dont any buddy ever remebr what happens every time a democrat runs for office untill they found out it didnt work,,was start running guns down,

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

and all them high fences thats why ya never here to much about scores in them kind of places,,cant do that with pope and young,i think thats why that other class was started so they can have there own records for there high fences

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from bmg2470 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

To bait or not to bait, that is the question. I am a hunter from northern La. I was in a hunting club that was owned by a timber company. A majority of the areas i hunted included pine tree thickets, pine cutovers, and pine tree crossings.. Baiting definitely increased my odds of seeing deer. Although I never put down a large buck during those times. Since then i have changed hunting areas that consists of oak and pine mix. Along our access roads we plant all types of forage to encourage deer to stand around long enough for me to raise my rifle (just for a view). Is this considered baiting? Are hunting bean/crop fields considered bating? Is baiting using anything that is not naturally occurring in nature? Placing salt blocks, mineral blocks, or any other type of deer attractant? How about using dogs to run deer into the sights of a hunter? That is another debate that I wouldn't possibly get in too. Because everyone is entitled to their opinion and I don't have near enough time in a day to get started. In my opinion baiting should be left up to the person on the other end of the weapon. I personally wouldn't care if baiting were outlawed or limited in La. Being able to put down a quality buck using only God's creations is a once in a lifetime event that everyone should consider an accomplishment.

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from teufelhunden wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Lots opinions, but very few facts. One of my favorites; "hunting over a food plot or grain field is different!" How so genius? I can shoot across either just as easily as I can shoot to a feeder.

Spouting your uninformed opinions about the way other people do things is why we will not have a sport in 10-15 years.

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from MPN wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

New York didn't ban baiting because people think its a lazy way of hunting they banned it becasue the food could be harmful for the deer, FOOD PLOTS AREN'T HARMFUL, so why are people against them, If you don't like food plots then don't use them but don't tell others they're wrong and they're not hunting correctly cause you don't like their method. People seem to think food plots should be banned because it's a lazy way to hunt, we are forgetting that baiting was banned to protect the health of the deer, food plots don't harm them so why ban them?

MPN

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from MPN wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

One more thing, I'm damn near 70 years old, after I'm done still hunting or I can't find the strength to still hunt that day I hunt my food plots, so you want to get rid of food plots which would keep me from hunting and other elderly or physically challenged hunters from enjoying this wonderful sport? Maybe you should stop thinking only fat lazy hunters use food plots.

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from Short Tract hunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

MPN,
I can see your point, If you have the food plots why not use them. But to me hunting is more enjoyable while hunting on the ground and walking. But some people like a guy I work with who is confined to a wheelchair need food plots because they can't walk around the woods.

But I do hope you are against baiting though.

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from Crow wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

This whole discussion reminds me of Jim Zumbo's "Black Rifle Moment". Want to do something good for hunting? Don't divide it's ranks!

Not allowed to bait, or don't like it - then don't do it. If it's legal, and you like the results - go for it.

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from moletree wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

HAHA!NICE WAY TO GET SOME EXPOSURE FOR YOUR MAGAZINE.I REALLY THINK YOU COULD CARE LESS ABOUT WETHER PEOPLE BAIT OR NOT BUT FOR GOODNESS SAKE CANT WE JUST ALL GET ALONG. IF YOU BAIT GREAT IF U DON'T LIKE TO BAIT FINE JUST LET THE OTHER GUY NEXT TO YOU DO WHAT HE LIKES AND YOU DO WHAT YOU LIKE AND EVERYBODY WILL BE HAPPY. THIS IS ANOTHER TYPICAL EXAMPLE OF ADULTS ACTING LIKE CHILDREN.GROW UP AND REALIZE PEOPLE DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY, DOESN'T MEAN THERE WRONG DOESN'T MEAN THERE RIGHT. LET EACH PERSON HUNT THE WAY HE WANTS AS LONG AS ITS LEGAL. IF WE START TRYING TO NIT PICK OVER WHO CAN BAIT OR WHO CANT AND WHAT WAY IS MORAL OR WHICH WAY IS BAITING OR MERELY ASSISTING THE HABITAT,TO THE ACTIVISTS GOES THE VICTORY.

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from lundhunting22 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Im only 13 so i might not know much but i think that baiting for dear is like cheating. It takes the challenges and the skill out of hunting. i think baiting should be Illegal during hunting season but allowed in the off season. Well thats what I think,
Lundhunting22

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from SharpStik wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Baiting divides us? I don't think so... not real hunters.

You want fair chase, then get out there naked with the deer.

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from moletree wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

WELL I DON'T KNOW ABOUT GETTING NAKED WITH DEER, YOU DO WHATEVER TURNS YOU ON BUT THE ISSUE IS NOT WETHER BAITING IS FAIR CHASE OR NOT ITS WETHER YOU OR ANYONE ELSE HAS THE RIGHT TO TELL ANOTHER HOW TO HUNT. A CORN FIELD OR CORN PILE. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. IF YOU WANT TO HUNT NAKED THATS YOUR CHOICE ,HOWEVER, NOT A WISE ONE IN MY OPINION BUT HEY IM NOT TELLING YOU HOW TO HUNT OR WHAT APPAREL TO WEAR. HUNT THE WAY THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! JUST DON'ASSUME YOUR WAY IS THE ONLY. ENJOY DIVERSITY IT'LL MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON.

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from Bill Hnatuk wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

To: Field & Stream & Bloggers 3/23/09
Subject: Comments on F&S Bullet Points article about baiting deer.
The photo of a large pile of corn cobs to bait deer is totally wrong and dangerous for the deer. The problem is that (1) all deer would be eating from the same pile and sharing their diseases; (2) one bait pile allows only one deer at a time to feed; (3) large bucks will learn to come to the pile earlier thus making does and small bucks wait and hope for some leftovers; (4) lesser large bucks will be chased away by dominate bucks, thus relegating the does to leftovers; (5) deer will travel earlier to the easy food more during the day light, making them more exposed to sighting by people who are encouraged to poach. With a source of easy food, bucks will show up earlier like 2-4PM, to beat the does. This is good for hunters and trail cameras, but not for the deer.
Recommendation: The bait should have the cobs spread out over a large area, like 1/8 to 1/4 of an acre or at least 3 feet apart. Each cob will have a better chance to dry up and killing most diseases before the next deer would feed at the same unfinished cob. This should be easy to do by throwing the cobs by hand. Apples should be spread the same way.

My Experience: I bait near my home in the suburbs of Philadelphia for my trail camera and have many great photos of big bucks. In the process, I have learned a lot about deer habits. My township does not allow hunting even with archery. Every year I see 10, 12 and 14 pointers in September and some of the big ones are not seen in November. Poaching by archery and/or gun is the problem, hear gun shots occasionally, day or night in a heavily populated area.
Because of the heavy deer damage in the area, I am working with the township to allow archery by a selected group of hunters that are controlled and required to remove more does than bucks. We would require the registering of each kill at the police department. The township is interested, but the approval process is slow and may take a years.
Bill H.

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from JBS wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I've hunted private land about a mile in from farm fields for many years. The people that hunt the farms do very well. Most of shooting goes on right at dusk. The deer bed right at the edge of the corn fields, they do not travel very much. Tried hunting without baiting, but when you only have 40 arces to hunt, still hunting is out. And deer just do not come around when they have farm land. I hunt near a spin feeder. Bucks do not pose over feed to be shot. But you hunt the trails leading in like any other food source. Any by the way deer naturally more at night and hate the smell of Hunters. And that picture of the Buck over the corn cobs. Bait piles like that are not allowed in Upper Michigan or Wisconsin. If it legal, to each his own and SHUTUP!

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from goodmandon wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

In New York State, baiting is not allowed. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset so we lose the first half hour of daylight and the last half hour of daylight.In New York State, baiting is not allowed. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset, so we lose the first half hour of daylight and the last half hour of daylight. In my thirty years of archery hunting, I can't remember ever seeing a mature buck just going out to eat during the normal hunting hours.

Making scrapes, chasing does, and fighting, of course, but not eating. Any time I have seen mature bucks on the move just to eat is usually in the last 10 minutes before it gets pitch black.

How could baiting make it any worse than that?

Whether or not you are for or against anything, a more scientific article, with multiple test results and research data from neutral and unbiased sources are needed to truly persuade anyone sitting on the fence.

For example, I don't know who Mark Toso is, but he's a government flunkie, so right away his numbers are probably debatable at the least....................but more likely way off the mark.

And even if his numbers are even remotely correct, does that same thing apply in all states?

You used the Michigan bag number from last fall and compared that to the previous year, but there are many unanswered questions about that. Was the overall deer herd up or down? What was the weather like? Were there any changes in doe permits? Did they change opening day from say a Monday to a Saturday like they did recently in NYS to increase the number of hunters? Are there any other states with similar results available?

The funniest thing about your article was the stated desire to avoid conflict, but writing this type of article is certain to stir up more conflict.

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from goodmandon wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

In New York State, baiting is not allowed. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset so we lose the first half hour of daylight and the last half hour of daylight.In New York State, baiting is not allowed. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset, so we lose the first half hour of daylight and the last half hour of daylight. In my thirty years of archery hunting, I can't remember ever seeing a mature buck just going out to eat during the normal hunting hours.

Making scrapes, chasing does, and fighting, of course, but not eating. Any time I have seen mature bucks on the move just to eat is usually in the last 10 minutes before it gets pitch black.

How could baiting make it any worse than that?

Whether or not you are for or against anything, a more scientific article, with multiple test results and research data from neutral and unbiased sources are needed to truly persuade anyone sitting on the fence.

For example, I don't know who Mark Toso is, but he's a government flunkie, so right away his numbers are probably debatable at the least....................but more likely way off the mark.

And even if his numbers are even remotely correct, does that same thing apply in all states?

You used the Michigan bag number from last fall and compared that to the previous year, but there are many unanswered questions about that. Was the overall deer herd up or down? What was the weather like? Were there any changes in doe permits? Did they change opening day from say a Monday to a Saturday like they did recently in NYS to increase the number of hunters? Are there any other states with similar results available?

The funniest thing about your article was the stated desire to avoid conflict, but writing this type of article is certain to stir up more conflict.

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from goodmandon wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

In New York State, baiting is not allowed. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset so we lose the first half hour of daylight and the last half hour of daylight.In New York State, baiting is not allowed. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset, so we lose the first half hour of daylight and the last half hour of daylight. In my thirty years of archery hunting, I can't remember ever seeing a mature buck just going out to eat during the normal hunting hours.

Making scrapes, chasing does, and fighting, of course, but not eating. Any time I have seen mature bucks on the move just to eat is usually in the last 10 minutes before it gets pitch black.

How could baiting make it any worse than that?

Whether or not you are for or against anything, a more scientific article, with multiple test results and research data from neutral and unbiased sources are needed to truly persuade anyone sitting on the fence.

For example, I don't know who Mark Toso is, but he's a government flunkie, so right away his numbers are probably debatable at the least....................but more likely way off the mark.

And even if his numbers are even remotely correct, does that same thing apply in all states?

You used the Michigan bag number from last fall and compared that to the previous year, but there are many unanswered questions about that. Was the overall deer herd up or down? What was the weather like? Were there any changes in doe permits? Did they change opening day from say a Monday to a Saturday like they did recently in NYS to increase the number of hunters? Are there any other states with similar results available?

The funniest thing about your article was the stated desire to avoid conflict, but writing this type of article is certain to stir up more conflict.

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from solin73 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

THANK YOU FIELD AND STREAM!! i am a 17 year old hunter from wisconsin and this article really hit home. baiting is ruining hunting for me...i acually thought about giving it up becuase of the heavy baiting going on in my area. its not fair, baiting is terrible for deer and hunting. i havent seen a deer in 3 seasons because i refuse to bait. im not lazy, i would rather put my time in and scout and find deer in their natural habitat than be walk 100 yards into the woods and drop some corn. it really really makes me mad. what has our hunting community come too.......do we even know how to acually "hunt" anymore. you are not hunting deer when you need to use food to bring them to you.... my grandpa killed many big deer without ever dropping a piece of corn in his life. why cant we go back to old ways. it would be so much better for us and the herd. there is so much baiting in my area that i cant find deer that are not using bait piles. STOP RUINING HUNTING!!!!

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from solin73 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

THANK YOU FIELD AND STREAM!! i am a 17 year old hunter from wisconsin and this article really hit home. baiting is ruining hunting for me...i acually thought about giving it up becuase of the heavy baiting going on in my area. its not fair, baiting is terrible for deer and hunting. i havent seen a deer in 3 seasons because i refuse to bait. im not lazy, i would rather put my time in and scout and find deer in their natural habitat than be walk 100 yards into the woods and drop some corn. it really really makes me mad. what has our hunting community come too.......do we even know how to acually "hunt" anymore. you are not hunting deer when you need to use food to bring them to you.... my grandpa killed many big deer without ever dropping a piece of corn in his life. why cant we go back to old ways. it would be so much better for us and the herd. there is so much baiting in my area that i cant find deer that are not using bait piles. STOP RUINING HUNTING!!!!

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from bill4432 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

i agree with bestul 100 percent. baiting is like the arms race during the cold war years. you figure the guy across the way is doing it, so you want to do it at least as well as he does to stay competitive, and you want to do more and better than he does because you want to win. and so does he. the cycle is self-fueling.

we'd be better hunters and they'd be better deer if baiting were stopped.

a food plot is baiting in the same way that planting an apple tree and waiting for it to mature, bear fruit, and for that fruit to ripen is like stopping at a 7-11 for a hot apple pie: not at all. bh

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from bill4432 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

i agree with bestul 100 percent. baiting is like the arms race during the cold war years. you figure the guy across the way is doing it, so you want to do it at least as well as he does to stay competitive, and you want to do more and better than he does because you want to win. and so does he. the cycle is self-fueling.

we'd be better hunters and they'd be better deer if baiting were stopped.

a food plot is baiting in the same way that planting an apple tree and waiting for it to mature, bear fruit, and for that fruit to ripen is like stopping at a 7-11 for a hot apple pie: not at all. bh

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from jruetz wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

The comment “In Wisconsin, hunters can put out more than 200 gallons of bait per season.” just isn’t accurate.

Wisconsin hunters are only allowed 2 gallons of bait per day and not within 100 yards of another hunter during the seasons in which they hunt. Plus 26 counties prohibit the placing of bait for hunting purposes.

Your figure would only be accurate if you added all the seasons of bow, gun and muzzleloader together.

I am proud to be a Wisconsin hunter and do not wish for my state to be portrayed in such a negative way.

Here’s a link for your research next time.

http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/wildlife/regs/Deer08regs35-43.pdf

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from westtexashunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

What i cant understand is why we can bait and call every other animal but when we throw corn out for a deer all of the sudden its being lazy. Have you ever thought that maybe we use the right tool for the job? I mean when participate in other sports dont you find a technique that works for you or do you just go out and hope to get lucky. Now for the comment soon to come saying "if you learn to track you wouldnt have that problem" yea well no i know how to track and stalk but you know what its just not my cup of tea and to say that because i dont like it some how cheapens the great sport of hunting well thats like saying if you dont drive chevy your not a real truck driver. As far as texas goes we have a season on deer because of over population now tell me this if on 1500 acres i harvest 3, 8 point or better bucks and no does who is really gain'n from it? ill tell ya who the momma and baby deer who come to eat and grow and be healthy without having to worry about being shot. YOU DONT STOP BAITING YOU RESTRICT THE BAG LIMIT AND GAME TYPE IN THE AREA that way you help the population. and for the hunters who say baiting is wrong its not real hunting well i guess we will just have agree to disagree because i hunt to feed my family not to go sit somewhere and hope a nice legal buck just happens to walk by .

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

hey check the the books and see how honest jim zumbo was ,and why he was aressted and lost his show,then bring him back up

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

iam lucky i aint in a wheel chair..after going hunting one morning and being hit by a fifteeen year old farm girl,,,i wouldnt mind a food plot either but that aint like baiting deer down to a ten square foot spot,in so.dak. baitng here is considered baiting when you pour some thing out on the ground and redoing it all the time,, a standing field isnt considered baiting unless you combine it and run the grain back on to the ground, or pour grain or the other deer foods you buy on the ground or salt

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

one more thing about baiting, all the shows i have watched from texas the deer come to the roads where the corn is throwed out in full daylight ,like magnets,on evry show you watch, guarented big ones

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from boomer1 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

bait is wrong!!!!!!!!!!

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from boomer1 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

baiting is wrong!!!!!!!!!!

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from boomer1 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

baiting is wrong!!!!!!!!!!

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from ironman wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

For the most part what I wanted say has been said. However it will not hurt to say it again. If you HAVE to go out and kill a dear that is EATING, YOU ARE NOT MUCH of A HUNTER. In fact, you are A SORRY PEARSON ALL AROUND!!!

wk langston

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from north-mich-deer... wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I think it can be debated till the cows come home. But for all purposes the only difference between a bait pile and a food plot is cost. NO natural corn or turnip fields grow in any of the woods I hunt in. Granted I dont like to see a semi load of sugar beets set out in the middle of a field either, but if I can afford to have a tractor and bulldozer in on my property or lease that makes me a better hunter and steward of the land, please. Should baiting be banned to improve our image, I have a hard time with that when we have so called "Game Ranches" poping up in this country. There is nothing worse than seeing a add for a "Thrill Hunt" on 180 acres of fenced in property. My only concern is that as we the hunters debate what is right and wrong for the time period we are in that we are loosing the real focus of what we need to protect. The rights of us to hunt, fish and keep our guns. You know there isnt much debating in the groups that are against us.

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from bowhunter352 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Obviously we're not getting anywhere with this, Its a great subject to discuss because we all can hear out with an open mind on everyones thoughts. Truthfully, I've hunted on bait. I killed 8 deer this year [2008-09] and two of them were over feeders. I get it, I'm a bad man. NOW, after reading this article and everyones opinuions. I've decided NOT to use ANY baits next year. I know I can kill deer with it, so I'm going to try and challenge myself. Also, I'm getting into the whole 'traditional' style of bowhuting. Now back to the problem at hand. Lets face it, and just straight out deal with it people. I mean even if we did outlaw 'all' baiting, you think everyone will obey the law? negative... Also, what are the farmers and ranchers suppose to do about their crops. hey! I say more power to you bud. You've got the land, use it! I can't beleive how much hunting has develped by society into such a technical 'job'. Because really people, it is... When we watch on tv 3 gentlemen and a cameraman huddled together in a boxblind deciding on which ten point to shoot because the other nine points are too 'young'? I think thats great! We need those type of hunters to work outside the societys norms of hunting. They are the ones who are bettering are deer herds... sure, theyr fenced in... who cares...? Now for the middle to lower class of people like me, Who has no land, no money [at least to dump into well-made food plots and such] We must do what we have to do to have a 'fun' hunting career.[That is what its about people, fun...] We can not afford the higher class type of 'baiting' like foodplots. Lets face it, its baiting regardless if its intentional or not. I'm not going to rag on you or call you bad things because your a well rounded person with a great job. But for the hunters who hunts their parents,friends,neighbors,etc. peoples land. The 'weekend warriors' if you will, we are VERY limited on what we can do. Baiting, IS OUR FOODPLOTS. We do it, because how are we going to compete with the big guys? Regardless though, we shouldn't be fighting about this. Its a great topic to discuss and hear each other out, but not when you bring the law into it... lets just keep it to a personal option. Hey some states allow it, some don't. It doesn't divide us... How many people travel to hunt anyways? exactly, you find the people from FL, GA areas moving to KY and TN for a better hunting experience, no division there. If 'john smith' wants to hunt his land with bait... who cares? If he decides he doesn't want to because he read this article [ which is my case here] Then great! If not... people, fact is, deer are deer, they are [WILD] animals... theres a reason why those guys sitting on bait piles are only seeing deer the first few days after opening, and declining numbers afterwards... We should just hunt how and what makes us happy. If you like to do it, Let the power be with you, if not, saddle up, start scouting for next year, and stop blaming the people who beleive in it. I don't acuse the small town hunters for throwing a few fifty pound bags of corn out, nor do I blame the big hotshots who have acres upon acres of bio-logic and just want to nick name it 'deer managment' Either way you look at it... its baitng. Just get out and hunt.

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

that coment about who cares if there fenced,,,,pope and young cares,thats why a fenced in deer will never be in there record books unless some one lied about where they got it

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from bowhunter352 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Ok?...? So if theyr never going to be allowed in pope and young then whats the fuss you know? Like let the higher class guys with the money do their deer hunting/growing. Your not mentioning or fighting about anything really. I think its fair... They hunt deer to me... that are really grown to be honest. But I don't think their bad hunters or people. As much as I dislike it, its still important to have those type of people, So I appreciate what they do. Its fair to me, let them hunt their big deer in the fences as long as they don't get scored. [which truthfully I could care less if they did or didn't, but its for the people who are upset about it and say its not fair] So It makes everyone happy. Let them hunt the fences, as long as their still public land for me to go hunt and its not all taken up by hunting fences, heyyy I'm a happy man. I love to hunt!

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from TaraVolk wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Scott Bestul,
I think that in order to judge whether or not baiting is so "wrong" you need to go and experience the life of whitetail deer in other states. I am 17 and I live in North Dakota. My family has been baiting deer for bow hunting for years. Not only that, but we feed them every winter in the surrounding area. In North Dakota, we experience winters of - 30 or less. So, our "bait piles", as you call them, are usually the difference between a severely diminished deer population, and a good hunting season.
Not only do we feed the deer, but our local farmers and grain elevators pour their extra grain out on the ground quite often. There are deer out in the daytime like you wouldn't believe. Most deer become nocturnal at the sound of the first hunting season shot. So, I believe your theory is flawed. And, about the bovine tuberculosis, don't you think deer grouping together ANYWHERE will cause a rapid spread of a disease?

Either way, before you start throwing around your theories, climb into someone else's shoes (or hooves) and walk around in them.

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from Jason Sturm wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I live in mid Michigan, and yes baiting is now illegal. However the selling of bait is not, and if the bait is being sold there are hunters that are going to use it. I have a bait shop just down the road and every time I went by during hunting season, there was a pickup or trailer being loaded down with scoops of beats. Untill selling is illegal, the baiting will never stop, which also means your statistics about the same amount of deer being takin in Michigan this year with no bait, is also not true, since most hunters are still using bait.

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from muskiemaster wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

In wisconsin people are allowed to bait deer only in the upper half of the state with the CWD stuff down south but I noticed after we stopped baiting the deer and put food plots and mineral blocks in the deer came out alot more in the day and weren't so nocturnal.

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from njones wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

here in indiana we cant use bait either. we use common knowledge and hunt over crop fields, bedding areas and travel routes. its not that hard, really. it actually forces you to think about nature. oh, and we couldnt use rifles til last season. and for those that do, they must be a pistol caliber. personally in my family, we dont use em anyway other than my "legally" classified as a rifle Omega Z5. my dad and sister use shotguns.

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from Dean Oh wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I would leave it up to the State Dept's of Wildlife. I personally think it takes some of the sport out of it. But I can condone it since my home state of KS has too many deer and fewer hunters all the time and don't need to drive those that bait from hunting.

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from blackbearhunter wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Obviously, the author has a good hunting spot and doesn't need to attract deer to a small area. I put out two scoops of corn and 18 apples twice a week. I turned a terrible barren piece of land into a respectable successful hunting spot. I don't have enough area for a food plot, so a small baiting spot is my only option. Just for the record, I have deer there all day long! Your 7 points are not really true. You have just twisted your facts to make your personal point.

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from archeryforlife198 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

i dont understand why hunters need to bait deer in order to harvest deer? im a young archery hunter living in minnesota and i have harvested plenty of deer WITHOUT baiting. I will be 18 this spring and started hunting at 12. in my 5 seasons of hunting i have succesfully harvested 24 deer one of which was a pope and young 130" buck...all of which were hunted 100% fair chase. if your area that you hunt has a small amount of deer then hunt them harder...dont be lazy and bait them...in minnesota its illegal to bait as well as iowa and hunters in both states harvest an incredible amount of deer. i think that baiting is unnecessary and unethical and it shouldnt be needed to harvest a deer.

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from score-your-hunting wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I'm glad to see this talked about. A HUNTER does not need to feed or bait deer, he is after all, a hunter.

"FEEDING TAKES THE NATURAL OUT OF NATURE, THE WILD OUT OF WILDLIFE, AND THE HUNT OUT OF HUNTING", Buck@score-your-hunting.com

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from BuckTheSystem wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

What a bunch of snobs . . . a "real" hunter . . . give me a break and quit looking down your nose. I don't bait, but I'm not going to say you can't. If it is a trophy to the person shooting it, then it is a trophy no matter how they took it. Now if SCI wanted to differentiate animals taken over bait in the records books, I would be completely supportive. But the tactics I use in my little spot in Minnesota are my business and someone from Michigan, Wisconsin, or whereever has no business telling me how I should hunt.

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from SLY FOX wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I can't stand baiting. I'm from wisconsin and ever since baiting became legalized I've been seeing less and less deer each year. All the deer do is go find a safe spot within a short distance from the bait and wait until dark to feed. What's worse is when the season closes, usually whoever has been putting out the bait stops and the deer are lost on where to feed. Overall, baiting needs to stop not only for us hunters but also for the deer.

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from Buzzbaiter wrote 5 years 1 week ago

If hunting came with a guarantee it would be called shopping.

If you get the same level of satisfaction from buying a 50% off item that you didn't really need from the clearance aisle at the Walmart as you do selecting and killing a deer with the largest set of antlers (too often refered to as horns even by people that know better) among the numerous bucks gathered around with their heads bowed rooting in the gravel for pellets scattered by the automatic feeder from a permanently located, elevated plastic box while sitting in a leather highback office chair, then you just might be a Baiter.

If you rationalize the practice of dumping a pile of bait food within the range of your gun or compound bow in a convienient location with easy access and attempt to unfairly compare it to carefully scouting, planning and optimizing your location based on game trails, bedding areas and natural or unintended feeding areas (crop fields), time of day, and other aquired skills or still hunting or stalking in a fair chase manner, then you just might be a Baiter.

Anger should not be shown towards individuals that are compelled to use bait food. It is truly unfortunate that conditions and circumstances put them in this position. The individual needs to determine the choices they make according to their conscience when it comes to baiting, whether it is legal or not. It would be very tempting to gather a bucket of acorns and pile them up somewhere to increase the odds of deer coming in to eat them. Temptations to take avantage of a situation will continue to present themselves and it is up to us to resist or submit. With all of the technology that is available and increasing every year with precision made guns, improved ammo, compound bows, camoflage scent free clothing, blinds, trail cameras, range finders, scents, decoys and atv's do we really need to tip the scales with bait food?

Ethics are about behaviors and practices that go above and beyond what is legal or not, even when no one else is watching and even if you don't get caught.

Fair Chase - The Greater Satisfaction

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from PA Monster Bucks wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I strongly believe that baiting should be legal. With that being said, i think it should have its exceptions and restrictions. First off, I don't see how hunting over a bait pile or a trail leading to it is any sporting than waiting at the edge of a corn or alfalfa field. Just because you poured the 20 pounds of corn out of a bucket doesn't make it different then growing 50 acres of it in a field. I believe that anybody that says hunters that use bait aren't hunters is wrong. Most of the year, deer think trough their stomachs the rut when all they think about is does, is pretty much the only exception. If a hunter sits in a random location and expects to see deer consistently, 90% of the time, that hunter will spend most of his hours staring at an empty woods. The only way to sucessfully hunt is near food. When you scout for the game trails, where do you think they lead? When you find bedding areas, what are they usually near? Food, natural or unnatural, is the key to finding deer in large "predictable" numbers. When animals hunt they find the most common food source that thier prey visits and waits for them. Why should it be any different for people? I bet almost any hunter that says that baiting is wrong and unnecessary hunts where there is already a natural food source or crops.
Anyway, when you wrote in your artical that we would see more deer during daylight and that they would be more active, i think that only applies to certain areas. I hunt in southeastern Pennsylvania and ever since i started spreading corn throught the back half of my property and placing mineral blocks, i have had deer on my property everyday (depending on weather conditions)at approximatley 4 p.m. Even during the late archery season in January, that provides a half hour to forty five minutes of good daylight to hunt in. Not to say that this applies everywhere, but it definitly works where i live. Also when you wrote that we would tag just as many deer without bait, i think that depends on where you hunt. If Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kansas would outlaw baiting, i don't think there would be a signifigant difference in the harvest. But that is because most of the land in these states is cropland. If baiting in Texas, where there is very little cropland, would be outlawed, then i think the harvests would greatly diminish. (Just for the record, i disagree with most of the hunting practices that Texans use. I don't think using a destroyed vehicle as a blind is ethical.) Since South Texas is mostly scrub brush, there aren't many concentrated food sources that hunters could use to learn the deer's habits. If the hunters couldn't bait, finding deer would be difficult.
I think that baiting should be used for areas that don't have a reliable food source.

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from Hardtime01 wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I hunt in South Carolina which does allow baiting. This issue has caused a division among dog hunters and "still hunters" Anyone with a corn pile thinks they are "still hunting" If they had to go to the woods and set up on a trail, etc, there would not be so many people that hunt deer. I find it takes away from the joy of hunting. Pleanty of people just drive to the back of their property and dump out the corn, and sit over it whenever they want, and call this "hunting". My .02...Mark

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from flippinNShootn wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I have read alot of your comments and some are really good. Some of you sound like bitchy women. It is your right to have an opinion but keep it as that. We do not need to be like other groups that try to push there opinions on others. Nobody has any PROOF that there opinion is correct. I hunt on small parcels and can't afford a large lease where you have plenty of property to scout and find the best spot out of 2000 acres. I bait because I don't have the time and if you want to try to tell me I'm not a true hunter that's fine. I thought that the hunting group of people would be a step above this crap. I guess this is why every year I fish more and hunt less.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I have read this entire blog. People whom I feel are very knowledgeable are on both sides of the fence.

But many are right about one thing, how much "hard evidence" could there be?

Even hunters who don't bait could walk through areas that someone has baited, and while taking applause for their prowess, not see a food pile on the other side of a tree.

I personally think baiting is a lazy, cheap method. Regardless, it brings to mind some fat dude, just sitting on a lawn chair, sipping a beer, watching the corn.

Haven't we made things easy enough on ourselves? I won't buy a rifle without iron sights. I use them, and last time out I took off my scope. My nephew has the *darned* Hubble mounted on his Weatherby. I notice fewer rifles even bother with them anymore. You can see the deer from two counties over, you're nice and warm in your polypropylene, and yet you still want to make sure the deer come to the exact spot you have deemed most convenient to you? I'm sorry, but that means you have to shut up about "getting back to the wilderness.", and "experiencing nature.". It's no more than slaughtering. You might as well just go to the store and buy meat for all the "experience of the hunt" you get from baiting. Good *gosh*, I don't advocate going back to wearing loincloths and throwing rocks at game, but I'll quit before I'm hunched over a rifle saying; "Nice deer, take the corn. Just a bit further...".

What do excuses like; "I don't have a lot of land.", or "I don't have a lot of time." have to do with correct hunting, anyhow? I live in a neighborhood. It's called GO SOMEWHERE. Time? I'm currently a contractor. That means every day I don't work, I don't get paid. But SOMEHOW I find time for the field every so often.

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from capt. Greg wrote 5 years 4 days ago

I agree with the author...Scott listed good, practical reasons to end baiting, but the most important one is improving relations with the non-hunting public. I've hunted deer for 40 years and find "executing" deer over bait to be unsportsmanlike. I feel that the more non-hunters learn about baiting, the more negatively it will reflect on all of us. And the truth is there are many more non-hunting voters out there than hunters. I hunt in California where baiting is illegal, but I have no illusions that the practice will be ended in those states where it's currently legal. What really bothers me are these people who shoot over bait who actually believe they are hunting. The words "hunting" and "bait" should not be uttered in the same breath when discussing deer hunting.

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from crm3006 wrote 5 years 4 days ago

IMHO the author of this blog should stay in Michigan where he sounds like he knows what he is talking about, and stay out of Texas, where he obviously is just reading articles
written by the uninformed. We who hunt for meat on a limited budget, will take advantage
of a corn trail or a food plot any day. You who shoot horns can do as you like, but do not get on a moral high horse with me about either baiting or shooting does.
First, if someone does not shoot off a certain amount of does, herd management will go down and disease will set in and nature will take its course. This will set back your hunting by several seasons.
Second, the author blithely states that we would tag just as many deer, improve our public image, if we did not tag as many deer, so what , etc, etc. That is fine for an
obvious horn hunter that probably does not care about the meat. I shoot to eat, and don't shoot anything I don't intend to eat.
Third, when there is a bumper acorn crop in the State of Texas, corn baiting is not a sure fire set up anyway. We have had years when deer simply preferred acorns to corn, no matter what. Once again, sir, just stay in Michigan, you sound as if you belong there.

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from Jc123 wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

I believe in a healthy deer population, fewer car accidents, and killing trophy bucks. I have to totally disagree with the banning of corn. Corn provides many essential nutrients for the deer and no one in our area has heard of the diseases which you mention. Our deer herd is at highs to the point where you must dodge a deer every time you drive down the road. I say bait em and slay em...But that's just me... If disease does occur o well, its just a limiting factor.

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from blake425 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Food plots and baiting are the same thing. If we get rid of one we have to get rid of the other.

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from blake425 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

great article by the way.

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from rdennis wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Everrrry thing in your article is wrong. 1. Deer don't wait till night to feed unless you have already over hunted or traffic is too great for them to feed. Baiting does not cause deer to go nocturnal! 2. Deer finish a baited area in minutes, they usually eat many of the awake hours like people and all other animals, so your facts are off on the deer hanging around a baiting pile, besides they like assortment too. 3. Deer wiping out forest...answered by number two. 4. CWD and tuberculosis has killed less deer than rainfall, so how are you going to change rain. EHD kills almost 20-30% deer, so how are you going to kill the midge that spread the disease. 5. Overkilling deer in specific areas without enough foodplots is causing the hunters to fight over killing the native deer. Sounds like your hunters need to put more into the wild than they take out for a while. Feed more not less and use something besides corn!!! 6. As long as you call it baiting instead of supplementing, you are your own worse enemy. True hunters supplement and harvest, you must bait and kill. All in the terminology. I supplement an average of 5 tons of feed a month and harvest a couple of deer a year-do the calculations anyway you want but the deer are the benefactors. 7. Your the wedge of division, your clear lack of knowledge on the deer wildlife and the hunting industry as a whole reflects your poor judgement also.

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from Archery 101 wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

I believe that deer baiting is perfectely fine. I put apples, mineral, and corn in an area in my woods and every time I go out there I see around 6 or 7 good looking deer.

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from Schimel750 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

WOW this one gained plenty of popularity. For one, we don't need to "up" our deer population. There are no population problems, atleast here in TN. Not being allowed to bait deer, like earlier stated, is like fishing with no bait. Why not make everyone stop using dogs when wing hunting, if you can't flock them up yourself, or better yet walk you're lazy a** over to get it. I'll agree to the no baiting, once duck hunters have to walk out into the water EVERYTIME they harvest a water bird. They are simply tricks of the trade. Corn, molasses, soy...still nutrious. Same as mineral/vitamen mix, salt deposits. I feed and bait my deer. i don't kill one everytime I go out. I've got decent sized 8's and 10's running around that could care less about my food. I enjoy seeing the photos on my trail cams, I also enjoy knowing that if i do gain photos of the bucks eating up my mineral/vitman suppliments, then i'm the one helping grow bigger bucks, kinda like raising childeren lol. There is no shortage of whitetail, and if you think there is, FEED THEM, more food more deer simple as that. Not to mention, as long as people keep buying my products, i'm all for it. I make quality food suppliments for whitetail, that have proven time and time again to help milk production and antler growth, which helps fawn survival, which equals deer for my nephews to hunt, and one day my childeren!

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from GreatWhiteBuffalo wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Well, you have to understand the reasons for why people bait. See, I have to bait whitetails because there are so many people on my small hunting lease that disturbing people is easy and safety becomes a concern. I bait hogs because they are a problem. I don't care about a healthy hog population. I just want them dead. See, during January, when the woods are empty, I stalk rabbits. When its April, and the woods are still empty, I call turkey.
When I turn 18 and get to go to Colorado to kill elk, there will be enough room for me to call and run around and whatnot. Hell, I even jump and shoot in the forest where all the field hunters had scared the birds off to.
I'm kind of neutral on this standpoint. We hunters need to stick together in this day and age, no matter what, because our passion is in big trouble. Gobbling among ourselves can hurt us badly. To each his own.

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from gwhayduke wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My first reaction to you story would be one of rage, but wait....let me think about it and what you wrote. Lets look at all you rumbered points one at a time and then I'll flame you.
1. We’d see more deer during daylight. It doesn’t take whitetails long to associate bait piles with humans, and when deer know people are around, they wait for dark to feed. Studies from Texas, Michigan, and Mississippi all show that daylight buck visits to bait sites range from rare to virtually nonexistent. Whitetails already restrict their daytime movements. Why make it worse?
There are so many variables to this silly comment as to take book to respond to it properly, but I’ll keep it brief. First off, your assuming that you see lots of deer during the daylight. What do own, 500 acres where the deer are unmolested and prance gingerly around playing games. Or, as in my case, as in many peoples cases, I own a few acres (or hunt public land) and have significant neighbor competition . With or without baiting (baiting ban has been in effect for 2 years in Michigan now) deer sightings are limited and as soon as the arrows start flying, worse yet, the bullets start flying, they go into stealth mode and then nocturnal. We adjust by hunting as early and late as possible. BTW, you don’t have to hunt OVER a bait pile, you can hunt the fringe or approaches to the area and intercept your buck there. Also, who said they are after a buck? Is this your goal? A big spike? Something more, well I’ll take meat for the table any time. Give me a fat tasty doe anytime over a buck. Once you’ve got some 10 pointers hanging in the garage, what do you need another one for? Again, BTW, I’ve killed so many bucks coming to a bait pile, your just wrong. “studies”….oh brother, what studies are you footnoting? Let me guess DNR bogus reports. I’ll just stop here.

2. Deer would generally be more active. Foraging whitetails must travel to find food. Bait reduces the need for this movement, creating not only a nocturnal buck but a lazy one.
Deer move when they want and where they want. They are grazing animals. They eat, move, rest, regurgitate and move some more. They move from field to field and bait pile to bait pile. People, the bait PILES we are talking about are only 2 gallons in size!. Have you ever put out a bait pile in a 10 degree Michigan late December day with a foot of snow and watched the deer literally RUN to it. After wacking a deer over it, you have to wave your arms to chase the others away so you can get down and do some cleaning and dragging. I have not seen any increased deer movement with the Michigan baiting ban, in fact the opposite is true, I’ve seen so many fewer deer with more time on the stand, that its just boring. Its no longer worth driving a 150 miles for a few days a deer (less) camp. In the old days, a spin feeder putting out a pound or two corn in the morning and evening “helped” attract and pattern deer so you MIGHT see one coming in while you are there. Keep in mind that currently, IF you do see a traveling deer, it is probably traveling past you at a range that a bow cannot get to and if it is, then it probably a marginal shot that wounds. With the prospects of so few shots, I now find my self shooting 40 and 50 yards instead of 10 to 20 yards. The risk of wounding a deer goes up and the distance (of a wonder deer) increases. The one deer I did see in bow season was out 48 yards, my 80 pound Mathews hit it nicely, but the trail fizzled out in a watery swamp and it was lost. We practice out to 80 yards (for fun). With my old sight (fixed Eotech halographic) only ranged out to 20 yards and I always recovered game. Now our lighted pin sights go out to 80….just silly.

3. Deer would be healthier. Researchers have proved a link between baiting and bovine tuberculosis in whitetails. The CWD connection is shakier, but find me a biologist who thinks concentrating deer near a pinpoint food source is a good thing. Besides, baited deer in nonagricultural areas can get sick from eating too much grain. The disease is called lactic acidosis, and it can kill a whitetail.
OK, this is actually the big one. CWD is what started the Michigan ban in the first place. The MI DNR is using it as THE excuse for banning baiting. I’ll post the overall content of the CWD study that disproves that it is transferred by mouth to mouth, nasal to nasal. Lets digress just for a moment and look at the tuberculosis issue. True this is spread mouth to mouth. A baiting ban has existed for years in that portion of the state (North East area) and it hasn’t gone away. NO BAITING, BUT lots of Bovine Tuberculosis. Unfortunately, deer gather legally , nose to nose to eat acorns, they gather socially, nose to nose In fields to eat grass, prune each other etc. They meet to scrape and pro-create, they drink from the same ponds and puddles, they eat berry’s nose to nose. They heard up nose to nose in the winter yards etc, etc. Figure it out. Put out bait piles and kill more deer. Less disease units available.
OK, now on to CWD. The great lie. After a knee-jerk reaction by Michigan DNR heads with a single CWD case that was imported into a deer farm, baiting in Michigan was banned. Finally, the DNR had its excuse. After further investigating the Michigan DNR sent out information admitting that CWD and a baiting ban probably didn’t go together. It looked like they were recanting. Michigan DRN people release information on a finding that basically concluded that CWD was spread by deer poop. Stop deer from pooping and you stop CWD. Hum, if they stop baiting, maybe they will stop deer from pooping. Here is a snipit of the DNR wire. I urge you to look up the original article in the NY Times. It is very in-depth and detailed. Way more so than here. Search for the author and date in the NY Times. YOU DECIDE.
SNIP IT From MI DNR:
From: Department of Natural Resources publications list [DNRWIRE@LISTSERV.MICHIGAN.GOV] On Behalf Of Mary Dettloff [dettloffm1@MICHIGAN.GOV]
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 2:15 PM
To: DNRWIRE@LISTSERV.MICHIGAN.GOV
Subject: NY Times Article on latest CWD research

I thought the article below, which appeared in the NY Times on Sept. 10,
may be of interest to those reporters, hunters and constituents who
follow the Chronic Wasting Disease issue.

— Mary Dettloff, DNR Public Information Officer

September 10, 2009

Study Spells Out Spread of Brain Illness in Animals
By SANDRA BLAKESLEE

Researchers are reporting that they have solved a longstanding mystery
about the rapid spread of a fatal brain infection in deer, elk and moose
in the Midwest and West.

The infectious agent, which leads to chronic wasting disease, is spread
in the feces of infected animals long before they become ill, according
to a study published online Wednesday by the journal Nature. The agent
is retained in the soil, where it, along with plants, is eaten by other
animals, which then become infected.

The finding explains the extremely high rates of transmission among
deer, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Stanley B. Prusiner, director
of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of
California, San Francisco.

First identified in deer in Colorado in 1967, the disease is now found
throughout 14 states and 2 Canadian provinces. It leads to emaciation,
staggering and death.

Unlike other animals, Dr. Prusiner said, deer give off the infectious
agent, a form of protein called a prion, from lymph tissue in their
intestinal linings up to a year before they develop the disease. By
contrast, cattle that develop a related disease, mad cow, do not easily
shed prions into the environment but accumulate them in their brains and
spinal tissues.

There is no evidence to date that humans who hunt, kill and eat deer
have developed chronic wasting disease. Nor does the prion that causes
it pass naturally to other animal species in the wild.

Besides mad cow and chronic wasting disease, the prion diseases include
Creutzfeldt-Jakob, which leads to dementia and death in humans. Each of
these diseases is caused by a different strain, and all strains behave
somewhat differently.

In the case of chronic wasting disease, “it turns out prions exploit
the oldest trick in the book used by pathogens and parasites,” said
Mike Miller, a veterinarian at the Colorado Division of Wildlife who is
an expert on chronic wasting disease.

“Fecal-oral transmission is very effective,” Dr. Miller continued.

Each deer excretes about two pounds of fecal pellets a day. As wild
herds move around, or captive herds are trucked between states, more
soil becomes infected.

In captive herds, up to 90 percent of animals develop the disease, Dr.
Prusiner said. In wild herds, a third of animals can be infected.

“This is an important finding,” said Judd M. Aiken, a leading prion
expert who is director of the Alberta Veterinary Research Institute in
Canada and who was not involved in the new study. “Most of us
suspected that prions might be spread in feces, but we needed proof.”

“The fact that prions are shed at a preclinical stage of the disease
is very significant,” Dr. Aiken added.

The study was carried out in two parts. First, Dr. Miller and his team
infected five mule deer by feeding them brain tissue from an infected
animal. They took fecal samples before infection and at three to six
months afterward. The deer came down with chronic wasting disease 16 to
20 months later.

Four to nine months after infection, the deer began shedding prions in
low levels in their feces, even though they had no symptoms.
Surprisingly, an infected deer could shed as many prions at this stage
as would accumulate in its brain during terminal disease.

In the second part of the experiment, Erdem Tamguney, an assistant
professor at Dr. Prusiner’s institute, created a strain of mice with
deerlike prions in their brains.

When Dr. Tamguney inoculated the brains of these mice with feces from
infected but asymptomatic deer, half developed symptoms of chronic
wasting disease. Fourteen out of 15 fecal samples transmitted the
disease to some of the mice.

Dr. Aiken said prions tended to bind to clay in soil and to persist
indefinitely. When deer graze on infected dirt, prions that are tightly
bound to clay will persist for long periods in their intestinal regions.
So there is no chance chronic wasting disease will be eradicated, he
said. Outside the laboratory, nothing can inactivate prions bound to
soil. They are also impervious to radiation.

4. 4 | We’d be better managers. Baiting can lead to unnaturally high survival and birth rates, particularly in northern deer. It also concentrates whitetails, which eat more than just what we put out for them. That densely packed herd can wipe out native plant species and retard forest regeneration. We’ve long told the public, “We’re the managers who keep whitetail numbers in tune with their habitat.” Well, are we?
There is this tool in mother nature’s tool belt call “assimilative carrying capacity of the surrounding environment”. You can only put so many deer into so large an area and have them survive. It’s a stretch to say that baiting is going to increase births, besides, a good Michigan winter will meet the carrying capacity of the land. You make it sound like you baiting is actually going to keep a deer heard alive, well we have all read studys that dispute. They say you’d have to have a Stalingrad style of daily air drops of food to keep the deer troops alive. Tons a day. Remember, by Michigan law you can only put out 2 gallons of bait TOTAL AT ONE TIME, not 2 gallons an hour, a day, or as you feel like it. 2 gallons cumulative at any one time. I doubt this is going to increase the birth rates, in fact the does that you harvest and cut into steaks and chunks will cut future future birth rates. Your being a better manager by baiting. Remember, doe permits and hunter kill goals set by the DNR keep the herd down to a target goal best to meet the assimilative carrying capacity of the land and keep car accidents down. BTW, did you know that the Michigan harvest is down 30 percent this year? Sure the DNR will say, it’s the nice weather, or the winds, or the blah blah, blah, always missing the point that no baiting mean less killing. On baiting years I harvested multiple deer. Now zip. HUMMmmmm.

5. 5 | We’d fight less with one another. We’re all aware of the battle lines drawn over the ethics of baiting. But beyond that, once a hunter puts out a pile of corn, his neighbors feel obliged to follow suit. Soon, a seemingly benign activity turns ultracompetitive. In 1984, only 29 percent of Michigan hunters reported using bait. Just nine years later, the figure had risen to 56 percent, and more than one in five hunters told the Department of Natural Resources that baiting to compete with other hunters was “very important” to them. Wisconsin DNR researcher Mark To so estimates that Badger State gun hunters alone place 4.5 million pounds of corn on the ground each day—enough to feed the state’s entire herd of 1.8 million deer—during the firearms season.
This is a non-issue. I could give a rip what you or your anti-baiting individuals think. I want to bait, just leave me and my 2 gallons alone. I’m always amused by the portion of hunters who “do not bait” under any circumstance. These are the same people who hunt over 200 acres of corn on one side of their blind and 200 acres of beans on the other, with a half dozen of apple trees surrounding them. It doesn’t cost that much to put out 2 gallons of bait every few days, besides your helping the farmers.
6. We’d improve our public image. Surveys reveal that most of the nonhunting public supports our tradition as long as hunting remains a fair-chase, ethical endeavor. If the ethics of baiting is controversial among hunters, what must the general populace think? And make no mistake; what they think is critical to deer hunting’s future
This is a waste of time. I won’t bother to respond.

7. 7 | We’d tag just as many deer. Baiting proponents argue they’d kill significantly fewer deer without the bait, but only one Texas study supports that. Other research reveals equal or near equal success. Just this past fall, Michigan hunters—despite complaints that the bait ban would slash their harvest—bagged nearly the same number of deer as they did during the previous season.
Shame on you for lying. You as so far off on this that you must not be a hunter. All past baiting years produced more deer than I could tag (so I passed). The last two years with Michigans no baiting rule has produced zero. Think about it. After the green patches (oh, food plots which apparently is NOT baiting) are covered by snow, you will not even find a deer track in my pine tree plantation property. They are 60 feet tall, produce no food or cover. End of season.

For the week end hunter who gets a few vacation days off each season and wants to bring home the steaks, a couple pounds of bait can make or break their year. I proposed to the state that they re-insitute baiting on a paid permit system. If you don’t want to bait, don’t. If you want to bait, purchase a $5.00 bait site permit (or $20, or $100.00 whatever). What a money generating option for a cash strapped state and it would be voluntary. God bless baiting and baitors. Down the DNR.

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from Cgull wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I dont see that baiting is needed in most states. Understanding game and game movements through the lay of the land is how I hunt. I do not agree with baiting laws of Arkansas it says you can not bait in the National Forest but it allows lumber companies to buy strips of National Forest and lease to hunters that then can bait in the national Forest because now this strip of forest is private property.

I look at food plots differntly than baiting. Baiting is mostly for pulling deer out for easy shots, while food plots can give the deer an increase in protein for 12 months. In my area there are no agricultural feilds that deer can feed. Food plots give game a better food source than the forest or hay fields can offer and may help grow bigger healthier deer. Yes, I plant food plots but have never shot a deer over one. I use food plots only as an supplemental food source and to serve as a sanctuary.

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from rampageingapes wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

I don't believe that placing bait will cause deer to go nocturnal. In fact I know that's not true, its just that the deer are smarter than me. Whenever I take a meal or stretch break and leave my stand I always come back to find lots of track by lots of deer, some with four or five inch hooves. I'm currently in college at East Carolina University and I know that if I was half as smart as a deer I'd be able to graduate tomorrow instead of four years from now.

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from pendubya wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

Not everyone has an abundance of ground on which to hunt. In South Central Kansas, we pay a small fortune to lease 80 acres. We are competing with outfitters who charge upwards of $5K and "manage" their ground, while scouting for deer so a "hunter" can come in over a weekend and "hunt" for a trophy. If we didn't set out a corn pile, the whitetail would never cross the 80 acres we have "get" to hunt. Getting permission to hunt is a thing of the past. :(

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from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

As long as food plots are banned right along with bait piles. Otherwise your just saying that one form of baiting and drawing deer to your deer blind is called baiting and the other is called deer managment when they both are performed for the same reason. To draw deer to your stand not your neighbors.

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from buckhunter wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Good article Scott. Here is what I think about baiting. Deer are natural browsers and will only stay at a bait pile so long before moving on. Larger deer tend to run the smaller ones off a bait pile so the notion of a crowded pile of bait rarely exist. The large buck that everyone wants to shoot will rarely be seen on a bait pile in the daylight if at all. Mture deer prefer the safety of a common undisturbed source of food where they can get to it and leave without being harrassed.

With that being said I think baiting deer is overrated.

Kids are the only ones who hunt my feeders. It's always a nice controlled still broadside shot from a steady platform.

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from estanaway wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I would also like to add to my comment above, that if we are going to start telling other hunters how they can hunt I suggest that we stop all hunting with firearms, and only allow unsighted traditional bows with stone tips and wrapped feather fletching! This will also portray a better image because we are not able to take shots and kill game at 300+ yds when the animal has no idea a threat exists, also this would be no different than taking a baiting away as a tool! I also think that we should stop allowing the use of ATV's during deer season, since this gives the Anti's the image of lazy fat weekend warriors, with no respect for the land, tearing up the woods.

What we really need is to stop nitpicking other hunters who practice the sport in whatever way they see fit and start fighting the real fight to keep our hunting rights! It is people who try to force their opinions on others that are in the wrong, just like the anti's are doing!

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from victorytw228 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Im from Texas we bait. We have game cameras up, our feeders go off at sunrise and hour before dusk. Dont see diffrent deer at night, if we see any. Hogs usually are in our pics at night meaning they run off our deer. So in my case I like feeding, it helps us take the maturest bucks and it helps us take the deer that shouldnt breed... which in turn helps our deer popualtion and health.

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from bear hunter wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

HOW MUCH SENSE DOES IT TAKE TO REALIZE BAITING AND FOOD PLOTS ARE THE SAME THING!!! IF WE CAN HAVE PLOTS WE SHOULD HAVE BAITING!!!!!!!!!!!

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from Mud Dawber wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

In NC our family had leased the same 180 acres for 18 years. The land was made up of predominately white pine forest with very little mast or forage. It was common practice to bait at least one of the two personal stands that we all used. Deer were taken at a 50-50 bait to non-bait ratio with large deer almost never taken over bait. My kids shot their first deer over bait.

Two years ago our leased land was sold to the State and is now used as a state game lands that can be hunted only by drawing. My family was fortunate enough to draw the first firearms permit after two years of no hunting. We looked forward to hunting big deer that had not been hunted in two years. What we saw was NOTHING! Not one deer showed after 3 days of hard hunting! I think that one can conclude that the only thing that brought deer into our property was the bait.

People can claim the snobby side of no bait, but they probably have a great place to go. Most of us have to make a living, send kids to school, and plan for retirement. Baiting just helps us make a crappy location work.

BK

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from teufelhunden wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

While we are at it I think we should ban modern firearms because I read a study somewhere.....

plus i do not like them so since I write in F&S I must know what I am talking about....

It would give us a better image.....

Bowhunters are the only true sportsmen....

Blah, blah, blah.....

You should have just said "Why dont we all unite on my side because I do not like the way other people do things"? Your "facts" are at least argumentative and at worst outright lies.

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from Raymond wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I agree with all the points Scott brought up and agree with him that "baiting" is not the right thing to do. However, from where I stand there is one big item he did not address. As a dairy/beef farmer, I have sold off most of my cattle which allows me to sell my now excess field corn to the "hunters" as "deer corn" -- and for, I might add, a whole lot more profit than it brought by running it through the herd. If my state, or the Feds, were to outlaw baiting it would nearly bankrupt me (except for my bonuses) -- should this happen is it likely the current administration will offer me a bailout? I doubt it, therefore I'll change my mind and view "baiting" as the right thing to do.

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

idduckhntr,
fish and deer are different. It is incredibley difficult to catch a fish on just a hook, but it is not nearly as hard to tag a deer without bait.

I think all baiting should be banned. There i said it. If it's hunting to you to set up bait, go somewhere nearby for an easy shot, and wait for 'lazy' bucks to come and grab a bite so you can wait for the perfect shot, then i would like to know what is wrong with you and why you think that way.

Nate

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from idduckhntr wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Hey Nate nothing is wrong with me if people want to bait whatever. Its illegal out here, my point is if you cant throw out a hand full of corn for deer than dont put it on your hook, maybe for the simple fact that fish fish cant digest it. Have I ever sat over a bait pile?no will I?no I dont have to, in 23 years of hunting I've taged 22 deer all spot and stalk and 1 going to where I was goin to hunt. I would like to know whats wrong with you every time I read your post you're allways pissed off and never have anything positive to say about anthing oranybody.

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from 2Poppa wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Here in Kentucky they call "baiting" a poor mans food plot!

"We’d see more deer during daylight. It doesn’t take whitetails long to associate bait piles with humans, and when deer know people are around, they wait for dark to feed."

Here in Kentucky that statement is untrue. I have a buddy that has corn out where he has set-up a trail cam, and has deer visiting it daylight,(mostly)and dusk and dawn.Even though he hasn't seen any "big bucks" he sees a lot of does.

"Baiting is especially troubling on public lands, where hunters who place bait often claim ownership for their sites and a considerable territory around them. This practice—known as “homesteading”—ruins the hunting experience for everyone."

I agree with the above statement, but homesteading practices include tree stands too. I wouldn't want another tree stand within 50 yards of mine either.

"In 1984, only 29 percent of Michigan hunters reported using bait. Just nine years later, the figure had risen to 56 percent, and more than one in five hunters told the Department of Natural Resources that baiting to compete with other hunters was “very important” to them."

Perhaps the 27 percent rise was due to hunters realizing that it was now "legal" to bait.If it's legal,they will come. If it's illegal, some will still come to use bait.
I would have liked to see how the question was placed before the hunters.To compete,implies having a sense of rivalry and of striving to do one's best as well as to outdo another:
If I placed corn out, I wouldn't be competeing with other hunters, but for the deers attention!

"What we need is to unify—against baiting. Not because it’s unethical (that’s a complicated argument and an ugly fight), but because deer hunters, deer hunting, and deer would all benefit."

Amen Scot,Amen to that!

I personally am not for it,or against it ... I just love to hunt deer!

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from idahooutdoors wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I suppose every area of the country is different. I love to hunt deer in the National Forest where the challenge is the greatest. But that is why I hunt, for the challenge. Baiting takes away a lot of what I like about the hunt so it is not for me. I also don't like hunting near Agricultural areas for the same reason, it just is not as natural of an environmet. That being said, I hate telling other hunters what they do is wrong, or forcing my beliefs on them. I worry that if we argue to much amongst ourselves we will only be helping all the forces out there that want to stop hunting all together.

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from estanaway wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

60256,

Your point is taken, and my analogy isn't that 300+ yds. is too long to shoot deer, any competent marksmen with a high powered rifle in the 270 win. class or larger should be able to easily hit the 8 inch vital area of a deer at that distance, and is no less moral, ethical or wrong than baiting, so should we illegalize shots at big game animals over 100 yds or hunting with firearms because it is too easy??? Should we stop all hunting with firearms because it promotes a bad image, since a hunter doesn't have to watch the wind, or worry too much about noise at those distances? Should we ban the use of telescopic sights and binoculars since we can see the game animals further than they can see us and sense danger? When we start saying one thing is right and another thing is wrong we are traveling down a slippery slope that WILL destroy hunting by dividing us!

Also I would like to add, that I am of the generation that grew up being able to hunt out of tree stands and use bait. I am also a working father, and don't have tons of time to scout the area's I hunt because they are a distance from where I live and personally I would rather spend my "scouting" time raising my daughter, doing homework, taking her to and from practice, etc. I am still debating on hunting this year or again until I retire, Michigan does away with the early firearms season or we are allowed to bait again, because I just plain don't have the time or money to travel back and forth to my hunting area so I can "scout" without neglecting my duties as a dad.

Again remember baiting is a management tool, and allows busy people, like me, to get out and enjoy hunting even if it is a controversial way of hunting. I had planned on someday after my family is raised, to go back to hunting with a longbow, napping my own arrow heads, and hunting in the traditional way, but for now I have a choice to make, one that I hoped never needed to be made!

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from LYNN GELLES wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

If your main concern is just getting outdoors, enjoying nature and pitting your stalking and outdoor skills against an animal in the wild utilizing it's survival skills....great. That is what "HUNTING" is all about. If you are good and/or lucky enough, you get to harvest that animal. If not, that's OK too. On the other hand, if your main concern is the actual "HARVESTING" of an animal for food....great. Sit over bait and wait for the animal to come to you if that is your choice. You still have to use outdoor skills to be successful. For those who are physically challenged, a stand over bait may be the only way this person can enjoy the sport. Either way, it's the individual's choice. Who are we to tell someone else how to enjoy their favorite sport. To each his own !!

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from steve182 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I wonder what artificial means those who denounce it use while hunting? Store-bought or artificial Scents? Manufactured Calls or Decoys? Chemical scent-elimination sprays? So stop with the Holier-than-thou crap. I am not a Baiter, but in certain areas and situations, I have hunted bait. It was(is) not "shooting fish in a barrel" and it is no different than hunting Food Plots planted specifically to attract Game. In most States or areas it is not neccesary, and i enjoy non-baited hunting much more, and do so 95 % of the time. Let he who lives in the glass house cast the first stone.

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from qzzs35 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Scott,

Have you ever hunted in the Northern Lower Michigan For the Deer Firearm/Rifle Season? I was born and raised in Traverse City, MI. I am an avid deer hunter and fisherman. It's a BIG BANG on Public Land 25-60+ hunters/guns per square mile! The Private land in the Norhwest Lower Pennisula is all busted up into small 10,20, and 40-acres parcels, the only Sanctuary from the crazy public land shooting gallery is to sit in the center of your private property and draw the deer to you.

In Big woods Country,in my opinion that is baiting. I have also been on several successful whitetail hunts to Canada,all the Guides/outfitters I have been with use bait. Just so you don't think I am a habitual "Master Baiter" that what we call deer baiters in Michigan. In farm country of Southern Michigan where I bow hunt the rut I never use bait the small wood lots and farm fields create great travel coridoors with funnel areas to ambush the bucks.

Your article points: Ban Baiting:

1. See more Deer during daylight? Not likely, Michigan with it's 750,000 hunters hitting the woods supresses deer movement bait or no bait.

2.Deer More active:Same point as above.

3.Deer would be healthier: Not likely in the snowbelt areas on NW Mich, we only have 10-15 deer per square mile or less.Deepsnowkeepdeer numbers in check especially after a winter like this one.

4. Better Managers: Questionable, especially for Bow hunters in Big Woods areas, bait allows for a more ethical standing still broadside shot. Also allows hunter at close range to observe the deer to determine age, sex,etc...much easier.

5. Fight less with one another: I have rifle hunted N.Mich for 24-years,I have never heard of such a thing and never had a problem at our deer camp.

6.Improve Public image :Those opposed to hunting like Peta and HUS,are against hunting bait or not. What is the difference between a bait pile,a food plot, or hunting over a corner of a farmfield where one has left a couple rows of corn up. Any way one cuts it, the hunter is putting food out to lure deer into a specific spot for harvest.

7. Tag as many deer: Depends,Since 1980 in Mi when the DNR made baiting legal,folks with small private parcels built box blinds where they can sit comfortable all-day overlooking their bait. This offers a unique opportunity to see all kinds of wildlife coming into the "Deer Gold"Kernal corn :birds, turkeys, squirrels,and maybe even harvest a nice deer. with bait one can almost guaranteed daily deer sighting from the blind. Now without bait in big woods territory with only 10-40 acres to hunt,no seeing any deer for several days is now common place.

My two cents.

Mike "Deerslayer" Bobay
Troy, Mi.

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from rabbittdog wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Having grown up in east Texas and hunting with my Dad from the time I was 4 and on stands by myself by 10 and this era of hunting strecthing out for well over 50 years I have been blessed to see the best of both worlds, feeders , food plots and 'El Natural'. When I was a kid a deer stand usely consisted of a 2x4 in the crotch of a tree with a few boards nailed on the tree for a ladder. A delux stand was a 2x6 or 2x8 in the fork of said tree .You did not nail this up in any tree but did a lot research 'now refered to as scouting" and found the trails used at known crossings along creeks or fence lines. If you were lucky enought to find a scrape it was like a gold mine and you hunted that area and let no one else know about it. If you were very lucky you may see 2 or 3 deer all season. As I have grown older things have changed. Not nearly the number of farms exist now yet the deer population has grown greatly. As the farmers died out or moved to town where they could make a living the taxes still had to be paid on the land. More and more land was leased to hunters to cover these cost and that was when the change started. Not only did the deer benefit but the economy in many towns across Texas. Hunters were not only feeding corn but protien and minerals as well. The deer were not the only ones to benefit but birds and small game numbers also increased. I like going to my farm in East Texas and seein 50 to 60 different deer in one day. I must admit I like Getting into a stand with walls and a roof and being able to stay all day without geting sick. Someone comented that a lot of young deer are harvested and sad to say that is true. However , we have been trying new laws here,such as antler restrictions and taking more does in overpopulated counties and it seems to be working and these laws are expanding into 52 more counties this year. I guess if you have read this far you have figured out that I am for supplemental feeding and yes I have lived long enough to see the benfits of it. I am not a biologist but I have been told the reason they do not like this in the North is because it kills a bacteria in a deers intestines and he can not brake down the brouse that is a large part of their winter feed and they actualy starve with a full stomach of brouse. Whatever your preference remember you dont have to kill everything you see , and take a kid hunting and teach him or her that. Happy Hunting.............

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from whiteriverguide1 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

To each their own! I definetly see more deer over my feeders. My ground here in Arkansas is to rocky to put a quality food plot in, so I bait. I feel it gives me more control to manage the herd. I have time to see ALL the deer in my area. I can get an idea of what needs to be harvested. To me their is no difference in a food plot or a feeder. I rarely see a mature buck in the daylight at my feeders. They only come in the daytime when I put out doe estrous in a scent bomb. Are scents bait? To me they are. They help bring the deer to the stand! Period. Just do whatever you want and not diss the other methods! Just follow the rules and regs in your state.

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from Crow wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

This whole discussion reminds me of Jim Zumbo's "Black Rifle Moment". Want to do something good for hunting? Don't divide it's ranks!

Not allowed to bait, or don't like it - then don't do it. If it's legal, and you like the results - go for it.

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from Douglas wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Baiting deer in New York state is illegal, yet many clubs do it anyway. The practice tends to draw deer away from their natural movements to concentrated food piles. This torques off adjoining property owners and the food fight starts. Sometimes generating large sums of money spent at the feed stores.
That said, the north adirondacks are not a good agricultural area and the food piles, if maintained year around, have been the difference between a starved herd and a good survival rate with healthy yearlings and does.
I feel that well maintained food PLOTS are the way to go, planting crops native to the area.
As for nocturnal, deer here become night walkers as soon as sighting in shots start to sound before the season.

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from estanaway wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I personally enjoy baiting deer, on our property in the northern lower peninsula we have trail cam photo's of some pretty respectable bucks, for the area, coming to feed between 11:00am and 2:00pm everyday on the bait pile, so the claim that deer don't move during daylight when baited is HOGWASH. I also enjoyed the exercise, when at deer camp I would fill a pack basket and walk from stand to stand refreshing the bait piles. Also last year was the only year in 15 years that I didn't shoot a deer, and more especially a buck, why? Because I started hunting after baiting was legalized and know how to get into an area that held deer, but used bait to bring deer in close enough to my stand to take an ethical shot and to distract them while I drew my bow and keep them calm so that I made an clean kill. I also believe that the number of deer taken last year in Michigan is skewed, because there were a great many people who continued to bait even though it was outlawed.

In the end I think that baiting should be allowed in all states and those who chose not to use the option should keep their opinions to themselved!

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from Molson wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

We need more rules and laws to follow?
Let's have the DNR do a study on Public land first,
they can ban baiting there and see how well those hunter do.

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from buckslayer33 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

listen here chief what is the difference between me putting in a food plot and baiting. what about hunting a corn field or and field with crops in it. do you think it is unethical to hunt a bedding area? what else do you think is unethical?

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from Short Tract hunter wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Nate,
Stop trying to act like you know the answer to everything cause you really don't.

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from Coach88 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I have several feeders out with trail cams. So far I haven't seen any decent bucks use the feeders. I also raise alfalfa for hay which deer use quite heavily with some decent bucks using the field. I use the feeders to thin the does and get minerals to the deer during times of stress. My family has over 2000 acres and this last year I just concentrated on taking does off the alfalfa. I think there are places and times to use feeders, I don't use the feeder concentrate the deer, there were up to 63 animals using the alfalfa field before any feeders were set up. I have a lot more trouble with road hunters and people who sneak in than I do with feeders. I also don't put as much feed as a lot of people on my feeders.

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from MPN wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

New York didn't ban baiting because people think its a lazy way of hunting they banned it becasue the food could be harmful for the deer, FOOD PLOTS AREN'T HARMFUL, so why are people against them, If you don't like food plots then don't use them but don't tell others they're wrong and they're not hunting correctly cause you don't like their method. People seem to think food plots should be banned because it's a lazy way to hunt, we are forgetting that baiting was banned to protect the health of the deer, food plots don't harm them so why ban them?

MPN

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from MPN wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

One more thing, I'm damn near 70 years old, after I'm done still hunting or I can't find the strength to still hunt that day I hunt my food plots, so you want to get rid of food plots which would keep me from hunting and other elderly or physically challenged hunters from enjoying this wonderful sport? Maybe you should stop thinking only fat lazy hunters use food plots.

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from JBS wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I've hunted private land about a mile in from farm fields for many years. The people that hunt the farms do very well. Most of shooting goes on right at dusk. The deer bed right at the edge of the corn fields, they do not travel very much. Tried hunting without baiting, but when you only have 40 arces to hunt, still hunting is out. And deer just do not come around when they have farm land. I hunt near a spin feeder. Bucks do not pose over feed to be shot. But you hunt the trails leading in like any other food source. Any by the way deer naturally more at night and hate the smell of Hunters. And that picture of the Buck over the corn cobs. Bait piles like that are not allowed in Upper Michigan or Wisconsin. If it legal, to each his own and SHUTUP!

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from TaraVolk wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Scott Bestul,
I think that in order to judge whether or not baiting is so "wrong" you need to go and experience the life of whitetail deer in other states. I am 17 and I live in North Dakota. My family has been baiting deer for bow hunting for years. Not only that, but we feed them every winter in the surrounding area. In North Dakota, we experience winters of - 30 or less. So, our "bait piles", as you call them, are usually the difference between a severely diminished deer population, and a good hunting season.
Not only do we feed the deer, but our local farmers and grain elevators pour their extra grain out on the ground quite often. There are deer out in the daytime like you wouldn't believe. Most deer become nocturnal at the sound of the first hunting season shot. So, I believe your theory is flawed. And, about the bovine tuberculosis, don't you think deer grouping together ANYWHERE will cause a rapid spread of a disease?

Either way, before you start throwing around your theories, climb into someone else's shoes (or hooves) and walk around in them.

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from gwhayduke wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

My first reaction to you story would be one of rage, but wait....let me think about it and what you wrote. Lets look at all you rumbered points one at a time and then I'll flame you.
1. We’d see more deer during daylight. It doesn’t take whitetails long to associate bait piles with humans, and when deer know people are around, they wait for dark to feed. Studies from Texas, Michigan, and Mississippi all show that daylight buck visits to bait sites range from rare to virtually nonexistent. Whitetails already restrict their daytime movements. Why make it worse?
There are so many variables to this silly comment as to take book to respond to it properly, but I’ll keep it brief. First off, your assuming that you see lots of deer during the daylight. What do own, 500 acres where the deer are unmolested and prance gingerly around playing games. Or, as in my case, as in many peoples cases, I own a few acres (or hunt public land) and have significant neighbor competition . With or without baiting (baiting ban has been in effect for 2 years in Michigan now) deer sightings are limited and as soon as the arrows start flying, worse yet, the bullets start flying, they go into stealth mode and then nocturnal. We adjust by hunting as early and late as possible. BTW, you don’t have to hunt OVER a bait pile, you can hunt the fringe or approaches to the area and intercept your buck there. Also, who said they are after a buck? Is this your goal? A big spike? Something more, well I’ll take meat for the table any time. Give me a fat tasty doe anytime over a buck. Once you’ve got some 10 pointers hanging in the garage, what do you need another one for? Again, BTW, I’ve killed so many bucks coming to a bait pile, your just wrong. “studies”….oh brother, what studies are you footnoting? Let me guess DNR bogus reports. I’ll just stop here.

2. Deer would generally be more active. Foraging whitetails must travel to find food. Bait reduces the need for this movement, creating not only a nocturnal buck but a lazy one.
Deer move when they want and where they want. They are grazing animals. They eat, move, rest, regurgitate and move some more. They move from field to field and bait pile to bait pile. People, the bait PILES we are talking about are only 2 gallons in size!. Have you ever put out a bait pile in a 10 degree Michigan late December day with a foot of snow and watched the deer literally RUN to it. After wacking a deer over it, you have to wave your arms to chase the others away so you can get down and do some cleaning and dragging. I have not seen any increased deer movement with the Michigan baiting ban, in fact the opposite is true, I’ve seen so many fewer deer with more time on the stand, that its just boring. Its no longer worth driving a 150 miles for a few days a deer (less) camp. In the old days, a spin feeder putting out a pound or two corn in the morning and evening “helped” attract and pattern deer so you MIGHT see one coming in while you are there. Keep in mind that currently, IF you do see a traveling deer, it is probably traveling past you at a range that a bow cannot get to and if it is, then it probably a marginal shot that wounds. With the prospects of so few shots, I now find my self shooting 40 and 50 yards instead of 10 to 20 yards. The risk of wounding a deer goes up and the distance (of a wonder deer) increases. The one deer I did see in bow season was out 48 yards, my 80 pound Mathews hit it nicely, but the trail fizzled out in a watery swamp and it was lost. We practice out to 80 yards (for fun). With my old sight (fixed Eotech halographic) only ranged out to 20 yards and I always recovered game. Now our lighted pin sights go out to 80….just silly.

3. Deer would be healthier. Researchers have proved a link between baiting and bovine tuberculosis in whitetails. The CWD connection is shakier, but find me a biologist who thinks concentrating deer near a pinpoint food source is a good thing. Besides, baited deer in nonagricultural areas can get sick from eating too much grain. The disease is called lactic acidosis, and it can kill a whitetail.
OK, this is actually the big one. CWD is what started the Michigan ban in the first place. The MI DNR is using it as THE excuse for banning baiting. I’ll post the overall content of the CWD study that disproves that it is transferred by mouth to mouth, nasal to nasal. Lets digress just for a moment and look at the tuberculosis issue. True this is spread mouth to mouth. A baiting ban has existed for years in that portion of the state (North East area) and it hasn’t gone away. NO BAITING, BUT lots of Bovine Tuberculosis. Unfortunately, deer gather legally , nose to nose to eat acorns, they gather socially, nose to nose In fields to eat grass, prune each other etc. They meet to scrape and pro-create, they drink from the same ponds and puddles, they eat berry’s nose to nose. They heard up nose to nose in the winter yards etc, etc. Figure it out. Put out bait piles and kill more deer. Less disease units available.
OK, now on to CWD. The great lie. After a knee-jerk reaction by Michigan DNR heads with a single CWD case that was imported into a deer farm, baiting in Michigan was banned. Finally, the DNR had its excuse. After further investigating the Michigan DNR sent out information admitting that CWD and a baiting ban probably didn’t go together. It looked like they were recanting. Michigan DRN people release information on a finding that basically concluded that CWD was spread by deer poop. Stop deer from pooping and you stop CWD. Hum, if they stop baiting, maybe they will stop deer from pooping. Here is a snipit of the DNR wire. I urge you to look up the original article in the NY Times. It is very in-depth and detailed. Way more so than here. Search for the author and date in the NY Times. YOU DECIDE.
SNIP IT From MI DNR:
From: Department of Natural Resources publications list [DNRWIRE@LISTSERV.MICHIGAN.GOV] On Behalf Of Mary Dettloff [dettloffm1@MICHIGAN.GOV]
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 2:15 PM
To: DNRWIRE@LISTSERV.MICHIGAN.GOV
Subject: NY Times Article on latest CWD research

I thought the article below, which appeared in the NY Times on Sept. 10,
may be of interest to those reporters, hunters and constituents who
follow the Chronic Wasting Disease issue.

— Mary Dettloff, DNR Public Information Officer

September 10, 2009

Study Spells Out Spread of Brain Illness in Animals
By SANDRA BLAKESLEE

Researchers are reporting that they have solved a longstanding mystery
about the rapid spread of a fatal brain infection in deer, elk and moose
in the Midwest and West.

The infectious agent, which leads to chronic wasting disease, is spread
in the feces of infected animals long before they become ill, according
to a study published online Wednesday by the journal Nature. The agent
is retained in the soil, where it, along with plants, is eaten by other
animals, which then become infected.

The finding explains the extremely high rates of transmission among
deer, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Stanley B. Prusiner, director
of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of
California, San Francisco.

First identified in deer in Colorado in 1967, the disease is now found
throughout 14 states and 2 Canadian provinces. It leads to emaciation,
staggering and death.

Unlike other animals, Dr. Prusiner said, deer give off the infectious
agent, a form of protein called a prion, from lymph tissue in their
intestinal linings up to a year before they develop the disease. By
contrast, cattle that develop a related disease, mad cow, do not easily
shed prions into the environment but accumulate them in their brains and
spinal tissues.

There is no evidence to date that humans who hunt, kill and eat deer
have developed chronic wasting disease. Nor does the prion that causes
it pass naturally to other animal species in the wild.

Besides mad cow and chronic wasting disease, the prion diseases include
Creutzfeldt-Jakob, which leads to dementia and death in humans. Each of
these diseases is caused by a different strain, and all strains behave
somewhat differently.

In the case of chronic wasting disease, “it turns out prions exploit
the oldest trick in the book used by pathogens and parasites,” said
Mike Miller, a veterinarian at the Colorado Division of Wildlife who is
an expert on chronic wasting disease.

“Fecal-oral transmission is very effective,” Dr. Miller continued.

Each deer excretes about two pounds of fecal pellets a day. As wild
herds move around, or captive herds are trucked between states, more
soil becomes infected.

In captive herds, up to 90 percent of animals develop the disease, Dr.
Prusiner said. In wild herds, a third of animals can be infected.

“This is an important finding,” said Judd M. Aiken, a leading prion
expert who is director of the Alberta Veterinary Research Institute in
Canada and who was not involved in the new study. “Most of us
suspected that prions might be spread in feces, but we needed proof.”

“The fact that prions are shed at a preclinical stage of the disease
is very significant,” Dr. Aiken added.

The study was carried out in two parts. First, Dr. Miller and his team
infected five mule deer by feeding them brain tissue from an infected
animal. They took fecal samples before infection and at three to six
months afterward. The deer came down with chronic wasting disease 16 to
20 months later.

Four to nine months after infection, the deer began shedding prions in
low levels in their feces, even though they had no symptoms.
Surprisingly, an infected deer could shed as many prions at this stage
as would accumulate in its brain during terminal disease.

In the second part of the experiment, Erdem Tamguney, an assistant
professor at Dr. Prusiner’s institute, created a strain of mice with
deerlike prions in their brains.

When Dr. Tamguney inoculated the brains of these mice with feces from
infected but asymptomatic deer, half developed symptoms of chronic
wasting disease. Fourteen out of 15 fecal samples transmitted the
disease to some of the mice.

Dr. Aiken said prions tended to bind to clay in soil and to persist
indefinitely. When deer graze on infected dirt, prions that are tightly
bound to clay will persist for long periods in their intestinal regions.
So there is no chance chronic wasting disease will be eradicated, he
said. Outside the laboratory, nothing can inactivate prions bound to
soil. They are also impervious to radiation.

4. 4 | We’d be better managers. Baiting can lead to unnaturally high survival and birth rates, particularly in northern deer. It also concentrates whitetails, which eat more than just what we put out for them. That densely packed herd can wipe out native plant species and retard forest regeneration. We’ve long told the public, “We’re the managers who keep whitetail numbers in tune with their habitat.” Well, are we?
There is this tool in mother nature’s tool belt call “assimilative carrying capacity of the surrounding environment”. You can only put so many deer into so large an area and have them survive. It’s a stretch to say that baiting is going to increase births, besides, a good Michigan winter will meet the carrying capacity of the land. You make it sound like you baiting is actually going to keep a deer heard alive, well we have all read studys that dispute. They say you’d have to have a Stalingrad style of daily air drops of food to keep the deer troops alive. Tons a day. Remember, by Michigan law you can only put out 2 gallons of bait TOTAL AT ONE TIME, not 2 gallons an hour, a day, or as you feel like it. 2 gallons cumulative at any one time. I doubt this is going to increase the birth rates, in fact the does that you harvest and cut into steaks and chunks will cut future future birth rates. Your being a better manager by baiting. Remember, doe permits and hunter kill goals set by the DNR keep the herd down to a target goal best to meet the assimilative carrying capacity of the land and keep car accidents down. BTW, did you know that the Michigan harvest is down 30 percent this year? Sure the DNR will say, it’s the nice weather, or the winds, or the blah blah, blah, always missing the point that no baiting mean less killing. On baiting years I harvested multiple deer. Now zip. HUMMmmmm.

5. 5 | We’d fight less with one another. We’re all aware of the battle lines drawn over the ethics of baiting. But beyond that, once a hunter puts out a pile of corn, his neighbors feel obliged to follow suit. Soon, a seemingly benign activity turns ultracompetitive. In 1984, only 29 percent of Michigan hunters reported using bait. Just nine years later, the figure had risen to 56 percent, and more than one in five hunters told the Department of Natural Resources that baiting to compete with other hunters was “very important” to them. Wisconsin DNR researcher Mark To so estimates that Badger State gun hunters alone place 4.5 million pounds of corn on the ground each day—enough to feed the state’s entire herd of 1.8 million deer—during the firearms season.
This is a non-issue. I could give a rip what you or your anti-baiting individuals think. I want to bait, just leave me and my 2 gallons alone. I’m always amused by the portion of hunters who “do not bait” under any circumstance. These are the same people who hunt over 200 acres of corn on one side of their blind and 200 acres of beans on the other, with a half dozen of apple trees surrounding them. It doesn’t cost that much to put out 2 gallons of bait every few days, besides your helping the farmers.
6. We’d improve our public image. Surveys reveal that most of the nonhunting public supports our tradition as long as hunting remains a fair-chase, ethical endeavor. If the ethics of baiting is controversial among hunters, what must the general populace think? And make no mistake; what they think is critical to deer hunting’s future
This is a waste of time. I won’t bother to respond.

7. 7 | We’d tag just as many deer. Baiting proponents argue they’d kill significantly fewer deer without the bait, but only one Texas study supports that. Other research reveals equal or near equal success. Just this past fall, Michigan hunters—despite complaints that the bait ban would slash their harvest—bagged nearly the same number of deer as they did during the previous season.
Shame on you for lying. You as so far off on this that you must not be a hunter. All past baiting years produced more deer than I could tag (so I passed). The last two years with Michigans no baiting rule has produced zero. Think about it. After the green patches (oh, food plots which apparently is NOT baiting) are covered by snow, you will not even find a deer track in my pine tree plantation property. They are 60 feet tall, produce no food or cover. End of season.

For the week end hunter who gets a few vacation days off each season and wants to bring home the steaks, a couple pounds of bait can make or break their year. I proposed to the state that they re-insitute baiting on a paid permit system. If you don’t want to bait, don’t. If you want to bait, purchase a $5.00 bait site permit (or $20, or $100.00 whatever). What a money generating option for a cash strapped state and it would be voluntary. God bless baiting and baitors. Down the DNR.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I agree 100% on getting rid of the stuff. I joined a club that baits here in Eastern NC. But no bait was put out until general firearms season. I really didn't care and found it novel at first since I came from VA where no baiting was allowed. But after seeing the deer all archery season and muzzleloader season just shut down soon after bait went out during the daylight convinced me baiting sucks.

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from MLH wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Great article - good to see a summary of the concerns with baiting.

Food plots? I think those need to be viewed somewhat differently. Heck, farms are just big food plots for all the deer care. What about hunting preserves that plant corn and sorghum for cover? Manmade clear cuts where tree tops are left for browse? CRPs? Are forest and land management practices creating food plots? State wildlife agencies plant "crops" on public lands to support wildlife - not just deer. Where do the lines get drawn? Banning food plots begs for definition. A bad one could give anti's and preservationists a foothold.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Boy I'm torn here, I had a different attitude, but I have to say Walt Smith seemed to have won me over. What truly is the difference between throwing food on the ground or planting food and then not harvesting it? In Missouri we can't bait, but we sure as hell can plant food and hunt over it. Or we can plant food and we can knock it down -not harvest- 10 days before hunting season opens, not 9. Whatever suits our needs. I'm not sure the difference.
So Scott, what is your opinion about these hunting shows on TV hunting over food plots? You know the ones. Jeff Foxworthy and his Techhomonty seed plots, Biologic, etc, etc,. it's all the same. Is it ok for the big boy advertisers and not for us?
I say send this question to the big guys that promote hunting over food plots and I'd love to hear their response.

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from estanaway wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

60256,

Baiting isn't the problem, I probably didn't convey the message I wanted to earlier, what I was trying to point out is that everytime we loose a tool to hunt with it is battle won for the anti's and the anti's are using debates like this one to weaken us from the inside, they aren't attacking us directly they are bring up a point of contention between hunters and letting us fight it out until it is outlawed, the same thing they did to the dove season in Michigan. If we continue to strip away different ways of hunting we all might as well lock our guns in a safe, register them with the FBI, and move to Canada. The bottom line is that the anti's are destroying our sport from the inside and if we don't stand up and recognize this now it will forever be lost!

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from CPT BRAD wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Ok OK you guys won me over, I will immediatly sell the Soy bean farm and stop feeding the cows and putting out minerals. Hope you guys like Soy burgers... oh wait I already sold the soy bean farm. Well on second thought I think I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

Have a great day!

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from benjismokin wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

As like any other blog that has this for a topic, this blog is blown up with feedback!
As I read through them and picked through majority of the "BS" that people post, I have come to the conclusion that no matter where ya go or who ya talk to, their reason or reasons for baiting or not are all relatviely the same.
I, for one, dont really see the harm in it as long as you keep it regulated and have set limits, but I am not going to say that I truely believe it should be allowed.
I have had my mind set that it should be legal and that we already have enough laws and regulations that we sure dont need another hundred, but I have changed my mind. I believe that there has to be a reason for the disease spread. It may not be because of baiting, but if banning baiting is a key to help with stopping that spread, then Im all for it.
We need to keep in mind that this is a national past-time and if we want to keep it we need to do what is right for nature, not us.

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from Alex Williams wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Great insight and i completely agree with you.

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from USAF_outdoorsman wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Hunting is called hunting for a reason. If your not in it for the hunt, wouldn't it just be called baiting? Hunting isn't about success every time you go out into the woods, theres more to it than that. If you don't know what I mean, your missing out.

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

In my 35 years hunting deer in NC, I have seen no anecdotal evidence to support many of the theories that have been presented here. We bait my friends farm although not with huge cornpiles. I have yet to shoot a deer over the bait. Most of the deer I shoot are during the rut and they don't seem to pay much attention to the bait. I have seen a few small deer come out and nibble on the corn and then leave and go browse in the field. One thing that was said that is true is the coons, squirrels, and birds sure do eat a lot of corn. I am not convinced that a nationwide ban on baiting is a cure-all for all states and all hunting areas. Every hunting area is different and the deer are imprinted to their home range. A good example is the boys from the mountains of NC swear by rubbing peanut butter into the rough bark of a tree to attract deer. You can try that down east till the cows come home and all you will bait are beetles.
I have said this before and I'll say it again; if anyone hunts in or adjacent to a soybean, corn, or peanut field, and for those up north in old apple or fruit orchards and don't think they are hunting over bait are just fooling themselves.
Baiting is highly over rated as someone has previously mentioned. Unless there is solid, localized, empirical data such as that from Michigan that baiting has indeed aided the spread of CWD then my opinion is let the issue rest. I sometimes have to ask myself when these issues arise "what's next"? Do we ban hunting deer with buckshot because buckshot is not permitted in some states?

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from steve182 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I agree with the Anti-baiting movement,...or i did. Here in Jersey its legal and huning spots are limited. The woods are very thick, with lots of swamps, laurel and briars. Lots of cover for deer. If u don't bait, you see very few deer. They're just down the road at or near the next guy's baitpile. Everyone's baiting. The deer bed close to the bait. Another reason it is nessecary here is because it's so flat here in south Jersey that it's hard use the terrain to your advantage. I don't usually hunt bait, but sometimes i do

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from YooperJack wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

All in all, I think a baiting ban will be very difficult to enforce. Speaking as a forester, who also drives a lot of miles every year, I'm concerned as to what affect a baiting ban will have on total deer kill in Michigan. We need a substantial harvest for both growing trees and safe driving. My concern is twofold. First, many hunters up here have never hunted without bait. Some will hunt unsuccessfully, others will quit hunting. Second, to hunt without bait requires more land. You have to still hunt, drive deer or maybe use a tree stand to cover more area.
I don't bait. My take on this subject is totally pragmatic. Frankly, as long as there are no disease problems up here, I really don't care. I do care every time I nail one with my car or truck.

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from JohnR wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

The problem with baiting off season and no baiting during the season is enforcement and sabotage. There are difficulties associated with enforcement and during the hunting season it is a means to get back at one's neighbor by throwing some corn out on his field (I've seen that done). If one is caught hunting near the bait the terminator Wildlife Officer could care less how it got there. You will get a ticket for hunting near bait period! The fact that you didn't know it was there is not a defense. You should have checked the field or area first (is what you're told).
I have to admit as a matter of fairness, that I understand where many hunters are coming from. Technology to some degree has taken the hunt out of hunting. Simple is usually better. The flip side of that however is that deer have increased dramatically in the last 25 to 30 years to the point where there is now deer hunting in areas where 15 years ago there were no deer. As we continue to manage deer successfully there will be more deer and to keep the deer populations healthy with a dwindling hunter base we may have to employ a little bit of technology just to keep up with the deer. A good example of this is our very large coastal Whitetail population here in NC and on one barrier island community there is a deer problem. I will see 6 to 8 deer hit by cars on the side of the road during the summer on my way to work. I won't even ride my motorcycle up there in the evening hours during the rut! There are only a few limited areas in that particular location to hunt them; shotgun, bow, and/or muzzleloader the legal weapons. The deer almost have to be baited away from all the exotic browse planted in some of the fancy private (and some gated) subdivisions. The moral of the story is there are no easy solutions and a nationwide ban on baiting may be great in some areas, but counter productive in others.

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from MPN wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Nate,
You need to learn when to stop talking or typing, And instead of worrying about your rank on a website go out and actually hunt and fish.

It's nice to see ya again yooperjack!

To the point, I do mind baiting but not hunting over food plots. To me food plots are just small versions of farmer fields.

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

All,
the whole point of blogging is to give your opinion on a subject and discuss with other people, is it not? I give my opinion, and just because you people don't like it, you've gotta trash it to the ground! So what if i don't like baiting, it's my opinion!
It's like, say you have an opinion about a certain gun that you don't like and you say that you don't like it and people say you're stupid or need to shoot that gun some just because you don't like what you think, well that's what's happening here. I say i don't like baiting and you people say i need to get in the field more. Well fine maybe i'll just go out to the land i have that is only touched by hunters. No crops, bait, attractent or any of that crap. Maybe then i'll discover why you people agree with it so much.

Like i said, i'll give my opinion because that is the purpose of blogging.
P.S. MPN: I'm 'racking up points'. I haven't even filled out a gear tester survey and even if i did they would notice that i'm a kid and wouldn't give it to me anyway.

Nate

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from MPN wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Nate,
I have no problem with your opinion, just the way you address people. Show some respect to your elders! Some of us have been hunting longer then you've been alive and you seem to forget that we grew up with different values and morals.

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from Jeffrey D wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Researchers have proved a link between baiting and bovine tuberculosis in whitetails.But what they dont mention is the link between cattle that had cwd and the dispossal of there carcasas. In the 1980s in alpena michigan a group of cows (200) were put down becouse of the disease and barried in a shallow grave.Years latter unlimited tags were given to shoot all the does in that county and the surrounding countys. Only a few deer a year in michigan were even found with the disease.also deer dont move much during the day until the rut everyone knows that. To band baitng would also stop my 80 year old grandma from watching the wildlife in her yard that feed at all times of the day.

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from estanaway wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

arniebuss,

The west and mid-west are two totally different animals so to speak. In most of the west you have area's that you can see long distances, and spot game then make a stalk. You also are much more arid than we are here so watering holes can be hunted like bait here. You see in Michigan, we have tons of trees, swamps and water, so spot and stalk hunting isn't as practical if even possible, in fact the only way I have been able to see deer while on the move and hunt is to drive deer which is impractical for bow hunters, and dangerous since we have a large hunting population. It is also annoying to have a hunter disturb you while on stand.

I would also like to ask the question about how all the anti's on here recommend introducing a child to the sport. I know that baiting had a big hand in getting me hooked. I could dress warmly and saw all sorts of animals from deer and turkeys, to squirrels and rabbits and all kinds of song birds and birds of pray chasing the small game. I was also able to shoot a few deer off bait which made me successful early on and had me hooked until last season where I didn't see but 10 deer in 3 months and only 1 buck. I know for a fact that if I hadn't seen deer regularly as a young hunter I would have not learned to love hunting or been hunting for the last 20 years! Children don't have the patience to sit still without seeing animals and more especially the game they are hunting and as we make the hunting age younger and younger and more and more challenging the fewer hunters we are going to recruit into the sport.

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from chuckles wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I have to side with the people who want to ban baiting. When I see a TV show where a guy eats a breakfast someone prepared for him, is driven to the stand, sits in a comfortable chair till the feeder goes off and them shoots a deer, well that doesn't seem much like hunting to me. More like paying to kill. I know it is tough to find time to scout, set stands, get permission but that is hunting. My nephew has sat through three freezing cold seasons without seeing a deer but he still looks forward to next year. Am I worried he will quit? You bet I am. So I go out of my way to tell him how much I respect his perseverance. I am positive that when he does kill a deer it will be that much more valuable for having toughed it out! Our culture has become focussed on the results and forgotten how to enjoy the process. I am eating three tags this year, archery, rifle and muzzleloader but it was the best year of hunting I have ever enjoyed because I was able to spend almost 25 days in the field. Freezing cold, sunburned, exhausted after slogging through frozen plowed fields and loving every minute. Did I get frustrated? Sure, but I hunt for the joy of living and connecting with my quarry and the natural world. I love to eat deer but not so much that I feel I need to lure them to a pinpoint location in front of my stand with bait. It never even entered my head. So take a good look at your priorities. Take you kids with you to scout and ask permission on new ground. Sit with them and analyze the photos on Google Earth. Help them research and learn about their quarry. Get them out in the woods and help them (and yourself) reconnect with the natural systems they are a part of. My guess is you will end up harvesting deer and enjoying the successes more and regretting the lack of success a lot less. Hunt hard, hunt safely and hunt often and you will find yourself less dependent on bait for your success. Throw in the danger of spreading disease by artificially concentrating deer and the case is closed as far as I am concerned.

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from bmg2470 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

To bait or not to bait, that is the question. I am a hunter from northern La. I was in a hunting club that was owned by a timber company. A majority of the areas i hunted included pine tree thickets, pine cutovers, and pine tree crossings.. Baiting definitely increased my odds of seeing deer. Although I never put down a large buck during those times. Since then i have changed hunting areas that consists of oak and pine mix. Along our access roads we plant all types of forage to encourage deer to stand around long enough for me to raise my rifle (just for a view). Is this considered baiting? Are hunting bean/crop fields considered bating? Is baiting using anything that is not naturally occurring in nature? Placing salt blocks, mineral blocks, or any other type of deer attractant? How about using dogs to run deer into the sights of a hunter? That is another debate that I wouldn't possibly get in too. Because everyone is entitled to their opinion and I don't have near enough time in a day to get started. In my opinion baiting should be left up to the person on the other end of the weapon. I personally wouldn't care if baiting were outlawed or limited in La. Being able to put down a quality buck using only God's creations is a once in a lifetime event that everyone should consider an accomplishment.

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from Short Tract hunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

MPN,
I can see your point, If you have the food plots why not use them. But to me hunting is more enjoyable while hunting on the ground and walking. But some people like a guy I work with who is confined to a wheelchair need food plots because they can't walk around the woods.

But I do hope you are against baiting though.

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from moletree wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

HAHA!NICE WAY TO GET SOME EXPOSURE FOR YOUR MAGAZINE.I REALLY THINK YOU COULD CARE LESS ABOUT WETHER PEOPLE BAIT OR NOT BUT FOR GOODNESS SAKE CANT WE JUST ALL GET ALONG. IF YOU BAIT GREAT IF U DON'T LIKE TO BAIT FINE JUST LET THE OTHER GUY NEXT TO YOU DO WHAT HE LIKES AND YOU DO WHAT YOU LIKE AND EVERYBODY WILL BE HAPPY. THIS IS ANOTHER TYPICAL EXAMPLE OF ADULTS ACTING LIKE CHILDREN.GROW UP AND REALIZE PEOPLE DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY, DOESN'T MEAN THERE WRONG DOESN'T MEAN THERE RIGHT. LET EACH PERSON HUNT THE WAY HE WANTS AS LONG AS ITS LEGAL. IF WE START TRYING TO NIT PICK OVER WHO CAN BAIT OR WHO CANT AND WHAT WAY IS MORAL OR WHICH WAY IS BAITING OR MERELY ASSISTING THE HABITAT,TO THE ACTIVISTS GOES THE VICTORY.

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from westtexashunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

What i cant understand is why we can bait and call every other animal but when we throw corn out for a deer all of the sudden its being lazy. Have you ever thought that maybe we use the right tool for the job? I mean when participate in other sports dont you find a technique that works for you or do you just go out and hope to get lucky. Now for the comment soon to come saying "if you learn to track you wouldnt have that problem" yea well no i know how to track and stalk but you know what its just not my cup of tea and to say that because i dont like it some how cheapens the great sport of hunting well thats like saying if you dont drive chevy your not a real truck driver. As far as texas goes we have a season on deer because of over population now tell me this if on 1500 acres i harvest 3, 8 point or better bucks and no does who is really gain'n from it? ill tell ya who the momma and baby deer who come to eat and grow and be healthy without having to worry about being shot. YOU DONT STOP BAITING YOU RESTRICT THE BAG LIMIT AND GAME TYPE IN THE AREA that way you help the population. and for the hunters who say baiting is wrong its not real hunting well i guess we will just have agree to disagree because i hunt to feed my family not to go sit somewhere and hope a nice legal buck just happens to walk by .

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from north-mich-deer... wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

I think it can be debated till the cows come home. But for all purposes the only difference between a bait pile and a food plot is cost. NO natural corn or turnip fields grow in any of the woods I hunt in. Granted I dont like to see a semi load of sugar beets set out in the middle of a field either, but if I can afford to have a tractor and bulldozer in on my property or lease that makes me a better hunter and steward of the land, please. Should baiting be banned to improve our image, I have a hard time with that when we have so called "Game Ranches" poping up in this country. There is nothing worse than seeing a add for a "Thrill Hunt" on 180 acres of fenced in property. My only concern is that as we the hunters debate what is right and wrong for the time period we are in that we are loosing the real focus of what we need to protect. The rights of us to hunt, fish and keep our guns. You know there isnt much debating in the groups that are against us.

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from bowhunter352 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Obviously we're not getting anywhere with this, Its a great subject to discuss because we all can hear out with an open mind on everyones thoughts. Truthfully, I've hunted on bait. I killed 8 deer this year [2008-09] and two of them were over feeders. I get it, I'm a bad man. NOW, after reading this article and everyones opinuions. I've decided NOT to use ANY baits next year. I know I can kill deer with it, so I'm going to try and challenge myself. Also, I'm getting into the whole 'traditional' style of bowhuting. Now back to the problem at hand. Lets face it, and just straight out deal with it people. I mean even if we did outlaw 'all' baiting, you think everyone will obey the law? negative... Also, what are the farmers and ranchers suppose to do about their crops. hey! I say more power to you bud. You've got the land, use it! I can't beleive how much hunting has develped by society into such a technical 'job'. Because really people, it is... When we watch on tv 3 gentlemen and a cameraman huddled together in a boxblind deciding on which ten point to shoot because the other nine points are too 'young'? I think thats great! We need those type of hunters to work outside the societys norms of hunting. They are the ones who are bettering are deer herds... sure, theyr fenced in... who cares...? Now for the middle to lower class of people like me, Who has no land, no money [at least to dump into well-made food plots and such] We must do what we have to do to have a 'fun' hunting career.[That is what its about people, fun...] We can not afford the higher class type of 'baiting' like foodplots. Lets face it, its baiting regardless if its intentional or not. I'm not going to rag on you or call you bad things because your a well rounded person with a great job. But for the hunters who hunts their parents,friends,neighbors,etc. peoples land. The 'weekend warriors' if you will, we are VERY limited on what we can do. Baiting, IS OUR FOODPLOTS. We do it, because how are we going to compete with the big guys? Regardless though, we shouldn't be fighting about this. Its a great topic to discuss and hear each other out, but not when you bring the law into it... lets just keep it to a personal option. Hey some states allow it, some don't. It doesn't divide us... How many people travel to hunt anyways? exactly, you find the people from FL, GA areas moving to KY and TN for a better hunting experience, no division there. If 'john smith' wants to hunt his land with bait... who cares? If he decides he doesn't want to because he read this article [ which is my case here] Then great! If not... people, fact is, deer are deer, they are [WILD] animals... theres a reason why those guys sitting on bait piles are only seeing deer the first few days after opening, and declining numbers afterwards... We should just hunt how and what makes us happy. If you like to do it, Let the power be with you, if not, saddle up, start scouting for next year, and stop blaming the people who beleive in it. I don't acuse the small town hunters for throwing a few fifty pound bags of corn out, nor do I blame the big hotshots who have acres upon acres of bio-logic and just want to nick name it 'deer managment' Either way you look at it... its baitng. Just get out and hunt.

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from Jason Sturm wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I live in mid Michigan, and yes baiting is now illegal. However the selling of bait is not, and if the bait is being sold there are hunters that are going to use it. I have a bait shop just down the road and every time I went by during hunting season, there was a pickup or trailer being loaded down with scoops of beats. Untill selling is illegal, the baiting will never stop, which also means your statistics about the same amount of deer being takin in Michigan this year with no bait, is also not true, since most hunters are still using bait.

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from PA Monster Bucks wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I strongly believe that baiting should be legal. With that being said, i think it should have its exceptions and restrictions. First off, I don't see how hunting over a bait pile or a trail leading to it is any sporting than waiting at the edge of a corn or alfalfa field. Just because you poured the 20 pounds of corn out of a bucket doesn't make it different then growing 50 acres of it in a field. I believe that anybody that says hunters that use bait aren't hunters is wrong. Most of the year, deer think trough their stomachs the rut when all they think about is does, is pretty much the only exception. If a hunter sits in a random location and expects to see deer consistently, 90% of the time, that hunter will spend most of his hours staring at an empty woods. The only way to sucessfully hunt is near food. When you scout for the game trails, where do you think they lead? When you find bedding areas, what are they usually near? Food, natural or unnatural, is the key to finding deer in large "predictable" numbers. When animals hunt they find the most common food source that thier prey visits and waits for them. Why should it be any different for people? I bet almost any hunter that says that baiting is wrong and unnecessary hunts where there is already a natural food source or crops.
Anyway, when you wrote in your artical that we would see more deer during daylight and that they would be more active, i think that only applies to certain areas. I hunt in southeastern Pennsylvania and ever since i started spreading corn throught the back half of my property and placing mineral blocks, i have had deer on my property everyday (depending on weather conditions)at approximatley 4 p.m. Even during the late archery season in January, that provides a half hour to forty five minutes of good daylight to hunt in. Not to say that this applies everywhere, but it definitly works where i live. Also when you wrote that we would tag just as many deer without bait, i think that depends on where you hunt. If Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kansas would outlaw baiting, i don't think there would be a signifigant difference in the harvest. But that is because most of the land in these states is cropland. If baiting in Texas, where there is very little cropland, would be outlawed, then i think the harvests would greatly diminish. (Just for the record, i disagree with most of the hunting practices that Texans use. I don't think using a destroyed vehicle as a blind is ethical.) Since South Texas is mostly scrub brush, there aren't many concentrated food sources that hunters could use to learn the deer's habits. If the hunters couldn't bait, finding deer would be difficult.
I think that baiting should be used for areas that don't have a reliable food source.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I have read this entire blog. People whom I feel are very knowledgeable are on both sides of the fence.

But many are right about one thing, how much "hard evidence" could there be?

Even hunters who don't bait could walk through areas that someone has baited, and while taking applause for their prowess, not see a food pile on the other side of a tree.

I personally think baiting is a lazy, cheap method. Regardless, it brings to mind some fat dude, just sitting on a lawn chair, sipping a beer, watching the corn.

Haven't we made things easy enough on ourselves? I won't buy a rifle without iron sights. I use them, and last time out I took off my scope. My nephew has the *darned* Hubble mounted on his Weatherby. I notice fewer rifles even bother with them anymore. You can see the deer from two counties over, you're nice and warm in your polypropylene, and yet you still want to make sure the deer come to the exact spot you have deemed most convenient to you? I'm sorry, but that means you have to shut up about "getting back to the wilderness.", and "experiencing nature.". It's no more than slaughtering. You might as well just go to the store and buy meat for all the "experience of the hunt" you get from baiting. Good *gosh*, I don't advocate going back to wearing loincloths and throwing rocks at game, but I'll quit before I'm hunched over a rifle saying; "Nice deer, take the corn. Just a bit further...".

What do excuses like; "I don't have a lot of land.", or "I don't have a lot of time." have to do with correct hunting, anyhow? I live in a neighborhood. It's called GO SOMEWHERE. Time? I'm currently a contractor. That means every day I don't work, I don't get paid. But SOMEHOW I find time for the field every so often.

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from crm3006 wrote 5 years 4 days ago

IMHO the author of this blog should stay in Michigan where he sounds like he knows what he is talking about, and stay out of Texas, where he obviously is just reading articles
written by the uninformed. We who hunt for meat on a limited budget, will take advantage
of a corn trail or a food plot any day. You who shoot horns can do as you like, but do not get on a moral high horse with me about either baiting or shooting does.
First, if someone does not shoot off a certain amount of does, herd management will go down and disease will set in and nature will take its course. This will set back your hunting by several seasons.
Second, the author blithely states that we would tag just as many deer, improve our public image, if we did not tag as many deer, so what , etc, etc. That is fine for an
obvious horn hunter that probably does not care about the meat. I shoot to eat, and don't shoot anything I don't intend to eat.
Third, when there is a bumper acorn crop in the State of Texas, corn baiting is not a sure fire set up anyway. We have had years when deer simply preferred acorns to corn, no matter what. Once again, sir, just stay in Michigan, you sound as if you belong there.

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from Jc123 wrote 4 years 46 weeks ago

I believe in a healthy deer population, fewer car accidents, and killing trophy bucks. I have to totally disagree with the banning of corn. Corn provides many essential nutrients for the deer and no one in our area has heard of the diseases which you mention. Our deer herd is at highs to the point where you must dodge a deer every time you drive down the road. I say bait em and slay em...But that's just me... If disease does occur o well, its just a limiting factor.

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from blake425 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Food plots and baiting are the same thing. If we get rid of one we have to get rid of the other.

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from blake425 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

great article by the way.

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from Douglas wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Baiting deer in New York state is illegal, yet many clubs do it anyway. The practice tends to draw deer away from their natural movements to concentrated food piles. This torques off adjoining property owners and the food fight starts. Sometimes generating large sums of money spent at the feed stores.
That said, the north adirondacks are not a good agricultural area and the food piles, if maintained year around, have been the difference between a starved herd and a good survival rate with healthy yearlings and does.
I feel that well maintained food PLOTS are the way to go, planting crops native to the area.
As for nocturnal, deer here become night walkers as soon as sighting in shots start to sound before the season.

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from Mud Dawber wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Basically what you are saying is that only hunters with lots of agricultural land or food plots have the rights to shoot deer?

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from wallofsam wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I'd be a hypocrite if I said I have never baited, but being from MI(when in rome...???)I hunted over bait untill a couple of years ago. What I personally have found is that there would be alot better quality bucks around if there had'nt been bait around for so long. Alot of 1 1/2yr. old bucks get taken off of bait piles because they are ignorant (in my opinion) until they reach 2 yrs.old. When I did have bait out, the only time I would see a buck over 2 1/2 yrs.old, was in the middle of the night on my trail-cam. It should be banned in every state. And to Walt Smith, "What's the difference between a farm crop and a food plot?" There isn't one! If someone want's to put the time and effort, not to mention the money involved, into a food-plot more power to them. I don't think it's so much about keeping the deer away from a fellow hunter, but about giving yourself a chance at harvesting a whitetail.

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from elkslayer wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I have always disagreed with both baiting and food plots. Food plots and "growing" deer just doesn't sound like hunting to a westerner like me. I don't buy it that feeding deer during winter is necessary because deer have been surviving during winter for a long time before humans were part of the picture. the reason given in the article are are the best arguement i've heard to end baiting.

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from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

wallosfam, The way I see it a farm crop is planted by a farmer who is going to harvest the crop for their cattle or for money. A food plot is planted by a landowner who doesn't harvest the crop, its left in the ground with no intention for it other than to draw game to the other side of the fence. This is called Deer Managment. If you pay sales tax you're NOT a farmer. Understand now?

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from stickbow13 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

to bait or not to bait, young kid for a first time deer, or a seasoned vet trying to fill the freezer????

minerals or no minerals????

for me walking into the woods finding a tree and sitting to see what comes by is half the fun.

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from Dances with Deer wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Baiting typically works well if you don't overdo it, can get there without spooking bedded deer and hunt it only when the wind is right; even then, once they are spooked by a hunter at or near a bait, you can kiss it goodbye for the most part during daylight hours. It leads to more poaching after hours too. If everyone used no more than an apple or two just to position a deer or get it to stop for a better shot, there would be no problem. It's the piles. The thousands and thousands of piles. It's a black eye for deer hunters. But if banned, I'd bet many will still do it. They do in states where it is banned.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Alex Williams you are the only logical man that has posted here today.

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from TheEasternShore... wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

the problem is what if you take the baiting away to quickly and the deer starve because they don't know how to rely on anything else. it is a fact that some deer rely on food plots and baits.

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from adaboshi wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

MLH made a good point.

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from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Here in Northern Mexico we use to feed the deer with corn, but in my experience, the feeders are not that effective, except to atract racoons and javelinas (they get so adicted to it that you have to literally kick them off). I preffer to spread corn and sometimes apples along the roads to slow down the bucks when they cross them or to keep the does -which I cannot shoot- near for the bucks to come by.

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from hardineric wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I'm a former teacher, and an avid bowhunter in Kentuc ky. I agree, baiting needs to go. many of the young people I taught do not know how to hunt a deer. they are very good at shooting deer over the corn pile and they equate this with all hunting. Many did understand why you couldn't bait turkeys in the spring, why bother with all that calling stuff.
you are also right on the mini-arms races baiting sets off...a friend of mine was talking about some guys on a lease who are bringing in corn by the truckload.

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from hunt_fish_sleep wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I tried to bait here in NC for several years. I never saw a deer over my bait pile during shooting hours. All that ever happened was the deer and coons raided my bait at night and I was left spending all my money on corn to support their addictions. I stopped bothering with bait all together and have killed 8 deer in the past three years.

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from stickbow13 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I know this is a touchy subject about baiting but when it comes to bait what is good baiting and bad baiting? like people baiting bears for hunting purposes? It's the some as people baiting for big bucks...or im I just not seeing the big picther?? To me each his own I guess... I don't bait but I know people who do, it seem to easy, go sit and wait for a deer to come in and pick the one you want. what's the trill in that???

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from bowhunter352 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Cool, Im glad this blew some steam up some peoples butt. lol, if it was up to me... I would ban ALL firearms and only allow bowhunting[compound or traditional]. I would only allow baiting in the offseason[like mineral licks and such... more like treats, not baits.] Then for the older fellows who can't use a bow, use crossbows... haha, that sounds like a suppppper good way to up our population for deer, even if we only do it for a year or two. lol, just a thought.

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from ricefarm wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

We have red squirrels all over the woods we hunt in, I'm not sure if you put bait out a day early that the deer would even see it. I farm the area around where I hunt and the eating patterns of the deer are very interesting and variable. One year they seem to spend more time foraging where corn was grown (long since harvested) the next year they are more interested in fields that had soybeans in them. I have tried some food plots but my experience is whatever I have planted they aren't interested in. Other hunters in my area see the same thing, what seems to work one year is useless the next, so in the end it often ends up being a lot of effort for nothing. The guys who have the most success are the ones with the spots that have the least human traffic throughout the year.

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from alpettibone wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I understand the baiting vs. Foodplot arguement must you must also realize that the food plots are there for species other than deer. Quail, pheasant, and other animals use food plots for a source of food and protection. Just a thought...

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from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I think that you raise some pretty good points. And most of your reasonings make sense and yes would benefit hunters in a multitude of ways. The problem really is just getting people to hop on board. It is gunna take a majority of hunters to get baiting outlawed. This is gunna be hard to do due to the fact that some hunters swear by baiting while others despise it. I think that this provides some helpfull arguements wen discussing the affects of baiting. Thanks!

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from Sakindamouf wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

They'll eat it at night idf it is there. Move it beofore night fall extra work but it will be worth it!

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from ikillcoyotes223 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I personally think that baiting defeats the entire purpose of hunting. I just figure to do it the old fashion way.

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from Geoff2u wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

For the most part, I agree with this article. I live in West Central Ohio and we have a lot of farm land. The deer have enough to eat in the fields and don't come to bait all that well except for minerals or salt blocks, and maybe apples or sugar beets in some areas. But all it does it make for some nice night-time photos on trail cams- but no more deer sighted in the day time during leagl shooting hours. I cna have more luck setting up near between a bedding area and food source at first light or near the end of shooting time.

I've had more luck with mock scrapes and rubs than baits or food attractants such as c'mere deer, etc.

As long as we can use scents, lures, treestands, blinds and decoys- I don't think we need to bait.

As for the suggestion of not using any (or live) bait for fishing, that's just plain idiotic and ridiculous. You might as well do away with fishing with kids. Besides, it's not even the same thing.

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from Dakota.Woman wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I farmed / ranched for most of my adult life, and farm crops tastiness resulted in a huge increase in deer in our area, to the point where we laughed & called them "field fleas" because we could look out the kitchen window to the corn or alfalfa fields & count 150 or more at a time. We didn't mind; we hunted them & enjoyed them & so did 19 of our friends. But we didn't bait because there is no sport in hunting over bait. So far as I'm concerned, the crux of the argument has to do with "management of the game" & "sportsmanship".

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from crosbychief wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I am all for a ban on baiting deer for the purpose of sport hunting. This comes from 31 years of deer hunting experience, and, more important, 29 years as a conservation officer. When I started as a CO in the western UP in 1978, the only people who used bait were archery hunters who used an apple or two to make a deer stop and hesitate. Firearm hunters believed (mistakenly) that it was unlawful to use bait. As baiting became more prevalent as more and more folks learned that it ws NOT illegal, the first problem I noted was the alienation of deer hunters within our ranks. Prior to baiting, when my feet got cold at 9:00 on opening day and I decided to walk around and warm up, I tried to avoid other hunters but it was still easy to bump into another hunter who was watching a trail or a scrape. I felt badly, and waved....he would be sort of glad to see me, moving around and making deer move a bit, and he would wave back...and we were still friends and colleagues in the deer hunting fraternity.

When a hunter like me stumbles into a baited station with a hunter perched in a tree, he is instantly angry, protective of his bait and territoriality takes over, and there is definitely no sense of comradeship. Time and time again conservation officers have been called upon to referee a dispute between angry, armed hunters over a bait pile on land open to public hunting...a waste of time for the COS and another small blight on the wonderful pastime of deer hunting.

In my career, the happiest deer hunters I knew, who seemed to enjoy the greatest fulfillment, were the folks, many from lower Michigan, who drove to the UP, set up a tent camp, year after year, and hunted hard on foot. Deer populations come and go in the UP, especially north of M-28 (250 inch annual snowfalls are common, and deer didn't evolve there...they moved north out of central Wisconsin when the forests were cleared by loggers in the late 19th century. Moose, woodland caribou and elk evolved up there, long-legged cratures that can handle snow and routinely browse on spruce and fir)...but those fellows in those camps usually went 40-50% on bucks, and they knew how to hunt.

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from willkillsdeer wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

(i don't but)i think hunting over food plots is ok becuse your giveing deer food all year round if you plant alfalfa or something like that i tried baiting once didn't work havn't tried it since

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from Deepwoods wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I gave up deer hunting after 51 years and 28 bucks. I always hunted in the same general areas, about eight or ten of them, before the baiting hit Marquette and North Dickenson Counties of the UP in Michigan. After trying to hunt these areas for an additional three years and being pushed away by baiters that now claim these areas as their own (you can't even still hunt through them without being yelled at, or worse). One flat tire and one broken windshield later I gave it up and decided to stick with squirrels. I'm getting to old to fight with someone you know has a "loaded gun and no witnesses" (their yelled words, not mine).

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from arniebuss wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Enough already! Come on guys/ladies. Be real hunters like in the western part of the states. We don't bait deer, elk or moose. The hunting areas are vast in finding your game, but we do harvest animals without baiting. It is a lot harder I agree, but the reason we hunt is not only to harvest a animal, but to marvel at the great outdoors.

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from BigAl wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I would have to agree with chuckles. I have just started hunting and im 22. Baiting takes away from what hunting is all about. The whole sport of it is to have a good time with friends and family. So dont take the sport out by causing the deer to come to you each time. It just doesnt seem fair.

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from stacey ronquillo wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

hunting today is changing quickly. weather it is baiting, using shooting sticks, range finders, etc has changed the sport of hunting to the kill of hunting. baiting is not to be considered sport, as far as fair chase should be considered. too many distractions these days from the sport. too many aids to make it just a kill. i agree ban all baiting.

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from jon628 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I agree just do not believe in baiting my idea of hunting was to enjoy the outdoors and using skill and knowledge to pursue the game you were after,and to take it in a fair and responsible way.as the gentleman said these shows make it seem like hunting is going to a farm and shooting game.

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from jon628 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I agree just do not believe in baiting my idea of hunting was to enjoy the outdoors and using skill and knowledge to pursue the game you were after,and to take it in a fair and responsible way.as the gentleman said these shows make it seem like hunting is going to a farm and shooting game.

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from hjohn429 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

The best and most important reason to stop baiting deer is the spread of CWD. Baiting deer also may make them dependant on the bait for food. But there is a huge difference between baiting and food plots. I say people should deffinately be allowed to use food plots.

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from Walt Smith wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Bear Hunter you are absolutly correct, 100%. Someday other sportsman who aren't just out to protect their way of baiting will admit you're correct also. I applaude you and the others who understand there is NO difference.

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from dmaynard wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Although I have harvested a few deer on management land I think that baiting takes the thrill out of the hunt. When setting bait or putting your stand at a feeder you know exactly where the deer will be. If you dont use bait you have to find the deer which is the hunt.

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

well for one you got to use bait for fish you cant use gill nets,,and two looks to me like if that many tons of corn are used in one state every day to feed deer ,,it should be worth more then three dollors a bushell,,i dont agree with it tho ,why does eveyr thing have to be high dollor any more,,,my self i think it should be like it was back in the 60`s when i was growing up and hunting

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

most these people all they got on there minds is a set of horns....i put in for extra doe tags evry year because i like to bow hunt, i know people here that wouldnt dream of putting in for a doe tag thats why there is so many left over to me them people dont really love bowhunting,they just love to have a set of horns bigger then the next guy,,and i shoot big deer to but you know what when i fill my buck tag i do go doe hnting till the season closes,ive passed up does alot of times ,just so i can go hunting again

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from rightwing wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

My Opinion is Your an IDIOT. First don't forget most hunters don't get to hunt on hundred acre private highfenced ranches. Some if not most are just happy to find a small piece of state land to hunt on away from the main trails and prime locations so it may take a little bait to bring them in. Second of all your worried about anti-hunters not liking us and if we stop baiting maybe we can get them to like us. Are you serious? Good thing our Founding Fathers did'nt think like you we would still be British. You are nothing but a coward afraid to fight for what is right. By the way your little anti-hunting friends don't like the pointy tips on your arrow either maybe you should hunt with out them to so you can make more friends.

Brian Sturgess
West Branch
Michigan

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Brian,
very well said.

Nate

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from hockeyguyno9 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Why is this becoming such a big deal? You either bait or you don't! For the "non-baiters" who get pissed at the "baiters", why are you so mad? Is this affecting your hunting? You talk about how these "baiters" aren't true hunters and they lure the deer in, so be it. You (Non-baiters) talk about true hunting and taking your game ethically. If the guy next to you is baiting and your not, and you stop seeing deer on your property, you need to adapt, you need to take your hunting skills that you know and apply them to be a better a hunter. Just because your not seeing deer doesn't mean that they left, it means you stopped trying to hunt. You (non-baiters) should try taking this as a challenge to yourself. Figure out what you need to do to start seeing deer once again. This may require scouting again, re-learning the deer patterns in your area, and trying to relocate to a new stand site. I am a "non-baiter", i could care less if people bait, the deer will still be there regardless. i have found that the bigger, mature deer frequent my property more because of all the baiting. Usually baited areas mean that the area is hunted often and has high pressure. We need to put this issue to rest, we as hunters and sportsmen/women have more bigger important things to think about, such as, our right to bear arms, fighting off anti-hunting orgs. (i.e. PETA, etc.), and protecting our traditions for our next generations.

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

let me bring up a little fact .. around here all the land owners usally claim the deer as there deer...BUT..when it comes time because a field or some thing got ruined or ate,,then it becomes every body elses deer,,and the game and fish haul corn in to these places to cover what the deer ate,,now,, as far as a feeder there is a difference in that and a a 100 yard square field,,or a mile square field,, the deer are coming to ten square feet,,,that covers whos deer it is and the difference in a food plot and a feeder,......and all these people that dont like the anits should of thought of that before they voted for there number one suporter.OBAMA...dont any buddy ever remebr what happens every time a democrat runs for office untill they found out it didnt work,,was start running guns down,

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

and all them high fences thats why ya never here to much about scores in them kind of places,,cant do that with pope and young,i think thats why that other class was started so they can have there own records for there high fences

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from lundhunting22 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Im only 13 so i might not know much but i think that baiting for dear is like cheating. It takes the challenges and the skill out of hunting. i think baiting should be Illegal during hunting season but allowed in the off season. Well thats what I think,
Lundhunting22

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from SharpStik wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Baiting divides us? I don't think so... not real hunters.

You want fair chase, then get out there naked with the deer.

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from moletree wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

WELL I DON'T KNOW ABOUT GETTING NAKED WITH DEER, YOU DO WHATEVER TURNS YOU ON BUT THE ISSUE IS NOT WETHER BAITING IS FAIR CHASE OR NOT ITS WETHER YOU OR ANYONE ELSE HAS THE RIGHT TO TELL ANOTHER HOW TO HUNT. A CORN FIELD OR CORN PILE. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. IF YOU WANT TO HUNT NAKED THATS YOUR CHOICE ,HOWEVER, NOT A WISE ONE IN MY OPINION BUT HEY IM NOT TELLING YOU HOW TO HUNT OR WHAT APPAREL TO WEAR. HUNT THE WAY THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! JUST DON'ASSUME YOUR WAY IS THE ONLY. ENJOY DIVERSITY IT'LL MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON.

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from Bill Hnatuk wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

To: Field & Stream & Bloggers 3/23/09
Subject: Comments on F&S Bullet Points article about baiting deer.
The photo of a large pile of corn cobs to bait deer is totally wrong and dangerous for the deer. The problem is that (1) all deer would be eating from the same pile and sharing their diseases; (2) one bait pile allows only one deer at a time to feed; (3) large bucks will learn to come to the pile earlier thus making does and small bucks wait and hope for some leftovers; (4) lesser large bucks will be chased away by dominate bucks, thus relegating the does to leftovers; (5) deer will travel earlier to the easy food more during the day light, making them more exposed to sighting by people who are encouraged to poach. With a source of easy food, bucks will show up earlier like 2-4PM, to beat the does. This is good for hunters and trail cameras, but not for the deer.
Recommendation: The bait should have the cobs spread out over a large area, like 1/8 to 1/4 of an acre or at least 3 feet apart. Each cob will have a better chance to dry up and killing most diseases before the next deer would feed at the same unfinished cob. This should be easy to do by throwing the cobs by hand. Apples should be spread the same way.

My Experience: I bait near my home in the suburbs of Philadelphia for my trail camera and have many great photos of big bucks. In the process, I have learned a lot about deer habits. My township does not allow hunting even with archery. Every year I see 10, 12 and 14 pointers in September and some of the big ones are not seen in November. Poaching by archery and/or gun is the problem, hear gun shots occasionally, day or night in a heavily populated area.
Because of the heavy deer damage in the area, I am working with the township to allow archery by a selected group of hunters that are controlled and required to remove more does than bucks. We would require the registering of each kill at the police department. The township is interested, but the approval process is slow and may take a years.
Bill H.

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from goodmandon wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

In New York State, baiting is not allowed. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset so we lose the first half hour of daylight and the last half hour of daylight.In New York State, baiting is not allowed. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset, so we lose the first half hour of daylight and the last half hour of daylight. In my thirty years of archery hunting, I can't remember ever seeing a mature buck just going out to eat during the normal hunting hours.

Making scrapes, chasing does, and fighting, of course, but not eating. Any time I have seen mature bucks on the move just to eat is usually in the last 10 minutes before it gets pitch black.

How could baiting make it any worse than that?

Whether or not you are for or against anything, a more scientific article, with multiple test results and research data from neutral and unbiased sources are needed to truly persuade anyone sitting on the fence.

For example, I don't know who Mark Toso is, but he's a government flunkie, so right away his numbers are probably debatable at the least....................but more likely way off the mark.

And even if his numbers are even remotely correct, does that same thing apply in all states?

You used the Michigan bag number from last fall and compared that to the previous year, but there are many unanswered questions about that. Was the overall deer herd up or down? What was the weather like? Were there any changes in doe permits? Did they change opening day from say a Monday to a Saturday like they did recently in NYS to increase the number of hunters? Are there any other states with similar results available?

The funniest thing about your article was the stated desire to avoid conflict, but writing this type of article is certain to stir up more conflict.

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from goodmandon wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

In New York State, baiting is not allowed. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset so we lose the first half hour of daylight and the last half hour of daylight.In New York State, baiting is not allowed. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset, so we lose the first half hour of daylight and the last half hour of daylight. In my thirty years of archery hunting, I can't remember ever seeing a mature buck just going out to eat during the normal hunting hours.

Making scrapes, chasing does, and fighting, of course, but not eating. Any time I have seen mature bucks on the move just to eat is usually in the last 10 minutes before it gets pitch black.

How could baiting make it any worse than that?

Whether or not you are for or against anything, a more scientific article, with multiple test results and research data from neutral and unbiased sources are needed to truly persuade anyone sitting on the fence.

For example, I don't know who Mark Toso is, but he's a government flunkie, so right away his numbers are probably debatable at the least....................but more likely way off the mark.

And even if his numbers are even remotely correct, does that same thing apply in all states?

You used the Michigan bag number from last fall and compared that to the previous year, but there are many unanswered questions about that. Was the overall deer herd up or down? What was the weather like? Were there any changes in doe permits? Did they change opening day from say a Monday to a Saturday like they did recently in NYS to increase the number of hunters? Are there any other states with similar results available?

The funniest thing about your article was the stated desire to avoid conflict, but writing this type of article is certain to stir up more conflict.

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from goodmandon wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

In New York State, baiting is not allowed. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset so we lose the first half hour of daylight and the last half hour of daylight.In New York State, baiting is not allowed. Hunting hours are sunrise to sunset, so we lose the first half hour of daylight and the last half hour of daylight. In my thirty years of archery hunting, I can't remember ever seeing a mature buck just going out to eat during the normal hunting hours.

Making scrapes, chasing does, and fighting, of course, but not eating. Any time I have seen mature bucks on the move just to eat is usually in the last 10 minutes before it gets pitch black.

How could baiting make it any worse than that?

Whether or not you are for or against anything, a more scientific article, with multiple test results and research data from neutral and unbiased sources are needed to truly persuade anyone sitting on the fence.

For example, I don't know who Mark Toso is, but he's a government flunkie, so right away his numbers are probably debatable at the least....................but more likely way off the mark.

And even if his numbers are even remotely correct, does that same thing apply in all states?

You used the Michigan bag number from last fall and compared that to the previous year, but there are many unanswered questions about that. Was the overall deer herd up or down? What was the weather like? Were there any changes in doe permits? Did they change opening day from say a Monday to a Saturday like they did recently in NYS to increase the number of hunters? Are there any other states with similar results available?

The funniest thing about your article was the stated desire to avoid conflict, but writing this type of article is certain to stir up more conflict.

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from solin73 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

THANK YOU FIELD AND STREAM!! i am a 17 year old hunter from wisconsin and this article really hit home. baiting is ruining hunting for me...i acually thought about giving it up becuase of the heavy baiting going on in my area. its not fair, baiting is terrible for deer and hunting. i havent seen a deer in 3 seasons because i refuse to bait. im not lazy, i would rather put my time in and scout and find deer in their natural habitat than be walk 100 yards into the woods and drop some corn. it really really makes me mad. what has our hunting community come too.......do we even know how to acually "hunt" anymore. you are not hunting deer when you need to use food to bring them to you.... my grandpa killed many big deer without ever dropping a piece of corn in his life. why cant we go back to old ways. it would be so much better for us and the herd. there is so much baiting in my area that i cant find deer that are not using bait piles. STOP RUINING HUNTING!!!!

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from solin73 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

THANK YOU FIELD AND STREAM!! i am a 17 year old hunter from wisconsin and this article really hit home. baiting is ruining hunting for me...i acually thought about giving it up becuase of the heavy baiting going on in my area. its not fair, baiting is terrible for deer and hunting. i havent seen a deer in 3 seasons because i refuse to bait. im not lazy, i would rather put my time in and scout and find deer in their natural habitat than be walk 100 yards into the woods and drop some corn. it really really makes me mad. what has our hunting community come too.......do we even know how to acually "hunt" anymore. you are not hunting deer when you need to use food to bring them to you.... my grandpa killed many big deer without ever dropping a piece of corn in his life. why cant we go back to old ways. it would be so much better for us and the herd. there is so much baiting in my area that i cant find deer that are not using bait piles. STOP RUINING HUNTING!!!!

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from bill4432 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

i agree with bestul 100 percent. baiting is like the arms race during the cold war years. you figure the guy across the way is doing it, so you want to do it at least as well as he does to stay competitive, and you want to do more and better than he does because you want to win. and so does he. the cycle is self-fueling.

we'd be better hunters and they'd be better deer if baiting were stopped.

a food plot is baiting in the same way that planting an apple tree and waiting for it to mature, bear fruit, and for that fruit to ripen is like stopping at a 7-11 for a hot apple pie: not at all. bh

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from bill4432 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

i agree with bestul 100 percent. baiting is like the arms race during the cold war years. you figure the guy across the way is doing it, so you want to do it at least as well as he does to stay competitive, and you want to do more and better than he does because you want to win. and so does he. the cycle is self-fueling.

we'd be better hunters and they'd be better deer if baiting were stopped.

a food plot is baiting in the same way that planting an apple tree and waiting for it to mature, bear fruit, and for that fruit to ripen is like stopping at a 7-11 for a hot apple pie: not at all. bh

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from jruetz wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

The comment “In Wisconsin, hunters can put out more than 200 gallons of bait per season.” just isn’t accurate.

Wisconsin hunters are only allowed 2 gallons of bait per day and not within 100 yards of another hunter during the seasons in which they hunt. Plus 26 counties prohibit the placing of bait for hunting purposes.

Your figure would only be accurate if you added all the seasons of bow, gun and muzzleloader together.

I am proud to be a Wisconsin hunter and do not wish for my state to be portrayed in such a negative way.

Here’s a link for your research next time.

http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/wildlife/regs/Deer08regs35-43.pdf

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

hey check the the books and see how honest jim zumbo was ,and why he was aressted and lost his show,then bring him back up

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

iam lucky i aint in a wheel chair..after going hunting one morning and being hit by a fifteeen year old farm girl,,,i wouldnt mind a food plot either but that aint like baiting deer down to a ten square foot spot,in so.dak. baitng here is considered baiting when you pour some thing out on the ground and redoing it all the time,, a standing field isnt considered baiting unless you combine it and run the grain back on to the ground, or pour grain or the other deer foods you buy on the ground or salt

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

one more thing about baiting, all the shows i have watched from texas the deer come to the roads where the corn is throwed out in full daylight ,like magnets,on evry show you watch, guarented big ones

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from dave the bowhunter wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

that coment about who cares if there fenced,,,,pope and young cares,thats why a fenced in deer will never be in there record books unless some one lied about where they got it

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from bowhunter352 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Ok?...? So if theyr never going to be allowed in pope and young then whats the fuss you know? Like let the higher class guys with the money do their deer hunting/growing. Your not mentioning or fighting about anything really. I think its fair... They hunt deer to me... that are really grown to be honest. But I don't think their bad hunters or people. As much as I dislike it, its still important to have those type of people, So I appreciate what they do. Its fair to me, let them hunt their big deer in the fences as long as they don't get scored. [which truthfully I could care less if they did or didn't, but its for the people who are upset about it and say its not fair] So It makes everyone happy. Let them hunt the fences, as long as their still public land for me to go hunt and its not all taken up by hunting fences, heyyy I'm a happy man. I love to hunt!

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from muskiemaster wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

In wisconsin people are allowed to bait deer only in the upper half of the state with the CWD stuff down south but I noticed after we stopped baiting the deer and put food plots and mineral blocks in the deer came out alot more in the day and weren't so nocturnal.

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from njones wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

here in indiana we cant use bait either. we use common knowledge and hunt over crop fields, bedding areas and travel routes. its not that hard, really. it actually forces you to think about nature. oh, and we couldnt use rifles til last season. and for those that do, they must be a pistol caliber. personally in my family, we dont use em anyway other than my "legally" classified as a rifle Omega Z5. my dad and sister use shotguns.

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from Dean Oh wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I would leave it up to the State Dept's of Wildlife. I personally think it takes some of the sport out of it. But I can condone it since my home state of KS has too many deer and fewer hunters all the time and don't need to drive those that bait from hunting.

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from blackbearhunter wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Obviously, the author has a good hunting spot and doesn't need to attract deer to a small area. I put out two scoops of corn and 18 apples twice a week. I turned a terrible barren piece of land into a respectable successful hunting spot. I don't have enough area for a food plot, so a small baiting spot is my only option. Just for the record, I have deer there all day long! Your 7 points are not really true. You have just twisted your facts to make your personal point.

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from archeryforlife198 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

i dont understand why hunters need to bait deer in order to harvest deer? im a young archery hunter living in minnesota and i have harvested plenty of deer WITHOUT baiting. I will be 18 this spring and started hunting at 12. in my 5 seasons of hunting i have succesfully harvested 24 deer one of which was a pope and young 130" buck...all of which were hunted 100% fair chase. if your area that you hunt has a small amount of deer then hunt them harder...dont be lazy and bait them...in minnesota its illegal to bait as well as iowa and hunters in both states harvest an incredible amount of deer. i think that baiting is unnecessary and unethical and it shouldnt be needed to harvest a deer.

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from score-your-hunting wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I'm glad to see this talked about. A HUNTER does not need to feed or bait deer, he is after all, a hunter.

"FEEDING TAKES THE NATURAL OUT OF NATURE, THE WILD OUT OF WILDLIFE, AND THE HUNT OUT OF HUNTING", Buck@score-your-hunting.com

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from BuckTheSystem wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

What a bunch of snobs . . . a "real" hunter . . . give me a break and quit looking down your nose. I don't bait, but I'm not going to say you can't. If it is a trophy to the person shooting it, then it is a trophy no matter how they took it. Now if SCI wanted to differentiate animals taken over bait in the records books, I would be completely supportive. But the tactics I use in my little spot in Minnesota are my business and someone from Michigan, Wisconsin, or whereever has no business telling me how I should hunt.

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from SLY FOX wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I can't stand baiting. I'm from wisconsin and ever since baiting became legalized I've been seeing less and less deer each year. All the deer do is go find a safe spot within a short distance from the bait and wait until dark to feed. What's worse is when the season closes, usually whoever has been putting out the bait stops and the deer are lost on where to feed. Overall, baiting needs to stop not only for us hunters but also for the deer.

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from Buzzbaiter wrote 5 years 1 week ago

If hunting came with a guarantee it would be called shopping.

If you get the same level of satisfaction from buying a 50% off item that you didn't really need from the clearance aisle at the Walmart as you do selecting and killing a deer with the largest set of antlers (too often refered to as horns even by people that know better) among the numerous bucks gathered around with their heads bowed rooting in the gravel for pellets scattered by the automatic feeder from a permanently located, elevated plastic box while sitting in a leather highback office chair, then you just might be a Baiter.

If you rationalize the practice of dumping a pile of bait food within the range of your gun or compound bow in a convienient location with easy access and attempt to unfairly compare it to carefully scouting, planning and optimizing your location based on game trails, bedding areas and natural or unintended feeding areas (crop fields), time of day, and other aquired skills or still hunting or stalking in a fair chase manner, then you just might be a Baiter.

Anger should not be shown towards individuals that are compelled to use bait food. It is truly unfortunate that conditions and circumstances put them in this position. The individual needs to determine the choices they make according to their conscience when it comes to baiting, whether it is legal or not. It would be very tempting to gather a bucket of acorns and pile them up somewhere to increase the odds of deer coming in to eat them. Temptations to take avantage of a situation will continue to present themselves and it is up to us to resist or submit. With all of the technology that is available and increasing every year with precision made guns, improved ammo, compound bows, camoflage scent free clothing, blinds, trail cameras, range finders, scents, decoys and atv's do we really need to tip the scales with bait food?

Ethics are about behaviors and practices that go above and beyond what is legal or not, even when no one else is watching and even if you don't get caught.

Fair Chase - The Greater Satisfaction

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from Hardtime01 wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I hunt in South Carolina which does allow baiting. This issue has caused a division among dog hunters and "still hunters" Anyone with a corn pile thinks they are "still hunting" If they had to go to the woods and set up on a trail, etc, there would not be so many people that hunt deer. I find it takes away from the joy of hunting. Pleanty of people just drive to the back of their property and dump out the corn, and sit over it whenever they want, and call this "hunting". My .02...Mark

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from flippinNShootn wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I have read alot of your comments and some are really good. Some of you sound like bitchy women. It is your right to have an opinion but keep it as that. We do not need to be like other groups that try to push there opinions on others. Nobody has any PROOF that there opinion is correct. I hunt on small parcels and can't afford a large lease where you have plenty of property to scout and find the best spot out of 2000 acres. I bait because I don't have the time and if you want to try to tell me I'm not a true hunter that's fine. I thought that the hunting group of people would be a step above this crap. I guess this is why every year I fish more and hunt less.

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from capt. Greg wrote 5 years 4 days ago

I agree with the author...Scott listed good, practical reasons to end baiting, but the most important one is improving relations with the non-hunting public. I've hunted deer for 40 years and find "executing" deer over bait to be unsportsmanlike. I feel that the more non-hunters learn about baiting, the more negatively it will reflect on all of us. And the truth is there are many more non-hunting voters out there than hunters. I hunt in California where baiting is illegal, but I have no illusions that the practice will be ended in those states where it's currently legal. What really bothers me are these people who shoot over bait who actually believe they are hunting. The words "hunting" and "bait" should not be uttered in the same breath when discussing deer hunting.

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from rdennis wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Everrrry thing in your article is wrong. 1. Deer don't wait till night to feed unless you have already over hunted or traffic is too great for them to feed. Baiting does not cause deer to go nocturnal! 2. Deer finish a baited area in minutes, they usually eat many of the awake hours like people and all other animals, so your facts are off on the deer hanging around a baiting pile, besides they like assortment too. 3. Deer wiping out forest...answered by number two. 4. CWD and tuberculosis has killed less deer than rainfall, so how are you going to change rain. EHD kills almost 20-30% deer, so how are you going to kill the midge that spread the disease. 5. Overkilling deer in specific areas without enough foodplots is causing the hunters to fight over killing the native deer. Sounds like your hunters need to put more into the wild than they take out for a while. Feed more not less and use something besides corn!!! 6. As long as you call it baiting instead of supplementing, you are your own worse enemy. True hunters supplement and harvest, you must bait and kill. All in the terminology. I supplement an average of 5 tons of feed a month and harvest a couple of deer a year-do the calculations anyway you want but the deer are the benefactors. 7. Your the wedge of division, your clear lack of knowledge on the deer wildlife and the hunting industry as a whole reflects your poor judgement also.

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from Archery 101 wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

I believe that deer baiting is perfectely fine. I put apples, mineral, and corn in an area in my woods and every time I go out there I see around 6 or 7 good looking deer.

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from GreatWhiteBuffalo wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

Well, you have to understand the reasons for why people bait. See, I have to bait whitetails because there are so many people on my small hunting lease that disturbing people is easy and safety becomes a concern. I bait hogs because they are a problem. I don't care about a healthy hog population. I just want them dead. See, during January, when the woods are empty, I stalk rabbits. When its April, and the woods are still empty, I call turkey.
When I turn 18 and get to go to Colorado to kill elk, there will be enough room for me to call and run around and whatnot. Hell, I even jump and shoot in the forest where all the field hunters had scared the birds off to.
I'm kind of neutral on this standpoint. We hunters need to stick together in this day and age, no matter what, because our passion is in big trouble. Gobbling among ourselves can hurt us badly. To each his own.

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from senkoman12 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

i dont like baiting i think its not right if you are a hunter

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from FairChase wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Baiting is wrong. I can understand the competition aspect, when your neighbor has all the deer eating out of a pile and you dont have one so you start baiting. So the best solution would be to ban it nationwide. As elkslayer said deer dont need our help to survive. If we feed em one winter and not the next that can be harmful to the herd as they grow dependent on that food source. But I dont see anything wrong with food plots. To compare baiting (pile of corn) to a reasonably large food plot is ridiculous.

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from Edstoresit wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

There is a phenomenal difference between a food plot and baiting/feeding. First, implementation of a food plot program can increase the carrying capacity of a given piece of property. If one plants and maintains a foodplot of at least 30% protein crops, and these crops contain a cold weather tolerant species (i.e. Brassicas) then you are adding a significant increase in the amount of tonnage per acre available as food.
Baiting exists to try and bring a deer to a specific locale. And while food plots can do the same thing, you cannot control where the deer will end up in the plot. A corn feeeder will bring deer to aspecific locale, as in the 10 yd area in which it throws the corn.
While I don't necessarily think that corn feeders are going to increase your chances on a mature buck, they can be an effective way to thin out does. In some areas of the country without corn feeding, one would have a very hard time even seeing deer. Anyone who has hunted in the brush counrty of southern Texas can attest that without cutting cenderos and baiting with corn, you would be lucky to SEE deer let alone shoot them.

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from huskerguy wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Like the artical. I'm not a fan of baiting. To me, it seems like you lose part of the hunting experience. Whats the point of scouting and having to really work and learn from the deer if you know where they will come to get a fast bite.

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from rjbedrock wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

to 60265 (Nate)
AMEN...THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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from scottprice wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

here in PA baiting is prohibited. that is...unless you live in the southeasdtern part of the state where deer numbers are huge. also, the late bow/flintlock season is an extra 2 weeks longer than the rest of the state.

i think baiting should only be allowed in this circumstance, to control overpopulated areas.

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from em17 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

In georgia you can bait but you cant do it during the season.I bait and I have a deer camera over it and i see some big deer on there every once in a while.I think you should be able to bait as long as its gone when season comes in.

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from Chris Carpenter wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

any idiot can throw some corn on the ground and hunt over it but it takes skill and patience to hunt without it.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Did you know none deer approved corn mostly contain toxins and poisons

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

O and also,
Short Tract Hunter,
tell me where i'm wrong then if i'm such a stupid guy that has no idea what im doin.

Nate

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from BromleyTriple7 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

We're all deer hunters. The key word in that phrase is "HUNTER". I live in Michigans Lower Peninsula, even though this season wasn't as successful as last years i wouldn't say baiting (or lack of) had anything to do with it. Like i said before we're hunters. We should hunt the deer, not just wait for 'em to walk up to a pile of corn.

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from SteelForce20 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

To be honest I think that baiting a deer is not right. I mean if you can't call em in or stalk em that usually means your hunting low populations. Granted that food plot are legal and I don't mind that but to drop a bucket of apples in the hardwoods or a pale of corn in a wheat field isn't right. I feel its not a sportsman's way of hunting and its the easy way out. Why does anyone go hunting then. I go for the thrill and also for the relaxation of the hunt. If this is what its coming to I may as well sit on my back deck and drop a front loader full of apples in the yard while i read a book or some gay thing.

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from Erik wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

Baiting must end as quickly as possible for all the reasons cited. I think it is unethical and is not fair chase and if hunters can't see or understand this, the sport is in deep, deep trouble. If baiting continues to be allowed, at least here in Wisconsin, it should be confined to only private property, not public. I hunt the National Forest and have accidentally run into a bait area (i.e., no prior knowledge that someone was using corn), and was angrily confronted by the "hunter" watching the corn, telling me to beat it because this was "his area." It was definitely not a pleasant experience.

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from tunadave wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Living in MI, I can honestly say that I hunted over bait just once. Being a meat hunter because 1.I like the meat, 2. I don't have a good recipe for antlers, 3. I have 2 whole shelves in my barn loaded with antlers that don't have a real purpose in their future. That said, I pulled down on a nice doe with my muzzleloader and had a rare misfire (cap went, load didn't). The doe took off like a bat out of heck. I recapped and 5 minutes later she's back with her nose in the corn again. Successful ignition this time, but had their not been bait I would never have seen her again. It was like shooting fish in a barrel, and I wasn't proud of it. Could I call it hunting? Honestly, no. It was sort of funny this last year hearing all the former baiters come to grips with having to relearn their lost skills and discovering how to actually HUNT deer again. As I said, I compromised myself one time. Before I made that one mistake, and ever since, when baiting is discussed I give out the same line of reasoning: an antihunter is an antihunter and you probably won't change their mind. But, how do you explain to a non-hunter who might ask that it's acceptable to wait over a bait pile for a chip shot at a deer and call yourself an ethical hunter? The argument won't fly, folks. If we ever should lose our privilege to hunt because public opinion is colored by the baiting issue, I don't want part of the blame to rest with me. You just can't legitimize the argument for using bait to a non-hunter.

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from teufelhunden wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

Lots opinions, but very few facts. One of my favorites; "hunting over a food plot or grain field is different!" How so genius? I can shoot across either just as easily as I can shoot to a feeder.

Spouting your uninformed opinions about the way other people do things is why we will not have a sport in 10-15 years.

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from boomer1 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

bait is wrong!!!!!!!!!!

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from boomer1 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

baiting is wrong!!!!!!!!!!

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from boomer1 wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

baiting is wrong!!!!!!!!!!

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from Schimel750 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

WOW this one gained plenty of popularity. For one, we don't need to "up" our deer population. There are no population problems, atleast here in TN. Not being allowed to bait deer, like earlier stated, is like fishing with no bait. Why not make everyone stop using dogs when wing hunting, if you can't flock them up yourself, or better yet walk you're lazy a** over to get it. I'll agree to the no baiting, once duck hunters have to walk out into the water EVERYTIME they harvest a water bird. They are simply tricks of the trade. Corn, molasses, soy...still nutrious. Same as mineral/vitamen mix, salt deposits. I feed and bait my deer. i don't kill one everytime I go out. I've got decent sized 8's and 10's running around that could care less about my food. I enjoy seeing the photos on my trail cams, I also enjoy knowing that if i do gain photos of the bucks eating up my mineral/vitman suppliments, then i'm the one helping grow bigger bucks, kinda like raising childeren lol. There is no shortage of whitetail, and if you think there is, FEED THEM, more food more deer simple as that. Not to mention, as long as people keep buying my products, i'm all for it. I make quality food suppliments for whitetail, that have proven time and time again to help milk production and antler growth, which helps fawn survival, which equals deer for my nephews to hunt, and one day my childeren!

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from Cgull wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I dont see that baiting is needed in most states. Understanding game and game movements through the lay of the land is how I hunt. I do not agree with baiting laws of Arkansas it says you can not bait in the National Forest but it allows lumber companies to buy strips of National Forest and lease to hunters that then can bait in the national Forest because now this strip of forest is private property.

I look at food plots differntly than baiting. Baiting is mostly for pulling deer out for easy shots, while food plots can give the deer an increase in protein for 12 months. In my area there are no agricultural feilds that deer can feed. Food plots give game a better food source than the forest or hay fields can offer and may help grow bigger healthier deer. Yes, I plant food plots but have never shot a deer over one. I use food plots only as an supplemental food source and to serve as a sanctuary.

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from rampageingapes wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

I don't believe that placing bait will cause deer to go nocturnal. In fact I know that's not true, its just that the deer are smarter than me. Whenever I take a meal or stretch break and leave my stand I always come back to find lots of track by lots of deer, some with four or five inch hooves. I'm currently in college at East Carolina University and I know that if I was half as smart as a deer I'd be able to graduate tomorrow instead of four years from now.

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from pendubya wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

Not everyone has an abundance of ground on which to hunt. In South Central Kansas, we pay a small fortune to lease 80 acres. We are competing with outfitters who charge upwards of $5K and "manage" their ground, while scouting for deer so a "hunter" can come in over a weekend and "hunt" for a trophy. If we didn't set out a corn pile, the whitetail would never cross the 80 acres we have "get" to hunt. Getting permission to hunt is a thing of the past. :(

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

idduckhntr
i wasn't accusing you of it i was just stating some facts.

Nate

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from peter wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

well this article gave me more reasons to dislike vbaiting. mabe some one will stop bvaiting

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

To all you wonderful people that gave me negatives for saying that baiting is just as much a problem as long range hunting,
Here's the problem.
Baiting is luring a deer to an easy shot, and long range hunting is shooting a deer at unethical range because you can't get close enough to it. See any similarities? I do
They're both wrong and can be compensated. Split the difference.

Nate

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

estanaway,
i've never been a big fan of managing deer using food plots and such, because i believe the best managament is letting the deer be and then disposing of the weak, because maybe i'm just different that way.

Nate

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from ironman wrote 5 years 3 weeks ago

For the most part what I wanted say has been said. However it will not hurt to say it again. If you HAVE to go out and kill a dear that is EATING, YOU ARE NOT MUCH of A HUNTER. In fact, you are A SORRY PEARSON ALL AROUND!!!

wk langston

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from idduckhntr wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

I could care less either way the whitetail in the upper snake go nocternal after acouple days after the season opens anyway,but why bait fish if you cant bait deer.

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

also idduckhntr,
The reason i'm always negative is that i choose to post on topics that i have strong opinions about and i almost never feel strong positively about anything. Especially on a topic such as this one and many, it's not easy bein positive. But i get my point across better if people hate me, ya know :)

Nate

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from 60256 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

estanway,
it all needs to go away. Baiting is just as much of a problem as long range hunting.

Nate

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